Admission | Conditional Admission | Program Questions | Housing Questions



How can I apply?
You may submit an application online through our website. Supporting application documents should be submitted to us by fax, mail, or email to

How early should I apply? Are there application deadlines?
We recommend applying six to eight weeks in advance. Applications take one to two weeks and the I-20 will take two to four business days to reach you via DHL. We encourage you to apply far enough in advance to get accepted, obtain a visa, and make proper travel and living arrangements. Some programs do fill up and do not offer late entry. Programs such as the Semester at SDSU programs do have application deadlines. Please check the Calendar and Fees page for more information.

How long will it take to book an appt. at the U.S. Embassy?
Embassies have different wait times. Please contact your local U.S. Embassy for information at

When is an F-1 student visa required?
An F-1 student visa is required for full-time study in the USA. All full-time ALI Programs require an F-1 visa.

If you are a U.S. citizen, have a green card, or are in the USA on another immigration status that permits you to study, please contact us for more information.

Can I be a part-time student?
If you are already in the USA on a tourist visa (B1/B2), it is possible to enroll in the Intensive English Communications (IEC) Program on a part-time (15 hours or less per week) basis.

What is an I-20 form?
An I-20 is a government document issued by the ALI that certifies to the U.S. Embassy in your country that you are eligible to be admitted to the U.S. as a student. You will need this form to apply for an F-1 student visa.

What types of financial support documents are accepted?
A bank statement from you or your sponsor is required. It must show existing funds (either in home currency or U.S. dollar amounts) in the account. Statements must be on official bank letterhead, dated within the last three months and include the account holder's name and the account type. If you have a scholarship, a personal bank statement is not needed, and a letter of financial guarantee is required.

How much money should my bank statement show?
The amount should include the cost of the program plus approximately $1500 per month for living expenses. For example, a program of 17 weeks: $6000 tuition + $6000 living expenses = $12,000.

How much does it cost to apply?
The application fee is $175. If you are applying for Conditional Admission to SDSU, there is no additional fee.

When are tuition and housing fees due?
To ensure that you are able to attend classes, the tuition payment should be made at least 10 business days prior to the start of your program.

Do I need to have health insurance while I am at the ALI?
As part of the California State University (CSU) system, the ALI requires all F-1 and J-1 visa students to have major medical insurance coverage during their stay in the United States. For information on health insurance requirements please visit our Health Insurance page.

I have been accepted, but I need to delay my start date. What should I do?
Please contact the ALI admissions department at You may also call our office and request to speak with the admissions department at +1 (619) 594-5907.


Conditional Admission

Students who are interested in matriculating to San Diego State University (SDSU) for an undergraduate degree have the opportunity to apply for Undergraduate Conditional Admission.

Graduate Conditional Admission to SDSU is also offered for qualified students who want to apply for a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) or a Master's of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree at SDSU, but do not currently meet the SDSU English language proficiency and minimum GRE/GMAT test scores.



Can I start the program on any day?
No. Each program has specific dates when new students can start. The Calendar and Fees page lists this information. However, our Intensive English for Communication (IEC) and International Business English (IBE) programs have many possible starting dates for new students. These programs allow new students to start at the beginning of a semester or session, or on any of the flexible-entry dates listed on our Calendar & Fees page.

What is the right program for me?
The right program for you will depend on what your goals are. We have academic English programs as well as intensive English programs. A description of each of our programs can be found on our website. You may also contact the ALI and we will be pleased to answer your questions.

Can I study for a short period of time?
Yes, the IEC and IBE programs allow students to study for shorter periods of time. These programs allow students to study for as few as four weeks.

How long will it take me to reach my goals in English?
There is no standard time that it takes for students to improve their English. The rate of improvement in English proficiency depends on a number of factors, including the student's beginning English level, the student's study habits, the student's learning challenges, and the student's learning personality.



How do I apply for housing?

  1. Consult the housing options section to determine which type of housing you want to apply for (apartment, dormitory, or homestay).
  2. Fill out the appropriate application.
  3. Return to the ALI Housing Office by email, fax, or regular mail.
    • Mail: Housing Office
      American Language Institute
      San Diego State University
      5250 Campanile Drive
      San Diego, CA 92182-1914 USA
      Fax: +1 (619) 287-2735​

      Email: Housing: | Homestay:

  4. The ALI Housing department will contact you once your application is received, and contact you again when housing assignments are made.

When should I apply for housing?
Space in ALI housing is limited. We recommend that students apply as early as possible to have a better chance of receiving housing on-campus or in a homestay. Students should submit a housing application along with the admissions application.

When does the housing application close?
The housing application will close as soon as all spaces are filled. Students can apply as early as a year in advance, and all placements should be done a month prior to the program start date.

When is ALI on-campus housing assigned? How will I know if I've been given a space in ALI housing?
This is a typical timeline for on-campus housing placements (please note this is only an approximation, not a guarantee, and is subject to change):

  • Fall Sessions:
    • January - Applications available on ALI website
    • June-August - Housing assignments made
  • Spring Sessions:
    • June - Applications available on ALI website
    • September-December - Housing assignments made
  • Summer Sessions:
    • November - Applications available on ALI website
    • March - Housing assignments made

Is there a meal plan?
A meal plan is not included in any of the ALI Housing packages. If living in the dormitory, students can purchase a separate meal plan after arrival. Students living in ALI apartments will have their own kitchen equipped with a stove, microwave, oven, dishwasher, and garbage disposal.

There are several menu (and price) options for meals in an ALI homestay. "With Meals" includes breakfast and dinner, "Partial Meals" includes breakfast, "No Meals" means that you are responsible for providing all of your own food.

Will I live with American students?
In on-campus housing, ALI students will not share their rooms with American students, but there may be American students living in the building.

I am coming with my spouse, can we stay in the same homestay or ALI apartment?
For homestay, this request must be made well in advance. There is no guarantee that a host family will accept this request, but we can try to accommodate. For on-campus apartments, each unit is separated by gender, so if a couple wishes to live together, this option is not available.

I didn't get a space in ALI housing. What can I do?
ALI offers a few different housing options. If you did not get your first preference, you can apply for another one if space is available. You can also apply for homestay through private companies, or look for off-campus housing.

Can I apply for homestay one semester, and then on-campus housing the next semester, or vice versa?
Yes, you can. Continuing students should apply early during their first semester at the ALI.

If I am a first-time student in the Semester at SDSU program at the ALI, do I have to live on campus?
If you are in an ALI program, it is not required to live on-campus during your first semester. Only matriculated SDSU students must live on-campus during their freshman year.

Are there any short-term (1-3 months) housing options for students coming as a group?
Groups requesting short-term on-campus housing must contact the ALI housing coordinator well in advance, preferably one semester in advance. There is no guarantee that on-campus housing can be arranged for such a short period of time, but it is best to let us know beforehand. Homestay is the best option for groups coming for 1-3 months since contracts with host families are on a month-to-month basis.

Can I break my lease contract if I'm not happy with my accommodations, or if I have to go back to my home country?
Your lease is a legal contract, and you are required by law to fulfill the terms of the contract. For example, if you sign a lease for 12 months, you are responsible for 12 months of payment, even if you want to leave earlier. Carefully read all the terms of your contract. Do not sign anything you do not understand.

What is the address and contact information of each on-campus housing option?

Fraternity Row
5255 55th Street
San Diego, CA 92115

5840 Hardy Avenue
San Diego, CA 92115

Suites on Paseo
5595 Lindo Paseo
San Diego, CA 92115

See more information about housing options or contact the ALI housing coordinator at for more information.