Tips for First Semester Students!
06 March, 2013 - Announcements
Welcome to AMDA! After months of filling out applications, auditioning, writing essays and getting recommendations, you’ve made the decision to come to AMDA. Now what?
You’ve come to the right place to find out. As several guidance counselors, teachers, parents, church leaders, etc. have probably already told you, the first 30 days of any experience are your building blocks for that particular portion of your life. Our Residential Life Staff has teamed up to provide you with some pointers that will make your first semester happy, healthy and successful:
- Establish some ground rules with your roommates. Living in close quarters with people who you’re just getting to know can be tough. Meet with your Resident Advisor (RA) to fill out a Roommate Agreement. This will help all involved establish what can and can’t be shared, when you will observe quiet hours and what chores each roommate is responsible for. It may not seem important now, but you’ll be thankful that you took the time to establish rules early on.
- RAs are there for you. RAs are peer mentors that have been carefully selected by the Student Services, Housing and Education departments based on their abilities to be trusted leaders, role models and advocates for all students. There’s an RA on every floor in each Residence Hall.
- Only bring the essentials. Remember that spacious open room that you saw during your tour with admissions? Now imagine it with the belongings of several college students. Don’t panic! You can do your part to create space by only bringing what is needed. Reach out to your new roommates before your arrival so there aren’t any duplicates. Someone from home can always ship the items you might need after you arrive. It’s also good practice to bring things home that are out of season when you go home on break.
- Eat Healthy. It can be easy to splurge on unnecessary things (i.e. junk food, eating out, movies, shopping) during your first year away from home. Put your health first. If you spend money on good groceries now, you won’t have to spend money doctor’s bills later on. Eating well does not need to be expensive. RAs suggest having a Sunday Pot Luck with friends. Everyone brings something and then you can use the container you brought your contribution in to take home leftovers for the week.
- Sleep. Are you a night owl or an early bird? Either way, you’re going to want to live with people that have similar sleep habits to yours. Being a college student is rigorous and many are prone to “burning the candle at both ends” so be sure to set a regulated sleep schedule.
- Stay open to new ideas and communicate your own. You are at the beginning of a brand new chapter-- starting over with new teachers, new friends and a new living environment. This entire experience should be seen as a “life classroom”. It’s important for you to be honest about your expectations of yourself and the people you surround yourself with. Patience is key-- be humble, open minded and ready to soak it all in.
- Get involved! RAs have events nearly every weekend. Whether it be a hike up Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles, an outing to Central Park in New York, movie or game night in one of the residence halls, or joining in the school-wide activities offered, getting involved is the best way to make new friends and become a role model for others.
- Remember the “Golden Rule.” Sounds simple, right? When in doubt, treat others as you would like to be treated. You will have to face some tough situations but the Residential Life Staff is always here to assist you with them.
For any questions or concerns you may have, in addition to your RA's, you may also contact:
- Los Angeles: Caroline Harrington/LA Student Services department email@example.com or Ph: (323) 603-5961
- New York: Tarah Blasi/NY Student Housing firstname.lastname@example.org or Ph: 212-957-3370
AMDA LA Spring 2013 RA's
Are you ready to pursue your dreams? You are just a few short steps away from beginning your professional career at AMDA.
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Get started with the online application, then review the list below to make sure your application is complete.Apply Now
For your application to be complete, you must:
Request Recommendations - Complete the upper portion of the forms and submit at least one recommendation (more are welcome as well). Acceptable references include teachers, directors, guidance counselors or anyone familiar with your work and potential as an actor, singer or dancer. Make sure your reference(s) mail the form to the AMDA campus where you plan to begin studying. Complete the Signature Page Form and mail it to the AMDA campus where you plan to begin studying.
Request Official Transcripts - Send an official transcript or transcripts from your high school and (if applicable) college. Official transcripts from every educational institution that you listed in your application must be forwarded to AMDA. You can:
AMDA Conservatory Graduate
Conservatory Program Graduates, entering AMDA's Bachelor of Fine Arts Program is easier than ever.Alumni Letter of Intent
Getting your Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree is as easy as 60 + 30 + 30
When you graduate from the AMDA Conservatory Programs from AMDA NY or AMDA LA, you are eligible to apply for a Bachelor of Fine Arts Program.
Just add 30 credits of Critical Studies, and 30 credits of Performing Arts course work — and you've earned your degree!
Complete the program in just 14 months.
As a Conservatory graduate, you will already have 60 credits toward AMDA's Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.
Master's Degree Options For AMDA BFA Graduates
For those students who are interested in pursuing their Master's Degree after graduating with a BFA from AMDA, here is a sampling of Master's Degree granting institutions which recognize our BFA Program accreditation:
- Yale University
- Brown University
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Boston Conservatory
- The Juilliard School
- Columbia University
- American Conservatory Theater
International Student Admission
International students are a welcome and vital part of AMDA's culture. Students from around the world just like you come to AMDA each year with a shared passion to excel and a common aspiration to become the leading artists of your generation. We are sensitive to your needs and will help you to make the most of your AMDA experience. Here is a list of frequently asked questions.
Get started by completing the online application and preparing for your audition. You can find the audition requirements on the application page. We welcome international applicants to audition in person when possible, and otherwise to record and submit a video audition.
To be considered, your admissions file must be complete. AMDA financial aid and scholarship determinations cannot be made until you have been accepted, so it is important to provide all required documents in a timely fashion. If a document is not in English, a certified translation is required.
To complete your admissions file:
Fill Out Your Application
To apply, you must be at least 16 years old and/or in the final two years of high school/secondary education. If you meet the minimum age requirement, you will apply online from AMDA's website. There are three parts to the application, providing your personal information, scheduling your audition, and completing your personal essay. If you are not yet 16, consider attending the AMDA High School Summer Conservatory.
Schedule Your Audition
Admission to AMDA requires an audition. AMDA offers numerous audition opportunities in select international cities. We also offer monthly auditions at both AMDA campuses and in cities across the U.S. A complete list of audition sites can be found on the application page. We strongly encourage all students to audition in person, as it is the best way for adjudicators and admissions advisors to get to know prospective students and fully evaluate your skills set. However, if you are unable to find a suitable audition location, we welcome a video submission.
Complete Your Personal Essay
Towards the bottom of the online application, space is provided for you to write a personal essay (500 words minimum) on the following topic: Describe a challenging experience in your life and what you learned from it. This is an important part of your application, so answer thoughtfully.
Pay the International Processing Fee
After clicking submit, you will be prompted to pay the $50 International Processing Fee (payable in U.S. funds only), which is nonrefundable.
Request a Recommendation
Acceptable references include teachers, directors, coaches, guidance counselors or anyone familiar with your work and potential as an actor, singer, or dancer. Your recommendation letter must be written in English and signed and dated by the person making the recommendation. It can be sent to email@example.com in either Word or PDF format. AMDA has a recommendation form that you can send to your reference to facilitate the process. Make sure that your reference emails the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org or send it to the mailing address on the form.
Request Official Academic Records
If you have completed your high school studies or any college studies: official records or certified copies of your academic records must be mailed to AMDA in an unopened, sealed envelope to:
AMDA – Records Department
211 West 61st Street
New York, NY 10023
If it is not in English, a notarized translation must accompany the submission.
If you are not yet graduated from high school: you will submit an in-progress academic record up to, and including the most recent term or year that you have completed, along with a letter in English from your high school stating your intended graduation date, via e-mail to email@example.com. If it is not in English, a notarized translation must accompany the submission.
NOTE: You will need to ensure that your final, official academic record is sent by your school to the AMDA Records Office immediately after graduation. Official academic records from every educational institution that you list in your application must be submitted to AMDA. If they are in a language other than English, you must obtain a certified English translation. Upon receipt, the AMDA Admissions Office may require additional information or further evaluation of the academic records by an accredited credential evaluator.
Submit the Results of an English Language Proficiency Exam
If English is not your primary language, you will be required to take either, the Cambridge English Language Assessment (FCE, CAE, or CPE), the Elash 2 test, the IELTS test, or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). All test results must be received directly from the testing service you choose.
- For admission to Conservatory Programs, the minimum test score is:
- Cambridge (CEFR) - B2
- ELASH 2 - 137
- IELTS - 6.0
- TOEFL iBT - 70
- For admissions to Bachelor of Fine Arts programs, the minimum test score is:
- Cambridge (CEFR) - C1
- ELASH 2 - 150
- IELTS - 6.5
- TOEFL iBT - 79
The English language proficiency exam requirement is waived in situations where English was the primary language of instruction for a minimum of three years in the high school or university that will be sending official academic records to AMDA. A letter from the school must confirm that the language of instruction is English.
ESL Language Pathway Programs to AMDA
- English is the language of instruction for all AMDA programs. Your command of English will have a direct correlation to your prospects for success in your AMDA coursework. If you think you would benefit from an intensive English course prior to starting at AMDA, it is possible to arrange a pathway program. AMDA has partnered with English as a second language (ESL) course providers to support you in achieving your goals:
If you choose to enroll in an ESL pathway program, you will apply to both AMDA, for conditional acceptance, and to the language school directly. Your initial I-20 for the F-1 visa will be issued by the language school and will be transferred to AMDA upon successful completion of your language studies. AMDA will still require all components of the admissions process to be completed. Your personal essay and audition can be completed at any time when you feel you have sufficient command of English to write the essay and prepare the audition. This will most likely be in the final months of your language training.
- For admission to Conservatory Programs, the minimum test score is:
International Student Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I want to attend AMDA? +
Choose the program you wish to apply for and complete the online application, pay the application fee, schedule an audition, and submit all of the required application documents for an acceptance determination to be made.
What classifies a student as international? +
"International students" are those students who require an F-1 nonimmigrant visa classification to study in the U.S. You cannot study on the B-1/B-2 Tourist Visa. Legal permanent residents of the United States, residents of U.S. territories, and naturalized citizens are not considered international students.
What is the deadline for being accepted? +
AMDA has rolling admissions, which means we accept students throughout the year. It is recommended that you complete your admissions file no later than 60 to 90 days from your intended start date. International students need time to complete the Form I-20 process, which is necessary to apply for your F-1 Visa. Expedited processing can be requested if an admissions file is completed within 30 to 60 days from the intended start date.
Am I eligible for AMDA scholarships? +
Yes. As an international student, you are eligible for an AMDA scholarship. When you audition, you will be evaluated for potential talent-based scholarship. Scholarship amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000 per year. AMDA does not offer any full-tuition scholarships. You will receive a scholarship determination upon acceptance to AMDA and after a review of your admissions file.
Is other financial assistance available from AMDA? +
Yes. Upon acceptance to AMDA, you can apply for a need-based AMDA International Grant. Amounts range from $1,000 to $4,000 per year. In order to assess whether you qualify for an AMDA grant, please complete the International Grant Application for the year and term of your intended start date and return it to the AMDA Financial Aid Office. International students cannot receive U.S. government-based financial aid. You are not eligible for any scholarships, grants, or loans that are subsidized by the U.S. government.
Are there other financial resources available? +
Research what scholarships outside of AMDA are available to you. Contact your Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture, or your country's equivalent of a National Arts Council to see if AMDA is approved to receive funds on your behalf for your studies. In some countries, banks provide low interest education loans for students planning to study in the U.S. Here are other resources for potential scholarships:
- FASTWEB, The Institute of International Education, Rotary International, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
- There are special search engines that help students find and/or apply for scholarships. Be very careful before providing any confidential information on the internet. Research the organization or company that is promoting the grant for legitimacy before proceeding.
- A loan from a U.S. bank is an option to cover your remaining balance. However, such loans require a cosigner willing to assist you. A cosigner may be a relative, friend, or personal contact, who is a U.S. citizen. Such loans are credit-based and not guaranteed. More information can be viewed on the Scholarships + Financial Aid page.
Does AMDA Recognize the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program? +
Yes. International Baccalaureate (IB) courses may be evaluated for potential transfer credit by submitting an official academic record (transcripts) to AMDA. Only IB courses with HIGH LEVEL (HL) designation and assessment score of 5 and above may be considered for transfer. Approved transfer credit may be used to satisfy only the General Education requirements. Courses listed under the category of Standard Level (SL) will not be considered for evaluation.
Where can I take a language assessment test? +
What do I need to do once I am accepted to AMDA? +
Upon acceptance, you will be assigned an Admission Advisor who will guide you through the visa application and the enrollment process.
What do I need to do to get my student visa? +
In order to apply for the F-1 student visa from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country, you will need a valid Form I-20 issued by AMDA. In order to eventually receive the I-20, you must complete the I-20 application form and provide all required information and supporting documents requested. A critical part of the application is providing original and certified translations of documents (if not in English) proving that you or your parents/sponsors have the monetary funds to support your education at AMDA, including living expenses. Funding for the first year must be in cash or other liquid funds. Funding sources for all additional years of study must be identified and proven. The more complete and the sooner this information is received by AMDA, the quicker the I-20 can be issued.
Depending on your country of citizenship, the F-1 visa application process at the U.S. embassy/consulate in your country can take a few days to several weeks. The moment you receive the I-20 from AMDA, immediately apply for a multiple-entry F-1 student visa. Please see additional information from the U.S. Department of State. Note that Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.S.
The F-1 visa, stamped on your passport, is your invitation to visit the U.S. The visa, together with the Form I-20 must be presented to the Customs & Border Protection Officer at the port of entry. To maintain your student status and keep your I-20 valid, you must be enrolled in full time study at AMDA for the duration of your program. Other requirements will be explained to you by your International Student Advisor upon arrival at AMDA. Even if you already have a visa, you may enter the U.S. not earlier than 30 days before Orientation week. After graduation, you may stay up to 60 days to prepare for departure, unless you have been approved for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or you have been admitted to another SEVP-authorized school.
What is optional practical training (OPT)? +
Optional Practical Training is a benefit attached to the F-1 visa. If granted approval by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), F-1 students may remain in the U.S. for an additional year after graduation in order to receive practical training to complement classroom education. Employment must be related to the student's program of study. Prior financial planning for the one-year OPT period is recommended: approximately $15,000 to $18,000 to cover living expenses.
Can I work while I am a student? +
AMDA has a limited number of on-campus work-study positions. International students may apply for these positions without additional approval from the USCIS. During orientation, you will be given information about on-campus work-study. International students are not allowed to work off-campus. Failure to comply with this requirement can jeopardize your F-1 student status and can lead to immediate deportation. It is therefore of the utmost importance that you have adequate financial resources while studying in the U.S.
Is there someone at AMDA who assists international students in adjusting to a new environment? +
Each campus has a dedicated International Student Advisor (ISA)/Designated School Official (DSO). During international student orientation, the ISA/DSO will explain immigration regulations and your reporting responsibilities as an F-1 student. Your ISA maintains office hours to address your questions and concerns, as well as assist in the day-to-day lifestyle changes you may face as a student in a new culture. Your advisor can explain processes and etiquette in the U.S. educational system and direct you to other campus representatives that can appropriately advise and/or assist you.
Where will I live? +
AMDA offers Student Housing at both campuses. AMDA Housing provides convivial community living, conveniently located within walking distance of all AMDA facilities. You will receive instructions for making your housing arrangements upon confirmation of your enrollment to AMDA. To indicate interest, a $200 housing deposit is required, which can be paid with your $500 program deposit.
What happens if I do not pass the audition? +
Acceptance to AMDA's programs is competitive. You will be offered the opportunity to re-audition one year or later from your first audition. Take the intervening time to work on your craft with a coach, to take a class or workshop, and to renew your passion for performing.
"As the only BFA-granting performing arts college and conservatory with campuses in both New York and Los Angeles, we don't just provide your student with a superior education, but with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become part of the world's most vibrant creative communities. We believe you are an important part of your student's journey, so we encourage you to get involved." -New York and Los Angeles Admissions Team
Parents + Families
Share your student's experience
From the first day on campus to graduation, family and friends are welcome at more than 10 campus events each term, including dance workshops, café performances, poetry slams, musicals and plays. For a complete list of upcoming events at your student's campus, view the AMDA Calendar.
Learn about our graduates' dynamic careers
AMDA alumni are some of the most sought-after performers in the world. Our versatile, performance-driven programs give our students a strong foundation and a distinct edge. From day one, your student will experience our culture of Performance Immersion, gaining unrivaled performance opportunities both in and out of the classroom.
All AMDA students also receive extensive career preparation, including audition techniques and industry networking — helping them to navigate the industry and leverage all of this training as a working performer.
Learn More About AMDA
We understand that you probably have other questions about your student's education at AMDA. Throughout this website, you will find information about our admissions process, campuses, and programs, as well as what life will be like for your student.
We encourage you to explore all of these areas and learn more about the vibrant AMDA community. If you still have questions, just call us at 800-367-7908.