Things To Do Prior To Departing Home Country

1. Check your Invitational Travel Orders (ITO).

IMS travel orders are prepared by a United States agency in their home country. These orders provide important information about the terms and conditions of your stay in the United States, such as whether or not your families can accompany you; what your health insurance requirements are, what travel and lodging allowances, if any, are available to you, and many others. Your ITO is specific to you, and it is important that you check that your name, rank, and country service number are correct. If there is an error in your orders, have it corrected prior to leaving. Always carry orders with you and have them readily available. It is important to review and understand your orders and entitlements. Do NOT depart your country without your ITO.

2. Plan to arrive during the reporting window.

MCWAR : 17-18 June 2024

CSC/EWS: 8-9 July 2024

Please do not schedule your arrival before your respective schools reporting date. Earlier arrival will make it difficult to provide appropriate sponsorship and assistance, and government housing will not be available. Arriving after reporting dates will make it difficult to coordinate your initial orientation and settlement into housing.

3. Take the English Comprehension Level (ECL) test.

Knowledge of the English language is needed to benefit from and enjoy the educational experience at MCU. To be admitted into MCU’s 4 year-long PME programs, IMS must score 80 on the ECL test. The test is taken in your country and again when you arrive in the United States. Some IMS are sent to English Language School at DLI, located at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, before coming to Quantico. By Department of Defense policy letter published each year, IMS from some countries are exempt from having to take the test in their home country, and some IMS from other countries are exempt from having to take the test at all. With or without the test requirement or language school, IMS should begin studying English immediately. One way to learn our version of the English language is by taking every opportunity to speak with people from our country.

4. Take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Note: this is required for all IMS entering one of MCU's masters degree programs, unless from a country which is exempted from English testing. All IMS attending MCWAR and SAW, and those IMS attending CSC who desire to enter the optional masters program, must have a sufficient TOEFL score or be exempt by DoD policy. IMS at CSC who do not desire to pursue the masters degree, and all IMS attending EWS, are not required to take the TOEFL.

5. Have your academic credentials evaluated by an acceptable foreign credit evaluation service.

MCU requires that all masters degree candidates have a nationally or regionally accredited U.S. bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent, as a prerequisite for entering the masters program. Students who obtained their degree outside of the United States must have their academic credentials evaluated to determine if they are the equivalent of the required degree. Note: this is only required for IMS entering the MCU masters degree programs. It applies to all IMS attending MCWAR and SAW. It also applies to those IMS attending CSC who desire to enter the optional masters program. IMS at CSC who do not desire to pursue the masters degree, and all IMS attending EWS, are not required to have their academic credentials evaluated.

6. Make sure that you and all your family members’ passports and visas do not expire until after the end of the school year.

7. Make sure that you have the appropriate medical insurance for your family members.

8. Complete the biographical data and housing preference form.

9. Contact the Regional IMS Officer by email (preferred), phone or mail.

Email: Phone: (703) 784-3157/3156 By mail: Marine Corps University Attn: Student Services 2076 South Street Quantico, VA 22134-5067 U.S.A. Include the following information:

  1. Biographical data and housing preference form
  2. Arrival information – date, airport, flight number, number and ages of family members accompanying you.
  3. Housing preference (on-base or off-base).
  4. Whether you intend to ship household goods and/or furniture.

This information will assist us in planning for your arrival.

Marine Corps University