International Study Center

Joining Us

We’re Looking Forward to Welcoming You

We are looking forward to welcoming you to our campus this Fall. If our campus is not open, you will still be able to benefit from the flexibility to begin your program virtually from home*. Whether you’re joining us on campus or online, you’ll still get the full Baylor experience.

Beginning Your Studies With Us

When you become a Baylor Bear, you can look forward to a safe, fun and inclusive learning experience as you build cultural experiences and create networks for your future. You will be surrounded by a supportive community of international students and expert staff, ensuring you have the best possible start to your study experience.

Your safety is our number one priority. We have a range of health and safety measures in place including mandatory mask policies, social distancing, hand sanitizing stations, and COVID testing on campus – ensuring you’re as safe as possible. 

Your Next Steps

Once you’ve been offered and accepted your place to study with us, you can start preparing for university. We’re here to make this process as easy as possible for you. To start with, you’ll need to make sure you’ve done a few important things:

  • Confirm your place. The first thing to do after you receive an offer is pay your deposit. You must do this in order to confirm your place. You can then begin the student visa process. To see what payment is required, and pay it online, visit our fees page.
  • Apply for your visa. You can find out more about the visa application process on our arriving in Waco page.

Spring 2021 Dates

Orientation: January 11-15* 
First Day of Classes: January 19 
Easter Holidays: April 2-4 
Last Day of Classes: April 28
Final Exams: April 30-May 5

*Mostly asynchronous, but with some real time events

Arriving in Waco

The Baylor University campus

If you begin your studies with us online, we know you will also be getting ready to join us in Waco in-person in the future. Your safety and academic progress are our priorities throughout the current global situation – we are here to help.

Join Us Virtually From Home

If our campus is not open, you can begin your program virtually from home.

What Should You Expect From An Online Class?

For your convenience, most of our virtual learning is delivered at different times of the day and is available to access on your own time. You’ll be responsible for scheduling your days to allow time to watch lectures and complete projects and assignments.

You’ll need to be present online in real time for activities which do occur live, like office hours and some assessments or exams.

Some examples of interactive sessions you may participate in during your course may include:

  • Watching an online presentation and adding your own video comments or questions
  • Commenting on a discussion board on your own time
  • Viewing a lecture and participating in a Zoom meeting with your professor to answer questions

As opposed to on-campus delivery, most courses will have no set class hours, except for any pre-scheduled interactive sessions. Students will be expected to have self-discipline and be active participants in the virtual classroom. Students will be required to check the class materials and assignments regularly, and must be engaged in the program Monday through Friday and meet all assignment deadlines.

During your online orientation before your program begins, you will hear more about self-learning modules and exercises on Canvas.

You will need the following resources to support your virtual learning.

  • Personal internet connection with a minimum download speed of 10Mbs*
  • Laptop or PC, with microphone and webcam
  • Microsoft Office 2007 (or later)

* Individual experiences may vary depending on internet upload and download speeds in your area.

Our Student Success Managers (SSMs) will work with you on a one-to-one basis to help make sure you are doing all you can to be successful in your classes. They will do this by checking on your academic progress and giving you ideas for overcoming any problems you might have with your classes. This might include:

  • Referring you to online tutoring
  • Referring you to the writing center or library resources
  • Creating a study plan to help you with time management
  • Reviewing study skills

Advisors can also help you with questions to have outside of classes. These topics include:

  • Answering questions about the visa process
  • Answering health questions
  • Understanding U.S. culture better
  • Overcoming stress
  • Engaging with other students and native English speakers
  • And especially this term...fixing technology problems

Speak with Your Advisor

Student Success Managers (SSM) are your first point of contact during your time in the Global Gateway Program (GGP). Baylor has three SSMs to support students, and each SSM supports students in a specific International Year level. Your SSM will be assigned during the virtual orientation and will be your advisor throughout the GGP program. Throughout the program, you can contact your assigned SSM by email, phone, or by setting up an appointment through an online advising program called the Student Success Collaborative/Navigate.

Schedule Regular Meetings with Your Advisor

During the academic year, SSMs invite students in their assigned International Year level to an initial meeting, a midterm check-in meeting, a registration guidance meeting, and an end-of-term meeting. Students who demonstrate they need support at any point in the term will receive further outreach and may schedule more frequent individual meetings as needed.

You will be provided a Bear ID after your acceptance to Baylor and payment of your admissions deposit. The Bear ID is an electronic identifier created uniquely for every student and employee of Baylor. It is used to access electronic resources like email and your learning management system, Canvas.

We’ve prepared a GGP Enrollment Checklist to help you set up your Baylor accounts step-by-step. This guide also describes how Baylor protects its most vital, widely-accessed university and personal information resources with the DUO two-factor authentication.

Be sure to check your Baylor email account every day – all important information will be sent to this email address. You will also receive regular updates and information about activities. Not seeing an email will not be accepted as justification for missing an assignment, payment, or other responsibility.

Download the GGP Enrollment Checklist to learn more and set up your Baylor accounts now.

Our Student Success Managers (SSMs) will register you for your mandatory GGP classes, and make recommendations about Baylor electives. In International Year Level 1, you will meet with Baylor University advisors and receive instruction on how to register yourself, a skill you will need after matriculating, and our SSMs will provide individualized support as needed.

Virtual Orientation activities are housed on Canvas, Baylor’s Learning Management System, and will offer a combination of required and optional tasks that will:

  1. Familiarize you with Baylor policies
  2. Introduce you to all aspects of the technology you’ll need to be successful
  3. Provide interactive activities to help you become part of the Baylor community

Before you begin your GGP classes, you will take an English language placement test. This will consist of a computer-based test called Versant, a writing sample submitted in Canvas, and a video-based live oral interview with GGP faculty and staff.

Once you finish your placement testing, you will be assigned to the appropriate level for your English abilities. Your final placement may be different from your original assigned level.

Be sure to check your Baylor email account for important details about your placement testing, as you must complete it before you can start your GGP classes.

We utilize the virtual learning platform Canvas, and additional platforms like Webex and Zoom, to support your learning. Canvas houses course outlines, materials, discussion forums, recorded sessions and collaboration tools. You will submit all assignments for Baylor through the Canvas platform. To learn more, watch this video demonstrating Canvas.

You will receive access to Canvas once you have set up your BearID and password. You will also need to have DUO authentication setup to access this site. This is described in further detail in the enrollment guide you will receive from GGP staff.

SSMs and faculty will help you purchase your books in advance. Books are purchased through the Baylor Bookstore.

The faculty and staff at Baylor understand how important it is to engage with others at your university outside the classroom, so we have prepared a wide variety of free virtual activities for you to participate in when you’re not studying. Some of these events include:

  • Book Club: Read selected books and discuss with your classmates.
  • Fitness Club: View posted videos with daily exercise or yoga routines and post your updates or photos to share.
  • “Do It Yourself” competitions: Watch posted videos teaching you how to create crafts or art, or make a recipe. Then, you and your classmates can share your creations and vote on the winners.
  • Tea/Coffee Hour: Visit with classmates and Baylor staff from various departments for an open discussion hour.
  • Game Nights: Play virtual board games, participate in quizzes, and join in scavenger hunts for even more fun.

We will discuss all of the resources available to you as a Baylor student, you can find these on the Resources page.

Here is a short list to get you started:

If you are enrolled in virtual learning, you are eligible for a 100% refund (including deposit) up to two weeks into the program.

If you have evidence of two visa rejections and submit a refund request no later than April 26*, you will receive a 50% refund.

If you complete your online program, but have not met the visa rejection criteria or submitted a refund request by the deadline, you will still receive the credits you earned and may be able to continue your virtual learning in the next semester.

*Subject to change based on academic calendar

Get Prepared With Start Smart

When you enroll at Baylor, you will benefit from Start Smart at no additional cost – so you are prepared to start your courses with the skills you need to succeed.

You’ll receive early exposure to your university education and experience – ensuring you begin Baylor with confidence. With Start Smart, you will:

  • Meet and interact with staff before you arrive
  • Join an international community of fellow students from all over the world
  • Study a blended course model, combining interactive sessions with the flexibility to learn on your own schedule
  • Develop your skills through interactive one-to-one and group discussions

In this free course, you’ll be introduced to a wide range of subjects, including:

  • Navigating a learning management system (LMS)
  • US culture
  • Reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Learning and success

At the end of Start Smart, you’ll receive a certificate to show you completed the modules before progressing on to your program.

*Subject to University policy and ongoing disruption caused by COVID-19

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.