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International Education Program

Prospective Students

Welcome to CSM

Global Online Learning (GOL)

Global Online Learning Program

The Global Online Learning (GOL) program gives you an opportunity to take our courses online without leaving home! GOL allows current high school students (Cohort Learning), students over 18, and high school graduates to obtain course credits that are accepted by 150+ universities in our College University Partnership (CUP). GOL courses are offered through San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley and will be taught by American professors.

Visit the Global Online Learning website for more information!

About CSM

Located near San Francisco in Silicon Valley

College of San Mateo is located at the northern corridor of Silicon Valley and situated on a beautiful 153-acre site in the San Mateo hills that provides a panoramic view of San Francisco Bay. The college is surrounded by high tech industry giants. To the north in San Francisco, you will find Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, and Zynga; in San Mateo County you’ll find companies like Genentech and Oracle; and just south of CSM high tech legends such as Apple, Google, HP, and Facebook call the Bay Area home.

Programs of study

Since 1922, the College of San Mateo has been a gateway to higher education leading to college and university degrees, career preparation and advancement, and professional and personal development. The College currently serves approximately 10,000 day, evening and weekend students. CSM students reflect the diversity of the Bay Area and have a range of educational goals. To best serve our students, the curriculum offers a wealth of programs that include traditional, semester-length and short courses in addition to distance education.

More than just sitting in class

Students experience a vibrant campus life to complement classroom learning that includes leadership development, student government, more than 20 student clubs and a variety of educational and cultural activities. College of San Mateo is proud of its championship intercollegiate athletic teams which compete at the highest community college level. To ensure student success, CSM offers a comprehensive selection of academic support services. Resources include scholarships, counseling, transfer services, tutoring, and health services, among many others.

Useful Links

Have questions or need more assistance? Contact us at


Prospective Student FAQs

What are the English language requirements?

In addition to the online application, you will need to submit supporting documents including Proof of English proficiency.  A minimum score or higher on any of these examinations is required for admission:

  • IELTS Band 5.5 
  • TOEFL – 480 (paper based) or 56 iBT (internet based)
  • Duolingo English Test – 85
  • PTE – 42
  • EIKEN – Grade 2A
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment - B2 First (FCE) scores of 160-179; C2 Advanced (CAE) scores of 180-199; and C2 Proficiency (CPE) scores of 200+
  • Others: Proof of English Proficiency

Do I need a high school diploma to apply to College of San Mateo?

For applicants who are 17 years or younger, proof of high school completion is required. You will need to provide a copy of your final transcript and a copy of your diploma. If you apply before you complete high school, we can offer a conditional acceptance on the basis that you provide a copy of your transcript and diploma by the program start date of the semester you applied for. For those applicants who are 18 years or older, we only require a copy of your high school or college transcript.

Can I apply to College of San Mateo with no academic history?

One of the application requirements is an academic transcript or proof of high school completion, but we are always happy to talk with you about your situation. Please email if this question applies to you.

What if I have a gap between my years of study?

You can still be admitted if you have a gap of one or more years between your studies.
College of San Mateo offers international students the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree and/or complete a University Transfer Program to transfer to a four-year university. It typically takes students about two to three years to complete a degree or transfer program.


BAPA The Global Bay Area Pathways Academy (BAPA) program is available in the summer for high school and college students. For more information about that you may contact Yuri Goda at (650) 381-3514.

Although College of San Mateo does not offer on-campus housing or dormitories or guardianship services, there are many housing options for our students to choose from. It is important to secure your housing before or shortly after you arrive. Please visit the Homestay Program page for more information.

Option 1: Homestay

San Mateo Colleges of Silicon Valley is proud to offer a homestay placement service for our international students. Our homestays are safe, affordable and quality housing accommodations with a local host family. You will find the application on the Housing page.

Option 2: Rent an apartment or room

You will find more information about short term housing and apartments on the Other Housing Resources page. There is also a housing board in the Center for Global Engagement that students can check after arrival on campus.

Tips on renting a room or apartment

When looking for housing, you may be asked for financial information. Because you will have no financial history in the U.S., you should bring a current bank statement and a letter from your sponsor showing funds that cover about 6 months of rent.

Still have questions? Email us at or call us at (650) 358-6856.

Thank you for your inquiry. The Center for Global Engagement hosts prospective international students for visits and campus tours. The Center is the home for international students, program staff and faculty academic advisors.

If you are interested in visiting our campus, please email us with the information below. We ask that you submit this information at least one week before the date you wish to visit.

  • Visitor Name(s)
  • Date you would like to visit
  • Time you would like to visit
  • Reason for visit (list all that apply):
    • Campus Tour
    • Meet the International Education Program Team and learn more about our program
    • Other:__________________________
  • Home Country
  • U.S. Phone (if available)
  • Organization or School you are from
  • How did you hear about College of San Mateo?

In a warm, responsive, and safe environment, the Mary Meta Lazarus Child Development Center at College of San Mateo provides a rich, stimulating early care and education program for 48 children from 2-1/2 to 5 years old. The Mary Meta Lazarus Child Development Center serves the students, staff, and faculty of the San Mateo Community College District as space allows.

Our goal is to foster children's competence in all aspects of life by providing experiences that foster their emotional, social, physical, intellectual, linguistic, and creative capacities. We offer a program that encourages sound health, safety, and nutritional practices. In addition, we respect the ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity of the children, families, and staff of our community.

You will have access to the campus health center and will be covered by International Student Health Insurance when you arrive on campus. However, it is a good idea to get a full medical, dental and eye check-up with your doctor and dentist before you come to the United States. If you are due for any immunizations, get them before you travel. All universities will require immunizations.

The International Student health insurance covers illness/emergency only and does not include regular health check-ups (well care).
Please find the latest guidelines on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Change my Nonimmigrant Status webpage.
After your application has been submitted and you’ve received your admission from us, please work with your previous school to request your SEVIS record be transferred to College of San Mateo (SEVIS code: SFR214F00468000). Once your SEVIS record is released to us, a new I-20 will be issued to you by College of San Mateo.
Please find tips and additional resources on NAFSA’s 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Student Visa.
Yes. You will need to meet with an academic counselor to update your Student Education Plan (SEP) and speak with our staff at the Center for Global Engagement to update your I-20 on SEVIS.