English Proficiency

The Department of State’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program requires that all scholars be screened for English proficiency. The intent is that all Exchange Visitors possess sufficient English language skills to function on a day-to-day basis and to successfully participate in their program.

ALL others will need to provide English proficiency.

  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Botswana
  • Canada
    (English-speaking, i.e. not Quebec)
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Grand Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Montserrat
  • Namibia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • South Africa (English-speaking, i.e. not Afrikaans)
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • The Bahamas
  • The British Virgin Islands – St. Kitts-Nevis, Anguilla
    Trinidad and Tobago
  • U.S. Virgin Islands – St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

The Department of Mechanical Engineering has chosen the following ways for you to provide proof of English proficiency.

You may submit an objective measurement tool, such as:

  • English language test – TOEFL with a minimum score of 80
  • English language test – IELTS with a minimum score of 5.5
  • TOEIC Listening and Reading Test with a minimum score of 400 on listening and 400 on reading
  • Conduct an interview with the Maryland English Institute (“MEI”). This interview will cost $100.00 and is not covered by the University of Maryland, Mechanical Engineering Department.

Steps for MEI interview:

  1. Go to http://www.mei.umd.edu/interviews/ to buy a booking voucher.
  2. MEI receives notice of booking (minimum 2 day advance notice).
  3. Please make sure that you are available for the interview at the booking time and be ready for your interview. Please remember to have your passport ready so the interviewer can verify your identity. MEI will contact you using skype. MEI recommends that you use a headset during the interview. The headset microphone makes it easier for the interviewer to understand you, while the headset earphones make it easier for you to understand the interviewer.
  4. MEI will record the results and forward them to ISSS.

Please note: While interviews can be rescheduled, the test fee of $100 is non-refundable. You will receive a confirmation email when you complete your booking. That email contains a “cancel” link that you can use if you need to reschedule. If you cancel your appointment, the voucher number you received becomes valid again (voucher numbers are one-time use only), so you can then reuse the number to reschedule your appointment.

Please contact Connie Jesse at cjl@umd.edu if you have any questions.

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