Affordable English School in Los Angeles | Mentor Language Institute

Frequently Asked Questions


Q1. What is an I-20?

An I-20 form is issued by the school and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to students who have been accepted to a certified school; it indicates that a student's primary purpose for coming to the United States is to study.

Q2. How long will it take to get my I-20?

In order to issue your I-20 and other necessary admission documents, you need to complete the online application and pay a processing fee (ie, registration fee) of $150. We need to receive the following:
1. Online application form
2. Copy of your passport (photo page)
3. Copy of your recent bank statement (within the last 3 months); minimum balance of $18,000 required.
If you want to receive your I-20 package digitally, it will take 2-3 days. If you want to receive your I-20 package by FedEx (original documents), it will take about 2wks.

Q3. What is an I-901?

Before you apply for a student visa or enter the United States with a new I-20, you are required by U.S. immigration to pay $350 for an I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee. You must show an I-901:(a receipt of SEVIS fee) when you apply for a student visa at the U.S. embassy.

Q4. What is an I-94?

The I-94 (the Arrival-Departure Record Card) is used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to keep track of the arrival and departure to/from the United States of people who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents. When you enter the U.S., U.S. customs input the date of your entry to the U.S. and your classification. You can obtain your I-94 information at the link below.

Q5. Can I study even if my student visa is expired?

Yes, as long as you continue to study in the U.S. and keep your I-20 (SEVIS) active status, you will be able to transfer and study at MLI.

Q6. Can I apply for a student visa if my bank statement shows less than $18,000?

Yes, you can. Please kindly find the bank statement requirements below.
ESL, Conversation, IELTS™, Business+TOEIC program, Duolingo : $9,000 (if up to 24 weeks of the study period)
ESL, Conversation, IELTS™, Business+TOEIC program, Duolingo : $18,000 (if up to 48 weeks of the study period
TOEFL® program: $13,500 (If up to 36 weeks of the study period)
*The bank statement must be issued within 3 months.

Q7. Can I apply for a student visa if I'm living in another country?

Yes. But to increase your chance of obtaining a student visa, you should apply for a student visa from your country of origin.

Q8. Can I come to the U.S.A. a couple of weeks before the first day of school?

Yes, with a valid F1 visa, you can enter the country a maximum of 30 days prior to your start date.


Q1. Can I pay monthly?

Yes, you can pay by monthly if you are a short-term student (with Non-F-1 visas such as ESTA or Tourist Visa). However, if you apply for a student visa, then you should enroll for a minimum of 12 weeks. Otherwise, your I-20 will only be for 4 weeks. After you come to the U.S. and want to extend, you can extend by monthly if you want. However, note that MLI's tuition system offers lower rates if you apply for more than 12wks. Please take advantage of this discount system.

Q2. Can I pay by monthly installments without increasing the price for next year?

Yes, you can pay monthly without increasing the price. Please ask our student advisors for more details.

Q3. Can I get a scholarship?

No, we do not offer scholarships, but we are very affordable. Our afternoon and evening programs are cheaper than morning programs.


Q1. Is it possible to change the program within the school if I decide to?

Yes, with a teacher's advisement, you can change your program at the beginning of every start date.

Q2. How long will it take to get my target TOEFL®︎/IELTS™️ score?

Usually, it takes about 9 months to achieve a score of 90 on the TOEFL®︎/ 7 on IELTS™️ or 12 months to get 100 TOEFL®︎ score/ 7.5 IELTS™️ score.

Q3. Can I do an exchange program?

No, we don't have an exchange program in which you can deduct your time here from your academic year in your country. However, you can come and take English classes with us and live in a homestay family or dormitories. Plus, you can participate in after school activities, gaining an experience similar to the one you have in exchange programs.

Q4. Do I get a certificate?

Yes. After you finish studying at MLI, you will receive a certificate of completion or participation.

Q5. After finishing my studies at MLI, can I transfer to a college in the U.S without the TOEFL®︎ or IELTS™️ score?

Yes, if you complete our High Intermediate ESL program, you will be able to transfer to specific partner colleges or universities. Check out the link below for details.

Q6. What is the average class size?

The average class size is 10 students.


Q1. Are MLI teachers native speakers?

Yes, our teachers are native English speakers. In addition, MLI teachers are college graduates and have at least 3 years of teaching experience.

Student Status

Q1. If a student has an ESTA or tourist visa, how many hours are they allowed to study per week? Do you provide a course for ESTA or tourist visa students?

ESTA or Tourist visa students can study no more than 18 hours per week. MLI offers the Vacation ESL program, which meets Monday to Thursday for a total of 15.8 hours.

Q2. Can I take a vacation during my studies at MLI?

Yes, when you study at MLI for more than 24 weeks, you are eligible to take a 4 or 8-week vacation.

Q3. Can I take a vacation shorter or longer than 8 weeks?

Yes, you can choose either 4-week or 8-week vacation.

Q4. Can I shorten the program and transfer to another school?

Yes, you can, but if you shorten the program, you must transfer within 15 days after your program ends, as long as you meet attendance & academic requirements.

Q5. What is a grace period?

Grace periods are periods of time that students are given in order to take care of certain events, such as transferring between schools, going back to your country, and changing your status. How many days of the Grace period will be given is depends on your status and length of your study at MLI. Please ask your student advisor for more information.

Q6. Can I extend my F-1 Visa in the US?

No, you can only renew your F-1 visa from outside of the U.S. It is possible to renew an F-1 visa in a country other than your home country. However, the U.S. Department of State recommends that you renew your visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country.

Q7. Can MLI help me process a CHANGE OF STATUS / EXTENSION OF STATUS?(I-539)

Yes, MLI has an attorney specialized in this field who can help you apply for a change of status.

Q8. How long can I study at your school?

You can study at MLI for a maximum of 3 years.

Q9. How long can I stay in the United States after I finish my course?

As long as you complete your program with good academic and attendance standing, you have a maximum of 60 days to leave the U.S. after completing your program.

Q10. Can I get a Social Security Number?

Unfortunately, no. However, if you obtain an OPT, you will be able to obtain a Social Security Number.

Q11. Can I work with my student Visa?

Unfortunately no. If you have an F-1 visa, you can not work outside the campus unless you have authorization from the U.S Department of Homeland Security (USDHS). Students with a student visa are allowed to work at their school for a maximum of 20 hours a week.

Q12. Can I get my green card at the end of the course?

Unfortunately, no. Please check the eligibility requirements for becoming a permanent resident

Text Books

Q1. Can I rent the books instead of buying them?

Yes, you can rent your books for $6 each per week.

Q2. Can I buy the books online before I start my program?

Yes, it is possible to find some books online, but the MLI original books are sold only at MLI.

Q3. Does tuition include textbook fees?

The tuition fee does NOT include textbooks. Students can purchase textbooks on their own or at the school. The textbooks cost between $90 - $230.00 per 12 weeks, depending on the program.

Student Services

Q1. Does MLI provide accommodation?

Yes, MLI has a partner company, U.S. Support Services Inc., that provides dormitories and homestay accommodations close to each campus. Please find more details on their website. link:

Q2. Do you provide health insurance?

Yes, our partner provides health insurance for MLI students. Please visit the link:

We highly recommend all our students get insured because healthcare costs in the U.S. are very high.

Q3. Is it possible to get a driver's license with a student visa?

Yes, it is possible to obtain a valid driver’s license with your F-1 visa, as long as you pass the written and driving test at the DMV:

Q4. Can you help me transfer to college?

Yes, MLI provides counseling services to help you to transfer to college. Check out the link below for details.

Q5. Do you have on-campus parking for students?

Westwood campus: $8.40 for 4.5 hours with school validation.
Hollywood campus: $6.00 for 4.5 hours with school validation.

Q6. How can I get a student discount for a TAP card (Bus, Metro)?

To receive a 50% student discount on your TAP card, follow the instructions on this website:

Q7. What kind of activities or events do you offer?

MLI offers both academic and fun extracurricular activities. Academic activities include college visits, homework help, musuem trips and more. Extracurricular activites include hiking, Disneyland, Universal Studios etc. For a list of monthly activities, please contact

Q8. Can I get a private bathroom at the homestay?

It is very difficult to get a private bathroom at your homestay. However, we do have some host families who provide a private bathroom. Please make a special request when you apply for homestay. Note, our dormitories have private bathroom options.

Q9. Can I get a vegetarian homestay?

Yes, we have families in Westwood and Hollywood who can prepare vegetarian meals. Please make a special request when you apply for homestay.

Q10. How far is the homestay location to school?

Approximately 30 - 60 min by public transportation.

Q11. How far is the dormitories location to school?

Approximately 10 - 30 min by walking or public transportation.

Q12. How many bathrooms are in the dorms? Is a private bathroom available?

The number of bathrooms depends on dormitory. There is a possibility to get a private bathroom if you have a private bedroom, but this depends on the dormitory availability. It is not guaranteed. Please make a special request when you apply for the dormitory.

Q13. Can I book a specific dorm?

We do our best to place students in their preferred dormitory. Please note that we do NOT guarantee that you will get your first choice. Students are placed in a dorm near their campus.
*Two weeks prior to your arrival, you will receive a final confirmation with your confirmed dorm location.
Westwood Campus: Brockton Dorm / Centruy Dorm / Bundy Dorm / Mayfield Dorm
Hollywood Campus: Poinsettia Dorm / North Hollywood Dorm

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