Q. My visa expires soon. Do I need to do anything?
A. No. A visa is an entry document only. You must have a valid visa to enter the United States but your visa does not need to remain valid while you’re here.
Q. I do plan to travel and my visa expires. Can I renew it here?
A. No. You should make an appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate wherever you are going. If you are traveling to a country that is not your home country, please make an appointment to see us before you go.
Q. How often do I need to get my I-20 signed?
A. You should have it signed every 6-9 months. If it has been more than 9 months and you plan on traveling, you should make an appointment to see us or visit our office during business hours.
Q. Can I work?
A. Generally speaking, international students are allowed to work on campus for 20 hours or less per week during the academic year and on campus “full time” during major school breaks. International students are not allowed to work off campus unless they have received prior approval from their ISS advisor. Please see our employment page to confirm whether or not you’re eligible for certain types of employment.
Q. Can I get a Social Security Number (SSN)?
A. International students are eligible to apply for and receive a SSN if they have a job. For more information about what’s needed, visit the Social Security website.
Q. Can I take a class online?
A. International students are only eligible to take one class online toward a full course of study. Therefore international students must be enrolled in at least nine credits of classroom instruction and then they can enroll in one online class. It is essential that you maintain your status. Please make an appointment to speak with your ISS advisor if you have questions.
Q. I’m not doing well in a class. Can I drop it so I don’t get a bad grade?
A. Generally, no. International students must enroll in a full course of study. This means that you have to maintain 12 credits at all times. And you must attend all your classes.
Q. Where can I find out about scholarships for international students?
A. International students are not eligible for federal financial aid, but you may be eligible for private scholarships and grants. For more information you can visit the International Scholarships, International Student Scholarships, International Financial Aid, or ISO for some information. Please note, our office has not vetted any of these sites, so please do your research to find out whether or not these options will work for you.