Frequently Asked Questions

 Who is considered an international student?

International students are students who are not citizens of the United States and do not have a Permanent Resident Card issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In general, a student is considered an international student if he or she has a visa or intends to obtain a visa for study in the United States.

Are international students eligible for in-state fees?

All "non-resident" applicants (international applicants and domestic non-residents) will be automatically charged an out-of-state fee.  Additional questions regarding tuition and fees for international students should be directed to the Bursar's Office at (203) 392-6140.

Are international students eligible for financial Aid?

International F-1 students are not eligible to receive financial aid. For further information, please contact the Financial Aid office at (203) 392-5222.

Do I need to translate my transcript before sending it to the Office of Admissions?

Any transcript issued by a university outside of the United States must be evaluated by an evaluation agency before sending it to the admission office (for a list of acceptable evaluation agencies, please click here). 

Do I need to take the TOEFL exam?

International students must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through satisfactory performance on one of the following:

I am an F1 student who received a job offer.  Can I work?

International students are only permitted to work on-campus during their first year of study.  After the first year of study any job offer needs to be directly related to the student's major and requires authorization from the OIE.  For further details, please contact us at (203) 392-6947.

How can I get a social security number?

Social security numbers will only be granted by the Social Security administration after an international student receives a job offer.  A letter from the employer and the OIE is required to provide evidence of the student's job offer and school attendance.

Can I drop below a full-time course load?

International students are not permitted to drop below a full-time course load.  If you are unable to register for a full course load for any reason, please contact the OIE prior to the beginning of the semester to discuss.

My program end date is expiring but I still need to take classes.  What should I do?

If you will not be completing your degree program by the end date shown on your I-20 form, it is urgent that you visit the OIE to apply for an extension of  your program end date.  This must be done at least one month prior to the end date.

How does my spouse/child under 21 join me in the U.S. as my dependent?

To obtain F-2/J-2 documents for your spouse and/or minor children under the age of 21, please contact the OIE at (203) 392-6756 to schedule an appointment with either Mrs. Aliya Amin (F Specialist) or Dr. Erin Heidkamp (J Specialist). If eligible, we will issue the appropriate document for your spouse/children to obtain an F-2/J-2 status. At that time, your family member will need to apply for and obtain the appropriate visa to enter the U.S. (except Canadians) as your dependent. Please contact the American Embassy in your home country to check for any additional requirements.

I'm planning to travel outside the United States. What do I need to do to re-enter the United States?

If you are planning to travel outside the U.S., you should check that your I-20 form will not be expiring soon, and that the I-20 has a travel signature dated less than 5 month from your planned date of re-entry into the U.S.  If you need to obtain a new travel signature, you should submit a request form with your original I-20 to the OIE at least two weeks before your travel date. You should also make sure your passport and visa are valid.

How can I renew my F or J visa?

The U.S. visa (stamp or sticker in your passport) is a travel document which allows entry into the United States with a valid I-20. You may remain in the U.S with an expired F1 visa as long as you have a valid I-20 and are maintaining full-time student status. If you plan to travel and re-enter the U.S. from abroad after your visa has expired, you will need to apply for a new visa before you re-enter the U.S.  You can only apply for the visa outside the country at a U.S. visa-issuing consulate.

Am I required to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee?

The Department of Homeland Security requires a fee of $200 for all new F-1 and J-1 program applicants to cover the costs of the operation of the SEVIS program.  If you are issued a new I-20 or DS-2019 for "initial attendance" or "beginning a new program", you are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee. Change of level to a new degree program, transfer, extension, or other updates do not require a SEVIS fee. You can read more information on the official website for SEVIS fee information and payment (click here). You can also pay the SEVIS fee online at the same web site.  You must print a copy of the receipt and take it with you to your visa interview and when traveling to the U.S.

Do I need to have a health check and immunizations before getting my visa or coming to the United States?

While the U.S. government does NOT require you to have immunizations or tests in order to obtain your F-1 or J-1 visa, the University Health Services does require certain immunizations for all students.  Students are not permitted to begin classes if they have not received clearance from Health Services.  Please check with the University's Granoff Health Services for additional information (203) 392-6300.

I moved. How do I report my change of address?

When you relocate to a new address, it is absolutely critical that you provide the OIE with your new contact information by filling out an AR-11 Change of Address form. This can be done by clicking here or by dropping by the office to speak with Aliya Amin. 

I would like to attend a different academic institution in the United States. What is the procedure to move/transfer to a new school?

In order to transfer to a different school, an international student needs to be in valid F-1 status and get accepted to the new institution. The student must provide an original acceptance letter to the OIE, and must complete and submit a Transfer Out form.

Can I get a driver's license?

In order to get a driver's license, an international student must show proof of legal status to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The student must submit a letter of enrollment issued by the OIE in addition to the I-20 form, passport, I-94, proof of address, and a letter from the Social Security Administration (if a social security card has never been issued to the student).

How do I invite family members to visit?

In order to invite a family member to visit, an international student requires a letter of invitation issued by the OIE. To receive this letter, a request form must be filled out and submitted to the OIE.  Please check with the American embassy or consulate in your home country for any additional requirements to obtain a visitor visa for a family member.

I would like my I-20 and acceptance letter sent by express mail.  Is that possible?

If you wish to receive your I-20 by FedEx/DHL, you need to contact your local FedEx office in your home country and pay for your I-20 shipment in advance.  Please note that your acceptance letter is issued by the Office of Admissions and not the OIE.  If you prefer your acceptance letter be mailed by express mail, please contact the Office of Admissions (Graduate Admissions: (203) 392-5240 / gradinfo@southernct.edu; Undergraduate Admissions: (203) 392-5302 / ruggerioa1@southernct.edu). 

 

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