Student Life FAQs (Part 2)

As the beginning of the fall semester draws closer with each passing day, we decided to put together another post on frequently asked questions from international students.  You can see our first post in this series here.

Being an international student can be daunting, so we’re here to help!

As always, it’s best to contact your school if you have any particular questions about procedures that must be completed before you start.  We hope these answers provide you with some guidance, as a few weeks from now would be a terrible time for you to realize that you forgot to book your plan ticket…or pay that tuition.

Question #1: Can I work on campus?

  • The short answer is yes.  Depending on the status of your visa, on campus employment is often times the only work you can do.  You must maintain valid F1 status and can work up to 20 hours per week in a campus job.  But, on campus jobs can be in short supply, so don’t necessarily count on it to provide you with a steady income.

Question #2: Do I need health insurance?  

  • Yes, you do need health insurance.  Some colleges and universities offer their own plans, and in some cases, you need to go with the plan they offer.  But don’t worry, most of these plans are fairly comprehensive or they wouldn’t be offered through your school.  Buying health insurance will make sure you have one less thing to worry about when you’re overseas, and it ensures that you’ll receive quality health care and assistance if you ever need it.

Question #3: How many classes should I take?

  • If you’re on a student visa, you’ll need to remain a full-time student.  That said, classes and their workloads can vary greatly from school to school or even within departments.  It’s best to contact your school as many offer academic advisers that will help you choose your courses and meet your graduation objectives.

Question #4: What should I do to obtain a student visa?

  • We sure hope that no one is still asking this question, as it’s a bit late in the game to get started on this process for the Fall 2012 semester.  But, for those habitual procrastinators, you’re in luck as we provided a brief summary below…

    When you’re accepted, all international students will receive a notice of admission and their I-20 form.  Next, you’ll need to make an appointment with an United States embassy in your country for your visa interview, and also present the I-20 form.  If you’re just now getting around to this process, we hope that you’ll be able to make an appointment for the near future, as we often advise students to book an appointment as soon as they can.  For any other questions, you can check out this great resource:

Have any other questions for us?  Post in the comments and we’ll be sure to answer!

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