Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

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 out-of-state fees.  Additional questions regarding tuition and fees for international students should be directed to the Student Accounts Office at (203) 392-6140 or

Are international students eligible for Financial Aid?
International F-1 students are not eligible to receive Financial Aid. There are a limited number of scholarships available that are competitive among the student population. As well, international students are eligible for Student Worker positions, Graduate Assistantships, and other forms of part time, on campus employment. 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 approved evaluation agency before sending it to the admissions office.

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:


  • TOEFL - 72 iBT/525 paper;
  • IELTS - 6;
  • ELS Academic English Level 112 certificate of completion;
  • SAT - 900 (combined critical reading and math only);
  • ACT - composite score of 19;
  • Pearson PTE – 53; or
  • Duolingo English Exam -100. 


  • TOEFL 80 iBT/550 written/213 computer;
  • IELTS – 6.5,
  • ELS Academic English Level 112 certificate of completion;
  • Pearson PTE – 53; or
  • Duolingo English Exam -105. 

If you do not wish to take one of the above exams, you may also enroll in the university English Language Pathways Program for ESL Training. This program provides an intensive curriculum aimed at preparing students for the rigors of academic English at the university level. At the end of the program, you will complete a waiver application that will be reviewed by the ELPP administrators and determine your suitability for the degree program at SCSU. 

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) 392-5454

How can I get a social security number?
Social security numbers will only be granted by the Social Security administration after receiving a job offer and only after applying for a number from the Office of Social Security Administration.  Letters from the employer and the OIE are required to provide evidence of your job offer, valid visa status, 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 documents for your spouse and/or minor children under the age of 21, please contact the OIE at (203) 392-6947 to schedule an appointment with either Michael Schindel (F Specialist). If eligible, we will issue the appropriate document for your spouse/children to obtain an F-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 months 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 visa?
The U.S. visa foil (stamp or sticker in your passport) is a document which allow you to travel for 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 F-1 student visa 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 $350 for all new F-1 and applicants to cover the costs of the operation of the SEVIS program.  If you are issued a new I-20 for "Initial Attendance," 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 new SEVIS fee payment. You can read more information on the official website for SEVIS fee information and payment. 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 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. This can be done by completing the Information Update Form or by dropping by the office to speak with F-1 Student Advisor, Michael Schindel

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, you need to be in valid F-1 status and get accepted to the new institution. You must provide an acceptance letter to the OIE and request that the recorded be transferred. After the record is released, you will need to begin the new program study at the next available session or within 5 months, whichever is sooner. 

Can I get a driver's license?
In order to get a driver's license, you must show proof of legal status to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You 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 Social Security card or letter from the Department of Social Security Administration confirming that a card could not be issued.

How do I invite family members to visit?
In order to invite a family member to visit, you must receive a letter of invitation issued by the OIE. To receive this letter, an Information & Appointment 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?
The OIE will send your I-20 and acceptance materials to your address outside of the United States via FedEx.  You will be emailed a tracking number when your documents have been sent. Your acceptance letter may be accessed via your online application log in and you can print the acceptance letter. A copy of the letter will be included in the materials mailed to you.