As part of the Office of International Programs, International Student Services serve the needs of international students at the College. We offer support and advice to students in their adjustment to and life in the United States. We direct international students through immigration regulations and advise them on how to maintain their legal status in the U.S. Our goal is to assist every student so that they can focus on their education and their goals for life beyond college.
International students apply to the College through either the Undergraduate Admissions department or the Graduate Admissions department; once they have been accepted and paid a deposit to the College, OIP will work directly with the student. Through the months of preparation to arrive at the College, the OIP will guide students through the visa application process, as well as preparation for and arrival in the country and to the College. The OIP acts as an advocate for students on campus and in the local community. Through programming, we aim to allow the campus and local community to experience the rich cultures of the international students at St. Scholastica.
This page is here to serve your needs. New students will find information about preparing to arrive at the College. Current students can source information relevant while attending St. Scholastica.
Staying in Status
- International students should always consult with the Office of International Programs first, with regard to immigration concerns.
- In the case of a need for an immigration lawyer, use the American Immigration Lawyer Association.
- Study in the States
Employment on Campus
The regulations of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provide for five categories of employment benefits for students in F-1 status:
- On campus employment
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT) employment
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment
- pre-completion Optional Practical Training
- post-completion Optional Practical Training
- STEM Extension Optional Practical Training
- Employment authorized due to Severe Economic Hardship
- Employment with an International Organization
Definition of “employment”
Employment is any work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, books supplies, room and board, or any other benefit or compensation. Only if you will receive absolutely no benefit or compensation of any kind at any time is an activity considered by the USCIS to be “unpaid volunteering”. Unauthorized employment is a serious violation of student status. Please contact the Office of International Programs (OIP) if you ever have any questions or any doubt about whether you are authorized to accept an offer of employment.
Employment on campus
You do not need special authorization to work on campus. You may work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during the fall and spring semesters and full-time (up to 40 hours per week) during the winter, spring and summer breaks, if your I-20 is valid, you are in good academic standing, and you are enrolled full-time. Enrollment is not required during winter break or summer session, but you must not have passed your “program end date on your I-20” and must be eligible to and intend to enroll (register) for the following semester.
This can affect your eligibility to work either on the College of St. Scholastica campus or on the campus of the new school (if you transfer), because regulations allow on-campus employment only at the school whose I-20 is covering you: “In the case of a transfer in SEVIS the student may only engage in on –campus work at the school having jurisdiction over the student’s SEVIS record.” [8 CFR 214.2 (f)(9)(i)] In other works, a student who comes to the college in April to begin the transfer process will not be able to work on the St. Scholastica campus after the transfer release date or the date of the spring semester, whichever comes first. A student who transfers in June to begin the transfer out process will not be able to work on the St. Scholastica campus after the transfer release date for that session or the last date of the summer semester, whichever comes first. The student would, however, be able to begin employment on the campus of the new school as soon as the release date passes and they receive the new I-20.
NOTE: “On-campus employment also includes employment at an off campus location which is educationally affiliated” with St. Scholastica (i.e., the educational affiliation is either associated with your academic department’s curriculum or related to contractually-funded projects) AND is an integral part of your educational program. Check with the Director, International Programs to know which sites are educationally affiliated. Benedictine Health Center and the St. Scholastica Monastery are currently not educationally affiliated with the school.
- Refer to our "Applications and Forms" in the bottom.
- Obtain a job - probably on campus first but it may be an off campus job.
- Once the appropriate paperwork is submitted by your supervisor to Jonna Marholz (Financial Aid), an employment verification form will be created.
- The OIP office will then email you to pick-up your verification form and schedule a time to go to the Social Security office (if you need a ride there - it is in downtown Duluth).
- When you come to the OIP office, a staff member will give you your employment verification form to be signed by your supervisor, direct you online to print a social security form, and ensure you have printed an I-94.
- On the day you are scheduled to go to the Social Security office, arrive at the OIP early to ensure you have all the proper paperwork. You will need your signed Employment Verification Form, passport, visa, I-20, I-94, SEVIS receipt and a filled out social security form (see link above).
- Once you have been approved for a social security card, you may go to OneStop (T1150) to fill out your employment paperwork. The receipt from the Social Security office will be sufficient evidence that you applied for a social security card and you will be able to start working once you have completed the necessary forms with One Stop and provided a copy of the receipt.
- Your card will arrive in the mail a couple of weeks after applying.
- Once you have received your social security card make sure to sign the card. Then take the card to One Stop so that they can take a note of the number.
Policy - "Student Health insurance is mandatory for all international students (undergraduate or graduate) through one of the two College provided policies."
- If you have a hard time understanding health insurance terminology please click here.
- If you have problems with your enrollment please do not contact our office - please contact One Stop at email@example.com or (218) 723-6570 or Toll free (in N. America only) 1-877 287-8716.
Obtaining a Minnesota State Drivers License
- Local police are not always consistent with what country's licenses are acceptable. It is the recommendation of the OIP to obtain a U.S. license as soon as possible in order to prevent issues.
- All students are required (whether they have a license from their home country or not) to apply for a "permit" first. This requires that you take the computer based test ("knowledge test") on the rules and regulations of driving in the U.S.
- Once you have taken and successfully passed the knowledge test you will be required to take the "Vision Test". Here is the complete instruction on "How to get a Driver's Licence and be approved to drive CSS Vehicles."
State Identification Card (State ID)
- A State ID is a picture identification card that acts as a legal form of identification.
- It is advisable that if you do not plan to apply for a Drivers permit or license immediately on arrival to the U.S. that a State ID would be very helpful. There are many circumstances in which picture identification is required in this country.
- Schedule an appointment to go to the Identification Cards office.
- On the day of your appointment, arrive early to your appointment to make sure you have all the proper paperwork. You will need your passport, visa, I-20, I-94 (we can help you print it at the office), SEVIS receipt and Social Security Card.
- It will cost you $25 to get the State ID.
Students are working or have earned income on or off campus
- International students who are employed in the U.S. are required to pay taxes and to complete a "tax return" each year. This is the method that the federal (U.S.) government and the State of Minnesota ensure that taxes paid are the correct amount. This is tracked through a student's social security number.
- Students have taxes deducted from their paychecks every time they are paid.
- At the beginning of each year a review of taxes is completed by your employer(s) and sent to you, this is the form W-2. This totals the income and tax you paid for the previous year.
- In addition to this, some students receive a 1042-S. Form 1042-S is a statement of scholarship received by the student for expenses that do not include tuition and fees.
- These items will determine how much income and how much tax students paid in the previous year. Both of these forms are required to be sent by employer(s) and the College by the end of January each year.
- Filing federal and state income tax forms is the personal responsibility of each international student and scholar. The OIP will hold tax preparation workshops and will assist students with their tax preparation forms. International Student Services are not tax professionals.
- Please be aware that each student/scholar is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of his/her tax returns and any resulting penalties or interest.
- A software package called GLACIER has been purchased in the past to assist students in the guided tax workshops to prepare federal tax forms.
- This software is very expensive and there is a small fee charged to international students who use it.
- During these workshops students are assisted in the preparation of the federal and state taxes.
- Present to assist international students are at least one member of the Office of International Programs and St. Scholastica Accounting students.
- More information about income tax return assistance will be made available each year in January, for the previous year's income.
Students who are not or have not earned income (on or off campus)
- Students who have never earned income on or off campus or did not earn income in the previous tax year still need to complete Form 8843.
- The federal government assesses the amount of tax you pay each year based on several factors.
- As a non-resident one of these factors is how many days each year you are present in the U.S.
- If you are/have worked in the U.S. and have been here for 5 years or more (this is determined by the total number of days present each year in the U.S. added together) then you will have to pay tax as if you were a U.S. resident or citizen (which means a higher tax rate).
Content for this section coming soon
- Request a letter in the OIP office in person or via email. You will be sent a 4-page packet.
- Fill out the last page of the packet. (You should provide as much information as possible on this form)
- We ask that you give 1-2 weeks notice for these letters, OIP prepares them, checks them with the student and then sends the letters to Steve Lyons, VP for signature. This takes time.
- You will be notified by email from the OIP office when the letters are ready.
- You will receive the letters by the method you select on the form. The letters are sent to you - the student. You are responsible for mailing them to your family and friends.
Global Benedictine Scholarship Requirements
- Students receiving a scholarship at 90 percent of tuition or above are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.50 each semester.
- Students receiving a scholarship below 90 percent of tuition are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 each semester.
- Students not receiving a scholarship from St. Scholastica are required to maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 (or above if required by their scholarship) or the minimum for his/her desired degree program.
- Students are required to meaningfully participate in at least two student clubs or organizations per year (any college club or organization, including intercollegiate sports, service organizations, departmental/major clubs, residence hall organizations, student government, etc.)
- Students are required to live on campus and need to apply to live off campus through Alison Champeaux.
- Students are required to participate in a minimum of two Office of International Programs events, workshops or presentations per year.
- Students are required to meet with Alison Champeaux, Director of International Programs once in fall semester and once in spring semester. (New students meet with Alison twice their first semester - their first meet must be scheduled in the durst six weeks).
Other Scholarships (on and off campus - Sister Ann Edward Scanlon)
Click here to see a list of Scholarships for International Students Planning to Study in the USA
Forms and Applications Packets
- Use the checklist at the beginning of this document for documents needed for travel.
- Travel outside the U.S.
- List of documentation for renewing an existing F-1 visa.
- Overview of Employment Options
- Comparison of Differences between OPT and CPT
- OPT - Optional Practical Training - Application Packets
- Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training (for before you graduate from college)
- Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (for when you are about to graduate from college)
- OPT information for employers
- STEM Extension Optional Practical Training (for an extension to post-completion OPT)
- STEM Extension OPT information for Employers
- CPT - Curricular Practical Training
- CPT Application Packet
- CPT Information for Employers
- Economic Hardship
- Student Information and Application Packet for Economic Hardship
- Program Extension Application Packet
If you are unable to complete your program by the stated "Program End Date" on your I-20, this should be completed 30 days before your program end date.
- Reinstatement Application Packet
If you have fallen out of status and wish to apply to have your status "reinstated" then use this packet within 5 months of falling out of status.
- Part-time Enrollment Application
For specific reasons and F-1 student may be able apply for Part-time Enrollment
- Part-time Enrollment Authorization for a Medical Condition Application
Authorization form for Part-time Enrollment due to a Medical Condition
- Transfer Information (to and from St. Scholastica)
Transfer form - to request transfer to St. Scholastica
Transfer form - to request transfer from St. Scholastica