• International Students

  • Resources for Hamline Faculty and Staff

    Resources for Hamline Faculty and Staff

    To assist the IOCP office in meeting federal reporting requirements for F-1/J-1 students, campus departments may be asked to sign forms, make recommendations, or provide information and assistance in the following areas:

    *Click on a topic to jump to that section on this page.

    General Information

    All students, faculty and staff are welcome to participate in IOCP programs and utilize IOCP services. However, for immigration purposes, international students and scholars are typically individuals who have come to the United States for the primary purpose of study and maintain F-1 or J-1 visas. While a non-citizen may be in the US under one of many different visa types (e.g. employment-based visa, asylum or refugee, Permanent Resident, etc.), the regulatory information in the IOCP website pertains to F-1/J-1 visa holders only.

    On-Campus Employment

    International students may work on campus from the time their program begins until their program end date (the last day of the semester in which they will graduate). International students must go through a multiple step procedure with the IOCP office and Human Resources to accept on-campus employment. Students cannot begin work prior to receiving this authorization from both offices. For information about this procedure please refer to the Employment page of our website.

    International students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic year and may work full-time during approved breaks. Please note that summer is not an approved break period for students in the MBA program. Students may not accept employment for teaching language, tutoring, etc. unless it is an official on-campus position through Human Resources.

    Off-Campus Employment

    International students may not work off campus unless they have approval in advance. Students who require off-campus work authorization to complete an internship, field work, or other essential project may apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Work must be directly related to the student's degree program, and must be required for the program or for a course. The academic department's approval is required on the CPT form to ensure that the work is directly related to the program of study and is an integral part of the program. 

    Graduate students who are eligible for CPT must first be offered a position, then bring a job offer letter and CPT application form to their academic department. Each school has been assigned a "point person" who has primary authorization for signing these forms. At this time the point person is the Associate Dean of the school. The backup person is the Program Director of each student's program.

    Undergraduate students who are eligible to apply for CPT must do so through the Career Development Center as part of their internship program (LEAD agreement). 

    Additional information about CPT and other types of work authorization is available on the Employment page of our website.

    Program Extensions

    Students who will not complete degree requirements prior to the expiration of the immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019) must submit an extension request in advance. The academic department's approval is required on the Program Extension form to ensure that the student is making normal academic progress.

    Reduced Course Load

    As a general rule, immigration regulations require international students to register full time each semester. Only one online course per semester may count toward a student's full time enrollment.

    Students with an approved academic or medical reason may be eligible for a reduced course load. The academic department's approval is required on the Reduced Course Load form to ensure that the student is eligible and to ensure that the student has discussed the academic implications of the reduced course load. A full reduced course load (no enrollment) is allowed ONLY when a student has an approved medical reason; otherwise, the student must register for at least one credit per semester.

    Leave of Absence/Withdrawal

    If a student decides to permanently leave Hamline or take a leave of absence, the student should discuss plans with the IOCP office and complete the appropriate paperwork. Immigration regulations do not permit students to stay in the country without enrolling for classes unless approved for a medical reduced course load.

    Academic Issues

    It is important to remember, particularly with new international students, that many students come from countries whose academic systems are very different from that of the US. Students may be unfamiliar with expectations regarding class attendance, daily assignments, approaching professors, sharing of information, etc. Though these topics are addressed with students at international orientation, understanding some of these differences may be helpful when working with international students in your classrooms or in academic advising:

    • Many countries place a great deal of emphasis on exams (especially final/comprehensive exams), and not as much emphasis on classroom attendance or daily assignments. In some countries, a student’s grade depends entirely on one final exam.
    • In many cultures students are discouraged from questioning the professor. Students from strictly hierarchical cultures may feel uncomfortable approaching people in positions of authority. Instructional style is often based only on lecture as opposed to discussion and participation.
    • The concept of a “liberal arts” education which favors broad knowledge across many disciplines is unfamiliar for some students from academic cultures which direct students toward one primary area of study.
    • In many collectivist cultures, it is normal and helpful to share information. Students may be conceptually unfamiliar with terms like “plagiarism” and may have different assumptions about what constitutes cheating.
    • It takes much longer to acquire academic language proficiency than conversational language proficiency. A student’s conversational English proficiency may or may not match their academic English proficiency.

    Please contact us if a student is struggling academically or regularly missing classes. This may be indicative of other problems and are best resolved if we are aware of them early.

    Cultural Adjustment Issues

    In addition to potential challenges facing all college students, international students face the added challenge of adjusting to a new culture, which can at times lead to confusion, uncertainty, frustration, or even depression. While not all students will experience cultural adjustment in the same way, here is a list of common symptoms of culture shock. If you know an international student who you think may be experiencing cultural adjustment issues, please contact our office.

    Visiting Scholars

    Hamline has been designated by the Department of State to host international scholars through the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. The IOCP office is your point of contact if you would like to invite a J-1 visiting scholar from abroad. We can assist the scholar in obtaining the appropriate immigration documents and will also make sure the scholar has the information necessary to maintain his or her legal immigration status while in the US. However, IOCP does not make arrangements for the scholar beyond issuing immigration documentation. 

    The Checklist for Hosting a J-1 Scholar is available for hosting departments to prepare to host. 

    The Application to Request a J-1 Scholar should be submitted at least three (3) months before the planned arrival of the scholar.

    New Programs and Special Academic Programs

    If your academic department plans to admit international students to special programs (e.g. short-term summer programs) or to new degree programs, please consult the IOCP office in advance. There are specific criteria that must be met in order to issue immigration documents for students who will be coming on a student visa for the primary purpose of study. Please contact us prior to admission to ensure that your program meets these requirements.