Any questions regarding The information below should be directed to Robin L. Hood, PDSO, International Student Adviser, at 931.363.9800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Tennessee Southern celebrates a diverse campus where approximately 10% of full time day student enrollment is made up of international students from 23 countries. The university has recently partnered with Pai Chai University in South Korea and has a long standing relationship with BEI (Business Education Initiative) in Northern Ireland.
- International students who show evidence of ability to communicate in English and who will benefit from The University of Tennessee Southern’s educational program will be considered for admission. The TOEFL, required for all whose first language is not English, should suffice and will be used for placement, unless in the rare circumstance when the University may need to ask for more data. A TOEFL score of 70 with sub-scores of 17 or 18 is the minimum for placement in university-level courses.
- A statement of financial responsibility is required.
- An official transcript of the students last four years of academic work is required.
- All students for whom English is not the native language must take a placement test upon arrival and may be required to take ESL (English as a Second Language) classes.
Inquiries concerning studies in University in the United States may be directed to United States Embassies and Consulates.
International students will receive transportation to and from the Nashville Airport at the beginning of each semester and at the end of each semester at no cost to the student.
Students must notify the International Student Adviser via email regarding Nashville Airport arrival information for the fall semester as soon as the flight information is known. The best way to do this is to forward the online itinerary to the ISA. Be advised that the arriving student must receive confirmation by return email that the information was received and that a representative of The University of Tennessee Southern will be at the airport to meet the student. If confirmation is not received in a timely manner, effort should be made to contact the UT Southern International Student Adviser or someone in the Office of Admissions at UT Southern by telephone 931.363.9800 regarding arrival.
Airport trips at the end of the fall semester and at the beginning and the end of spring semester will be on a regular schedule. Please consult the UT Southern Airport Shuttle Request Form for the specific semester. That form is available from the International Student Adviser during the semester in question.
Generally speaking, trips to the airport leave Pulaski no earlier than 8 a.m. and no later than 5 p.m. beginning with the second day of exams for fall and spring semester and as needed after the May graduation ceremony. Pick-ups will be made at the Nashville Airport between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on the three (3) days prior to the first day of classes for the spring and fall semester.
Should a student need transportation to or from the airport on a day other than the ones scheduled for the UT Southern Airport Shuttle, he or she will need to arrange transportation independent of UT Southern.
Applicants to The University of Tennessee Southern who are citizens of a foreign country must complete the regular application form online.
General Procedures for International Applicants
- The prospective student applies to and is accepted by The University of Tennessee Southern. The prospective student completes and returns the “Required Financial Information” form and the required financial documentation to the International Student Adviser along with a copy of his or her passport.
- The UT Southern International Student Adviser prepares an Initial Attendance SEVIS I-20, which is sent to the prospective student in his or her home country.
- Prospective international student pays the SEVIS I-901 fee and immediately prints a receipt. The most expedient method is to do this online. (see SEVIS fee information)
- Prospective international student makes an appointment for a visa interview with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for an F-1 Student Visa.
Once you have your F-1 Visa, purchase an airline ticket to arrive in Nashville, Tennessee, several days prior to the beginning of classes. Notify the International Student Adviser or your coach, if an athlete, of the details of your arrival. Travel with all of your documents: your passport with F-1 Visa affixed, your SEVIS I-20 and the I-94 card you will be given on the airplane. All of those documents are important and necessary.
F-1 students who are already studying in the United States must first apply to The University of Tennessee Southern and be accepted. Provide the UT Southern International Student Adviser with copies of your passport, F-1 Visa, I-94 card, current SEVIS I-20 and your financial documents. The existing SEVIS I-20 record will be transferred from the former institution to The University of Tennessee Southern. This is best accomplished through direct contact between the International Student Adviser at the former institution and the International Student Adviser at UT Southern.
Curricular Practical Training
To be eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) an F-1 student must have been enrolled on a full-time basis for a minimum of 1 academic year. The employment must be an integral part of the degree program of that student and the job offer must be related to the degree.
The International Student Advisor at The University of Tennessee Southern can authorize Curricular Practical Training for the student if it can be clearly documented that the proposed employment meets one of the two conditions below.
- The training is stated in the catalog as a requirement of the degree which the student is seeking. This CPT is usually referred to as an internship or a practicum. All students seeking that same degree are required to complete an internship or practicum for that degree.
- The training employment will result in the awarding of three hours of academic credit on the basis of the training experience plus a written component.The student must be recommended by his or her mentor and the instructor involved. The student must be registered for the course during the period of CPT. This option is not available to a student in a degree program which requires any type of internship. The student must have achieved senior student status to be eligible. If the student uses this CPT during fall or spring semester rather than the summer before the senior year, the 3-hour course must be part of a full load of twelve hours or more and the CPT employment plus any on-campus employment may not exceed 20 hours per week. This option may be used only once per degree.
Required Financial Information for International Students
United States Immigration Law requires that you have sufficient funds available for your academic and living expenses. For more information regarding the cost of attending The University of Tennessee Southern and to complete the acknowledgment form, click here.
An overview of p. 2 of the SEVIS I-20
- You must be a full time student each semester (fall and spring) in order to remain in status. Full time student is defined as a minimum of twelve hours.
- You may NOT work off campus in any capacity. This includes yard work, baby sitting, etc. You may not do any work off campus for which a U.S. citizen may receive pay. In the eyes of the U.S. government, you would be taking work from a United States citizen. If there is money received, it is illegal work.
- When you appliedfor an F-1 Student Visa, you should have shown the consular officer that you have the funds to pay for your studies and all of the additional expenses you may incur. Therefore, you should not need to work.
- You are permitted to work on campus up to twenty hours per week. This twenty hours includes any “work-study” you have been awarded. Be advised that since we are a small campus, there are limited opportunities for on-campus employment. Do not assume that you will be offered an on-campus job.
- You must report a change of address to the office of the International Student Adviser.
- You must have your SEVIS I-20 endorsed by the International Student Adviser each time you leave the United States. This may be done up to several weeks before departure. Failure to obtain a recent signature will create problems when you attempt to re-enter.
- You must be aware of the expiration date on your I-20 and on your other documents.
- You are responsible for reading and understanding the “Instructions to Students” section on page 2 of your SEVIS I-20. See the International Student Adviser for any necessary explanations.
While you are attending The University of Tennessee Southern, you must obey federal, state and local laws.
- The legal age to buy or drink alcohol in Tennessee is 21 years.
- If you obtain a U.S. driver’s license while here, you must obey all traffic laws.
- There are severe penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- If you purchase an automobile, Tennessee laws require you to purchase liability insurance.
The University of Tennessee Southern Requirements
- The University of Tennessee Southern requires all international students to purchase Health and Accident Insurance through the Group Insurance Plan sponsored by the university The cost of that insurance will be included in your charges for each semester.
- Students who have not yet reached the age of 21 are required to reside on campus.
Senior International Students
After “completion of studies” (last day of exams – NOT graduation ceremony — since some students “complete studies” in December), you may remain in the United States up to 60 days to get your affairs in order (before returning to your home country). If you are on OPT or CPT, the 60 days begins at the end of that program.
Optional Practical Training
International students who are completing their bachelor degree may apply to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) for OPT. Optional Practical Training is a one year extension on your visa to allow you to work in the United States during the year after graduation to put to use what you learned while earning your degree. You should apply at the beginning of your last semester. Optional Practical Training is pretty much automatic, but it takes up to two months or longer to be approved after you apply. If you want to apply for the one year OPT, come by my office and pick up application information. The application fee is now $380.00 and you will need two passport style photographs that will cost about at Walgreens Drug Store. You must be “in status” and in good standing with UT Southern to apply.
Curricular Practical Training
CPT is allowed (whether paid or unpaid) if it is a graduation requirement for your major or directly related to your degree program. If you are involved in any kind of internship program connected with your graduation requirements (i.e. Sport Management major) that information must be entered into your electronic SEVIS record. Come see me to give me that information or email me with the details.
Change of Address and/or Employer Information
Even while you are on OPT or CPT and no longer physically at The University of Tennessee Southern, you are still in my SEVIS records until after your OPT year (or CPT) plus 60 days have elapsed. You must keep me informed of your address and your employer name and address so that I can enter that information into your SEVIS electronic record as required by immigration law and you must get my signature on your I-20 for re-entry if you leave the United States.
SEVIS Fee Information
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) charges a fee of $350 for F-1 Students for the operational costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). This fee is in addition to the visa application fee imposed by the U.S. Department of State. (F-2 dependents do NOT pay the fee.)
The fee must be paid before you go for your visa interview or, if you are visa exempt (see below), it must be paid before you cross the border to the United States.
The fee can be paid in 3 different ways:
- Online (strongly recommended),
- Via Western Union Quick Pay, or
- By mail
A third party, such as a family member or friend, may also pay the fee for you. Online payment is recommended because you will be able to print a receipt immediately, which you can take to your visa interview. If paying online, you MUST have a printer connected to your computer, because you cannot save the information to print later.
- Go to www.fmjfee.com for the electronic I-901 SEVIS fee application.
- Complete the form online and pay with a credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) or debit card (with Visa or MasterCard logo). *Note: Write your name EXACTLY as it is on your I-20.
- Print a copy of the online receipt
- Make extra copies of your receipt and keep the receipts in a safe place with your other immigration documents. You may need to provide proof of having paid the fee later on.
For F-1 Students, The University of Tennessee Southern’s School Code is: NOL214F10429000
SEVIS fee payment must be received by DHS (by mail) or confirmed (by internet) at least three U.S. government working days before your visa application interview.
Citizens of Canada and Bermuda, Bahamian nationals, and British subjects residing in the Cayman Islands or Turks and Caicos Islands only:
- No visa or visa application is required for entry to the U.S.
- Pay the SEVIS fee as detailed above and get the receipt
- Present the SEVIS fee payment receipt at a U.S. Port of Entry
For additional details on the SEVIS fee, access the SEVIS I-901 Fee website.