- What does it mean to be an international student?
- How do I stay in-status?
- What do I do if my visa has expired?
- Where can I do contribution hours?
- What do I do if I am planning to leave the country and want to come back?
- How can I work on-campus?
- How can I work off-campus?
- How do I do an internship off-campus?
- When do I apply for Optional Practical Training?
- Are there any scholarships for international students?
- How do I get more information?
An international student is defined as a student on an F-1 or J-1 visa status who is studying full time for a degree.
International undergraduate students maintain their status by keeping their passport and I-20 valid at all times along with completing at least 12 credits each quarter while making progress towards their degree. Graduate students must take at least 6 credits each semester.
Do not worry, if you are in the U.S. and your visa expires, you are fine. You just cannot let your I-20 or Passport expire. Your visa just let you into the country, so when you leave the country again, you will need to get a new I-20 and reapply for a new visa. You can only obtain a new visa outside of the U.S. For detailed information contact the IC.
Check your email! We use the listserve to provide information to you about upcoming contribution hour opportunities. You can also check in the ISA (CSU 264) for sign up sheets.
Make sure that you have your I-20 signed by the IC BEFORE leaving the U.S. Also carry with you valid financial documents, along with your valid passport and visa to reenter the U.S.
The student must apply at the IC for permission to work.
International students must be authorized to work off or on campus. To work off-campus a student must qualify for one of three programs: Curricular Practical Training, Optional Practical Training or Economic Hardship. These are the only options currently available to international students.
If the internship is required for your degree, you may qualify for Curricular Practical Training. This opportunity is job specific and time specific. This authorization is handled by the IC. Please stop by the IC for a pamphlet regarding the procedures for this opportunity.
An F-1 student who has maintained his/her status for at least 9 months may be eligible for Optional Practical Training. He/she may apply up to 90 days prior to completion of study or within 60 days after completion of study. No job offer is required to apply for this option. This application is recommended by the IC and authorized by USCIS
Minnesota State University, Mankato offers two scholarships for internationals. The first is the In-State Tuition Scholarship program which grants the in-state rate of tuition to students that apply and qualify for the program. Undergraduates currently need to complete at least 12 credits for a letter grade and maintain a 2.5 GPA for the quarter. Once a student qualifies for the scholarship, he/she must also volunteer up to 15 hours a quarter to continue the scholarship. Graduate students must complete 8 credits for a letter grade and maintain a 3.1 GPA along with performing volunteer hours. For more information refer to the In-State Scholarship pamphlet available in the IC. The second scholarship is from the International Endowment Fund, a fund developed by supporters of the international community. Scholarships are given each year to current international students. Applications are available in the Spring Semester for the following year.
Stop by the IC for informational pamphlets about:
- A Guide to Kearney Center for International Student Services
- A Guide for International Study, Work, Travel Abroad Travel Outside the U.S. and Reentry into the U.S.
- MSU In-State Tuition Scholarship Program and Policies
- On-Campus Work, Permit Economic Hardship Off-Campus Work Permit
- Optional Practical Training Curricular Practical Training
- Change of Major and Program Extension Transfer to Another U.S. University
- Reinstatement to F-1 Status TOEFL Testing Overseas and in the U.S.