Arriving in the States

With a valid passport, your I-20 and your valid visa, you may enter the states within 30 days of the first day of class at Kentucky Wesleyan College.  Residence Halls will open about a week before classes begin.  All First year students must be present for new student orientation.  All transfer and returning students must arrive by the check-in date unless prior approval has been obtained through the Admissions Committee.

International Student Orientation

Approximately two weeks after classes begin; you will be invited via school email to attend International Student Orientation. This is a very informative one-hour session that you are required to attend each semester.  Please bring your I-20, passport, and visa.

Kentucky Wesleyan College’s PDSO or DSO Needs to Know

  • When you arrive at Kentucky Wesleyan College
  • Your enrollment each semester
  • Change of address (within 10 days)
  • Work Authorization
  • Program completion date
  • If you wish to transfer to a different school
  • When you travel out of the United States
  • Change of name or citizenship
  • Change of school, major, or degree level
  • Withdrawal from a class (if it puts you below 12 hours) or the semester
  • Change in registration, such as wanting to take an online class or enroll at another university
  • Receive an on-campus job offer
  • Change address (even dorm rooms)
  • If your visa expires or you have less than six months until your passport expires
  • If you lose your I-20, your visa, passport, US driver’s license and/or Social Security number/card

Employment and Other Benefits While in the States

A student must obtain a Social Security number (SSN) in order to work or drive in the United States. Please visit the DSO or PDSO at Kentucky Wesleyan for instructions in obtaining a SSN or driver’s license.  You must wait a minimum of ten days after arriving in the United States to apply so that your I-94 information can update in all the government systems.

There are limited work opportunities available in the United States for F-1 students.  For this reason, before coming to the United States you must prove you have the financial ability (e.g., present bank statements) to pay for tuition and living expenses while studying. If you decide that you want to work, the first step is to always talk with your DSO here at Kentucky Wesleyan. On-campus employment is allowed but not always available.  Examples of on-campus employment include working at our spirit store (Panther’s Den) or our cafeteria. If you are offered employment on-campus, you must talk with your DSO before beginning.

The U.S. government takes working illegally very seriously. If you work without permission, we must report it through SEVIS, your I-20 will be terminated, you will have to leave the United States immediately, and you may not be allowed to return.

Off-campus employment is prohibited unless a student has completed at least on full academic year of their program of study AND has an economic hardship that qualifies for the Department of Homeland Security’s emergent circumstances.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is a form of training, often paid, that directly relates to your program of study. You can apply for OPT during your program of study, which is now a pre-completion OPT, or after you finish your program of study, known as post-completion OPT.  Pre-completion OPT is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session, but can be full-time during breaks and annual vacation.

You can apply for 12 months of OPT at each education level, (i.e., you may have 12 months of OPT at the bachelor’s level and another 12 months of OPT at the master’s level). If you are a student earning a degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), you may be eligible for the STEM OPT extension.  For more information, visit your DSO.

In order to apply for OPT, students must request approval from their DSO.  A DSO makes this recommendation in SEVIS and by endorsing a student’s Form I-20.  The student must then file the form I-765 and supporting documents with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and if   approved, USCIS will issue a Form I-766, “Employment Authorization Document.”  You cannot begin your training until you receive your authorization from USCIS.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is an alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education or other type of required practicum that a sponsoring employer offers through cooperative agreements     with Kentucky Wesleyan College. CPT must be integral to your program of study; however, unlike pre-completion OPT, CPT can be full time and is not restricted by a weekly 20-hour work limit.

In order to qualify for CPT, you must have completed one full academic year of study.      Students who complete on year or more of full-time CPT are ineligible to participate in post-completion OPT.  To get permission for CPT, your DSO needs to authorize it and provide you with an updated Form I-20.           

Kentucky Wesleyan Student Handbook

As a student of Kentucky Wesleyan College you are required to follow the “Code of Student Conduct” and the “Standards of a Christian College”.  To learn more, please review the Kentucky Wesleyan Student Handbook.

For More Information

For more information about federal regulations about studying in the States, please visit the federal website or contact one of our staff below: