Important Information for Current International Students

female student at international festival

As an F-1 visa student, you are required to see an international student advisor (DSO) in certain situations.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • If you want to drop below full-time
  • If you change your major or minor
  • If you change degree level
  • If your program dates change (if you need an extension or graduate early)
  • If you want to take a break from school or take a leave of absence
  • If you travel outside the U.S.
  • If you want to transfer to a new school
  • If your address changes
  • If you need to add dependents
  • If you experience significant change in financial support
  • If your immigration status changes
  • If you want to work on- or off-campus (CPT/OPT)
  • If you need support with cultural adjustment

Refer to the sections below for more information.


Academics

 As an F-1 student, you are required to check in with our office every semester. 

Fall 2018 Check In Form

If you are an international student on an F-1 visa and you intend to change your major, you must request a new I-20. 

1) Apply for change of major through your academic advisor.

2) Once the change of major has been approved, you should request a new I-20 from International Student and Scholar Services within 10 days. Click here for the change of major form.

3) An international student advisor (DSO) will issue a new I-20 within 48 business hours (once all required documentation has been received).

As an F-1 visa student, you are required to be a full-time student. Full-time undergraduate students must take at least 12 semester hours each semester, and full-time graduate students must take at least nine.

If you need to drop below the minimum number of hours, you must obtain approval from the appropriate authorities. Please click here for more information on reducing your course load. Make sure to read all the information carefully and follow the necessary steps to obtain approval.

If you need to request a new I-20, please click here.

If you need extra time to graduate, you must request an I-20 extension. Please fill out this form to do so.


Job-Related 

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies (pre-completion) and/or after completing their academic studies (post-completion).

Please click here to learn more.

Once you have read the document above, please submit your OPT request form.

If you are a STEM major and need to request a 24-month STEM extension, please click here.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary employment which is integral to your major and a mandatory part of your program of study. Please click here for more information.

Once you have read about CPT, please submit the CPT request form.

In order to work on campus, you will need to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) and card. Please read this document carefully and follow the instructions on obtaining a SSN card.


Miscellaneous

If you change your address, you are required to let our office know. Please fill out this form within 10 days of your move.

Also, make sure to update your My MocsNet directory information.

If you plan to travel outside of the U.S., please make sure that the travel signature on your I-20 is valid by the time you reenter the U.S.

Signatures are valid for one year. If you need a new signature, please meet with your international student advisor to request one.

If you want to obtain a Tennessee driver's license, you will need a letter from our office. Please click here to request one.

To change your U.S. visa status from F1 to F2, you can either:

A. Travel outside the U.S., apply at a U.S. consulate for the new visa type, and reenter the U.S. on the new status

OR

B. Request a change of status within the U.S. by sending an application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. To apply from within the U.S., compile the needed items listed in the change of status information sheet and mail the application items to USCIS. This process may take approximately one to three months.

Please refer to the change of status information sheet for more information on changing your status.

If you are an F-1 or M-1 student with children and/or a spouse in the U.S. as F-2 or M-2 dependents, your dependent may study part time in any certified program at a school certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, as long as the study does not amount to what regulations define as full time for an F-1 or M-1 student.

Please click here to learn more.


Health Insurance

All international students at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga must obtain health insurance to be protected against any potential health care costs while studying at UTC.

  • All international students are automatically enrolled in the UT Student Health Insurance program.
  • Insurance program enrollment occurs on a per semester basis.
  • Complete information about UTC student health insurance is available
  • Health insurance cards can be printed here. (Click "Create Account" and register with your first name, last name, date of birth, and UTC email.)
  • The health insurance fee is subject to change at the beginning of each academic year.
  • The health insurance fee is lower in summer than in fall and spring, as the summer semester is slightly shorter.
  • Student can request a refund if they have to leave the country early.

Students may request to waive the cost of UTC student health insurance if they have obtained other insurance coverage before the waiver request deadline. The purchased insurance must meet the university-mandated health coverage criteria:

  • The plan must include unlimited (preventative AND emergency) medical coverage.
  • Pregnancy coverage may not be excluded.
  • The insurance deductible must not exceed $500 per accident/illness.
  • The plan must include repatriation coverage of at least $20,000 and medical evacuation coverage of at least $50,000.
  • The plan must require a waiting period for pre-existing conditions of less than 13 months.
  • The plan must require the student to pay less than 25% per accident/illness.
  • The plan must have an M. Best rating of “A-" or better or a Standard & Poor's rating of “A+” or better.
  • All information must be provided in English. Monetary amounts must be listed in U.S. dollars.
  • The coverage period must be dated as required.

If you elect to purchase alternative health insurance, you must submit a completed waiver request form, proof of insurance (e.g. a copy of your insurance card), and a copy of your insurance policy or brochure.

Please click below to fill out the online waiver.

International Student Insurance Waiver Form


Fall 2018

Coverage:

Aug. 9, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2018

Waiver Due Date:

Aug. 20, 2018 at 8 a.m. EST

Cost: $798


Spring 2019

Coverage:

Jan. 1, 2019 to May 14, 2019

Waiver Due Date:

Jan. 7, 2019 at 8 a.m. EST

Cost: $732


Summer 2019

Coverage:

May 15, 2019 to Aug. 10, 2019

Waiver Due Date:

May 15, 2019 at 8 a.m. EST

Cost: $474