life as an international student
There is a lot know when you first arrive at the University of Illinois. We hope that these pages will help you adjust to the University and Champaign-Urbana!
your immigration status
As an international student, the following are your responsibility:
- Keep your passport current.
- Update your residential address in UI-Integrate no more than 10 days after you move.
- Do not let your immigration documents (I-94 and I-20 or DS-2019) expire.
- Inform ISSS if you wish to change your department or degree level.
- Maintain a full-time course load of study (12 credit hours in most cases).
- Request official permission to accept work outside of the University of Illinois.
- Make sure that all travel documents are in order before taking any trip outside the U.S.
- Pay U.S. and Illinois income tax if required to do so.
- Complete an employment authorization form (I-9) in your hiring department if you will receive a University paycheck.
- Do not work more than 20 hours per week while school is in session.
- Transfer students must complete F-1 or J-1 transfer procedures within the time frame allowed by the regulations.
- Be aware of immigration law. Never seek advice from a friend; ask ISSS if you are in doubt.
Please check here for further information about maintaining your immigration status.
Full Course Load
Please keep all of your previously issued immigration documents, you may need them again if trying to change to another status in the US or applying for work authorization.
The environment in your classroom in the US may be different from what you have experienced at home. US classrooms encourage participation, group work, and may be a little less formal than what you are used to.
Time allotted by Professors or Teaching assistants for students to come to their office and address questions about the course.
Each August during Welcome Week, the Quad fills for Quad Day, where Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) advertise their clubs all in one location
F-1 and J-1 students are able to work on-campus (paid by the University of Illinois) for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session. You may work 40 hours per week on campus during the Summer semester (provided it is not your first or last semester), and during scheduled campus breaks.
Assistantships and tuition waivers
F-1 and J-1 students are able to work up to a 50% assistantship while school is in session – 20 hours per week. Usually a 25-50% assistantship comes with a full tuition waiver. Also, if you hold a 25-50% assistantship, you are only required to be registered for 8 credit hours instead of 12 credit hours.
Pay periods and the "Work Week"
For scheduled pay periods for University of Illinois employment, see the OBFS website
Please remember that the “work week” is calculated from Sunday through Saturday, so you will need to keep track of your time with that in mind.
Please make sure that you will out this form with your hiring department before you start work. Form I-94 will be needed - paper Form I-94 (front and back) OR Electronic Form I-94 (accessible from www.cbp.gov/i94)
MTD Bus System
Remember, riding the MTD bus system is free with your icard.
It is quite possible to live in this area without owning a car. Owning a car can be very expensive. Cars, especially used cars, need maintenance and at times require repair, which can be very costly. As an automobile owner and driver you are also required to purchase license plates, insurance, and fuel. It is important to consider all of these costs before you decide whether a car is in your budget.