International Students contribute to the vibrant global community at Penn State. The pages within this section provide information for prospective and current international students as well as international alumni.
Before you arrive
Mandatory Immigration (SEVIS) Check-In
International Student Orientation
Life at Penn State
Health Insurance Mandate
Maintenance of Status
Penn State Global is not involved in the academic portion of the admissions process. Here is some information regarding admission:
In this section prospective international students will find information about requesting or refusing an I-20 or DS-2019, insurance and financial requirements, and other essential pre-arrival information.
Only spouses and children (under 21) may come as dependents of the F-1 or J-1 visa holder. Health insurance is mandatory for accompanying dependents. The B-2 (visitor) visa is applicable for parents, siblings, domestic partners, and other family members who wish to visit you. ISSA cannot issue documents for B-2 visitor visas or advise on B-2 issues.
Employment for F-1 and J-1 students is limited, and working without permission is a violation of status and a deportable offense. F-1 and J-1 students may not work off-campus without permission from International Student and Scholar Advising (ISSA). On-Campus Employment is permitted with certain restrictions. Students must complete employment paperwork with ISSA in order to work on-campus. A Social Security number is required for anyone receiving payment. ISSA can assist you with this process.
Penn State is a public university that receives some funding from the government and from taxpayers. There is, at this time, essentially no financial aid available for international undergraduate students. U.S. Citizenship or legal permanent residency is a requirement for federal funds; Pennsylvania residency is a further requirement for state funds.
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Health insurance is mandatory for all international students in F-1 and J-1 status and their accompanying dependents. The U.S. Department of State requires all J-1 exchange visitors (students, scholars, interns, etc.) and their dependents maintain health insurance. Willful violation of this mandate requires termination of the J-1 status.
F-1 and J-1 students will find information pertaining to maintaining their immigration status in this section. The international student advisers in ISSA assist students in maintaining their status, but ultimately maintenance of status is the individual student's responsibility. Students should read the information in this section carefully.
Penn State University welcomes international sponsored students. International sponsored students are undergraduate or graduate students who have received or will receive financial support from a corporation, nonprofit organization, or foreign government. These students must adhere to the requirements of their academic program(s), immigration regulations, and sponsoring organizations during their time at Penn State University. Penn State University provides the support, infrastructure, and services necessary to ensure successful sponsored student programing.
We are all subject to taxation in the U.S. Even as an international student and scholar in the U.S., you are subject to taxes. In some cases your tax obligation matches that of everyone in the U.S., and in some cases, you will have different rules.
Success at Penn State begins with ISO. Orientation is designed to help you.
Before F-1 and J-1 students leave the United States, they should make sure to have the following documents to re-enter the United States to continue studies:
All students in initial or transfer F-1 and J-1 status must complete Mandatory Immigration Check-in (MICI) to be registered in SEVIS. The International Student and Scholar Advising staff (ISSA) must receive and review your immigration documents and contact information, including address and telephone data, to register you as an active student in SEVIS.
Contact information for International Student Advisers located at various Penn State commonwealth campus locations.
Learn more about living in Pennsylvania.
International Student and Scholar Advising, (ISSA) is the authorized representative for Penn State international students and scholars with the Departments of State and Homeland Security. ISSA is committed to providing international students, scholars, and faculty the highest level of expertise in advising, immigration services, and training in support of Penn State's teaching, research and outreach objectives. Although our office is physically located at the University Park Campus, we work with international students at all 24 Penn State campus locations throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.