Current International Students

Please remember that the information here is general. If you have questions about your specific situation, please contact the International Services Office and make an appointment to talk with Ashley for undergraduate students or Andrea for graduate students. 

Immigration Information:
The International Services Office can provide information regarding immigration, how to stay in status, and serve as a general resource throughout your time at Friends University. 

Helpful Tips (See Student Handbook for more detailed information):

  • Enroll as a full-time student every semester (special exceptions apply).
  • Check in with the International Services Office at the beginning of every semester and within 10 days of returning from travel abroad.
  • Make sure the International Services Office always has photocopies of your current passport (must be valid within six months at all times) and visa and an electronic copy of your I-94 admission record.
  • Notify the International Services Office within 10 days if you move or change your address or contact information.
  • Obtain authorization for any off-campus employment before you start working.
  • Read all International Services Office communication sent to your email account.
  • Ensure that all the information on your I-20 is correct, and submit requests for changes in program completion date before the I-20 expiration date and changes in major and education level before the start of the next semester.
  • Obtain valid travel signatures from the International Services Office every academic semester (spring and fall).
  • Obey all U.S. laws.
  • Complete the official transfer process if you intend to transfer to another school.

Full-Time Enrollment Requirement:
As you register for classes, please be advised that all F-1 students are required to enroll full-time each fall and spring semester. Failure to maintain a full course load is a violation of status and may jeopardize your ability to remain in the United States as a student.

Exceptions may be made in specific situations, but they must be approved in advance in writing by an international student advisor.

***Only one online course for a maximum of three credits can be applied toward full-time enrollment each semester.

Employment Information:
The International Services Office can provide information on obtaining legal employment for international students. Legal or authorized employment may include: 

  • Working on campus
  • Curricular Practical Training
  • Economic Hardship Cases
  • Optional Practical Training

On-Campus Employment Opportunities:
F-1 students may engage in part-time employment (up to 20 hours per week) on the Friends University campus while classes are in session. They may work full-time (more than 20 hours per week) in between terms and during the summer vacation as long they plan to be a full-time student the following term.

If you have questions about types of jobs that qualify for on-campus employment, please schedule an appointment with your DSO. 

Visit www.friends.edu/employment.

Off-Campus Employment Authorization:
F-1 students may NOT participate in any type of off-campus employment unless authorized by the 

International Services Office and/or the USCIS.  Internships which are required or integral to the student’s program of study, must also be approved by your DSO/International Advisor prior to the internship start date. Students interested in off-campus employment should schedule an appointment with their DSO 

before accepting any employment offer.

Approval is granted in certain circumstances.  They are:

  • Severe, unforeseen economic necessity

  • Internship with an International Organization

  • Employment based on the Special Student Relief Program

To be eligible to apply for off-campus employment authorization, based upon severe economic hardship, F-1 students have to meet the following conditions:

  1. F-1 students must demonstrate severe economic hardship resulting from one of the following unforeseen circumstances: loss of financial aid or on-campus employment without fault on the part of the student; substantial fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rate; significant increases in tuition or living costs; unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student's source of support; medical bills; or other substantial and unexpected expenses.
  2. F-1 students must have been in F-1 status for one full academic year (nine months).
  3. Students must be in good academic standing, registered full-time, and the employment must not interfere with studies.

Any unauthorized or illegal employment, even for one day or if you did not know it was illegal, poses a threat to your status. You must always be certain that you have the necessary employment authorization before you begin employment. Starting work without prior authorization, even if you receive authorization later, constitutes illegal employment.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT):

What is Curricular Practical Training?
CPT is a type of temporary employment (directly related to a students’ major area of study) for F-1 visa holders.  A student, who has been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis, for one full academic year, may apply for CPT (NOTE: Some exceptions to this rule can be made for graduate students).  

How do I apply?
You and your academic advisor must complete the Application for CPT and submit it to the International Services Office.

If your employer has questions or concerns about hiring international students, please refer them to"What Employers Should Know About Hiring International Students." (This form was developed by the International Career Opportunities Network.)

Optional Practical Training (OPT):

What is Optional Practical Training?
OPT is a type of temporary employment (directly related to a student’s major area of study) for F-1 visa holders.  Students should apply (no earlier than 90 days prior to their program end date/graduation date, or no later than 60 days following their program end date/graduation date) for post-completion OPT.

The International Services office assists students with completing necessary paperwork and sending the completed application to a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Service Center – as indicated on the I-765 employment authorization form – for approval. 

Students are eligible to request a total of 12 months of initial OPT employment per degree program.

Am I eligible for OPT?

  • Must complete your degree.
  • Can not have participated in 12 months of OPT within the same degree level.

How do I apply?
Schedule an appointment with your DSO approximately 120 days before your program end date to begin the process

Federal and State Income Taxes:
All F-1 students should file federal and state tax forms each spring regardless of whether or not they have earned any income. A social security number is not necessary to file taxes unless you have earned income. The DSOs cannot assist with filing taxes, but can direct students to resources that will help. Please see the International Services Office for more details. 

In order to apply for a Social Security number you must:

  • Have been offered employment. The hiring department must complete a letter verifying the student's employment. This letter must be printed out on departmental letterhead. The student then must bring that letter to the International Services Office.
  • Make sure all your documents match (ex. First Name, Middle Name, Last Name) prior to applying. 
  • You will then take the following documents to the Social Security Administration to apply for your number:
    • The letter from your hiring department.
    • The letter from International Services.
    • Your passport and I-94.
    • Your most up-to-date I-20.
    • Your Visa.
    • Application SS-5
Wichita Social Security Office Address :
3216 N CYPRESS ST 
WICHITA, KS 67226
Social Security Phone (Local) : 1-866-931-9173 
Social Security Office Hours : MON: 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM; TUES: 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM; WED: 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM; THUR: 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM; FRI: 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM; SAT & SUN: CLOSED

Information on obtaining a driver’s license:
You must take all your immigration paperwork with you and have or borrow a car for the driving portion of the test. It is recommended that you study, as the written test is sometimes difficult. 

Office Location: 1823 W. 21st N Suite 42A, Wichita
Phone Number: 316-821-9920
Days and Hours of Operation: 7 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday
Written tests: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday
Drive tests: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday
Text Wichita DL to 641-243-8006 to get in line through our QLess system.

You cannot apply for a driver's license on your initial I-20. You must have your continued attendance I-20 to apply.

Student Health Insurance and Required Vaccinations:
The Health and Wellness Office is committed to providing high-quality healthcare and educational outreach services.

The office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Appointments can be made and walk-ins are also welcome. The nurse is located in the lower level of the Casado Campus Center.

Please note that most minor health needs can be taken care of by going to the campus nurse. Going to the emergency room at any of the local hospitals is very expensive and should only be done in case of a major emergency. 

Mandatory Health Insurance:
Friends University offers a student insurance policy through Student Assurance Services. All F-1 International students are required to sign up for this plan. As a new international student joining Friends University for the first time, you will be automatically charged for this plan as part of your initial deposit.

The cose of the insurance plan varies from year to year. Please see the Health and Wellness Office for more details.

New F-1 International UNDERGRADUATE students should complete an enrollment form after receiving their initial I-20 and forward it to the Health and Wellness Office. Forms may be scanned, faxed or mailed. Click here for the enrollment form.

Friends University Health and Wellness Office
2100 W. University Ave.
Wichita, KS 67213
Phone 316-295-5561
Fax 316-295-5235
health@friends.edu

Airport Shuttle:
If you want to use the airport shuttle service, please complete the online sign up form. Make sure to ask the International Services Office about the dates and times for the shuttle if you have any questions before you purchase your airline ticket. 

Student Handbook:
Here you will find information about Wichita, Friends University, and immigration information. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email internationalservices@friends.edu.