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International Resources

Resources for International Students

As you embark on your OC educational journey, transitioning to a new country and culture can be exciting and challenging. We understand adjusting to a new environment raises many questions and concerns. To help navigate this transition, we compiled a guide with resources and information tailored specifically for our international students.

Clocktower with students

Welcome to OC!

Here are some essential things to keep in mind.

Yes, foreign visitors to the U.S. can drive with a valid foreign driver's license with an international driving permit. If your foreign license expires, you must apply for an Oklahoma learner permit and pass all required testing to receive a driver's license.

You can also download the Oklahoma Driver's Manual to read and study for the written test and take practice tests.

Yes, United Health Care provides health care for international students.

A full year of health insurance is approximately $1582.00. The fall semester is approximately $692.00. The spring semester plus a summer semester is approximately $940.00. A summer semester is approximately $436.00.

All international students (both grad and undergrad) are required to have OC insurance. There are no exceptions.

For more details about the insurance plan view this document

For questions about medical benefits or claims, please call Wellfleet Student at (877) 657-5030, TTY 711.

Yes. You will enter that information on myOC on the Insurance and Immunization page. Complete this information before school begins. If you need additional vaccinations in order to meet American health standards, you may schedule an appointment with the Oklahoma County Health Department or our Mercy Clinic on campus.

In a medical emergency call 911.

If you need medical attention, visit or call 425-6100 for the on-campus medical clinic located at the southeast corner next to Jimmy John's.

You may find over-the-counter medications to treat your symptoms at a grocery store or pharmacy. A fellow student or someone from the Office of International Programs can help you decide what to buy.

If you have a medical issue with your eyes or teeth, contact the Office of International Programs. They will direct you to the appropriate method of receiving treatment.

Yes, OC is a drug/alcohol/tobacco/medical marijuana-free campus. You cannot smoke anywhere on campus. You cannot drink alcohol on campus or off campus. If you are found to have tobacco, alcohol, marijuana or any illegal substance, you will receive community service hours and enter an educational program.

Yes, our greatest desire is for each student to grow in Christian faith. Accountability for that growth is provided by the Spiritual Life office. Each student is expected to attend chapel regularly. Opportunities are available daily, plus monthly service projects.

OC offers English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for those who may need to improve English skills before joining a university classroom taught in English. If you do not meet the English proficiency requirements, you can apply to ESL.

Undergraduate Proficiency Requirements

  • TOEFL -- 500 paper-based test
  • TOEFL -- 61 internet-based test
  • IELTS -- 6.0

Graduate Degrees in Business or Theology Requirements

  • TOEFL -- 550 paper-based test
  • TOEFL -- 79 internet-based test
  • IELTS -- 6.5

Graduate Degrees in Engineering or Computer Science

  • TOEFL -- 500 paper-based test
  • TOEFL -- 61 internet-based test
  • IELTS -- 6.0


Yes, Student Advocacy, located at #36 on the campus map, includes International Records. You can contact us by sending an email to or schedule an appointment on this calendar.

It is your responsibility to know immigration regulations that apply to you, and to adhere to them during your stay in the U.S. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you need assistance or have any questions or concerns about your student status.

DHS: The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for the immigration office listed below.

USCIS: United States Citizenship & Immigration Services is responsible for the Service Centers and District Offices. (Also known as CIS)

USICE: United States Immigration & Customs Enforcement is responsible for immigration investigations, detention, removal, intelligence and SEVIS.

USCBP: United States Customs & Border Protection is responsible for immigration inspections, Border Patrol and Customs Service.

SEVP: Student Exchange Visitor Program is an organization that tracks and monitors schools and programs in the US. Educational system

SEVIS: Student Exchange Visitor Information System that maintains accurate current information on nonimmigrant students (F & J status)

Visa: Stamp, or computer label in passport obtained from a United States Embassy or Consulate giving you permission to come to the United States. These are only issued outside of the United States and may expire, without penalty so long as you remain in the U.S. and maintain your status.

F-1: Visa classification for a student in an academic degree or a full-time intensive English language program.

F-2: Spouse, child or dependent of an F-1 student.

H-1: Visa classification for a temporary worker of distinguished merit or ability.

H-4: Spouse, child or dependent of an H-1B worker.

B-2: Visitors Visa -short-term status. Not appropriate for a student pursuing a degree program.

B-1: Business Visa - short-term status. Not appropriate for a student pursuing a degree program.

WT: Visitor’s Visa — 90-day visits no extension or change of status.

I-20: Certificate of Eligibility issued via SEVIS and used to obtain an F-1 visa to enter the United States.

I-94: Arrival/departure form issued electronically to all non-immigrants upon arrival in the United States. Can be printed at

I-539: Immigration form used by a non-immigrant to apply for a change to another immigrant status and for an F-1 student to apply for reinstatement.

I-515: immigration form used to notify a student or exchange visitor admitted without an I-20 or a DS-2019 that he or she must submit an I-20 or DS-2019 to SEVP: Student Exchange and Visitor Program within 30 days after entry to the U.S. Contact the International Records office if you have been issued an I-515.

I-765: Immigration form used when applying for optional practical training and off-campus employment.

EAD: Employment Authorization Document: A card issued by USCIS containing a photograph and dates of employment.

Note: Immigration forms usually have identification numbers (eg: I-765) in the upper right corner of the page. Do not destroy or discard immigration forms that have been issued to you.

SEVIS: SEVIS is the Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F & M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, & J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information and event notifications via the Internet, to the USCIS, USICE and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States. The system will reflect international student or exchange visitor status changes, such as admission at Port of Entry (POE), change of address, change in program of study, and other details.

Passport Validity

United States Immigration requires that you keep your passport valid at all times. To extend or renew your passport, contact your country’s consulate or embassy for directions.

Maintaining Immigration Status

Permission to study in the U.S. has been granted at the port of entry by the United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP). In order to remain in the U.S., USCIS requires that you maintain your immigration status. This means that you must be a full-time student, abide by the immigration regulations and submit immigration documents correctly according to those regulations.

If you abide by USCIS regulations, it is said that you are “in status.” Significant penalties for being “out of status” can prevent you from taking advantage of a number of opportunities while you are in the U.S., can cause you to leave the U.S. before you complete your education, or can prevent you from re-entering the U.S. once you have left. Each student must sign page 1 of the I-20 or DS-2019 certifying that they have read and agreed to the requirements of their status.

It is your responsibility to know immigration regulations that apply to you and to adhere to them during your stay in the U.S. The staff members of International Records do not work for immigration. However, they know immigration regulations and are able to assist you in knowing how to stay in status. Please consult International Records if you have questions about the immigration regulations or before you carry out plans to change schools, degree programs, travel out of the U.S., drop courses, accept employment, etc.

Both F-1 students must successfully complete a full-time course of study during the fall and spring semesters. This is defined by USCIS and this university as receiving a passing grade for a minimum of:

  • 12 semester hours for undergraduate students
  • 9 semester hours for graduate students

Grades of “W” or “I” do not qualify as “successful completion”. Students must obtain a grade of A, B, C, D, or F in all courses. Students are not required to enroll in classes during the summer session unless summer is the first semester in the U.S. If a student needs to drop a course, come to the International Records office BEFORE you drop the course. Under the SEVIS requirements schools must report the reduced course load prior to dropping the class. This decision could create a very difficult situation.

No more than three credits or one course of online or distance education courses can be counted as a full course of study.

Some non-immigrant violations could accrue three and 10-year bars. Under the current USCIS interpretations, a student who has violated his/her status and has been denied reinstatement could be subject to the INA 222g and begin the clock on unlawful presence under INA 212(a)(9)(B). The effects could include:

  • A visa cancellation with a specific date to depart the U.S.
  • Student will begin accruing days of unlawful presence if he/she remains in the U.S. beyond the specified date on the I-94 given by USCIS. If the student remains in the U.S. over 180 days after the denial, he/she is subject to the three-year bar; if the student remains more than one year after the denial he/she is subject to the 10-year bar.
  • If a student remains in the U.S. “out of status” and USCIS has placed the student in deportation, the immigration judge could determine the three or ten-year bar based on unlawful presence.
  • Due to these regulations, (222g) and (212(a)(9)(B), it is important that non-immigrant students take their immigration status very seriously.
  • Students arriving for the first time from overseas will be required to register via SEVIS. The International Records Office will assist with the registration. Copies of your I-20, passport, and I-94 will be placed in the student’s file.
  • Students beginning a new degree or program at OC must file a level change via SEVIS if they plan to stay at OC for an additional degree at the same level of study (e.g. second bachelor's or master's) or if they are moving from one level of study to another (e.g. bachelors to masters) International Records will update the student’s SEVIS record and provide a new I-20.
  • Students transferring from another U.S. university to OC will require a release of the SEVIS record from the previous school. Once the transfer date has arrived, OC will issue a transfer I-20 via SEVIS. The student will need to present all previous I-20s, passport, I-94, and previous school transcripts to their Admission Counselor.
  • Students transferring OUT of OC will need to provide evidence of acceptance to the new school and decide on an appropriate “release date” of the SEVIS record. Contact International Records if you are planning to transfer to obtain the appropriate forms.
  • Students needing additional time to complete a degree will be required to file for a program extension. If you are not able to complete your current degree by the end date indicated on the original I-20, you must apply for the program extension prior to the expiration. Contact International Records for further information.
  • Students changing their major must contact International Records to update the SEVIS record and obtain a new I-20.
  • The USCIS regulations require that all students report their change of address within 10 days of the change. International Records is required to report the change of address via SEVIS within 21 days. Changes in phone number and email address must also be reported.
  • All spouses and children must obtain their own Form I-20 via SEVIS while residing in the U.S. The F-2 may enroll in part-time study but is not authorized to work on or off campus.
  • Under the USCIS SEVIS reporting requirements, OC will be required to report any student’s failure to complete a program or withdraw from courses, drop courses below a full course of study, address change, major or level change, program completion, optional or curricular practical training, and school transfers within 21 to 30 days depending on the event.
  • If a student has failed to maintain the F-1 status he/she will be required to apply for reinstatement to the USCIS. The USCIS regulations have been narrowed and it is important that students contact International Records to seek assistance when in this situation.
  • Work Off-campus ONLY if a student receives authorization from International Records or USCIS. On-campus employment requires completion of the On-Campus employment form. PLEASE NOTE: If a student works illegally, the consequences could include voluntary departure from the U.S. or mandatory deportation. The student cannot be reinstated.
  • Students planning to travel outside the U.S. temporarily should obtain a validation on their I-20 from the International Records office. After receiving appropriate OC clearances, an International Records staff member will sign page three of the I-20, if the student is in good standing at the university. Without a validated I-20, a student may be denied entry into the U.S. even if he/she has a valid visa.
  • Students who have completed their study, or completed their practical training have 60 days to leave the United States once they have graduated, or completed practical training. Students who have applied to USCIS for another benefit or status may remain in the U.S. until USCIS makes a decision on their application. Students who have been admitted to another degree program are allowed to remain in the U.S. until the next semester begins or no later than five months. Students however must obtain an I-20 within 60 days of the end date of OPT or completion.
  • Students who withdraw from classes must leave the U.S. immediately. The regulations provide no grace period days after the withdrawal from classes. However, students who seek prior approval from the International Records staff (DSO) to withdraw from classes will be given a 15-day grace period to depart the U.S.

Life on campus

OC's campus community is an important part of your overall American college experience. Living and learning together helps you to form relationships and be a part of school traditions. Most OC students live in dormitories as freshmen and sophomores. Some choose to move to campus apartments after accumulating 60 hours of course credit.

Students who wish to live off-campus can apply if they meet the necessary requirements.

All students who live in campus housing must select a meal plan. You can choose how many meals you want to eat each semester in OC's award-winning cafeteria, The Branch. The Branch is open seven days a week.

You may also put Eagle Bucks on your ID card to use like a debit card at Jimmy John's, Sonic, OnCue or the campus Chick-fil-A.

The week before school starts, you will partake in some special activities referred to as Earn Your Wings. This is NOT a typical week of American campus life. It will be very different than the rest of your semester. However, it is a very important week—you will meet many new students, domestic and international, and you will learn what it is like to be a college student in America. This program is required for all incoming freshmen and transfer students.

Yes, we do! You will have the opportunity to complete a survey during the first two weeks of school. You can share information about yourself, and express interest in the host-family program, on-campus activities and off-campus trips. We want your feedback on Earn Your Wings and New Student Orientation.

You will receive this survey by email and will have a chance to win some cool prizes by completing it, so please participate!

Many students play organized intramural sports together on campus, including basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, flag football, soccer and more. To sign up, ask your International SGA representative.

Yes, we think so. There are clubs on campus for men and women with names from Greek letters (i.e. Kappa Sigma Tau) that are social service clubs. You must be a sophomore to join one of these clubs. Club members participate in activities on campus, play intramural sports, compete in different areas and have a lot of fun! You will have a better American experience if you join a club.

Once each week, the Office of International Programs will provide you with an opportunity to go grocery shopping. You will receive an email about the times and dates.

You can partake in other activities off campus such as the annual Kappa Float Trip, school-sponsored trips and excursions with friends.

Oklahoma City and Edmond offer great festivals, concerts, sporting events and other activities. Follow OKC and Edmond hashtags and locations, and Uber where you want to go.

A new culture will be overwhelming and everyone (even domestic students) will miss home. That’s okay! If you are feeling lonely/stressed/anxious please talk to someone in the Office of International Programs, a close friend or a teacher, or make an appointment with the OC counseling center. We want you to have the best American educational and cultural experience possible.

There are several breaks throughout the school year. Most of campus closes for winter break, but housing remains open and security is intact. If you choose to stay on campus during the three weeks of winter break, you must pay a fee of $25 a night. You will receive more information about this option and process in November.

Every student must pay a housing deposit of $125.00. When you move out or move to a different dorm, you will get your deposit back as long as there are no damages to your room.

Money & Banking

Yes! We are currently offering undergraduate students who are accepted a $10,000 scholarship!

Many students seek other scholarship opportunities to help make school more affordable. Several departments offer scholarships, and there are lots of offerings posted on OC’s website and in your student announcements. For questions about scholarships that might apply to you, please contact your recruiter.

Yes, there are a lot of local and national banks. Most offer free checking, no fees, and free online banking.

MidFirst Bank and Citizens Bank are both great partners of the university. Many students use Bank of America. Requirements are different for each bank. Ask someone on campus to help you!

Most banks will provide you with a Visa debit card. This is not a credit card. It can be used like a credit card to purchase items or pay bills but the funds come directly out of your bank account. You can use this card in your digital wallet or take cash out of your bank account using an ATM.

Maybe, but not likely. Most individuals have Venmo, Paypal, Cashapp or other ways to digitally exchange currency. And, you should have access to electronic checks via online banking.

If you discover that you must have a paper check, your bank can help you.

No! Credit card companies love to make offers to college students through email and mail. It is best to ignore the offers.

If you decide to apply and get a credit card, you must use it wisely. If you do not pay the full balance before it is due, you will be charged large late fees and huge interest rates that quickly add up to an overwhelming amount of money.

Yes, of course. Buy only from secure websites and make sure your billing and shipping address are correct.

Student's Full Name, SB# ____ (Student's mailbox #)
Oklahoma Christian University
2501 E. Memorial Rd.
EDMOND OK 73013-5599

The mail room is located at #5 on the Campus Map.

Payment is due the first week of school for all of your charges. The cost of housing, meal plan, tuition and fees will be placed on your student account and must be paid in full for each semester.

Pay from anywhere in the world using Flywire, or one of our other payment options.

If you need assistance, please contact the Office of International Programs Financial Services. They will be able to explain how you can pay for school and receive funds from your family in your U.S. bank account.


Your mail will be delivered to OC’s mailroom, located at #5 on the campus map. You will be notified of deliveries via email. Show your student ID at the mailroom to receive your packages.

Always include your student box number for things like a bank card, a cell phone or online purchases.

Your Name
Oklahoma Christian University
Student Box #
2501 E. Memorial Rd.
Edmond, OK 73013

OC is a wireless campus, most information will be sent to your OC student email address. Professors may email information critical to your class or class cancelations. If you have a question about an assignment, your professor will be easiest to contact through email.

Important information about housing, your account and enrollment are sent via email. It is your responsibility to respond to these emails and take care of the requirements as soon as possible.

Campus events and activities will be in the daily student announcement email.

Check your email often!

Yes, most American students have a cell phone. Many different companies offer plans, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Some plans require you to sign a two-year contract that will include a nice phone at a reduced price. Many international students sign up for a group plan to get a better rate.

Some companies offer plans with no contract. The plans are cheaper, but the phones may be more expensive. These plans are usually the best for international students.

Many of our students either have a smartphone or purchase one when they arrive, then sign up for a plan with a U.S. carrier.

OC has an app that allows you to check your class schedule, grades, campus map and even laundry. Support Central, #36 on the campus map, will help if you have questions about OC apps.

Many apps are helpful to international students. A popular free app is GroupMe for free texting and sharing videos and photos. This will allow you to communicate with friends back home for free when you both have the app and data/internet access.

Yes, OC offers wifi throughout campus that is free to students. You can use your favorite video chat app to stay in touch with friends and family anywhere they have access. Some of the most used apps are Zoom, Facetime, Google Meet, Skype, Facebook and others.

Yes, nearly everyone is targeted by scammers who trick, lie and deceive to gain your personal information or gain access to your money.

NEVER share your password. NEVER transmit your social security number electronically.

If you suspect a scam but are not sure, you can forward it to for assistance, or you can call the sender of the email to ask if it is actually from them.

Scammers can make the email look like it is from popular retailers, cell phone companies, credit card companies or even OC. OC will NEVER ask you for your password in an email, so do not share that information with anyone.

Most American students use social media Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and many others, on a regular basis. You can create an account for these sites to connect with your friends.

Always be aware that anything you say on the internet can be found and will probably be impossible to completely delete. Even direct/private messages can be exposed. Your digital footprint can affect future job opportunities, so be careful of what you post.


Walking. OC is designed as a walking campus with roads mainly on the outside perimeter. Some students use longboards, scooters, skates or bicycles (register your bike with campus police located at #5 on the campus map).

You are encouraged to explore all the OKC and Edmond have to offer. There are lots of opportunities both within your field of study and for fun and entertainment.

Public transportation is an inexpensive way to travel around Edmond and Oklahoma City. Check Citylink Edmond for bus maps, schedules and cost. Go to for streetcar, bus, bike share and ferry information.

Uber and Lyft apps are popular. The area has limited access to traditional taxi services.

There is a lot to see and do! OC clubs like Outreach and Black Student Union often plan trips during school breaks. This is a fun and affordable way to see more of the U.S. while you are here.

If you wish to travel independently or form your own group, there are a lot of travel blogs and road trip routes online.

Check out Scott's Cheap Flights, Kayak and Greyhound Bus, and follow travel accounts on social media for great options.

Working in the U.S.

Yes. International students may work up to 20 hours each week. You will need to find an available job for which you are qualified, fill out an application, interview with the hiring manager, and be chosen to fill the position.

Yes, we post campus jobs on the university intranet. You can see what is available and email the person who is hiring. The list is updated throughout the year.

No, F-1 international students are not allowed to work off-campus.

Students holding F-1 and J-1 status who are employed in the US must apply for a Social Security number.

First, get an on-campus job. Then request an employment letter from the Student Advocacy Center, ask your supervisor to fill it out, and return the letter to Student Advocacy.

Your social security number allows you to be paid for your job through a bank account. If you want to buy a car from an auto dealer, you may be required to have one.

In order to issue a Social Security Number, the Social Security Administration requires evidence that you are eligible to work in the U.S., that you are a full-time student and that you have received a formal offer for on-campus employment or have been authorized for off-campus employment through Curricular Practical Training, Optional Practical Training or Academic Training. The Social Security Administration must also verify your immigration documents and status with Immigration before issuing the Social Security number. New students must be in the U.S. for 10 days or more before applying for a SSN.

  • ALL INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS who were in America at any point during the previous year must file IRS Form 8843 regardless of whether or not they worked. This form declares to the United States government that you are: an international student, in good standing and how many days you were in the country. Complete the form on your own, or at one of the tax help sessions scheduled by the International Office. You will receive an envelope with a label. You must add postage and mail on or before April 15.
  • STUDENTS WHO WORKED in the previous year must ALSO file Form 1040NR for federal taxes, and Form 511 for state taxes. Complete the form on your own, or at one of the tax help sessions scheduled by the International Office. You will receive an envelope with a label. You must add postage and mail on or before April 15.
  • Sprintax offers lots of great resources and helpful information for international students about taxes. Check out their web page.

STEM Optional Practical Training

STEM OPT is a 24-month extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorization available to F-1 students who graduated with U.S. degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics and will be working for an employer who is part of the E-Verify program. The STEM OPT application is reviewed by ISSS and submitted to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) for processing.

STEM OPT Announcement


STEM OPT Extension

The decision for the STEM fields of study is based on CIP codes. DHS has published an eligible CIP Code program list effective May 10, 2016. See if your OC degree qualifies for the OPT STEM Extension.

The student must be employed by an E-Verify participating employer. The E-Verify Company Identification Number or E-Verify Client Company Identification Number will be required on the I-765.

The student must file the extension in a timely manner, generally 90 days prior to the end date of the 12-month OPT. Also, the student must file a Form I-765 with USCIS within 60 days of the date the PDSO enters the recommendation for the STEM OPT extension into the SEVIS record. The student may continue employment while the extension is pending, until a final decision is made, or for 180 days, whichever comes first.