Frequently Asked Questions for International Students
It is not difficult! Follow the easy steps outlined in our checklist. Pay close attention to ALL required documents. We will notify you of your acceptance to Camden County College, via email. A valid email account is so important, as this will be our only link to you! Once all documentation and deposit has been received and validated, an I-20 will be issued, along with a letter of acceptance. You should make your SEVIS payment, and make an appointment with the American Embassy in your home country. Please note, ALL countries have their own rules and regulations, carefully follow all of their requirements as well.
2. Can I study any classes I want and can I pick my own schedule?
While every attempt will be made to schedule your class times and days as convenient as possible, our first goal here at CCC, is to schedule you for classes at your correct level of learning and to make sure you maintain Full Time status. We want you here with us, to stay and study!
3. What is Full Time status? I see this over and over again?
Full time status is a REQUIREMENT of your F-1 student visa. It means full time classes. Let’s keep it simple………all classes are made up of credits….a typical class is normally 3.0 credits. You would be required to take four 3.0 credit classes each semester, (fall & spring). A typical schedule could be all four classes in either a 2 or 3 day schedule. It could also be as many as 5 days a week, depending on your needed classes. But the reason you are here, in this country, in to study and you should know, the law states this requirement. There are no exceptions. If you are having issues maintaining full time status, you should immediately seek advice from your PDSO.
4. What is a PDSO?
The letters PSDO represent the term “Primary Designated School Official”. A PDSO reports to the Dept. of Homeland Security that students at that institution are maintaining lawful F-1 status and are in full compliance of all rules and regulations. Once again, contact your PDSO or DSO if you are having issues. The worst violation is not communicating.
5. Why is Language Training on my initial I-20 I received in the mail? I want to study Business Administration as my major?
Just like students in this country, you will need to demonstrate the ability to get good grades in your college level classes. You may speak English in your country, but unless your TOEFL score reflects college level ability or the College Placement Test (taken here at CCC, upon your arrival) reveals you at College Level Math and English, your I-20 will reflect the Language Training level of education. Once you have taken the classes you need or tested into College Level classes, your I-20 will be adjusted to reflect your academic track.
6. Can I work while I study?
Once again, please carefully remember why you are here, in the States. You are here to study, not work. Work visas are completely different from student visas. There are very few jobs on campus that international Students may be eligible to apply, but this is based on each student and their GPA and how long they have been in this country. Other job-related opportunities will be available to the student, upon completion of their degree. This is called OPT. This will be discussed with your PDSO, upon completion of program.
7. Is there any housing on campus?
Camden County College has partnered with Places4Students.com. This company specializes in off-campus housing solutions for students. This service is free for CCC students to find a place to live off-campus or in finding a roommate. Students do not need to register to search for listings. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-766-0767 (toll free), should you require more information. Click here or more information.
8. How long will it take for me to get my degree?
This is a question that only you can answer! We have many students that take more than 12.0 credits each semester. We also have many students that take summer classes; they can graduate earlier than anticipated. This will depend on how well you do in the classes and how many credits you take each semester. A typical degree program here at CCC consists of anywhere from 62 to 66 credits, for an Associate degree. So do the math…. if you take 12.0 credits each semester, after two years, that will add up to 48.0 credits. Keep in mind, there are pre-requisite classes that must be taken as well.
9. What is a pre-requisite?
Pre-requisites are classes you need to take to get to take your major classes. For example, if you come to this country and you do not test into College Level English or math, you will be required to take the necessary classes to get to your major classes. For an example, many students do not start out by taking Calculus; they must take classes to get to Calculus level.
10. Will my I-20 be issued long enough for me to finish my degree?
The initial I-20 can be extended, yearly, beyond the original date on your I-20. But keep in mind, if you have not met the filing requirements for an I-20 extension by providing new sponsor documents or have not met regulations put forth by the Dept. of Homeland Security and Camden County College, you will not be allowed the opportunity to file an extension.
11. Can I travel while on my F-1 student visa?
You may travel during semester breaks. You must get your I-20 signed by the PDSO for travel. Travel plans are located on the website under “Forms”. If you have an emergency that arises, please see your PSDO.
12. Do I need health Insurance while studying in the States?
Yes, you do. The United States does not have socialized health care. A sudden illness or hospitalization could take all of your money that you have for your education. If your funding runs out, this could cause you to NOT have the ability to register and pay for classes, forcing you to return home before degree completion. Below are some companies that offer comprehensive insurance.
Cultural Insurance Services International (800) 303-8120
HTH Worldwide (800) 242-4178
Scholastic Overseas Service (800) 767-1403
Compass Gold Insurance (800) 244-1180
Seabury and Smith (800)282-4495
13. Do I really need to attend the New Student Orientation for International Students?
Yes, you do. This is mandatory. The more informed you are of the rules and regulations regarding F-1 students, the more successful you will be in studying and staying in the States! We want you here!
14. What is the important thing for me to remember?
Go to school, do not miss classes, it is the law! You cannot decide to NOT attend classes anymore. If you have a problem or issue with a class, teacher or schedule, please talk to your PDSO. They want you here as well!
15. What should I do if I have to change my sponsor?
Please remember, you assured not only Camden County College, but the American Embassy in your home country that the sponsor you indicated would be committing to pay for your education, housing and other related matters regarding financial obligations. If that changes, or you do not have the money to pay for classes, you must find a new sponsor and submit new documents. If you cannot name a new sponsor, you need to remember, the reason you are here, is to go to school. If you cannot go to school, you must return to your country.
16. What should I do when I am ready to transfer to another school?
Under our Forms section, we have a document called SEVIS TRANSFER OUT REQUEST FORM. Please fill out and give to International Student services. This gives us your permission to have your new school inquire about you. Without this form, we are NOT ALLOWED to provide any vital information regarding you. Please remember, this is only for information purposes. A formal letter of acceptance from your new school must be received prior to releasing your Sevis record. Do not wait until the start of a new semester. Your request should be filed at least two weeks in advance.