International Student & Scholar Services
Friendly and knowledgeable professionals in our International Student and Scholar Services Office will assist you from the time you are accepted, to your arrival and orientation on campus, and throughout your stay at USF. ISSS staff will help you to gather information about your visa, travel documents, and work authorization, and provide you with opportunities to meet new people, adjust to life at USF, and feel at home in San Francisco.
Before You Leave Home
The ISSS Pre-Departure and Arrival Information Guide is filled with specific information about preparing to study at USF and to live in San Francisco.
When You First Arrive On Campus
New International Student Orientation Program sessions will give you important information concerning:
- Immigration Matters, including maintaining your visa status, travel regulations, and working in the United States
- Academic Matters, including faculty expectations, student academic support services, and tips for academic success
- Practical Matters, including banking, shopping, and living in San Francisco
Make Yourself At Home In San Francisco
How Do You: Open a bank account? Acquire a cell phone? Obtain a California driver's license or identification card? Apply for a US Social Security Number?
How Do You: Navigate through San Francisco's neighborhoods? Find the best shopping? Learn about local restaurants or sporting events or performing arts?
ISSS staff will be happy to help you to answer all of these questions, and many more...
Stay In Status While You Study
ISSS staff will advise you on all aspects of maintaining your legal immigration status, and will facilitate processing of all related documents.
Be sure to visit the ISSS Status Basics web page to find Ten Things To Remember about staying in status.
Work Or Train In The City
Visit the ISSS F-1 Employment web page to learn about work and training opportunities for international students in F-1 student status:
- On-Campus Employment — International students in a degree seeking program are eligible for on-campus employment.
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT) — International students in a degree seeking program that has an internship or practical training component may be eligible for one or more semesters of Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) — International students in a degree seeking program will have the option to apply for a minimum of 12 months of work authorization [or Optional Practical Training (OPT)] during or after their studies.
Countries, Cultures & Classmates
USF International Student Association (ISA)
The USF International Student Association (ISA) is both a club and a service organization, and represents the entire international student body at USF. International students support and learn from each other in this community, whose members are mentored by ISSS staff.
ISA promotes cultural education, advocates for the USF international student body, creates occasions for social interaction, and helps develop educational opportunities for cultural enrichment.
International Education Week
International Education Week is a joint initiative of the US Department of State and the US Department of Education. Each November, USF joins institutions across the country in celebration of international education and exchange worldwide.
One of the highlights of USF's annual International Education Week activities is Culturescape, ISA's signature event. Students share their cultures through storytelling, dance, musical and other artistic performances, as well as through additional events celebrating global diversity. Student-prepared Foods From Home provide a sampling of the tastes of the world at the close of the Culturescape festivities.