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International Student Resources

This F-1 International Student Information and Resources page includes important details that will be useful as you make the transition to the United States and begin your educational journey at the Mount! Select the icons below to be directed to the specific information you are looking for.

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External Scholarships & Loans
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Social Security Number (SSN)
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Driver’s License & Transportation
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Health Insurance & Health Care
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Local Community Information

I-94 and Corrections

The I-94 indicates you have entered the United States legally. Foreign visitors to the U.S. no longer need to complete the paper Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. CBP now gathers travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from their electronic travel records. The I-94 indicates your Duration of Status, which expires 60 days after program completion or after you are no longer involved in an authorized practical training. Your I-94 number is your reference number with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You may access your I-94 information or use the CBP One™ mobile app. For more information and for answers to frequently asked questions, see the I-94 Fact Sheet.

If you find an error or cannot locate your I-94 record, it may be necessary to have your I-94 corrected. Examples when correction might be necessary include missing I-94 for most recent entry or incorrect information on your I-94, including misspelled name, incorrect date of entry, incorrect date of birth, incorrect class of admission (visa type), etc.

If you think there is an error in your most recent I-94 entry record, you should visit a local CBP deferred inspection site or port of entry to have your admission corrected.

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DSO Registration/Check-In and Maintaining Status with your F-1 VISA

International Students must comply with all USCIS regulations pertaining to your stay in the United States. Failure to do so will cause a student to go "out of status" and may result in the need for your immediate departure from the U.S.A. To maintain status, please review the Office of Homeland Security: maintaining status and complete the following requirements:

  • Report to the DSO for your degree program at the beginning of each semester (before the end of the first week of classes). Bring your passport, I-20 and your I-94 information.
  • Inform the DSO of any changes to your address/contact information or financial sponsorship (within 10 days of the change).
  • Maintain a full-time in-person load of courses each semester, as defined by your degree program (speak with the DSO before dropping any classes) and make satisfactory progress towards completing your degree within the time frame specified on your Form I-20. Full-time status for undergraduate students is 12 or more credits per semester. Full-time status for graduate students is 9 or more credits per semester.
  • Attend all of your classes and maintain normal academic progress. If school is too difficult, speak with your DSO immediately.
  • Speak to your DSO before dropping a class, changing programs, traveling outside the United States, moving to a new address, transferring schools, or requesting a program extension.
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F-1 Student Travel and Departure from the United States

As a student studying in the United States, you may be able to travel during your time of study. If you travel internationally, for annual vacation or during a school break, make sure you take the appropriate steps before you travel to ensure a smooth reentry into the United States. Before you travel abroad, it is important to check in with your DSO. When you meet with your DSO, you should make sure that your record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is up-to-date and in Active status. Make sure that your DSO has signed the Travel Authorization section of your Form I-20, within the last year, and that you are not leaving the country for more than 5 months. Visit FAQ for F-1 students who travel outside the United States for five months or less.

Departure from the U.S.: There is a grace period of 60 days to leave the U.S.A. upon graduation. If an International Student withdraws from the Mount and informs the DSO, there is a 15-day grace period to leave the U.S.A. However, an international student who falls out of status, is dismissed, or withdraws without informing the DSO must leave the country immediately.

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F-1 Transferring to Another U.S. University/College

If you plan to transfer to another U.S. school, inform your current DSO before the end of the semester and obtain and complete the Mount’s I-20 transfer-out form. Upon acceptance at the other school, ask the International Advisor/DSO at the new institution to contact the DSO at the Mount to request that the SEVIS record be transferred.

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Work, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT)

  1. F1 students are NOT authorized to work except in very limited circumstances such as a part-time on-campus job (20 hours or less) or CPT/OPT. International students may not be employed without the permission/approval of the DSO. F-2 visa holders are NOT authorized to work under any circumstances, although F-2 spouses may study part-time and F-2 children may attend school.
  2. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) gives International Students authorization to gain employment training and to work in paid internships positions. Speak to the DSO about applying for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) if an internship is an integral part of your degree program. Note: International students may not be employed without the permission/approval of the DSO. Part-time CPT work will not be counted against the time allowed for OPT. For information about employment and training options available for F-1 students, talk with your DSO and visit the Working in the United States page.
  3. Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student's major area of study. At the beginning of your final semester, speak with the DSO about applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT is a period of up to one year during which the international student can retain student visa status while working full-time in the U.S.A. (some conditions apply). International Students must also apply for employment authorization (EAD) from USCIS (fee involved). Authorization for OPT is not guaranteed. For more information visit Study in the States Training Opportunities in the United States


In addition, here are some other links that you may find helpful:

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Graduate Assistantships

Mount St. Mary’s University offers highly competitive graduate assistantships to provide an opportunity for graduate students to further their knowledge in both academic and professional fields through involvement in different areas of the university. Graduate assistants receive an annual stipend and tuition remission in compensation for their service to the university. The graduate assistantship application is by invitation only for students who have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and have been admitted into a graduate degree program and completed the enrollment decision form. Learn more about the Mount's graduate assistantships.

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External Scholarships & Loans

International undergraduate and graduate students are not eligible for federal student aid. International undergraduate students at the Mount are eligible for institutional merit scholarships. Please check with your undergraduate admissions counselor for more information.

The Mount does not offer institutional scholarships for graduate students. However, graduate students may be considered for external scholarships and loans that are not affiliated with Mount St. Mary’s University. Here are a few online scholarship searches for you to research, specifically geared to support International Students:

External Scholarships

Private Loan Options

The lenders listed below are several lenders that have international private loan options. This is just a short list of lenders to research. Mount St. Mary’s University does not recommend or require you to work with any of the lenders listed below. Students would work directly with the lender they select and the financial aid office would then be notified of approval and request for certification. Funds are sent directly to Mount St. Mary’s University and applied to the student account.

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How to Obtain a Social Security Number

Social Security numbers are assigned to people who are authorized to work in the United States. A Social Security Card provides a unique identification number that allows the United States government to tax wages earned by employees in the U.S. If you want to get an on campus job, you must contact your Designated School Official (DSO) for international students. This official can tell you if you are eligible to work on campus and can give you information about available jobs. If your school has authorized you to work either on or off campus, and you meet Social Security’s eligibility requirements, you can get a Social Security number. 

International Students and Social Security Number Process

Apply for a Social Security Number

We suggest you wait 48 hours after reporting to your school before you apply for a Social Security number. This waiting will help ensure that your immigration status is verified with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

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Possible Housing Opportunities

Mount St. Mary's University has housing available on the main campus in Emmitsburg, Maryland for both undergraduate and graduate international students. Please email for more information and availability or check out the Residence Life webpage. The Frederick campus does not have housing .The following websites are good places to begin your search for off-campus housing rental options:

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How to Obtain a Maryland Driver’s License

In the United States you must possess a valid driver’s license to drive a vehicle legally. You can obtain this license through the Department of Motor Vehicles from the state in which you live in. Individuals may also apply for a state ID card instead of a driver’s license. The state ID card does not grant legal permission to drive but is used as a recognized photo identification card. Each state will have different steps and regulations to follow.

Maryland Driver’s License

Virginia Driver’s License 

Pennsylvania Driver’s License 

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Public Transportation

  • Buses: TransIT is the Frederick County Maryland public transportation system. There are nine different public bus lines that operate within Frederick County. Service is limited. 
  • Taxis: It is recommended to call ahead of time to order a taxi. It is also suggested to only use licensed taxi cabs such as Yellow Cab/Agniman Transportation of Frederick 301-662-2250.
  • Uber and Lyft: Both are available via the apps in the Frederick, Maryland area.
  • MARC Train: The Brunswick Line runs between Frederick and Union Station, Washington DC. The train runs only on weekdays. 

Shuttles to Airports

Frederick is close to three major airports in the region: Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Ronald Regan National Airport (DCA), and Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI). Click the links below to find out about shuttle availability:

  • Airport Xpress
  • Go With Us Airport Shuttle
  • Emmitsburg Campus Students: Plan ahead for your travels and save money by using the shuttle to Dulles International Airport (IAD). All international Emmitsburg campus students are encouraged to use this resource by completing the Travel Assistance Request form that can be found in their MyMount portal.
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How to Obtain Health Insurance and Receive Medical Care

The Mount strongly suggests that all students on nonimmigrant F-1 visas enroll in a comprehensive health insurance plan, which covers accidents, hospitalization and illness. Even if you are covered by a family medical policy at home, these policies often do not provide the coverage the University feels you will need. You will be responsible for paying whatever medical costs are not covered by your insurance, so look carefully at plans before making a decision. Below are several insurance options (not affiliated with the Mount):

Find more information on Health Services at the Mount. such as how to receive medical care on campus at Health Services, required undergraduate health forms, local urgent care and pharmacy locations, mental health counseling, and the university's COVID-19 and influenza policy.  

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How to File Taxes

As an international student, your income in the U.S. may be subject to taxation. It is a federal requirement to file a tax return if you earned U.S. income. A tax return compares what an international student paid in taxes against what the U.S. government calculates the student should have paid in taxes during the prior calendar year.

Please note: Mount St. Mary’s University does not have tax experts and therefore cannot, by law, answer specific tax questions or help you prepare your tax forms. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to meet your tax obligations and do so accurately.

For more information:

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Local Community and Event Information

Emmitsburg and Frederick are beautiful and historic cities in Maryland. Both areas near the two campuses offer many things to do, places to visit, engaging activities and fun events for you and your family. The following links are provided to connect you with information regarding local events, government resources, sightseeing information, places to stay, area restaurants and more.

These resources are for the Emmitsburg and surrounding areas:

The resources below provide information on the Frederick area:

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Meet our Staff

Alice Creasman

Alice Creasman

Primary Designated SEVIS Official (PDSO)

Emmitsburg & Frederick campuses

Brandon Rockwell

Brandon Rockwell

Designated SEVIS Official (DSO)

New Students - Undergraduate Programs (Emmitsburg campus)

Mindy Vollmer

Mindy Vollmer

Designated SEVIS Official (DSO)

New Students - Graduate Programs (Frederick campus)

Katie Soter

Katie Soter

Designated SEVIS Official (DSO)

Current Students - Graduate Programs (Frederick campus) 


See our full directory.

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