Office of International Services

Studying Overview

The primary objective of every international student at NC State is an academic one – to acquire new knowledge and skills that will effectively contribute to one’s professional success and increase one’s marketability in one’s chosen field (and which, we would quickly add, culminates in a valuable degree from a reputable institution of higher education recognized around the world for its knowledge creation, innovation, cutting edge research, and scholarly productivity). Of course all students – domestic and international - have other more personal goals for entering the university: to experience a new culture, have fun, meet people and make friends, please one’s parents, escape from one’s parents, etc. While studying is not the only activity students engage in, it is critical (and a requirement for maintaining one’s nonimmigrant status) for international students to study well and to be successful in their program.

International students in the US have additional challenges and requirements that their domestic classmates do not have. Admission requirements include having to prove sufficient funding for the period of study and most international students have to go through a sometimes painful and expensive visa process to even get here. Students whose native language is not English often have to spend more time reading textbooks, checking their written assignments, and straining to understand their lecturers. Employment is restricted and those on a student visa can’t simply take a break from school, study part-time, or go get a job off campus somewhere.

The links to the left are written to help international students become familiar with some of the most important immigration requirements and procedures that must be followed in order to remain in the US in a lawful status – pretty much a pre-requisite for being able to study here.  We discuss enrollment requirements, how to change one’s major, how to extend one’s stay if you need more time to graduate, how to change your status, etc. Students are encouraged to read the relevant sections of this website and then speak with an OIS advisor if there are additional questions before taking any actions that might result in breaking a law, missing a regulatory deadline, or wasting time and money. Additional information about immigration requirements can be found in the Immigration section of this website.