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10 Things You Didn’t Know About International Students In The States

They’re in your classes, around campus and maybe even friends of yours, but how much do you really know about your classmates from abroad? Here are the top 10 things you didn't know about international students who study in the United States.

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1. International students have to fill out more than a few forms to study in the United States.

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Forms I-901, I-20, I-94, I-515A, I-539, I-765 are just some of the paperwork associated with the international student process. These forms are needed to study in the United States, maintain student visa status, receive benefits and remain compliant with U.S. rules and regulations.

2. Most international students are multilingual.

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English proficiency is a requirement for acceptance at most schools. In fact, many schools require international students to submit their scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Test System (IELTS) with their application.

3. They can’t play hooky. International students must take a full course load.

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In addition to a full course of study (as determined by the type of student and their school), international students must attend all of their classes and meet their school's standards for academic progress.

4. You likely won’t see them at your part-time job. There are strict restrictions for international student employment.

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International students come to the United States to study. They must get special permission from the school and U.S. government before they can pursue employment opportunities.

5. International students must think twice before taking an annual vacation.

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International students may be eligible for an annual vacation after completing at least one academic year of their program in the United States. Before traveling outside of the country they must notify their designated school official.

6. Their presence in class is not only requested, it’s required. International students must attend class in-person.

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While massive open online courses, also known as MOOCs, are on the rise, international students are restricted to one online or distance course per academic term.

8. International students attend the top ranked schools.

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Four out of the top five U.S. schools with the largest international student populations are also among the top 100 schools worldwide, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities. In addition to universities, international students attend a variety of U.S. schools including high schools, liberal arts and community colleges.

9. Your international student classmates contribute to the U.S. economy.

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In 2013, international students in the United States contributed more than $24 billion to the U.S. economy. They not only add cultural diversity to the classroom, but also support local job creation.

10. International students are the world’s future doctors and engineers.

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Thirty-six percent of international students, in the United States, study science, technology, engineering and math, also known as the STEM fields.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Student and Exchange Visitor Program, also known as SEVP, monitors international students in the United States, as well as the schools that enroll them. Visit Study in the States for more government resources on the U.S. international student process.

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