Student ServicesInternational Student Services

International Student Services

International Student Services provides holistic support services to international students as they actualize their full potential while at Concordia University. International Student Services is focused on assisting international students successfully accomplishing their goals.

Immigration Information

How to Maintain Your F-1 Visa

It is the responsibility of each F-1 student to maintain status while in the United States by complying with the terms and conditions of nonimmigrant status (F-1) found on page two of the I-20. Failure to maintain status may lead to the termination of your record, and may be grounds for removal from the United States (deportation) under the Immigration and Naturalization Act.

Note: Please carefully review the content below, and complete all necessary paperwork by accessing the forms on CSPConnect. If you have questions you may schedule an appointment with an International Student Services advisor. Remember to submit completed paperwork; incomplete forms will delay processing.

Complete Your SEVIS Registration Appointment

You must be registered in SEVIS within 30 days of the program start date (for new students). This is done by attending your SEVIS registration appointment in the International Student Services Office during Orientation.

Please note: Per Concordia policy this must be done within the first week of your arrival.

Register Full Time Each Semester

You must pursue a full course of study each semester while enrolled. Full time is considered as follows at Concordia:

  • 12 credits for undergraduate students
  • 6 credits for graduate students

Note: Students on the SACM scholarship must register for a minimum of 9 credits as per SACM policy.

Students are allowed to take a reduced course load (RCL) if they have a qualifying reason and provided they obtain authorization BEFORE dropping below minimum credits. Please see the RCL form for further details and instructions.

Make Normal Progress Toward Completing Your Course of Study

Students should follow up frequently with their academic advisors to ensure they are completing coursework for both general requirements and for specific major and/or degree. In doing so, you will avoid taking unnecessary courses and make normal progress toward completing your course of study.

If you will complete your program before or after the date listed on your I-20, you must communicate this to the International Student Services Office and complete the Program End Date Adjustment form so the date can be adjusted. This must be done BEFORE the expiration date on the I-20.

Keep Your Form I-20 and SEVIS Record Updated

You must communicate changes to our office so that we may update your record. Changes include:

  • Change in your major (undergrads)
  • Change in your program (grads)
  • Change of address
  • Change to visa status e.g. becoming a Permanent Resident, changing to F2
  • Change to your dependents’ status
  • Plan to change schools
Employment

To be eligible for any type of employment you must maintain continuous and lawful F-1 status and receive authorization BEFORE you begin employment. Students in F-1 status may begin working on campus once they have completed a document check with an advisor at ISS. This is generally done as part of international student orientation.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is authorization granted to F-1 students to obtain employment or an internship off campus. To be eligible students must be in F-1 status for one academic year prior and the job/internship must be “…an integral part of an established curriculum” and “directly related to the student’s major area of study.”

Students must also have a job offer letter at the time of application.

To apply for CPT and learn more details please complete the CPT form located on CSPConnect.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is work authorization granted to F-1 students upon completing their course of study which allows 12 months of employment in the U.S. To be eligible for OPT students must be in their final semester of study, and should apply no more than 90 days prior to their program end date and 60 days after.

To apply for OPT and learn more details please complete the CPT form located on CSPConnect.

On Campus Employment

F-1 students are permitted to work on campus for up to 20 hours during the semester, and full time during school breaks. To work, students must find a job by attending the on campus job fair, consulting the HR website with student employment listings and/or following up directly with departments. No paperwork is required through the International Student Services office as permission to work is granted during your SEVIS registration appointment. Students must follow up with the Human Resources department to finalize employment.

Travel Outside the United States

Departing

  • At least 2 weeks before traveling outside of the United States (US) have your documents checked and signed at the International Student Services Office.
  • Bring your most recent I-94 card. You may print it by visiting the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

Returning

  • Be sure to have an updated visa (if your visa has expired please plan to renew BEFORE you return to the United States, and meet with an International Student Services advisor to discuss this process)
  • A passport with an expiration date that is valid at least 6 months beyond your return date to the United States
  • Financial documentation demonstrating your ability to cover your costs during tuition and living expenses.

Please note: If you will be traveling outside the United States for longer than 5 months you must meet with an International Student Services advisor to discuss.

Immigration Resources

U.S. Immigration Resources

U.S. Government Resources

Canadian Visa Information

Travel Resources

General Resources

Student Services & Resources

Academic Advising

Location: AD 121

Your academic advisor is here to provide you with support as you successfully complete your degree! Contact your academic advisor for questions with transfer credits, course selection for undergraduate students, faculty concerns, course withdrawal, readmissions and more. You will meet your academic advisor at your residency, leadership seminar, or the first night of class.

After your start your program you will have access to the Advising tab in CSP Connect that allows you to find information relating to academic advising. The Advising tab has information on your academic advisor, student policies and code of conduct, commencement, campus services, academic probation, CLEP tests, life experience essays and more.

The Academic Advising office coordinates resources between you and your advisor.  Stop in the office (AD 121) for help contacting your advisor or with pressing questions that you may need answered right away!

Resources for Child Care

There are several options for child care around the Twin Cities. Options include private in-home care or public child care centers. Here in Minnesota child care providers attain a license issued by the state government. It may be important to inquire about a child care centers qualifications before registering your child for that center. The following is a list of child care centers:

Hand in Hand Child Care Center at Concordia University
It is the philosophy of Hand in Hand Child Care Center that young children learn most effectively when they have the opportunity to explore their environment and experience a variety of materials and situations while they play. We also believe in a responsive, developmental approach to early childhood learning which emphasizes that each child develops at their own rate and that progress is measured individually rather than in comparison to other children in the group. Contact Lacey Wellens at (651) 641-8491 or wellens@csp.edu to learn more about Hand in Hand Child Care Center.

KinderCare Learning Centers
KinderCare is a licensed child care provider with a variety of locations throughout the Twin Cities. KinderCare serves kids and parents in communities around the nation. This kind of scale and depth of experience helps us evaluate best practices and quickly put new findings, curriculum and programs in place, for the maximum benefit of every child. To learn more visit www.kindercare.com.

The Goddard Schools
These schools offer year round programs for preschool children. The Goddard School uses the most current, academically endorsed methods to ensure that children have fun while learning the skills they need for long-term success in school and in life. To learn more visit www.goddardschool.com.

Banking

Why Open a US Bank Account?

A US bank account will make managing your finances a lot easier, and you should set one up as soon as you arrive. You can deposit your financial aid awards, loans and stipends, all of which are typically paid to you by check, as well as money from home. You can pay all of your bills by check, and with most bank accounts, you can even manage and make all of your bill payments online. In addition, most banks now issue debit cards with a MasterCard or Visa emblem, which means you can use the card to make purchases against your account anywhere that accepts credit cards, including online and in stores. Paying cash or purchasing money orders for payments is inefficient, carrying cash can also be dangerous and paying in cash doesn’t leave much evidence behind to prove your payment in case of a dispute. Certainly a bank account will make budgeting a lot easier.

How Do I Open a Bank Account?

Even though lots of banks now advertise that they allow new customers to open accounts online or by phone, as an international student, plan to open your account in person at a local branch. You do not fit neatly into a category for US banks, and if you need additional services it’s always good to have established a face to face relationship. When you go, make sure you bring your passport and the funds you want to deposit. In addition, you should bring as many of the following documents or ids as you have – although every bank has slightly different requirements, in addition to your passport you will likely need at least one of the following: your school id, your state driver’s license or id, your visa, your I-20, and your I-94. You do not need to have a social security number to open an account. If a bank asks for it, offer up your passport and any of the other id documents mentioned above.

How Do I Choose a Bank and an Account?

Banks offer many different financial services. You may wish to compare the services and costs of several banks before choosing one at which to open an account. If your school has a relationship with a particular bank for all of its international students, you should certainly consider that bank first. You will need a checking account for proper money management (for writing checks, online bill payment, debit cards, etc.), and if you have large amounts of money just sitting in your account, it may make sense to open a savings account as well. Investigate the accounts the bank has available, with an eye towards how much it could cost you to keep the account. Find out whether the bank offers interest on checking accounts, what the interest rate is on savings accounts and whether the account offers overdraft protection. Hopefully you never write a check, accidentally, for more than you have in your account – but if you do, does the bank pay the check and just fine you, or do they refuse payment to the company you wrote the check to (“bounce” the check)? If so, both the company AND the bank will fine you and that adds up quickly!

Ask how long it will take to “clear” a check – that is, how long from the time a check is deposited in your account until the time you are allowed to withdraw the funds. Typically wired funds are available immediately, but the “hold” on checks (local, out-of-state and foreign) varies by state and by bank, and can be several days to a week or even longer.

Most major US banks offer “student checking”, accounts and services designed specifically for students – here are two U.S. banks that are located close to Concordia University:

  • TCF Bank University Avenue West, Saint Paul, MN 55104‎ (612) 823-2265
  • Wells Fargo Bank 1827 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105 (651) 205-5480
Twin Cities Shopping Resources

Target: Recommended Shopping and Pharmacy

  • Most stores have photo processing centers and pharmacies. SuperTarget stores include in-store bakery, deli, meat, and produce sections. There are stores across the United States. Their headquarters is in Minnesota. All Target store locations are popular for Concordia University students.
  • Store Hours:
    • Monday-Friday: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
    • Saturday: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
    • Sunday: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Address: 1300 University Ave W, St. Paul, MN 55104. This store has a Pharmacy, Optical, Photo Center, Target Clinic, Grocery and Starbucks.
  • To get there: Target is located within walking distance of Concordia heading north on Hamline Ave.

Groceries

Rainbow

  • Wisconsin based grocery store; offers organic produce and some specialty foods.
  • Store Hours: 6:00 am – 11:00 pm 
  • Address: 1566 University Ave Saint Paul, MN 55104
  • To get there: Map your bus route at: www.metrotransit.com.
  • Visit: www.rainbowfoods.com

 Lunds

  • Minnesota owned and operated organic and specialty food specialty store. The St. Paul location has a pharmacy.
  •  Store Hours: 6:00 am – midnight 
  • Address: 2128 Ford Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55116
  • To get there: Map your bus route at: www.metrotransit.com
  • Visit: www.lundsandbyerlys.com

 Kowalski’s

  • Minnesota owned and operated organic and local food specialty store.
  • Store Hours: 6:00 am – midnight 
  • Address: 1261 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
  • To get there: Map your bus route at: www.metrotransit.com
  • Visit: www.kowalskis.com

 Cub Foods

  • Currently operates 73 stores in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, with 58 of those stores located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area; offers organic produce and some specialty foods.
  • Store Hours: Open 24 hours, 7 days a week. 
  • Address: 1440 University Avenue West, St. Paul, MN 55104
  • To get there: Map your bus route at: www.metrotransit.com 
  • Visit: www.Cubfoods.com

Shopping

Mall of America

 Rosedale Center

  • Variety of stores and restaurants.
  • Store Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00 am-9:00 pm; Sunday: 11:00 am-6:00 pm
  • Address:  10 Rosedale Center, Roseville, MN 55113
  • To get there: Map your bus route at: www.metrotransit.com
  • Visit: www.myrosedale.com

New Furniture

Ikea

  • Sweden started furniture store with stores in many countries; wide variety of furniture.
  • Store Hours: Vary by season (check website)  
  • Address: 8000 IKEA Way, Bloomington, MN 55425
  • To get there: Map your bus route at: www.metrotransit.com
  • Visit: www.ikea.com/us/en/store/twin_cities

Sponsored International Student Program

Concordia University is proud to provide specialized support services to international sponsored students and their sponsors. A sponsored international student has typically been selected by a government, organization, or company to pursue academic study while receiving a financial scholarship.

Services unique to sponsored international students include:

  • Academic advising and support
  • Immigration advising and support
  • Document processing
  • Fostering relationships between the student, sponsor, and the university

SACM Students

Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) Policies


Meet Our Staff

Tom Allen

Executive Director of International Education and Program Development

Tiffanie Loeb Schneider

Associate Director, International Student Services

Colleen Cahill

Coordinator of International Student Services and English Language Lab

Drew Boatman

International Academic Advisor

Katie Jabri

International Admissions Counselor and Recruiter


Meet Our Student Workers

Mohammed Alsagoor

Mohammed_Pic-(1)Mohammed Alsagoor is an international student majoring in Business Management in Concordia University Saint Paul. He comes from Saudi Arabia.  He is in his second year at Concordia. He likes to play volleyball, go camping, and watch drama television series. He wants to continue not only a bachelor degree in the U.S. but also as Masters and Ph.D. degree as well. He likes to make new friends from all around the world; “I have many friends whom I met in the U.S. from more than 25 different countries.”

ZhangLong Li (Tony)

TonyPic-(1)ZhangLong Li (Tony) is an international student from China. He is majoring in Sociology. He loves to watch movies and travel to historical places. He has already made many friends at Concordia and is excited to make more through his work in the Office of International Student Services.

Contact the Office of International Student Services

  • Phone: 651-641-8883
  • Email: iss@csp.edu
  • In Person: Luther Hall tunnel – Room 116
  • Hours: 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday
  • Walk-in Advising Hours: 1:00-3:00 p.m., Monday – Friday

Schedule an Appointment

Faculty/Staff Resources

Forms


International Admissions

In our ever-global world there's no better place than Concordia to prepare you with the culturally dynamic and rich experiences that you'll need.

International Admissions

Accepted International Students

If you have been accepted to Concordia be sure to complete the next steps.

Accepted International Students

English Language Lab

English Language Lab (ELL) provides free English language support services for non-native English speakers.

Visit ELL Page

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