Current International Students

Campus Life

Student Organizations

International Student Organization (ISO): ISO is dedicated to supporting and enhancing an inclusive global campus environment among international and American students. ISO serves as the umbrella student organization to provide advocacy, social activities, leadership opportunities and field trips for international students and those interested in global cultures. All international students automatically become members of ISO upon their admission to Millsaps, but all students who wish to learn more about global culture are welcome. ISO works closely with the Millsaps International Buddy System (MIBS), Student Body Association (SBA), International Perspectives Program (IPP) and BOBA (Bringing out the Best of Asia) to bring international and domestic students together to encourage cultural understanding

Millsaps International Buddy System (MIBS): MIBS connects volunteer upperclassmen from Millsaps with international students to welcome them and help them with their transition here. MIBS provides services such as room preparation, transportation around Jackson, tours of Millsaps and Jackson, and activities throughout the school year. The goal of MIBS is to help international students transition to life on campus and in the Jackson community.

Bringing Out the Best of Asia (BOBA): BOBA is the Asian Student Organization of Millsaps College. BOBA promotes diversity and brings life to different cultural practices through cooking classes, cultural celebrations, and badminton tournaments, and is open to all students interested in Asian cultures. 

Programming

Millsaps provides a variety of activities designed to help international students experience American and, in particular, Mississippi culture.   Our small size and unique liberal arts environment enable international students to quickly become immersed in local culture and assume leadership roles on campus if desired.

Cultural Café: The International Student Organization (ISO) hosts regular events throughout the school year that explore global issues through presentations by international students and students who have studied abroad. The entire campus is welcome to participate.

Intercultural Festival: ISO, MIBS, the Student Body Association (SBA) and Student Life cohost the Intercultural Festival each spring. A campus-wide event, the Intercultural Festival features activities such as cultural presentations, exhibits, dance, bands, as well as international cuisine, fashion, and crafts. The purpose of the festival is to celebrate Millsaps’ diverse campus community.

Off-Campus Trips: ISO provides off-campus trips each semester to introduce international students to Jackson, MS and the surrounding area. Transportation is always provided and many trips are free. Previous excursions have included:

  • New Orleans Day Trip
  • Fishing, Kayaking, Hiking and Cookouts
  • Mississippi Delta and Blues
  • Mississippi Museum of Art
  • Reservoir Sailing and BBQ Trip
  • Fondren After 5 Event
  • Mitchell Farms Pumpkin Patch Trip
  • Dinner at Local Restaurants
  • Shopping at the Oriental Market
  • Thanksgiving in Jerusalem at Galloway Church
  • Outlet Mall Shopping in Pearl, MS

Shuttle Service

Beginning in fall of 2017, the International Student Advising office will provide bi-weekly shuttles to Walmart and Kroger for international students who need transportation. The Millsaps International Buddy System (MIBS) leaders also provide transportation as needed. Join the Millsaps International Buddy System Facebook group to see when the next shuttle is running!

MIBS leaders also give international students rides to and from the airport before and after breaks.

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Campus Resources

International Student Admission and Services: Staff is available during the week to answer questions regarding immigration and travel issues. You may contact them at internationaladmissions@millsaps.edu.

New South Residence Hall Kitchen: International students have access to cooking and cleaning supplies in New South Residence Hall kitchen. Even if you live in a different dorm on campus, your I.D. card will allow you to access that kitchen and the supplies. Students may also reserve the Buie House kitchen for special events.

Writing Center: The Millsaps Writing Center serves all writers in the Millsaps community. Our tutors are eager to work with writers at all stages in the writing process and all writing levels and abilities. From a first essay to a senior seminar project, a conversation with a Writing Center tutor can help writers reach goals, refine ideas, and develop helpful writing habits.

Center for Career Education: The center encourages student growth and career development as part of the total educational experience. By building connections with employers, graduate/professional schools, and the campus community, the Career Center continues the College's commitment to excellence and success for each and every student. If you are looking for a job, internship, or need help on a resume, the Center for Career Education is here to help.

Information Technology Services: ITS provides network, computer, and telecommunications support for the entire Millsaps campus. This includes network hardware and software, desktop hardware and software, campus networking, email, wireless connectivity, and more.

Library: The Millsaps-Wilson Library contains approximately 35,000 square feet with a variety of comfortable study areas, including 15 group project rooms, music and media rooms and a variety of classrooms and meetings rooms. The library contains a 209,900 volume collection that is searchable via the online catalog. During fall and spring semesters, the library is open Sunday Noon-1am, Monday - Thursday 7:50am - 1am, Fridays 7:50am - 6pm, and Saturdays 10am-5pm.

Academic Advisors: Each new student is assigned to an academic advisor upon enrollment at Millsaps. After filing a formal declaration of major, students are assigned to an advisor in their major area/s.

Academic Support Services: The Director of Academic Support Services supports students with academic advising, registration, requests for withdrawal or leave of absence, and any other issues related to academic success at Millsaps. Students needing assistance locating academic support should start with this office.

Post Office: Students can buy stamps, mail packages, and send express mail through the on-campus Post Office on the 1st floor of the Campbell College Center.

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Health Care and Insurance

Health Care

If you need health care while at Millsaps, you have several options which are listed below. Please check with the Wesson Health Center or your International Student Advisor if you have additional questions.

Wesson Health Center: Your first and primary resource for health care is Millsaps’ Wesson Health Center. The Center provides basic health care to all Millsaps College students and is located on the first floor of the Campbell College Center, just inside the College Center's south entrance. An experienced Registered Nurse coordinates services and care for 28 hours per week. The University of Mississippi Medical Center assigns physicians to the center for approximately 10 hours per week. Regular office visits are free of charge, but costs are applied to lab tests and immunizations performed in the center. 

Hours:

Monday - 8:30am - 1:30pm
Tuesday - 8:30am - 2pm
Wednesday - 8:30am - 3:30pm
Thursday - 8:30am - 2pm
Friday - 8am - 1pm 

After Hours Care: When the Wesson Health Center is closed, you will need to go to an after-hours clinic such as the ones below. Be sure to look these up on the internet since their hours change periodically.

Baptist Medical Clinic in the Belhaven Building (within walking distance of campus)
1200 N. State Street, Lower Level Suite 10, Jackson
601.362.7280

TrustCare Express Medical Clinics
4880 I 55 N, Jackson
601.487.9199

MEA Primary Care Plus North Clinic
5606 Old Canton Rd, Jackson
601.957.3333

Specialty Physicians: US Physicians who specialize in a particular type of care often require a referral from a primary care provider or after-hours clinic in order to see you. The ISP health insurance reimbursement is greater if you use a doctor that is part of the ISP preferred provider network.

If you must visit a doctor’s office, please try to find a physician in the ISP insurance network to save cost. You can find network physicians at http://intlstudentprotection.com/making-a-claim/what-to-do-if-you-need-healthcare/.

Be prepared to provide your medical insurance information and card when you check in. A member of the doctor’s staff will ask you for a medical history before you are examined.  The purpose of this is to obtain background information needed to treat you and to determine if there are any medications which should not be used.  When asked to complete the history, be as exact and honest as possible, as these records will be used to determine your treatment.  Medical records are private information, and cannot be released without your explicit permission.

For Emergency Care: If you need emergency care, please contact the emergency rooms at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), Baptist Hospital, or St. Dominic Hospital. Keep in mind that emergency room care is more expensive than visiting an after-hours clinic and should only be used for emergencies.

Counseling: Counseling appointments can be made by telephoning 601.974.1206 to schedule an appointment. You may also drop by the Office of Student Life in person to schedule an appointment. Appointments usually last about an hour but may be scheduled for 30 minutes also. All counseling is offered free of charge and is confidential.

Health Insurance

As an international student, you have invested a considerable amount of time, energy, and money to come to the United States to study. A major medical problem could be unexpected and costly for you. Additionally, the US health system is a private payer system, rather than a government-sponsored, universal system of health care coverage like systems in many students’ home countries, and costs are often much higher.  

For this reason, all Millsaps international students must enroll in the International Student Protection Plan (ISP) Trail Blazer Plan (Pioneer Plan for athletes) prior to arrival on campus. ISP provides medical and dental insurance for accidents and sickness during students’ enrollment at Millsaps, and fees for this insurance are included in tuition. ISP covers mainly major illnesses and accidents, and students may still have to pay out-of- pocket costs even with insurance for minor claims. For this reason, international students may choose to purchase additional supplemental private insurance as well.

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Housing and Storage During Breaks

Housing

Millsaps residence halls and cafeteria are officially closed during Thanksgiving, Winter Break, Spring Break and May and August inter-sessions. During these periods, international students should plan to return to their home countries, stay with friends in the US, or travel within the US if possible. Students who are unable to make other arrangements for breaks may request campus housing by notifying the Director of Residence Life. If approved, students will be charged a fee of $25 per day.

Storage

Students wishing to store their belongings over the summer in Jackson should make arrangements with off-site storage facilities near campus. Students often find it convenient and cost-effective to share space with friends.

The following resources may be helpful:

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Immigration Information

Below you will find detailed information about immigration and Visa information. For additional information or clarification, please direct all questions to Millsaps’ Primary Designated School Official (PDSO), Molly West, or Designated School Official (DSO) Austin Moore, at internationaladmissions@millsaps.edu.

Maintaining your F-1 Visa Status

F-1 visa students must comply with the regulations stipulated by the United States Bureau of Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS). All students are responsible for maintaining their immigration status. Briefly, you must follow the ten regulations below:

  1. Complete the Personal Information Form provided at the beginning of the school year and return it to the DSO within ten days of the start of classes.
  2. Register for a full course of study each term (except summer term when attendance is optional). A student enrolled for 12 credit hours per semester is considered a full-time student.
  3. Make normal progress towards completing the degree program as noted on your I-20. Normal progress at Millsaps is defined as the successful completion of 12 credit hours per semester and cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above.
  4. Accept on-campus employment only up to 20 hours per week. You must not accept off-campus employment during your first year at Millsaps, and only with permission from USCIS during subsequent years.
  5. F-1 visa students must not transfer from one school to another without first securing permission from the DSO at your old school. If you wish to transfer schools in order to move to the next level of education, you must have the DSO transfer your SEVIS record to the new institution.
  6. Attend the school specified on the I-20 for at least one day before initiating any transfer procedures.
  7. Make certain that all information on the I-20 is current and complete. If anything is incorrect, contact the DSO immediately.
  8. Find a safe place for your I-20 and immigration documents. If you do not have a driver’s license, make sure to carry your passport with you as your legal identification.
  9. Report any change of address to the DSO within 10 days of the change.
  10. Keep your passport valid at all times.

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

All F1 visa students at Millsaps College are enrolled in the USCIS’ Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is an electronic reporting system that is required by the U.S. government. The university is required to report information about international and exchange students and scholars to the USCIS on a regular basis, including, but not limited to:

  • Information as listed on the current I-20
  • U.S. and foreign address of the student or exchange visitor
  • Visa classification and date of visa issuance
  • Date and place of entry into the U.S.
  • Data generated by standard procedures (e.g. extension of stay, school transfer, practical training)
  • Academic information for the student, including enrollment information, number of units completed per semester, grade point average, and failure to enroll
  • Other failures to maintain status
  • Graduation or completion of a program
  • Disciplinary action as a result of a student who is convicted of a crime

For more details about the SEVIS system, please contact the DSO at internationalstudentadmissions@millsaps.edu.

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International Student Employment

As an international student on an F-1 visa, you have the opportunity to work part-time throughout your time at Millsaps, and full-time for up to one year after graduation. Please contact the DSO if you are interested in working to make sure that you are maintaining your F-1 status.

F-1 On-Campus Employment

All F-1 international students are eligible for on-campus employment. For on-campus work, F-1 students are subject to the following rules:

  1. You must maintain valid F-1 status
  2. You can work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session
  3. You can work full-time on campus during holidays and vacation periods if you intend to register for the next academic semester
  4. The employment may not displace (take a job away from) a U.S. resident

If you are interested in working on-campus, please contact the Center for Career Education for assistance in finding an on-campus position. Once you have secured a position, contact the International Student Advisor, Kay Mortimer, for help acquiring a social security number.

F-1 Student Employment Based on Economic Hardship

Any F-1 student suffering "severe economic hardship" as defined by USCIS is eligible to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, and full-time during breaks.

To be eligible under "severe economic hardship", a student must:

  1. Be in valid F-1 status for at least one academic year (9 months)
  2. Be in good academic standing
  3. Providence evidence of economic hardship based on unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control
  4. Show that on-campus employment is neither available nor sufficient
  5. Make a good faith effort to locate employment on campus before applying

You must apply for an "employment authorization document" (EAD) with the help and guidance of the DSO. You do not need a job offer before you apply for the EAD. But several forms and documents are required, together with fees and photos, etc., and processing can take up to 12 weeks or longer -- and you cannot start work until you receive the EAD. Once you receive the EAD, you may work for an employer at any job, anywhere in the United States. Employment authorization is automatically terminated when a student fails to maintain valid F-1 status.

F-1 Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is employment which is "an integral part of an established curriculum," including: "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsored employers through cooperative agreements with the school." [8CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i)]

Simply put, CPT gives F-1 students the opportunity to work off-campus in a job that is directly tied to your field of study. Your off-campus job must also be part of a credit-bearing class or a Major Experience.

To be eligible for CPT employment:

  1. You must have been enrolled in school full-time for one year on valid F-1 status (except for graduate students where the program requires immediate CPT).
  2. The CPT employment must be an integral part of your degree program or requirement for a course for which you receive academic credit. You can also use CPT to fulfill the Major Experience requirement for graduation as long as your Major Experience is directly related to the major listed on your I-20.
  3. You must have received a job offer that qualifies before you submit your CPT authorization request.
  4. Your job offer must be in your major or field of study.

The DSO must authorize you for CPT. To obtain CPT authorization:

  1. Confirm that you are eligible.
  2. Get a job and a letter from your employer detailing your job offer (position, supervisor name, start and end dates).
  3. Ask your academic advisor or department chair to complete the CPT Recommendation form.
  4. Sign up for a credit-bearing class that requires the internship or complete the Major Experience petition. 

Once you receive CPT authorization, you can only work for the specific employer and for the specific dates authorized. Your CPT authorization will also specify whether you are approved for part-time (20 hours per week or less) or full-time (more than 20 hours per week) CPT employment. While in school, you can only be approved for part-time CPT.

Regardless of whether you are approved for full or part-time on CPT, there is no limit to how long you can work. However, if you work full-time on CPT for 12 months or more, you are not eligible for OPT. If you work part-time on CPT, or full-time on CPT for less than 12 months, you are still eligible for all of your allowable OPT. So make sure you watch the dates and hours closely – don’t jeopardize your OPT!

Download the curricular practical training form.

F-1 Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is employment directly related to a student's field of study, which serves as professional training before returning to one's home country. OPT is available during and/or after a course of study, but it is generally recommended that students opt to participate in OPT after graduation.

General OPT Requirements:

  1. Employment must be "directly related" to the student's major.
  2. Student must maintain lawful F-1 status.
  3. Student must apply for OPT before completion of all work towards a degree.
    • The earliest date to apply for Post-Completion OPT (if you are graduating in May 2018) is February 4, 2018.
    • The last date for the beginning of Post-Completion OPT (if you are graduating in May 2018) is July 4, 2018.
  4. Students who have engaged in 12 months or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) are not eligible for OPT.
  5. OPT is permitted for up to 12 months full-time in total. Part-time OPT (while still in school) reduces available full-time OPT by half of the amount of part-time work (for instance, if you work part-time for 6 months, you can work full-time for up to 9 months).

You do not need to have a job offer to apply for your OPT, and your OPT employment can occur anywhere in the US. Start early—USCIS takes up to 90 days to process your application—and make sure you work closely with the DSO. You cannot begin employment until you receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS and you have been enrolled for at least a year.

To apply for OPT:

  1. Submit OPT Student Application Form to ISAS and begin gathering the necessary documents and forms (allow at least one week for processing by ISAS).
  2. When your new I-20 is ready, ISAS will email you to set up a meeting. Bring all necessary documents and forms to this meeting (list can be found on the Student Application Form).
  3. Mail OPT application along with all required documents to USCIS (allow 2-3 weeks for processing).
  4. Receive Employment Authorization Document (EAD) up to 90 days after documents are received by USCIS.

Download the optional practical training form.

All students on OPT must report the following to International Student Admission and Services:

  • Any change in name
  • Residential address
  • Name and address of their employer
  • Changes to the name and address of their employer
  • Any changes/interruption of employment

If your degree is in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics, you are eligible for a 17 month extension of your OPT. Contact the DSO for more information.

If you have been approved for an H1B visa and a waiting for it to take effect, you may be eligible for a Cap-Gap extension. Contact theDesignated School Official (DSO) Austin Moore, at internationaladmissions@millsaps.edu for assistance.

Social Security and Income Tax

Social Security Number: Before you can work in the US, you must have a Social Security number (SSN). SEVIS regulations require that you must first have a written offer of employment to apply for a Social Security card. You may then fill out a Social Security application and take it in person, with your immigration documents, passport, written authorization from Millsaps’ Business Office, and letter from your DSO to the local Social Security Administration (SSA) office. Once you are approved for a SSN, you will be issued a Social Security card. For additional assistance, please contact the International Student Advisor at mortikh@millsaps.edu.

U.S. Income Taxes: International students in the U.S. must file a US tax return during your stay in the U.S. Understanding the U.S. tax system and filing a tax return is an overwhelming and confusing experience for any student.

To make things easier for you, Millsaps has teamed up with Sprintax, an online tool specifically designed for international students and scholars which helps you prepare your federal and State return in less than 20 minutes. The International Student Advisor will notify you when you may access Sprintax services, typically in February of each year.

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Living in Jackson

Driving in Mississippi

MIBS leaders will assist you in getting to and from the airport, or you may take Uber or local taxi. MIBS also provides shuttles to Wal-mart and the grocery store during the school year Transportation is also provided for off-campus programs events offered by ISO and Millsaps Student Life. However, some students may still choose to purchase a car and obtain a driver’s license. Below, you will find web resources and instructions to enable you to drive in Mississippi.

To drive in Mississippi, you will need either a Mississippi driver’s license or a valid license in your home country and a valid international driver’s license. Please contact the International Student Advisor or visit the website below if you need assistance acquiring a driver’s license.

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