Current International Students

Campus Life

Programming

Cultural Café: Each Tuesday, the Intercultural Student Organization hosts a coffee and tea hour that provides opportunities for meaningful cultural learning. Every week we explore a new culture through food and presentations by international students and students who have studied abroad. The entire campus is welcome to participate.

Intercultural Festival: Student Life and the Intercultural Student Organization cohost the Intercultural Festival Each spring. The Intercultural Festival is a week-long event that invites the entire campus to participate. It features such activities as: cultural presentation, exhibits, dance, bands, as well as international cuisine, fashion, and crafts. The purpose of the festival is to celebrate our diverse campus community.

Off-Campus Trips: Through the Millsaps International Buddy System (MIBS), we provide off-campus trips once a month in order to introduce international students to Jackson, MS and the surrounding area. Transportation is always provided, and most trips are FREE! Previous excursions:

  • New Orleans Day Trip
  • Three-day trip to Chattanooga, TN
  • Beach Trips
  • Reservoir Sailing and BBQ Trip
  • Fondren After 5 Event
  • Mitchell Farms Pumpkin Patch Trip
  • Mr. Chen's Dinner and Shopping at the Oriental Market
  • Thanksgiving in Jerusalem at Galloway Church
  • Outlet Mall Shopping in Pearl, MS
  • And More!
Shuttle Service

The Millsaps International Buddy System (MIBS) leaders provide Walmart and Kroger Shuttles every other week for international students. Join the Millsaps International Buddy System Facebook group see when the next shuttle is running!

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

Student Organizations

Millsaps International Buddy System (MIBS): MIBS is a program that 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 additional activities. The goal of MIBS is to help international students transition to life on campus and in the Jackson community.

Intercultural Student Organization (ISO): The Intercultural Student Organization has a dedication to support and enhance an inclusive global campus environment among international and American students. We advocate bringing international and domestic students together to encourage cultural understanding. The Intercultural Student Organization hosts weekly Cultural Cafes and cohosts the Intercultural Festival each spring.

Bringing Out the Best of Asia (BOBA): BOBA is the very first Asian Student Organization of Millsaps College. We strive to promote diversity and bring life to different cultural practices. BOBA hosts cooking classes, cultural celebrations, and badminton tournaments, and is open to all students interested in Asian cultures.

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Campus Resources

International Student Admission and Services: Staff is available during the week to answer questions regarding immigration issues and help you adapt to life on Millsaps campus.  Services include:

  • Orientation program for all new international students.
  • Assistance with F-1 visa matters.
  • Advice and counseling on personal and academic concerns.
  • Programming through the MIBS and ISO student organizations.

New South Residence Hall Kitchen: International students have access to FREE 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! We are currently transitioning to using the Buie House kitchen.

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 of all writing levels and abilities.  From your first essay to your senior seminar project, a conversation with a Writing Center tutor can help writers reach their goals, refine their ideas, and develop helpful writing habits.

Center for Career Education: The center encourages student growth and career development as a part of the total education 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 projects, 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. 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 - either freshman or transfer advisor - upon their enrollment at Millsaps. After they file a formal declaration of major, they are assigned to an advisor in their major area/s. The director of Academic Advising is Dr. Melissa Lea (601-974-1755).

Academic Support Services: The Director of Academic Support Services supports students with academic advising issues, registration issues, requests for withdrawal or leave of absence, and any other issues related to their academic success at Millsaps. Students who need assistance with locating the support they need should start with this office. The director is Dr. Melissa Lea (601-974-1755).

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

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. It is for this reason that all international students must ensure that they have proper health insurance and know about options for medical care within the Jackson community.

Health Care Information

In the U.S., there are many types of health care facilities. Some will require that you have an appointment while others like the Wesson Health Center and “urgent care” facilities do not. Physicians who specialize in a particular type of care often require that a general-practice provider give a referral in order for you to even make an appointment with the specialist. Health insurance plans may also influence which doctor or facility you use as the health insurance reimbursement may be greater if you use a doctor that is part of the insurance company’s preferred provider network.

Generally if you are a student, the first place you should go for treatment is the Wesson Health Center. The Wesson Health Center can refer you to a specialist if needed. If you need assistance when the Wesson Health Center is closed, consider using an urgent-care facility. For serious injuries and life threatening conditions, the hospital emergency room is appropriate.

When you visit a doctor’s office, be prepared to provide your medical insurance information. 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.

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.

Wesson Health Center: Feeling sick? Need an allergy shot? Need health questions answered? Hope to see a physician? The Wesson Health Center provides basic health care on site to all Millsaps College students. The Center 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 its physicians to our center for approximately 10 hours per week. While regular office visits are free of charge, costs are applied to the few basic 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

See the after hours care information for more information on off-campus clinics, and emergency information for life-threatening situations.

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Immigration Information

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 these ten regulations:

  1. Complete the Personal Information Form provided at the beginning of the school year and return it to the International Student Advisor 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 International Student Advisor at your old school. If you wish to transfer schools in order to move to the next level of education, you must have the International Student Advisor 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 International Student Advisor 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 International Student Advisor 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 International Student Advisor.

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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 International Student Advisor 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 Lauren Abramson abramla@millsaps.edu in the Center for Career Education. She will assist you in finding an on-campus position. Once you have secured a position, contact the International Student Advisor 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 International Student Advisor. 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)]

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 f your degree program or requirement for a course for which you receive academic credit
  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 International Student Advisor must authorize you for CPT. Once you receive CPT authorization, you can only work for the specific employer and for the specific dates authorized (unlike with OPT or severe economic hardship off-campus employment, where you can work anywhere in the US). 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
  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 International Student Advisor. You cannot begin employment until you receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS and you have been enrolled for at least a year.

If your degree is in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics, you are eligible for a 17 month extension of your OPT. Contact the International Student Advisor 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 the International Student Advisor for assistance.

Social Security and Income Tax

Social Security Number: Before you can work, you must have a Social Security number (SSN). SEVIS regulations require that you must first have an offer of employment before you are eligible to apply for a Social Security card. You may then fill out an application and take it in person, with your immigration documents and passport, and authorization from the Business Office and the International Student Advisor to the local Social Security Administration (SSA) office. You are required to have a letter of authorization from the International Student Advisor before you go to the SSA office. Once you are approved for a SSN, you will be issued a Social Security card.

Taxes: SPRINTAX

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Living in Jackson

About Jackson, Mississippi

Driving in Mississippi

MIBS leaders will assist you in getting to and from the airport, as well as provide shuttles to Walmart and the grocery store. International Student Services also plans off-campus programs and always provides transportation. However, some students may still choose to purchase a car and obtain a driver’s license. Below you will find instructions to help you be able 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 if you need assistance acquiring a driver’s license.

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Web Resources for International Students

International Student Protection: http://intlstudentprotection.com/

International calling codes: http://www.countrycallingcodes.com/index.php

Information on obtaining visas to various countries; http://www.projectvisa.com/

Visa Information and SEVIS Regulations: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html

Study in the states: http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/guides/studyguidetothestates

Driver’s licensing: http://local.dmv.org/mississippi/hinds-county/jackson/1900-e.-woodrow-wilson-ave./dmv-office-locations.php

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