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.
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
The Millsaps International Buddy System (MIBS) leaders also provide transportation off campus as needed.
MIBS leaders also give international students rides to and from the airport before and after breaks.
International Student Admission and Services: Staff is available during the week to answer questions regarding immigration and travel issues. You may contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 Assistant Dean for 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.
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.
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
TrustCare Express Medical Clinics
4880 I 55 N, Jackson
MEA Primary Care Plus North Clinic
5606 Old Canton Rd, Jackson
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 601.974.1227 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.
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.
Millsaps residence halls and cafeteria are officially closed during Winter 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 Student Life at 601-974-1200. If approved, students will be charged a fee of $40 per day.
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:
- Collegiate Transport Summer Storage: 333.250.9990
- Storage Max Downtown Jackson
- Life Storage on I-55 North
Below you will find detailed information about immigration and Visa information. For additional information or clarification, please direct all questions to Millsaps’ Designated School Official (DSO) Darya Bontempo at email@example.com
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Attend the school specified on the I-20 for at least one day before initiating any transfer procedures.
- Make certain that all information on the I-20 is current and complete. If anything is incorrect, contact the DSO immediately.
- 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.
- Report any change of address to the DSO within 10 days of the change.
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
For more details about the SEVIS system, please contact the DSO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an international student on an F-1 visa, you have the benefit of certain employment and training opportunities. It is important for you to understand student employment regulations and to abide by them at all times. Your immigration status is your responsibility – make sure to check StudyInTheStates to stay informed about current immigration rules and regulations. If you ever have a question about employment while on an F-1 visa, contact the Office of International Initiatives at 601-974-1052.
(F-1 Student Employment Based on Economic Hardship section moved to bottom of page)
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:
- You must maintain valid F-1 status
- You can work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session
- You can work full-time (up to 40 hours per week) on campus during holidays and vacation periods if you will register for the next academic semester
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, for help acquiring a social security number.
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:
- 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).
- Secure the internship/employment – since CPT is job-specific, you must have the job before you can apply for work authorization.
- Get a letter from your employer on company letterhead that contains the following information:
The DSO must authorize you for CPT. To obtain CPT authorization:
- Confirm that you are eligible.
- Secure the internship/employment – since CPT is job-specific, you must have the job before you can apply for work authorization.
- Get a letter from your employer on company letterhead that contains the following information:
- Your full name
- Job title
- Brief job description
- Start and end dates
- Number of hours to be worked per week
- Company address
- Company representative signature and date
- Register for a credit-bearing internship class or Major Experience (unless the work experience is required for every student in your major).
- Submit the CPT Application Form – Once you submit the form, an email containing the CPT recommendation form will be sent to your faculty/internship advisor.
- You will receive an email once your new I-20 is available for pickup.
When you submit the CPT Application form, the Faculty Recommendation form will automatically be sent to your adviser. It is important to communicate with your adviser so that there are no delays in OII receiving the recommendation form. Your CPT will not be authorized until the recommendation form is received.
Once you receive CPT authorization, you can only work for the specific employer and for the specific dates authorized. Your CPT can begin on the day after the previous term ends, and it cannot extend past the end of the current term. 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. To be authorized for full-time CPT during the semester, the academic credit you receive for the work experience must be equal to at least half of your full-time course load.
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. Make sure you watch the dates and hours closely – don’t jeopardize your OPT!
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:
- Employment must be directly related to the student’s major.
- Student must maintain lawful F-1 status.
- Student must apply for OPT before completion of all work towards a degree.
- Students who have engaged in 12 months or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) are not eligible for OPT.
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 may take months 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.
International Students are encouraged to utilize the Center for Career Education for assistance in their search for OPT employment opportunities.
Before you begin the OPT application process, you must attend an OPT workshop with the Office of International Initiatives or meet with a DSO to discuss the application process. To apply for OPT:
- Complete the form I-765 and gather supporting documents (refer to OPT application checklist for details).
- Submit OPT Application Form and notify your academic advisor.
- When your new I-20 is ready, you will set up a meeting to pick up your I-20 and review all supporting documents
- Mail OPT application packet to USCIS (allow 2-3 weeks for processing)
All students on OPT must report the following to the Office of International Initiatives:
- Any change in name
- Residential address
- Name and address of their employer
- Changes to the name and address of their employer
If your degree is in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics, you are eligible for a 24 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 the Designated School Official (DSO) Darya Bontempo at email@example.com 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 number. 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.
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.
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:
- Be in valid F-1 status for at least one academic year (9 months)
- Be in good academic standing
- Providence evidence of economic hardship based on unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control
- Show that on-campus employment is neither available nor sufficient
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.
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.