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FAQ: General Questions

Q: How do I apply for a scholarship?
A: To apply for a TWU scholarship, visit SCHOLARSHIPS.

Q: I have tried to call Valerie but did not reach her. 
A: Valerie is in the office on Tuesday/Thursday 1-5pm. If you wish to see her in person, it’s best to make an appointment so you can be sure she is available. The rest of the time she works remotely. The best way to reach her is via email. She is happy to meet with you virtually if she is not in the office. 
Q: I would like to get a driver’s license. What do I need to do?
A: 1)    Request an I-20 Reprint through the International Portal. 
     2)    Check with the Department of Public Safety ( for information about driving tests, etc.
         3)    If you purchase a vehicle, be aware you will need to register it with the Department of Motor Vehicles and obtain insurance for it. There are many insurance providers to choose from. 

Q: Does my passport have to valid at all times?
A: Passports must be valid at all times and can be renewed at a U.S. consulate.

Q: Once I arrive in the U.S., can I still study if my visa expires?
A: Visas are used to enter the country and can expire while the student remains in the country. If a student leaves the country with an expired visa, they must apply for a new visa in order to return. Visas are not renewable in the U.S. 

Q: Do I need permission from ISSS to work on campus? What about off-campus?
A: You do not need permission to work on campus. You DO need prior permission to work off-campus. If you are pursuing a degree, this will be Curricular Practical Training (CPT). After you complete your degree, you will have the opportunity to request Optional Practical Training (OPT) work authorization.

Q: Where is your office located?
A: International Affairs is located in Old Main, Room 112.

Q: What is SEVIS and how does it affect F-1 students at TWU?
A: The Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS) was created by the Department of Homeland Security after September 11, 2001, to track non-immigrant students on study visas (F-1, M-1, J-1). Access to the database is limited to Designated School Officials (DSOs). It tracks the same information the university has on a student, along with details related to sources of finances, passport/visa, entry in & out of the country, children/spouse, off-campus employment (including OPT up to 3 years), program dates/extensions, transfers between schools, and more. Each F-1 student must be “registered” in SEVIS each semester, and a DSO must verify the student is in good status and enrolled in the appropriate number of credit hours.

Q: What is an I-20 and Why is it important?
A: An I-20 is defined as U.S. Customs and Immigration Form Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status. It is required in order to request an F-1 student visa. It is issued by a university Designated School Official (DSO), who must first confirm that a student is eligible to receive it.