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Full-Time Enrollment/Exceptions Information/Concurrent Enrollment

Online Classes

Mandatory Military Service

Break From Studies—No Enrollment

Research Abroad

Study Abroad

Total Withdrawal From All Classes

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    1. In order to maintain status, F-1 students must be enrolled full-time for each fall and spring semester. Enrollment in summer sessions is not required, unless a student begins a program of study at IU South Bend in the summer. If you begin your studies in the summer, please note that you will be permitted to enroll during the second eight weeks of the summer term only, and that you will be required to enroll full-time as listed for a regular semester (below).

      • For undergraduates this means enrolling in at least 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester.
      • For graduate students this means enrolling in at least 8 credit hours each fall and spring semester. 
    2. Exceptions to full-time enrollment:

      There are some exceptions to full-time enrollment that are designed to assist students, but all exceptions need to be authorized by OISS before you drop below full-time.

      Examples of exceptions:

      1. a first-semester student who is advised by an academic advisor to take less than a full load of courses due to language difficulties or unfamiliarity with US teaching methods;
      2. a student who must drop a class because they were placed in an incorrect level by an academic advisor
      3. a student in his/her final semester of coursework who does not need a full load in order to complete degree requirements;
      4. a student who is advised by a doctor to under-enroll due to a severe medical condition.  (documentation by a US medical doctor, licensed clinical psychologist, or doctor of osteopathy is required)

      To review these exceptions to full-time enrollment in more detail and request authorization for a reduced course load, please complete the Reduced Courseload Authorization Form with your academic advisor.  Dropping below full-time without authorization from OISS is a violation of your F-1 status!  If you are thinking about dropping below full-time, call OISS (574) 520-4419 and set up an appointment to talk with us about your options before you drop.

    3. Concurrent Enrollment:

      You may be enrolled concurrently at IU South Bend and another institution.

      • You must submit a copy of your current course registration at the other institution to OISS by the end of the first week of classes for each semester you are concurrently enrolled.
      • You must be enrolled in at least an equal number of credits at IU South Bend as you will enroll in the other school. For example, an undergraduate could take six credits at IU and six credits at another school. However, if you would like to take the majority of your classes (more than half) at another school, please submit a transfer out request.
        • NOTE: be careful about summer sessions at a secondary institution since they may not have the same start and end dates at IU South Bend which would affect which semester the grades would be reflected in your transcript.
      • If you are in the final semester of your program of study, you cannot be enrolled in classes only at a secondary institution. This means you must also be taking classes at IU South Bend, and you must be enrolled in equal number or greater number of credits at IU South Bend.
      • You are responsible for getting your credits transferred to IU South Bend. You will need to submit your transcripts to the Office of International Student Services. If you are transferring in credits during your final semester at IU South Bend, be aware that timing is crucial for you to maintain your status. Failure to transfer credits in a timely manner could result in the loss of OPT work authorization and the loss in the ability to remain in the US legally.
    • It is advised that you talk with your academic advisor to make sure that the online course you are interested in will transfer to IU South Bend.
    • You are limited to ONE 3 credit class each semester to count towards full time enrollment (12 credits for undergraduate students, 8 credits for graduate students)
      • While you can take more than one online course, only ONE will count towards maintaining your status.
    • During the Summer semester, you should be very careful to make sure the class you are taking count towards the semester you are enrolled in.
      • Why? IU South Bend's summer sessions most often are different than summer semesters at other schools.
    • If you are in your final semester at IU, you CANNOT take all your classes as online classes. You must take classes, sitting in a classroom, at IU South Bend in addition to any online coursework (if you are enrolling in online coursework) to maintain your status.
      • Remember that enrolling in online coursework during your final semester has crucial timing considerations. You MUST complete your online coursework prior to or at the same time as the completion of your other classes in order to maintain your legal status in the US and in order to maintain the ability to receive OPT work authorization.
    • Online coursework (remember that only 3 credit hours can count towards full-time enrollment) or concurrent enrollment at another SEVIS-approved college or university must be considered carefully with regards to timing issues. An IU South Bend student in F-1 status taking online or concurrent enrollment courses which end after the final IU South Bend in-class class would become ineligible for OPT work authorization. OISS would be required to terminate the student's SEVIS record and the student would forfeit their 60-day grace period.
    • Contact OISS 4 months before you plan to return.  You can do this by emailing oiss@iusb.edu with your name, university ID number, and the semester in which you plan to return.
    • You will need to provide OISS with a copy of your passport identity page and financial documentation.
    • You will also need to be in contact with your academic advisor, who will need to provide OISS with written confirmation that you are eligible to return to your program of study.  This would also be a good time to ask them if you need to take the English Language Exam too.  Some departments may require that you also submit a returning student form; you will need to check with your academic advisor if this will be required of you.
    • Contact OISS 4 months before you plan to return.  You can do this by emailing oiss@iusb.edu with your name, university ID number, and the semester in which you plan to return.
    • You will need to provide OISS with a copy of your passport identity page and financial documentation.
    • You will also need to be in contact with your academic advisor, who will need to provide OISS with written confirmation that you are eligible to return to your program of study.  This would also be a good time to ask them if you need to take the English Language Exam too.  Some departments may require that you also submit a returning student form; you will need to check with your academic advisor if this will be required of you.
    • You will need to submit an insurance waiver if you would prefer not to have the mandatory IU health insurance coverage while you are gone.  We will be able to help you with the insurance waiver, but do be sure to check your OneStart account regularly while you’re gone so that you can be sure that you’re not receiving unexpected charges.  You will need to make this request for each semester that you will be gone (no later than the first week of each semester).
    • You will be billed the international student fee each semester you are enrolled.
    • Please ask your academic advisor to send an email to oiss@iusb.edu confirming the approximate dates that you will be out of the US and what you will be doing while you’re gone.  You will need to be sure this information is sent to OISS by the end of the first week of classes.  We will use that information to update your SEVIS record and keep it active while you’re gone.  Depending on what your academic advisor says about how long you will be gone, you will want to be sure to take care of this for each semester that you will be out of the US.
    • Please log into OneStart and update your “local” address to: ℅ Int’l Services, 1700 Mishawaka Ave. South Bend, IN 46634.  We’ll use that to update your SEVIS record.  If your academic department prefers that you use their departmental address, please update your “local” address to their address, using “℅.”  This address information will be used to update your SEVIS record.
    • Please be sure you obtain a new travel signature on your I-20 before you leave the US.  If you have already departed the US, you will need to request a travel signature before you return.  You will need to be sure you allow enough time for shipping your I-20 to OISS and for us to ship it back to you if you have already left the US.
    • You will need to submit an insurance waiver if you would prefer not to have the mandatory IU health insurance coverage while you are gone.  We will be able to help you with the insurance waiver, but do be sure to check your OneStart account regularly while you’re gone so that you can be sure that you’re not receiving unexpected charges.  You will need to make this request for each semester that you will be gone (no later than the first week of each semester).
    • You will be billed the international student fee each semester you are enrolled.
    • You will need to submit a copy of your overseas study contract to OIS by the end of the first week of classes during the semester in which you are overseas.
    • Please log into OneStart and update your “local” address to: ℅ Int’l Services, 1700 Mishawaka Ave. South Bend, IN 46634.  We’ll use that to update your SEVIS record.  If your academic department prefers that you use their departmental address, please update your “local” address to their address, using “℅.”  This address information will be used to update your SEVIS record.
    • Please be sure you obtain a new travel signature on your I-20 before you leave the US.  If you have already departed the US, you will need to request a travel signature before you return.  You will need to be sure you allow enough time for shipping your I-20 to OISS and for us to ship it back to you if you have already left the US.
  • Full-Time Enrollment

    Online Classes

    Mandatory Military Service

    If you need to leave or have left the US for mandatory military service in your home country, you should notify OISS via e-mail at oiss@iusb.edu.  We will respond to your e-mail with information about the actions we will take on your SEVIS record and the steps you will need to take if you choose to continue your education with Indiana University South Bend in the future.  If you have questions about this information or about leaving IU, you may also call OISS (574) 520-4419 to make an appointment with an advisor or you may email an advisor at oiss@iusb.edu.

    Once you depart the US for military service, we will terminate your SEVIS record which will end your legal F-1 status.  This means that when you are ready to resume your program of study at IU, you will need to request a new I-20 from OISS before you can return to the US.  In addition, you will need to get a new US visa.  Any student outside the US for more than 5 months will need to obtain a new US visa (see more info here).  If you need to obtain a copy of your transcripts, please visit the registrar’s website to request a copy.  Please note that your IU email account may expire when you’re not enrolled as a student at IU anymore, unless you have an Imail or Umail account!  Be sure to forward important pieces of information to a non-IU account or log into webmail to change your current account to an Imail or Umail account.)

    Note: If you have already enrolled in courses for the next semester, you must take action to drop them.  The OIS can assist with this.  Send an email to ois@indiana.edu, asking the OIS to assist with dropping all of your classes for the semester in which you will not be here any longer.  Be sure to write your full name and IUID number at the bottom of the email.  Please be aware of timing issues (Bursar, automatic W).

    When you are ready to return to your program of study:

    When you return to IU South Bend, you will be required to attend international student orientation.  We understand that you are familiar with IU and were previously a student here.  However, immigration regulations have updates and changes and we want to be sure you are adequately prepared for success in your program and are updated with the most recent information we have since the last time you were a student at IU.  If your academic unit does not have a record of your previous results, you may also be required to take the English Proficiency Exam during orientation.

    When you return to your program of study, you will need to enroll again as a full-time student. This would include summer as well. If you wish to return in the summer, you will need to enroll as a full-time student (this means you will need to enroll in at least 12 credits if you are an undergraduate student or at least 8 credits if you are a graduate student). Your full-time enrollment will need to take place in the second eight weeks of the summer term. In addition, please be advised that you will not be eligible for any off-campus employment options until you have been in status as a full-time student for at least two semesters.

    Break From Studies—No Enrollment

    If you will be taking a leave of absence from your program of study and not enrolling in classes, you should notify OISS via e-mail at oiss@iusb.edu.  We will respond to your e-mail with information about the actions we will take on your SEVIS record and the steps you will need to take if you choose to continue your education with Indiana University in the future.  If you have questions about this information or if you wish to discuss your plans in greater detail, you may call OISS (574) 520-4419 to make an appointment with an advisor or you may email an advisor at oiss@iusb.edu.

    If you take a leave of absence from your program for more than one semester and are not enrolled during that time, we will terminate your SEVIS record which will end your legal F-1 status, and you will not be able to remain in the US as an F-1 student.  This means that when you are ready to resume your program of study at IU South Bend, you will need to request a new I-20 from OISS and pay the SEVIS fee again before you can return to the US.

    In addition, you will need to get a new US visa.  Any student outside the US for more than 5 months will need to obtain a new US visa (see more info).

    If you need to obtain a copy of your transcripts, please visit the registrar’s website to request a copy.

    Please note that your IU email account may expire when you’re not enrolled as a student at IU anymore, unless you have an Imail or Umail account!  Be sure to forward important pieces of information to a non-IU account or log into webmail to change your current account to an Imail or Umail account.)

    When you are ready to return to your program of study:

    When you return to IU South Bend, you will be required to attend international student orientation.  We understand that you are familiar with IU and were previously a student here.  However, immigration regulations have updates and changes and we want to be sure you are adequately prepared for success in your program and are updated with the most recent information we have since the last time you were a student at IU.  If your academic unit does not have a record of your previous results, you may also be required to take the English Proficiency Exam during orientation.

    When you return to your program of study, you will need to enroll again as a full-time student. This would include summer as well. If you wish to return in the summer, you will need to enroll as a full-time student (this means you will need to enroll in at least 12 credits if you are an undergraduate student or at least 8 credits if you are a graduate student). Your full-time enrollment will need to take place in the second eight weeks of the summer term. In addition, please be advised that you will not be eligible for any off-campus employment options until you have been in status as a full-time student for at least two semesters.

    Overseas Research—Enrolled in Research Credits at IU

    If you will be doing research overseas please call OISS at 574-520-4419 to schedule an appointment with an advisor.  If you have already left the US, please be sure to email OISS at oiss@iusb.edu to inform us of your departure.  Though you will be outside of the US, you will still need to be enrolled in research coursework appropriate to your degree program at IU South Bend while you are away.  Please check with your academic advisor for questions on course enrollment options.

    For each semester that you are outside of the US:

    Overseas Study—Enrolled at IU while Studying in Another Country

    If you will be doing research overseas please call OISS at 574-520-4419 to schedule an appointment with an advisor.  If you have already left the US, please be sure to email OISS at oiss@iusb.edu to inform us of your departure. You will need to provide our office with documentation of your overseas study program, and you will need to be enrolled in coursework at IU.

    While you are outside of the US for an overseas study program:

    Withdrawing from all Classes

    If you find that you need to withdraw from all classes, you must first come to the OISS to speak with an advisor.  OISS is the only office on campus that can process a total withdrawal form for you.

    If you need to withdraw from classes due to a medical reason, you will need to provide medical documentation from a US medical doctor, clinical psychologist, or doctor of osteopathy.  Please complete a Reduced Course Load form for medical reason, which you can submit to your US doctor.  We can use this information to keep your SEVIS record active while you are away from classes.  You can also use this documentation to request a fee appeal from the Office of the Bursar.  For more information on a Bursar fee appeal please visit the bursar’s website.

    If your withdrawal from classes is not based on a medical reason, OISS will terminate your SEVIS record for early authorized withdrawal.  You will need to depart from the US within 15 days from the date of withdrawal and you will need to contact our office at least 4 months before you are ready to return.  Your previous I-20 will no longer be valid and you will need to request a new one from OISS to return to the US.

    You will want to be sure you take care of your housing before you leave the US.  If you live in on-campus housing you will need to talk to Housing at Residence Life to make the appropriate arrangements.  Please note that from the date your withdrawal slip is submitted to the Office of the Registrar, you will need to vacate your residence hall within 48 hours.

    You will also want to be sure you notify your academic advisor and professors of your withdrawal.  For information about the “Auto-W” please visit the registrar’s website.