Students from other countries who find their way to TWU Houston Center in pursuit of academic goals are a treasured group! The Office of Student Life provides a direct line of communication with the International Education Office in Denton, and houses a DSO (Designated School Official) on site to deal with SEVIS related matters for F-1 students.
International Student Orientation
There is a mandatory Orientation for F-1 students that takes place the Wednesday prior to the first day of classes each Fall and Spring Semester. All F-1 students will additionally be required to attend one of the other General Orientations that correspond to their academic discipline. Registration for both can be accomplished online.
Status Letters, Notations in SEVIS, I-20 Signatures
With regards to status, much can be accomplished at the Houston site.
Issuing status letters:
- departure out of the country,
- Social Security Number application,
- invitation letters for relatives
- address changes,
- new dependents,
- practical training notations and
- signing prior to country departure
Mandatory Health Insurance
International students with J-1 or F-1 status are required to maintain health insurance coverage during their physical presence here in the United States. This includes times in-between semesters, when they are not attending classes, yet still being hosted by TWU. Academic HealthPlans is the designated carrier, and all students with a F-1 or J-1 status will be automatically billed for insurance coverage each semester. For those students from other countries who have insurance either through their sponsoring Embassy or U.S. employer, health insurance waiver forms can be obtained through the Student Life Office. For more information, including deadlines and criteria for insurance selection, visit Student Health Services - International Students.
Tuberculosis Blood Test - Mandatory Screening
Prior to stepping into your first class, international students (both F-1 and J-1) are required to show proof of TB screening. The University now mandates that a TB Blood Test (not merely a Skin Test) be accomplished, with lab results sent to the Student Health Services in Denton. Students will not be permitted to register for classes until all of this has been addressed in a satisfactory manner. For your convenience, the University of Texas Health Services located one block away from the Houston campus can facilitate this. It will take approximately one week for the results to be returned. This important topic is addressed in more detail on the Denton International Education web page.
CPT, OPT, Application for Change of Status
For those students who are at a point in their academic course work where practical training becomes a necessary next step, applications for Curriculum Practical Training and Optional Practical Training can be obtained and submitted here also. As the situations emerge, forms such as the Exemption from Full Time Enrollment and Insurance Waiver form are both available at this same office, and guidance for use is shared as well. Additionally, Change of Status applications are coordinated through the Office of Student Life.
International Student Festival
A highlight for all of TWU - Houston each year is a wonderful celebration of cultures with the International Student Festival. Information tables are set up for each country represented, filled with interesting materials and items from that part of the world and a tasty dessert/snack. People are available at each table to paint a colorful cultural experience filled with stories and explanations for what is present. A TWU Passport moves participants from table to table and is stamped as individuals take away nuggets of information about a country. Additionally, performances of dance, musical instruments and martial arts are often part of the offerings for all present. We look forward to the wonder of each year's festival!
There is a strong sense of family among the international students here at the Houston Center. Opportunities exist for students to network with other upcoming professionals, and to get-to-know a variety of established individuals from around the world. We are honored with the wealth of human experience and expertise which each student brings to the fabric of TWU!
See the International Education website for more information.