Our international students are an asset to Marymount community and their presence in our classrooms reflects our strategic priority of expanding students’ global perspective and enhancing their intellectual experience. Our students are highly involved and contribute to MU’s lively and culturally rich environment. Many students are leaders in 5 multicultural student organizations, 1 residential learning community, they are ambassadors, orientation leaders, peer mentors, tutors at the CTL and also work in various offices on campus.
As a result, international students are welcome at Marymount and numbers have been steadily increasing throughout the years. U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Colleges Guide has ranked Marymount as #1 university for international students. As of Fall 2018 we have 468 international non-immigrant visa students representing 65 countries that make up 14% of Marymount’s total student body. 373 of them are F-1 visa students under direct supervision of the International Student & Scholar Services Office.
The International Student & Scholar Services Office is required by Homeland Security regulations to maintain information and report certain changes to F -1 visa holding students’ statuses in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is a government database that is used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to monitor the status of F-1 students and their F-2 dependents. As you advise and work with F-1 visa holding international students, please keep in mind special requirements explained in this page.
F-1 students must maintain a full course load each semester, 12 credits for undergraduate students and 9 credits for graduate unless authorized for a reduced course load by an academic advisor or an ISSS advisor. Acceptable reasons for reduced credit load include:
- Academic difficulties due to unfamiliarity with American teaching methods
- difficulty with the English language in their first semester in the US
- Medical problems (documentation from a physician is required)
- Students in their final term of study
If you believe one of your students is eligible for a reduced course load please complete and sign the following Reduced Course Load Form
Online courses and Concurrent enrollment
There are special arrangements that students need to make in order to complete their degree requirements. Sometimes, students may be advised to take courses online or at another approved institution. International students have certain restrictions in order to ensure that they comply with the full-time enrollment requirements. Students must have an academic advisor and associate dean signed course substitution form that authorizes such courses as part of their program.
Academic Advisor Certification Form
Students are required to maintain an up-to-date I-20 form that reflects the correct level of study, academic program, graduation date, and financial support. If the student makes any of this changes during their academic stay, they must notify ISSS providing evidence with an Academic Certification Form signed by the Academic Advisor.
International students and their families commit and invest themselves in order to pursue a high quality education in the U.S. Therefore, they want to succeed and have great desire to get the most out of their experience inside and outside the classroom.
While all international students are required to demonstrate an adequate level of English proficiency during the admission process, the load of reading materials, the lack of academic vocabulary, stress and cultural adjustment can make it challenging for students to perform at their best of their potential in the classroom all the time.
When you have international students in you class, make a special effort to explain expectations in detail and with examples regarding participation, group work, discussion and academic integrity. Also if you identify students who are struggling, encourage them to use resources and support on campus such as:
- Visiting the Center for Teaching and Learning for tutoring and writing consultation.
- Meeting with a library specialist to get assistance on research projects
- Visiting Counseling and Health Center
- Explain the purpose and benefits of one-on-one office hours with faculty and invite them to meet with you.
- Meeting with an International Student advisor.
Thank you for your continuous support empowering our wonderful students to share their culture while enhancing their global awareness. If you have any particular concern about a student, please don’t hesitate to contact our staff. We also keep track of students progress through STARFISH, so if you input any flag or comment there, be assure that we will follow up with the student.
Academic Integrity When Working With International Students
It is common that faculty could make assumption about how much a student knows regarding intellectual property or academic expectations.
While, universally, cheating is not accepted, the understanding about what it considering an academic violations differs in each educational system and culture. Also, The sense of collaboration is much more prevalent in other cultures. Therefore, while it is always positive for your class environment to assume good intensions, it is also important to educate the students in this matter. In order to prevent any academic integrity issue in your class, we recommend that you devote some time for specific instruction and explanation of expectations in your class. Here are some recommendation:
- Spend some time the first day of class to go over the syllabus details and academic integrity code.
- Consider adding to your Canvas course the academic integrity tutorial prepared by the office of academic conduct and academic integrity. You can find the module available in canvas commons. Encourage completion and evidence of understanding of the topic.
- Show specific examples of plagiarism in you field or subject matter.
- Design clear assignment and grading criteria, so the student has more guidance.
- Have clear group work criteria and participation expectations along with grading scales.
- Refer students to the Library or CTL in order to learn how to do proper citations
- Ask students to save drafts. Moreover, encourage international students to meet with you to discuss outlines and drafts, so that the students receives early feedback and redirection.
Internship and Employment in the U.S.
International Students are allowed to gain experience in their field of studies through internships, clinical studies or employment after graduation. If any of these training programs are compensated, students must obtain an employment authorization. Students must fill out an application which includes an academic advisor certification form and a recommendation from the Designated School Official and apply to USCIS and must apply at the International Student & Scholar Services Office.
The Marymount Internship requirement is conducive for students to be eligible CPT (Curricular Practical Training) which is a work authorization permit for a paid internship strictly related to the class. If the student is registered in the internship class and complete all the steps required by the Career Development, ISSS is notified automatically and therefore contacts the student to finalize the application process.
If the students will be doing another type of internship or clinical that is required for another class, the student must get the CPT approval form signed by the class instructor and the associate dean in order be eligible to apply for CPT authorization.