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International Student Information and Services

GOCI Staff
Sarah M. T. Munro, Director of GOCI and International Student Advisor

ADMISSIONS AND ARRIVAL ON CAMPUS

Use this link to find information about applying to Guilford: International Student Admissions

Your International Admissions Counselor is Marisabel Guzman Cruz
guzmancruzm@guilford.edu
Marisabel will assist you in the application process.

After Acceptance to Guilford

For helpful information check out the First Year Student Checklist

When you receive your acceptance letter and I20, do the following:

Obtain a Student Visa
Schedule a Consular Interview for Visa: Visit the US Embassy website to find the consular office nearest you.  Schedule your appointment as soon as possible after receiving your I-20.

Pay your deposit and Register for Classes via the Guilford website

After receiving a Guilford College email ID, register for housing through MyHousing Self-Service, ideally before May 1st.

Schedule a physical examination: All students must have a physical exam and ensure that all of the following immunizations are completed before arrival:

  • 4 DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) or (Tetanus, Diphtheria) doses; one Td booster or Tdap must have been within the past 10 years
  • 3 polio (oral) doses
  • 2 measles, mumps, rubella (2 MMR doses meet this requirement) or blood titer test showing positive immunity to all three - signed by a physician
  • Tuberculin Skin Test (PPD) and result within the twelve months preceding the beginning of classes (chest x-ray report required if test is positive)
  • Hepatitis B series (3 doses required) - Blood titer is not acceptable
  • 1 Varicella (if born on/after 4/1/2001). Blood titer is acceptable
  • COVID-19 Vaccine (2 doses Pfizer/Moderna or 1 dose Johnson & Johnson) AND one Booster dose. This is a Guilford College Requirement

Schedule an eye exam. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, bring a copy of your prescription (in English) and a supply of contact lenses.

Obtain paper copies of any medical prescriptions that you will need (in English) if you plan to have them filled in the US.


Pre-Departure

Notify GOCI of your travel itinerary using this form: Guilford College International Student Travel Itinerary.  Take a picture or screenshot of your travel itinerary or boarding pass and upload it to the form. Ideally, you should submit the form no later than one month prior to your departure date.

When completing the form you will need to include the following information:

  • Date of travel
  • Departure time
  • Flight numbers (all connecting flights)
  • Arrival time
  • Arrival airport (the closest airport is in Greensboro, NC – Piedmont Triad International Airport)
  • Arrival Airline
  • Emergency Contact Information: Include a contact number for yourself AND provide the names, email addresses, and phone numbers for 2 emergency contacts (parent, sibling, guardian, or friend).  Indicate your relationship to each and whether or not they speak English.

Gather the following items for your trip:

  • Your Valid Passport with VISA
  • Printed copy of your passport, including the F1 Visa, kept separately from your original passport (in case you lose your passport)
  • Letter of Acceptance from Guilford
  • Original I-20, provided to you upon acceptance to Guilford
  • SEVIS I-901 Fee Receipt
  • Proof of Financial Support (bank statement)
  • Airplane Ticket
  • Travel/Luggage Insurance Policy (optional)
  • Copy of Immunizations/Health Forms In English. (You can obtain the form online using the link above.) Print the form, fill it out, have your physician sign it, and email to: studenthealth@guilford.edu.
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • An electronic copy of your transcript(s)
  • A copy of your US-based health insurance policy and card. All students at Guilford are required to have health insurance. See this page for more information about companies that provide insurance for international students.

What to Bring:

  • A small amount of cash (US currency) and/or a credit card that is accepted in the US. It is not recommended to bring large amounts of cash. Many vendors also accept pay via apps such as Apple Pay, Venmo, and Zelle. Notify your credit card company that you will be living out of the country for the foreseeable future; if not they may suspect fraud when you try to use your card in the US.
  • Clothing. North Carolina weather varies, with hot summers, mild fall temperatures, and sometimes cold winters.  Be sure to include clothing appropriate for rainy days and cool weather. You may want to pack a few clothes for formal/semi-formal occasions, and any specific clothing that may not be available in the US.
  • Computer or tablet (unless you plan to purchase one when you arrive)
  • A supply of any prescription medications that you need.
  • Contact lenses and supplies and/or spare glasses, and your prescription (in English)
  • Toiletries for the first night or so (until you can purchase what you need)
  • Travel adaptors for electronics
  • Personal items (national clothes to celebrate your country and your culture, for example, or other items to share at our annual International Festival, etc.)

What Not to Bring:
Weapons of any kind
Candles
Alcohol (the drinking age in the US is 21+)
Illegal Drugs

Bedding: To save space in your luggage, you can purchase bedding upon arrival. There are several options for procuring needed items:

  • Shop Locally: GOCI staff will take you shopping at a local department store (Wal-Mart or Target) so you can purchase bed linens, towels, toiletries, snacks, etc. There are also several shopping centers fairly close to campus, so you will be able to buy whatever you need.
  • Order Online: You may order items online from Amazon, etc. and have them delivered to you at your campus address:
         Student Name
         Box #
         Founders Hall
         5800 West Friendly Avenue
         Greensboro, NC 27410
  • Dormify: Guilford College Residential Education & Housing has partnered with Dormify to provide students with a convenient, affordable way to purchase Twin XL sheets, bedding, storage solutions, and everything else you'll need for your new home away from home. Visit guilford.dormroom.com to explore this option.

Arrival in North Carolina and Transportation to Campus
A representative from GOCI will pick you up at the Piedmont/Triad International Airport (PTI) in Greensboro upon request. If you would prefer to procure your own transportation to campus, see the Local Transportation list below. If you arrive in Raleigh-Durham (RDU) or Charlotte (CLT) you will need to find transportation to campus. Be advised that an Uber from RDU or CLT airport will be very expensive, and train schedules are limited.

Guilford College Interactive Map

Essential Information for International Students

You can also find much useful information on the Guilford College website.

  • Quaker Card: Each student, faculty, and staff person on campus has a Quaker Card, which serves as your Guilford College ID card. You will get your card during orientation and will use it during your time at Guilford in the campus dining halls, the library, and at other facilities. This Quaker card will have your name, your picture, and a unique number. If you lose your card there will be a fee for replacement.
  • US Classroom Culture (Syllabus, Attendance, Participation, Office Hours)
  • Guilford College Campus Culture:  Core Values
  • Culture Shock
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Guilford
  • International Club: International students as well as US citizens interested in global cultures are encouraged to join this club.
  • Cultural Celebrations at Guilford will be scheduled throughout the year.
  • Bank Accounts
  • CAPE Advisors will assist students in registering for classes.
  • How to pay Tuition & Fees
  • Medical Matters
         Health Insurance
         Medications/Pharmacies
         Urgent Care: Eagle Walk-in Clinic
         Hospital: Cone Health Moses Cone Hospita
  • Academic Integrity and Honor Code


Where to Eat

  • Dining on Campus: Download the dining app to view daily menus
  • Food Delivery: UberEats, Instacart, GrubHub, DoorDash and other apps make it easy to order food online for pickup or delivery. Delivery drivers will not be able to enter classroom buildings or residence halls, so be sure to stipulate a specific meeting place and ask for a text alert upon arrival.


Getting Around Town: Local Transportation Options

Car Rental:  Several agencies provide short-term car rentals to licensed drivers. Most
require that the driver be 24 years old or older, but there may be some exceptions. See the YELP app for more information.

Explore Greensboro:

  • 27 Top Things to Do in Greensboro, NC
  • Download the YELP app for recommendations about restaurants, hair salons, spas, nightlife, shopping, health and medical providers, arts and entertainment, travel, local events, religious organizations, etc.

Immigration Matters

F1 Visa/I20 Information

  • Your Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) is Cathryn Bennett, Interim Director of GOCI. The (P)DSO will assist with all matters related to the F1 Visa, including the I20. Other Designated School Officials (DSOs) appointed by the PDSO may also assist students with most immigration matters.
  • The I20 must be signed by the (P)DSO upon arrival in the US and once per year after that.
  • When leaving the US students must be sure that the signature date on the I20 will be valid upon return; if it is not they student may not be able to return to the US
  • Before leaving the US at the end of the academic year, students must check in with the (P)DSO to ensure that the signature is valid.
  • Students must keep all copies of the I20.  When a new I20 is issued the student should file the previous copies in a safe place; these may be required when applying for Optional Practical Training or or Curricular Practical Training. Only the most recent I20 is needed for travel.


F-1 students should speak with their (P)DSO/DSO if they are planning to do any of the following:

  • Change their major, program, or degree level.
  • Change their education level.
  • Transfer to a new school or take a leave of absence.
  • Take a break from school.
  • Travel outside the United States.
  • Move to a new address.
  • Request a program extension.
  • Get a job on campus.
  • Apply for Optional Practical Training or or Curricular Practical Training.

The Study in the States website provides more information and FAQs about maintaining status while studying on an F1 Visa.

Attendance

International students with F-1 student visas residing in the U.S. are expected to physically attend all on campus classes. A minimum of 80% percent in person attendance for class sessions offering a remote option is required.

International students not residing in the U.S. may enroll in fully-remote graduate programs.

Health & Safety at Guilford College

Health and Safety at Guilford
Emergency Information

  • In case of an emergency, whether on or off campus, call 911
  • After calling 911, contact P-SAFE, the Campus Safety and Security Office at 336-316-2911, 336-316-2909
  • Whenever there is an emergency, after calling 911 and P-SAFE, notify the office of Global and Off-Campus Initiatives (GOCI) or ask the PSAFE officer to do so. 336-316-2125, cbennett1@guilford.edu
  • In case of a local or natural emergency or crisis, Guilford will adhere to its Emergency Operations Plan, which has provisions for all hazard emergencies including natural disasters, fire, pandemic, etc. If evacuation from campus is necessary, students will be notified of the appropriate actions to be taken via email and the campus text alert system. Students who are evacuated will be provided alternate housing which will be arranged by Guilford College personnel.
  • Specific policies for Weather Emergencies can be found here.

Student Health Services and Counseling
Staff at Student Health Services will college your Immunization Records upon arrival.  Failure to submit updated immunization records (in English) will result in your being dropped from all classes. If you need to obtain vaccines once you arrive at Guilford you may do so, at your own expense.

Staff at the Counseling Center will assist students with matters regarding mental health and wellness. Services include psychological consultations, short-term counseling and crisis intervention.  It is strongly recommended that students connect with counseling services for adjustment purposes, not only in the event of a mental health crisis.

Accessibility Resource Center

Accessibility Resource Center
An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

Staff at the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) provide referrals and accommodations for students with disabilities that impair major life functioning or limit the student's ability to live and learn. Here are some common conditions that Guilford students receive services for:

  • Visual and Hearing Impairments
  • Chronic Illness
  • Physical Disability
  • Cognitive or Intellectual Disability
  • Learning Disability
  • Mental, Psychological, or Emotional Conditions
  • Illness or injury

Academic accommodations are legally-mandated modifications, adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services that are designed to reduce or eliminate barriers in the learning environment. They ensure that students with documented disabilities have equal access and opportunities to achieve the same outcomes and to obtain the same benefits as students without disabilities. Examples of accommodations:

  • sign language interpreters for students who are deaf
  • computer text-to-speech computer-based systems for students with visual impairments or Dyslexia
  • extended time for students with fine motor limitations, visual impairments, or learning disabilities
  • large-print books and worksheets for students with visual impairments
  • trackballs and alternative keyboards for students who operate standard mice and keyboards.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities provides more information about Learning Disabilities or Learning Differences
Employment and US Taxes.

Employment and US Taxes

Study in the States:  Working in the US

F1 students may obtain an on-campus job during their enrollment.  They may only work up to 20 hours per week during the academic session, and up to 40 hours per week during the holiday/vacation periods. A Social Security number is required for employment.

F1 Students may only work on Guilford’s campus unless there are specific extenuating circumstances or while engaged in Practical Training (OPT or CPT).

There are two types of jobs considered to be “On Campus”:

  • On the school premises: Work that takes place at your school location could be for an on-campus commercial business, like a bookstore or cafeteria, as long as the work directly provides services for students. Employment located on-campus that does not directly involve services to students (such as construction work) does not qualify as on-campus employment.
  • Educationally affiliated off-campus location: Work with an employer that is contractually affiliated with the school is on-campus employment even if the work site is not located on the campus (such as a research lab affiliated with your school).


On-campus employment must not displace a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR).

There are many opportunities for students at Guilford to work. Information on job openings is available at the Employment Website. Students may also talk with their professors and department chairs about upcoming opportunities.

  • Special Circumstances Regarding Athletes: NCAA rules allow for compensation re: name, image, likeness. SEVP has not yet provided a ruling on whether or not athletes with an F1 visa may be compensated, but has provided guidance as follows: The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is aware of and actively monitoring proposed federal and state legislation pertaining to the use of name, image and likeness for student athletes, including F and M nonimmigrant students. The program is working with its partners within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to review how this legislation affects international student athletes and will provide updated guidance via Broadcast Messages, Study in the States, social media and SEVP field representatives." Guilford student athletes who have an F1 Visa are advised to consult an immigration attorney and the (P)DSO regarding this matter.

Practical Training for F1 Students

Practical Training for F1 Students

OPT and CPT are available for students during their third or fourth year of study in the US.  Consult with the (P)DSO about all matters pertaining to Practical Training.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

  • Training relates directly to the student’s major area of study.
  • (P)DSO recommends OPT in SEVIS.
  • Students do not have to secure training opportunity before the (P)DSO can recommend OPT.
  • Authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), and the student is issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  • Allows the student to work for any employer, as long as the training relates to the student’s major course of study
  • Can occur before or after the student’s program end date. (Pre-completion or Post-completion)
  • Periods of OPT cannot overlap.
  • Students are eligible for an additional 12 months of OPT authorization, when they change to a higher educational level.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

  • Training relates directly to the student’s major area of study.
  • Training is an integral part of the school’s established curriculum.
  • Designated school official (P)DSO authorizes CPT in SEVIS, and the authorization prints on the student’s Form I-20.
  • Occurs before the student’s program end date on the Form I-20.
  • Authorization is for one specific employer and for a specific period of time.
  • Students must secure the training opportunity before CPT can be authorized.
  • CPT must be authorized before the student can begin work.
  • A student can have more than one CPT authorization at the same time.
  • One year of full-time CPT eliminates a student’s eligibility for OPT.

Social Security Cards

Social Security Cards

If you are an F-1 student and eligible to work on campus, you must have a social security number.  Obtain the following documents before going to the Social Security Office:

A letter from your DSO that confirms your identity, your current school status, and the name of the employer and the type of work that you will be doing.

A letter from your employer with the following:

  • The name of the business, address, and contact information
  • A brief job description
  • Employment start date
  • Number of hours you will be working
  • Your supervisor’s name and phone number


You must also complete an online application and take the following items to the office for your interview:

  • Your updated I20 (signed by the DSO after your arrival in the US)
  • Letter from the DSO
  • Letter from the employer
  • Passport with current VISA

Taxes

Students who work in the US, or who receive scholarship money that originates from a US source must pay federal income taxes. More information about this can be found here:

  • Study in the States:  Paying Employment Tax
  • IRS
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN): This number is required for students receiving US-sourced income (normally scholarships), but who are ineligible to obtain a Social Security Number.

Form 8843: Every nonresident who is present in the US must submit a Form 8843.  Form 8843 is not a U.S. income tax return. It is an informational statement required by the IRS for nonresidents for tax purposes. Generally, most international students and scholars who are on F and J visas are considered nonresidents for tax purposes.

  • J-1 and F-1 students are considered nonresident tax filers for their first five calendar years in the U.S.
  • J-1 and F-1 students usually become resident tax filers after being present in the U.S. for five calendar years.

Nonresident Tax Filers

  • If you are a nonresident tax filer with U.S. source income you must submit Form 8843 with your tax return.
  • If you are a nonresident tax filer, and have NO U.S. source income in 2022 you only need to complete the IRS Form 8843 to fulfill your federal tax filing obligation. (This applies only if you did not receive wages, salary, awards, prizes, or taxable scholarship or fellowship (i.e. the amount of scholarship or fellowship that exceeds the amount of your tuition [consider only your tuition; do not include any other expenses such as books, or room and board) from a U.S. institution, organization, or company. Financial support, such as sabbatical salary or a scholarship, from your home country or an organization outside the U.S. is not considered U.S. source income.

NC State Income Taxes

  • Some F1 students who work or receive scholarship money must file a NC state tax return in addition to their federal income tax return.  See more information about that here: NC Department of Revenue

Driver's License and ID

Driver’s License/State ID Card
F-1 students must obtain a NC Driver’s license in order to drive in the US.
To get your license or state ID card, visit an NCDMV Driver License Office with the following:

  • Passport
  • Social Security Number
  • A document providing your US address, such as a copy of your Guilford transcript, a printed copy of your bank statement, a utility bill, etc.
  • Most recent I-20
  • A document from an automobile insurance provider proving liability insurance coverage (You may purchase insurance over the phone using a credit card, and the issuer will send you the required policy documents. Unless you already own a car you will need to request a “non-owner’s policy”.)

F-1 students who do not want to get a driver’s license may want to get a state ID card so that they don’t have to carry their passport with them at all times.  The same documents are required for an ID card, with the exception of automobile insurance.

Automobile Insurance

All drivers must have auto insurance, whether you own a car or drive someone else’s vehicle. This includes friends’ cars or commercial rentals.  If you do not yet own a car, request “non-owner’s policy” when contacting the insurance agent.  After you obtain your driver’s license, if you decide to purchase a car you can switch the policy to an owner’s policy that will cover your vehicle. Otherwise, you may keep the non-owner’s policy.

The YELP app provides customer reviews of specific agencies.

Contact Us

Cathryn Bennett
Cathryn Bennett

Visiting Assistant Professor for Integrative Studies

Marisabel Guzman Bowen
Marisabel Guzman Bowen

Campus Visitor Specialist