As an international student, your F-1 status depends on you maintaining full-time enrollment while in college.
Full-time enrollment is defined by the following:
- Undergraduate students are required to carry no fewer than 12 credit hours each semester
- Graduate students are required to carry no fewer than 12 credit hours each semester
- Students may be pre-authorized to take less than full time under certain critical circumstances
- Dropping below full time makes a student out of status
F-1 regulations recognize that traditional school years include a session (usually summer), during which students are considered by the school to be on break, and not required to be registered for classes. The regulations see this as an annual vacation, and consider the student to be maintaining status even though he or she is not actually registered for classes.
An F-1 student may attend another school as a recreational activity during an authorized vacation period without transferring his or her SEVIS record, provided he or she is eligible and intends to register for the following semester at Wheaton College. The current address must be reported to the DSO for record keeping in SEVIS.
The engineering and nursing programs at Wheaton College are the only programs that require dual enrollment.
You may be enrolled at Wheaton College and another institution at the same time. However, this can happen in majors that Wheaton College has a formalized relationship with. To ensure your F-1 status is not put at risk, you must satisfy the following requirements.
- Talk with your academic advisor to make sure your credits will transfer.
- Submit a copy of your current course registration at the other institution to OIS by the end of the first week of classes for each semester you are concurrently enrolled.
No more than the equivalent of one class or three credits per session (fall or spring) may be counted toward meeting the full course of study requirement if the class is taken on-line or through distance education and does not require the student's physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class. If a student needs only one course to finish his or her program of study, it cannot be taken through online or distance education (e.g. independent study with a move outside of the Chicagoland area). There must be a physical presence requirement for the course. If a student remains in the United States without reporting to any class, it becomes a security issue and cannot be allowed.
Overseas Study (study abroad)
International students are allowed to study abroad however, to maintain your F-1 status while studying abroad, you will need to be enrolled in course work at Wheaton College for the duration of your overseas experience.