Director, International Student Services
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
phone: (727) 864-7678
International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa can receive a Florida Drivers License or a Florida Identification card for the duration of their stay in the United States. For more info, click here.
It is recommended that you buy a phone for your dorm room.
The easiest way to stay in touch with family and friends is through calling cards. There are cheap and reliable websites of companies where you can purchase calling cards. Go online to: http://www.phonecardsavers.com/, http://www.tel3.com/, or http://www.net2phonedirect.com/. You can also buy calling cards from any department store like Wal-Mart and CVS.
Cell phones are harder to get since they often require having a social security number first.
Each semester you need to register for 4 classes minimum to satisfy the requirements of your F-1 visa. If you are a PEL student (Program for Experienced Learners), you need to sign up for 2 classes per session. You are not required to take classes during the summer.
Autumn Term classes count for the Fall semester and Winter Term classes count toward the Spring semester.
You can be approved to take less than 4 classes for a semester. Click here for more information.
If you have a student visa, you need a valid passport, a valid visa, and a valid signature on page 3 of your I-20 (for F-1 visa). The signature is valid for 12 months on the I-20 and must be signed by an approved school official (usually the Director of International Student Programs).
Students on OPT (Optional Practical Training) need to carry their EAD card (Employment Authorization Document)
Yes, consult the list of available on campus jobs in the Office of Career Services but you first need to have received International Work Study (IWS) as financial aid before applying for a job on campus. If you did not receive IWS during your initial application at Eckerd College, you can contact the office of Financial Aid and ask if you can qualify to receive IWS or get a job with a department that has money to pay you directly. You can also apply for a job with Barnes & Nobles which runs the bookstore on campus, with Bon Appetit which runs the food service, or with DTZ which runs the Facilities Department.
You are allowed to work on campus maximum 20 hours per week during the school year and full time during the summer.
It is illegal to work off campus on an F1 visa status without an approved internship or after applying for economic hardship. You can review these possibilities by clicking on Employment and reviewing the details for off-campus employment.
Yes, you do need an authorization, even if the internship is "not paid".
You can do an internship as a CPT (Curriculum Practical training) or even as an Pre completion OPT (Optional Practical Training). Each training application has requirements. Click on Employment to check the requirements.
The Social Security Office requires Eckerd College to certify that you have a job before they will let you apply for a number. To find a position on campus, contact the Office of Career Services and follow the steps regarding on-campus employment on the Employment page.
Note: You can start working before you obtain a social security number.
You can stay in the United States with an expired F-1 student visa as long as your I-20 is valid. You don't need to get it renewed right away. However, if you leave the United States (other than to go to Canada or Mexico for less than 30 days) you must get a new student visa to re-enter the U.S. You can obtain a new visa at the nearest U.S. consulate in your home country or in an another country. Very often, U.S. consulate officers ask for a copy of your academic transcript, make sure to request one at the Registrar's office before you leave.
Yes. The closest bank, Wachovia/Wells Fargo, is on campus next to the bookstore. It offers a free checking student account with or without a Social Security number.
The closest off campus bank, Bank of America, is only minutes away by car. It also offers a free checking account. It is located on Route 19 (34th Street south).