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International Student Resources

Resources for Current International Students

UW-Eau Claire provides is nationally recognized for providing high quality education at an affordable price. In addition, the Eau Claire community offers you a welcoming and safe environment near a large metropolitan area (Twin Cities). Join us in experiencing the Eau Claire advantage!

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International Student Suggestion Box

 We want you to have the best experience possible at UWEC! Please submit any suggestions to help improve your experience.

Suggestion Box

International Student Welcome Book

The International Student Welcome Book is full of great resources for all international students. 

Academic 

Academic training is an opportunity for students on J visas to obtain training experience in their field of study at UW-Eau Claire.
J-1 Academic Training Information to learn more about academic training for J-1 visa holders.

The following students are eligible for and will generally be granted extended test time:

  • International students who have completed the 300-level of our ESL program
  • Exchange students (non-degree)
  • Students whose TOEFL (or approved equivalent) score is between 541-600 (paper) or 75-100 (internet-based test) 

This applies for their first two semesters at UWEC which, in most cases, is a sufficient accommodation. However, a student may request extended test time for additional semesters or classes. These requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact Ami Christensen, christa@uwec.edu

Request Additional Exam Time

F- Visa Holders: If you need additional time to finish your program of study, please complete the program extension form, have it signed by your academic adviser, and return to the CIE. We will extend your program on your I-20 or contact you with further questions.

F-Visa Holders Program Extension Form

J-Visa Holders: If you need additional time to finish your program of study or want to extend your study at UW -Eau Claire you will need both the program extension form and proof of financial support for the rest of your program of study. Please make an appointment with an ISS staff member.

J-Visa Holders Program Extension Form

Students at UWEC must complete a requirement for foreign language/culture learning. Students who are unsure if they have completed this requirement or not can check for it on their degree audit. International Students receive a waiver via their academic advisor for this requirement when they have satisfied the university writing requirement (WRIT 114 or 116, 118 or 120) with a C+ or better.

Please make an appointment with your academic advisor after the end of the semester in which you take your WRIT class and have them start the e-form for you. Refer them to this notice and advise them to contact Linda Carlson carlsol@uwec.edu with any questions.

 

The Center for International Education is required to report your change of address in the United States and in your home country within days of each move.

You MUST have both a US address and address in your home country on files with UWEC at all times. The CIE is also required to report your phone number. To ensure that you are reporting your addresses and phone numbers correctly, please visit the following links.

Home Country Address

United States Address

Phone Numbers

Students may be eligible to go below 12 credits only with permission of the U.S. Government. The reasons may be initial difficulties with U.S. teach methods, incorrect course placement, medical reasons, or final semester.

Please review the form and talk with an ISS staff member to determine if you are eligible. The criteria is strict, so contact a staff member early.

Reduced Course Load (RCL) Authorization Form

Upon graduation you will be mailed a copy of your official transcript. If you wish to receive additional copies of your transcript please follow this link or contact Blugold Central at 715-836-3000.

If you are transferring to another educational institution, the CIE may be able to help you transfer your immigration / SEVIS record to the new institution. However, you are responsible for transferring all of your academic records.

Once you have received an acceptance letter from your new institution, please contact the CIE for an appointment about transferring your immigration record. An immigration record transfer can take place if you are transferring at the same education level or if you are going to another education level (like graduate school).

Financial

Gold for Blugolds is where you can find scholarship information for continuing international students including scholarships from academic departments and leadership opportunities.

How to search for scholarships

All international students and scholars are required to purchase accident and sickness, medical evacuation, and repatriation insurance each semester throughout their studies. Insurance is a requirement of the University of Wisconsin System in addition to some student visas. Students are charged for insurance through their student bill and are automatically enrolled by the Center for International Education (CIE).

Students and Scholars are required to purchase insurance for all dependents who may accompany them to the United States on a dependent visa.

Dates of Enrollment:

  • Fall 2019Semester Enrollment Dates: 8/5/19 through 1/4/20
  • Spring 2018 Semester Enrollment Dates: 1/5/20 through 8/4/20

For plan summary, claims information, contact information, and ID card visit Wellfleet.

For instructions on how to print your insurance card, please visit:Updated Instructions to get insurance card 10/2019

The CIE is unable to help advise students on filing their United State income taxes. However, there are a number of programs what can help international students when filing income taxes.

International students have access to Glacier Tax Prep though the UW-System. Follow this link to the website.

Sprintax is another option for international students to use to file taxes. There are promotional flyers in the CIE for a discount code.

If on-campus employment opportunities are not available or are otherwise insufficient, an eligible F-1 student may request employment authorization based on severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control.

The application requires adjudication by the US Department of Homeland Security and a student can expect to wait four months for adjudication. If you are suffering from severe economic hardship due to unforeseen circumstances, please make an appointment with an ISS staff member to discuss possible options

Work

CPT allows F visa holders the opportunity to take part in credit-bearing training opportunities such as internships during their studies. In order to be eligible for CPT, students must be earning internship credit in their major field of study.

F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

In order to be employed, on-campus international students must obtain a social security number. Students must download this Social Security Request Form or pick it up from the Center for International Education in Schofield 3.

  • Section 1 on the form is filled out by the student. 
  • Section 2 is filled out by the employer.

Once both sections are filled out, the form must be turned into the CIE.

An international student adviser will look over the form and complete the process which can take up to two weeks. Once the form is signed by an international student adviser, the student will receive an email saying their form is ready to be picked up.

The student can then take the form to the social security office and obtain their number.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows F-visa holders to apply for one year of employment authorization to begin after graduation. The employment authorization is so that recent graduates can obtain training in their field of study. If you are interested in applying for OPT, you should begin the process at the beginning of your final semester before graduation.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) Application

Instructions on filling out the I-765 

In order to meet the federal reporting requirements for OPT you must use this form you will need the following information:

  • Employer EIN number
  • Hours worked per week
  • Address
  • The name and address of any additional employer within 5 days of beginning position
  • Any breaks in employment or discontinuation of employment within 5 days of ending the position

Unemployment of more than 90 days will cause your OPT to automatically end by the SEVIS system. The way they know you are employed is through your report of the employer's information.

Note: Provide a 6-month update on your employment status and personal information here.

If you believe you are eligible for an OPT STEM extension please contact the Center for International Education to speak with an ISS staff member. Either stop into Schofield 3 or call 715-836-4411. 

The CIE is required to report changes to your on campus employment to the US Government. Please click here to report changes any time you start a new job or end a current job.

Immigration

Inviting Family Members to the US

Family members (other than your spouse and children) wishing to visit the US must apply for a "tourist" visa at the US embassy or consulate in their home countries. There is no documentation available from the CIE for tourist visa applications.

Ensure that your family members have the following evidence, which will be helpful during the visa application process:

  • Invitation letter from you: Write a letter of invitation that includes the following: your name and your reason for living in the US, the names of your family members who wish to visit, the purpose and approximate length of the visit, and whether you will provide room and board or any other financial assistance for the visit.
  • Your evidence of funding: If you provide room and board or any other specific expenses of the trip (such as airfare), you should supply evidence of your funding such as a bank statement or employment letter. There is no minimum dollar amount that you must reflect; but you should indicate an amount that is reasonable for the level of support you are providing.
  • Evidence of your status in the US: provide your family members with a copy of your I-20 (do NOT send the original) and other documents verifying your status in the US. (It is not necessary to get a new I-20 when inviting family members).
  • Evidence of intent to return home: Your family members must prove that they will return home after visiting the US. Documents showing employment, property ownership, close family relations in home country, or enrollment in school (in the home country) are considered good evidence of intent to return home.
  • Family Members' Evidence of Funding: If your family members intend to cover their own expenses, they should provide a bank statement, employment verification or other evidence of funding.

Consult the web! The US State Department/Bureau of Consular Affairs has a website (www.travel.state.gov) with additional information about applying for a tourist visa. In addition, many individual consulates will have more specific information about inviting family members on their websites. You can find links to US Consulates around the world on the above site or at www.embassyworld.com

If you are inviting your spouse or children (under the age of 21) to the US, please visit a Document Specialist during walk-in hours for information about dependent visas.

The US State Department/Bureau of Consular Affairs has a website with additional information about applying for a tourist visa. In addition, many individual consulates will have more specific information about inviting family members on their websites. You can find links to US Consulates around the world on the above site or at www.embassyworld.com

Off-Campus Housing

  • Living on campus means a quick walk to classes, libraries, computer labs, cafeterias, etc. There is minimal need to find parking, walk to campus, or figure out bus schedules.
  • On-campus housing offers the opportunity to meet many people in the residence halls and stay connected to on-campus activities.
  • No monthly rent payments, utility bills, and grocery shopping or house chores.
  • Chancellors Hall offers upperclassmen student living in apartment-style, four, single bedrooms that are fully furnished with a common kitchen and living space. 9-month or 12-month options are available as well as the opportunity to cook your own food or choose a meal plan. Open during academic breaks!
  • Can I afford it? Students pay anywhere from $300-1,000 a month for rent, utilities, groceries, etc. off campus.
  • Leader-Telegram (local newspaper) classified ads
  • Local realtor websites
  • Craigslist.com (Craigslist Eau Claire)
  • Bulletin boards in public places
  • When viewing a rental, contact the landlord or person of contact and set up an appointment to see the place. 
  • Bring potential roommates or another trusted friend to the appointment to get multiple perspectives on the rental property.
  • Would you feel comfortable in the location during the daytime, nighttime, anytime?
  • Are all windows and doors lockable?
  • Who has access to the house? When were the locks changed last?
  • Are there other student houses in the neighborhood or is it mostly families?
  • Will you need to shovel snow or mow the lawn, is the service provided?
  • Is parking available and is the area well lit?
  • Is laundry available in the unit?
  • What is the minimum and maximum length of the lease? When will you have to move out?
  • Is the amount of the rent and security deposit written on the lease?
  • When is rent due and how will rent be turned in? What is the penalty for paying late?
  • Who is responsible for utilities, the landlord or tenants?
  • How long will a maintenance request take and how will it be handled?
  • When can the landlord enter my property and under what circumstances?
  • A lease is a legal document that outlines the terms under which the tenants rent a property from a landlord.
  • The lease guarantees the use of a property by a tenant for a specified amount of time, and it guarantees a landlord payment for the length of the lease term.
  • Read the lease carefully before signing!
  • Terminating or ending a lease early may be difficult. Tenants and landlords must agree on early termination terms and tenants may be responsible for the cost of the rest of the lease, or the cost until new tenants are found.
  • Subletting may be possible if you need to leave the property and want someone else to take your place on the lease. Make sure you discuss the terms with your landlord.
  • Ask your landlord if they would like to stay informed about the property and get their contact information. 
  • Make notes and take pictures of damage or wear and tear to make sure you are not fined for previous damages when you leave the property at the end of your lease.
  • Fill out the check-in sheet, which is usually provided by the landlord.This is where you will document the damage in the rental for the landlord. 
  • If a check-in sheet is not provided, find and print a rental inspection checklist that can be found online, fill it out, and send it to your landlord. Keep a copy of this document for yourself. 
  • Your landlord is responsible for making any repairs that are necessary to comply with local housing codes and to keep the premises safe. If the landlord refuses to repair major building defects, you may report the defect to your local building or health inspector. The landlord may not retaliate by evicting you.
  • *Make sure you update your address in MyBlugoldCampS*

CABLE/INTERNET/PHONE

ELECTRICITY/GAS

GARBAGE/RECYCLING CARRIERS

  • The Eau Claire Transit bus system is FREE to UW-Eau Claire students with a current ID. Student neighborhoods near Water Street, the housing areas off Clairemont Avenue near upper campus, and virtually all areas of town can be accessed on the bus route system.
  • Students commonly use Route 9. Here are the list of stops on that route.
  • Water Street Route:
    • Centennial Hall
    • Barstow & Martson
    • Second & Lake
    • Transfer Center
    • Fourth & Lake
    • Sixth & Lake
    • Hudson & 7th
    • Niagara & 7th
    • Water & 7th
    • Water & 3rd
    • Haas Fine Arts
  • Stein Boulevard Route:
    • Hibbard Hall
    • McPhee Center
    • Towers Hall
    • Oak Ridge Hall
    • Plaza Hotel
    • Stein & Mayo Clinic
    • Stein & Bollinger
    • Eldorado & Imperial Circle
    • West MacArthur & Ruth
    • West MacArthur and Stein
    • Centennial Hall
  • Hours of Operation:
  • Monday-Friday: 6:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

* Bus Schedule routes only operate during the Fall and Spring semesters.

* Buses do not operate on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Emergency: 9-1-1

Eau Claire Police Department Non-Emergency: 715-839-4972

Eau Claire Fire Department Non-Emergency: 715-839-5012

Q - I have a health, safety, or general concern with my rental. What do I do now?

A - Contact your landlord. We always encourage students to go to their landlord first with any issue. In most cases landlords will resolve the issue themselves.

  

Q - I’ve contacted my landlord about a health or safety concern but he/she is unresponsive. Help!

A - If your landlord is unresponsive or if this is a health and safety concern the Eau Claire City-County Health Department can help. 

 

Q- I think I might need legal representation. Who can I contact?

A- If you feel you may need legal representation make an appointment with Harry Hertel the on-campus lawyer. Visit Davies Center 220 to make an appointment. Be sure to bring your student ID.

 

UW-Eau Claire website for campus activities and events

Pay attention to your email! Blugold Briefing and Blugold FYI relay information about campus events, sign-ups for activities, college tips, etc. through emails. 

 

Visit Eau Claire

Eau Claire is a community rich in arts and culture. Discover all the great things to do, restaurants, hotels, and shops. Enjoy the outdoors, nature, the music and art scene, and history in Eau Claire.

 

Volume One

Need to get out on the town and try something new? Visit Volume One for a list of events in the Chippewa Valley!

 

Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. (DECI)

Downtown Eau Claire is about camaraderie and discovery, with its own unique dynamic. With four business districts alongside the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers, Downtown Eau Claire offers the arts, biking, culture, dining, entertainment, parks, a farmers market, music and shopping.

 

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library

Visit L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library for a complete list of events and things to do in Eau Claire.

 

  • When moving out, it is always a good idea to contact your landlord to arrange for a final checkout inspection. If your landlord does not agree, find someone to be a witness to inspect the premises with you.
  • If you paid a security deposit, the landlord must return it to you within 21 days after you move out. The landlord may deduct for unpaid rent or damages for which you are responsible.
  • A deduction from the security deposit for normal wear and tear such as cleaning or carpet shampooing, in the absence of abuse, waste, or neglect on your part, is prohibited.
  • If there are any deductions from the security deposit, the landlord must provide you with a written statement itemizing the amounts withheld.
  • Move out ALL personal items and clean the rental property. 
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