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International Office
Texas State University
Thornton International House
601 University Dr.
San Marcos, TX 78666

Tel : (512) 245 7966
Fax: (512) 245 8264
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Frequent Questions


Here are some answers to frequently asked questions of new or prospective students:
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What is your question about?

Getting Accepted to Texas State...

How can I attend Texas State?

To apply to Texas State, ALL students go through the APPLY TEXAS APPLICATION; the link to it is available on the Graduate College Admission website and The Undergraduate College Admission website. Fill out the International Application if you are an F-1 student or will be coming in on an F-1 Visa.

What do I have to score on the TOEFL to be accepted?

Check out the TSIE website, it lists the TOEFL scores required for admissions on the website below or speak with an admissions representative.
http://www.txstate.edu/ie/programs/requirements.html

 

My TOEFL scores aren't good enough for full admission, can I still come to Texas State?

The TSIE program offers Pre-Bridge and Bridge program admissions for students who need to work on improving their scores, check out their website and the TOEFL requirements for their program at the link above for more details, or contact them and they will be happy to help you.

I have applied to Texas State University, how can I check my application status?

You should have been given an application number when you applied, use the number to check your application on the admissions website. The International Office cannot check admissions status, only the admissions offices can do that.

I have been accepted! What are my next steps?

What do I do now?

Review all the requirements for admissions and look closely at your acceptance letter which will give you valuable instructions that you should follow.  Also review all of the steps that have been put up on our Next Steps after being Admitted page.

What if I am transferring in from another U.S. School?

If you are currently on an F-1 Visa at another U.S. school or institution, it is important that you complete a SEVIS record transfer-in form and make sure you let you old school's international office know that you will need your SEVIS record transferred to Texas State. Follow the directions on completing a SEVIS transfer by downloading the Transfer-In Form.

When will I receive my I-20 after I apply for Texas state?

After you have been formally accepted to Texas State and fulfilled all the requirements and submitted all the necessary documents, the admissions office will request an I-20 to be made for you.
The International Office will issue you an I-20, and give it to the admissions office to mail to you at your home country address. If you want the I-20 mailed expediently, please contact the admissions department and notify them. Generally, unless you are already in the U.S., the International Office does not mail your initial I-20 to you, the admissions department does.

What if there is an error on the I-20 I recieved?

If there is a mistake on your I-20, notify the Texas State International Office or the Admissions department immediately.  You can e-mail international@txstate.edu or call 512-245-7966.  If the error is something that will cause problems at your Visa appointment or entry, the office will issue you a corrected I-20, otherwise they may advise you to keep the I-20 and have it corrected at our office upon your arrival.

Why does the university automatically add a fee for Health Insurance to my bill?

Texas law requires every F-1 student have health insurance that meets strict requirements. You can and should review these requirements on the Health Center website under the tab for Insurance>International Students. If you have insurance that meets the requirements, you can submit proof of it to the health center and complete a Health Insurance Waiver Request Form through their website. If approved and done in time, you may receive a reimbursement for the Health Center Insurance. All questions about Health Insurance and the Health Insurance Waiver should be directed to the Student Health Center and not the International Office.

 

How can I register for classes and pay my fee for tuition at Texas State?

Registering for Classes:

Before a new student registers for classes the first time, they are often required to meet with an Academic Advisor first for direction on which classes they should register for.  The international office cannot do academic advising; it must be done by an Advisor in your department of study.  Often times, new students are blocked from registering until they have had an appointment with an Academic Advisor.  You can find out which Advising Center to contact for your program by reviewing the website below and contacting the appropriate office to set up and appointment or speak with an advisor. You can find the contact information for your department's advising center here.

Paying Tuition: 
You cannot pay your tuition bill until after you have registered for courses at Texas State.  To pay your Tuition bill at Texas State, you must log into the Student Business Services website(SBS) or visit the Bursar's office in the J.C. Kellam Building (JCK).  The international Office does not bill you or take payment for classes; we cannot view your bill to tell you what it is. All payments would be through the Student Business Services.
Student Business Services website:  http://www.sbs.txstate.edu/

Once I get my Visa, when can I travel to Texas State?

You can travel into the U.S. up to 30 days before the start date on your I-20. Because there are many things you may have to arrange upon arrival, such as: housing, advising, registration for classes, etc...you should come in at least one week before your classes begin.  Additionally, you must attend the International Office's orientation which will be held sometime before the first week of classes and you should arrive at least in time for that.

Do I have to attend Orientation?

International Orientation
International Orientation is not mandatory, but the immigration check-in, which is done on the first day or orientation, is mandatory for all F-1 students.  This orientation is held by the International Office at the beginning of the semester. The purpose of the orientation is to provide new international students with information on:

  • maintaining their non-immigrant status
  • medical insurance
  • tax issues
  • employment
  • other issues related to international students

Sign up for the mandatory check-in and optional orientation sessions for your semester here

Remember to attend any other orientations that apply to you such as NSO for Undergrads and Graduate Orientation for Grads.

Once I arrive in Texas...

How can I find housing?

Review the information listed on the Next Steps page under Housing, or download the Housing Comparison Chart that our office has created for you.  If you are living on-campus you may be able to get break housing, otherwise you should contact an apartment locator as soon as possible to start looking for nearby housing. 

I need a Social Security Number to apply for an apartment/cell phone/utilities, how can I get one?

You cannot get a Social Security Number (SSN) unless you have a job offer. You should not really need one to rent an apartment, although some apartment complexes say that you must.  Many apartment complexes have worked with International Students before and will allow you to complete your application using other immigration documents that suffice to prove your identity instead of a SSN.

 
If you are looking for a cell phone, you must find a company that does not require a SSN.  Usually pay as you go, or services that allow you to pay monthly (such as Cricket, Simple Mobile, and Boost) do not require a SSN, but signing up for a service contract which lasts years (Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon) may require a SSN.

 

Where can I get a phone or phone service?

Our office cannot recommend the best phone service for International Students, but we can let you know that many International Students prefer using their own (GSM unlocked) phone from home, or buying an affordable phone with an Unlimited Plan from a provider who they pay monthly and can discontinue service with at any time.  Some providers of pay-month by month phone plans in San Marcos include: Simple Mobile, Cricket and Boost Mobile.

How can I find work?

If you are a Graduate Student seeking a Graduate Assistantship to help you get In-State tuition, please read the information at the following link prior to applying for jobs:

international-office/prospective/newstudentsFAQ/firstsemesterjob.html

As an F-1 student you are eligible for a few types of work. CPT & OPT require that you are a full-time student for 1 year before you start working.  You can however, apply for on-campus work immediately after arriving. You must remember that you cannot work more than 20 hours while school is in session.  Start job hunting on the Career Services database: Jobs4cats after making an account, uploading a resume and an application and then searching for open jobs around campus.  Once you have a job-offer review the steps to get a Social Security Number listed under the Step by Step Instructions on getting On-Campus Employment.

A complete list of F-1 employment options and the regulations associated with each type of work are listed under Current Students: F-1 Employment