Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- International Students

Find answers to all of our most frequently asked questions for
international students at the University of St. Francis.

Before Your Arrival

Step 1 of 4

Orientation is mandatory and you are expected to attend.

After Your Arrival

Yes! The orientation is designed to assist you with transition to the university and is required for new international students. At the orientation, you will connect with other new and returning students and learn about maintaining your visa status while studying at USF. Information will be presented on a variety of topics such as housing, obtaining student identification cards, completing health insurance forms, safety and security issues, diversity and Title IX, dining and food options, class schedules, academic advising, tutoring, counseling, and wellness, and how to navigate the campus. You will have the opportunity to open an American bank account and get a cell phone or sim card during the orientation.

  • Enroll in a full course of study at the beginning of every session (excluding authorized break periods) Undergraduate students shall take a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Graduate students must take a minimum of 8 to 9 credits per term depending on the master programs at USF.
  • Consult with the DSO before dropping below a full course of study for any reason
  • Report address changes to the DSO within 10 days of the change
  • Report any change in sources of financial support, program of study, status changes to the DSO
  • Seek the approval of the DSO/USCIS before engaging in employment or practical training
  • Notify the DSO prior to traveling outside the United States

International students need to register for classes with his or her academic advisor before each semester starts. All international students must maintain full time status each academic term. International students should contact their academic advisor with questions related to academic advising and registering for classes.

Opening a bank account in the US allows you to establish a secure and convenient way to manage money. It may also help you to avoid paying international transaction fees that may incur with an international account. During your orientation, the International Programs Office will assist you in opening a bank account. Below are some of the banks near USF for your consideration.

Bank of America


Harris Bank

1550 W Jefferson St.
Joliet, IL 60435

120 North Scott Street
Joliet, IL 60432

78 North Chicago Street
Joliet, IL 60432

  • You shall attend the International Student Orientation to open a bank account, you will need to bring TWO of the following documents to open a bank account.
    • School ID
    • I-20
    • State ID or Driver License (If you have one)
    • Social security card (If you have one)

If you need help with filling out some documents to open a bank account, please contact the IPO for assistance.

The social Security Number (SSN) is issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). International students can contact the Social Security Administration with any questions or inquire with IPO.

International students are only allowed to work part-time on campus. They are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week when school is in session.

University of St. Francis has a Health and Wellness Center that is available for students. It is located at the USF Motherhouse.

You should look at USF’s academic calendar and book your flight home according to the dates that classes are in session. It is EXTREMELY important that you arrive on campus on time for International Student Orientation and do not leave until your classes are over. International students must notify the DSO prior to travel outside of the United States.

There are four seasons in Joliet; winter, spring, summer and fall. It can be very cold during the winter, so it is important to bring warm clothing, a winter coat, hat, gloves, scarves, mittens, etc. In the summer, it is very hot, you will want to have shorts, t-shirts, tank tops and a swimsuit if you enjoy going to beaches or pools. There are various clothing stores in the area to make purchases. You can also order items online and have them shipped to your off-campus address or residence hall.

International students who want to drive in Illinois, must obtain an Illinois driver’s license. The Secretary of State’s office issues a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL) for non-citizens of the United States who have been granted temporary, legal entry into this country and are temporarily residing in the State of Illinois and ineligible for a Social Security number. You can find out more here:

This varies based on their preferences, their funding, and our availability. Traditional freshman international and domestic students must live in Marian Hall.

Students who come to USF without family or connection should absolutely live on campus their first semester/year. For more information visit, our housing requirements page which applies to new international students. All students who contract to live on campus in the fall are contracting for a full year. If a student decides to cancel for half the year, you will be charged a $750 cancellation fee. But if they come in Spring/Summer then the contract is just for that semester.

We do not have housing for married students or people with children.

Please contact Housing and/or Cedricka (Ceddi) Carver, Director of Residence Education, at or 815-740-4293.

  • Desk and chair for each roommate
  • Dresser for each roommate
  • Wardrobe for each roommate
  • Twin bed for each roommate
  • Recycling bin
  • Overhead light fixture
  • Cable connection
  • Internet connection
  • Microwave on each floor’s Social Lounge
  • Any specific disability accommodation requests should be sent to the Office of Accessibility Services.
  • Hotplates
  • Toasters
  • Toaster ovens
  • Electrical frying pans
  • Blenders
  • Microwaves
  • Appliances with open coils
  • Space heaters
  • Hoverboard
  • Air Fryers

The cost of your meal plan is included in your room and board charge.The money that is applied to your ID card is referred to as “Dining Dollars.” Please visit the USF Dining site for the published rates.