Office for International Engagement

About the Office for International Engagement

OIE.jpg#asset:1514If you are an international student, OIE is your one stop spot for services and resources. International orientation, acclimation help, banking help, airport lifts for first time arrivals, summer baggage storage, F-1 student services, international advising, home-stay arrangements during breaks from classes. Whatever you need, we will do our best to help you.

FAQs

What do I need to bring to check in with OIE?

All international students must come to Davis 106 (OIE) at the beginning of the add/drop period.

Documents needed for your International Student Check in:

  • Your national passport with the F1 visa stamp inside
  • Your original hard copy signed I-20 which we sent to you
  • Your course schedule for your first semester of courses
  • Your driver's license if you want to check eligibility to drive with it

Information to prepare for the International Student Check in, during your check in with OIE, we will also collect/verify the following:

  • STUDENT Last Name, First Name
  • Passport Expiration Date
  • F1 Visa Expiration Date
  • I-94 Hard Copy
  • Your local address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

We will discuss the following with you and ask you to do a short survey

Academics

  • 15-17 credits minimum to stay on track
  • 12 credits absolute minimum
  • ONE online course per semester-can only be added during Add/Drop
  • Schedule confirmation or adjustments referral
  • Academic Calendar info
  • Academic Integrity info
  • Advisor info
  • Any questions you have

Services

  • Banking
  • DMV ( Department of Motor Vehicles)
  • Social Security
  • On-Campus Employment Info
  • SIM Card
  • Retail Shuttle
  • Trains
  • Campus Tour
  • IT Help Desk, user account, portal, email
  • Canvas Overview
  • Homestays for breaks
Can I work while I am a student?

In general, eligible international students may work with permission under three circumstances

  • On Campus Employment (Institutional Work Study)
  • Required Internship Employment during the degree program (CPT)
  • Professional Employment (OPT)

F1 students may NOT work off campus or make money in the United States at non-approved jobs/opportunities; doing so will jeopardize your F1 status and require termination of your SEVIS I-20.

Please consult with OIE if you decide employment is something you want to consider as there are timelines, limits, permissions, and regulations that you must understand.

Eligible programs

  • On Campus Employment requires permission-documents from OIE and the Nichols College hiring supervisor, along with a *Social Security number. On Campus Employment is restricted to actual departments of Nichols on the Nichols campus. Only non-federal financial aid may be used to fund On Campus Employment.
  • A required internship (CPT) requires permission-documents from OIE and the supervising Nichols professor, along with a *Social Security number. CPT can only happen after one full year of successful academic coursework. CPT must be directly related to a required internship, be supervised by a faculty member, and last only as long as the duration of the credit-bearing course it is related to and have an active course registration through the Registrar’s Office.
  • Professional Employment (OPT) requires an approval from OIE, a fee-bearing US government application for an Earning Authorization Document (EAD), along with a *Social Security number. OPT must be professional employment directly related to the Nichols major and course of study. Employment begins after graduation (post-completion OPT) and extends for 12 months of professional employment. Students should begin the EAD application process through OIE 90 days before the graduation date.

*See How do I get a Social Security number in FAQs

How do I get a Social Security number if I am an F1 Student?

Make an appointment with OIE to get started

Gather Supporting documents

  • Retrieve your *letters (2) of employment for OIE (Davis 106) that prove your eligibility for On Campus Employment
  • I-20 (bring the most up-to-date original we signed)
  • Your passport
  • Your most current I-94 (you retrieve this online or from OIE)

*For on campus employment, we will provide you with a letter from your designated school official that identifies you, confirms your current school status; and identifies your employer and the type of work you will be doing.

*For on campus employment, we also help you get evidence of the employment offer through a document letter from your Nichols supervisor. These will describe your job; your employment start date; the number of hours you will be, working; and your supervisor's name and telephone number.

Go in person to:

51 Myrtle Street, Madison Place, Worcester, MA

Phone: 866-331-9069

Check these times for accuracy

Monday 9:00am-4:00pm

Tuesday 9:00am-4:00pm

Wednesday 9:00am-12:00pm

Thursday 9:00am-4:00pm

Friday 9:00am-4:00pm

How do I get a driver's license?

Eligible international students (have at least one full year left in your course of study) may apply for a driver’s license.

Make an appointment with OIE (Davis 106) to get started or ask for guidance

Gather the following documents (for 18 years of age or older):

  • Document proving date of birth (such as a passport)
  • Document proving signature (such as a passport)
  • Document proving Massachusetts residency (such as a school bill showing residence)
  • A Social Security Number (SSN) that the RMV can verify with the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) as having been issued to you OR an acceptable Denial Notice from the SSA. If you present a Denial Notice, you must also present proof of acceptable visa status, an I-94 (Record of Arrival and Departure), and a current non-U.S. Passport.

All documents must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted. Your right to operate will be verified through the Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS) and the National Driver Register (NDR) to determine if it is suspended, revoked, cancelled, withdrawn, or disqualified in any state or the District of Columbia. You must pay all required fees. All documents you present must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted.

Be prepared to pay the appropriate fee

The fee for each road test is listed on the RMV fee chart.

Schedule a Road Test

Once you have passed the written permit test and completed all necessary JOL requirements, you may schedule a road test online. If you wish, you may use our automated phone system to schedule a road test by calling 857-368-8010. You may NOT make a road test appointment at an RMV branch.

Can I drive on my home country driver's license?

In most cases, Yes!

To be sure, this link contains the guideline for driving in the USA on the international home license.

So, is your license in English?

If yes, you can use it to drive a car in the US for up-to-a year of arriving. If you plan to drive after that, you need to get a state driving license from your US resident state. In this case, your US school residence is in Massachusetts, so you need to go through the Massachusetts RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles).

Some students ask, What about an International driving permits?

These cannot be issued in the USA for foreign nationals. Application for international driving permits has to be done in the home country before arriving. These documents are simply translations into the target language if the home country is not English speaking; they are not licenses or permits themselves. So, if your license is in English, you would not even need it.

Since F1 students are considered residents while students on active I-20s, they are allowed to get a MA license. But you have to do it before your final 12 months of studies has begun.

This site offers good information about driving in the U.S. for foreign nationals.

Where can i do banking?

Challenge: Many banks in the US require customers to have social security numbers.

Solution: Santander Bank in Webster, MA, a few miles down the road, does not! So if you do not have a SS#, you can still have a bank account.

Please be aware that Nichols College Student Financial Services and Business Office cannot do personal banking for students. Please strongly consider opening your own account if you feel this is best for you.

We *recommend this local bank:

Santander Bank (more information)

206 Main Street

Webster, MA 01570

Customer Service: 508 943 0755

ATM Hours

Open 24 Hours, 7 days a week

*Nichols is not affiliated with Santander Bank.

If you have any questions about banking in general, please come up to OIE (Davis 106) for guidance.

Contact Us

Contact Information

OIE@nichols.edu
508-213-2230

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm

Summer Office Hours

Mon-Thu 8:30am-4:30pm
Closed Friday

Location

Davis 106

susan.wayman@nichols.edu
508-213-2230

Susan Wayman

Director of the Office for International Engagement