International Student Services

About International Student Services


International Student Services is a resource for our International Students here at Nichols College. As apart of Student Life, ISS, works to bring a positive and student centered experience for all of our International Students.


What do I need to bring to check in with Internatioanl Student Services?

All new international students will participate in an Orientation and Check in Meeting at the beginning of their first semester. Information will be emailed to you via your Nichols College Email Account.

Information to prepare for the International Student Check in, during your check in with International Student Services, 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
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 your PDSO/DSO, 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 your PDSO/DSO and the Nichols College hiring supervisor, along with a *Social Security number. One 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 your PDSO/DSO 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 PDSO/DSO, 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 your PDSO/DSO to get started

Gather Supporting documents

  • Retrieve your *letters (2) of employment from your PDSO/DSO that prove your eligibility for On Campus Employment
  • I-20
  • Your passport
  • Your most current I-94

*For on campus employment, we will provide you with a document 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 document 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.

How do I get a driver's license?

Eligible international students (those who have at least one full year left in your degree program) may apply for a driver’s license through the local RMV.

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 website.

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.

Who are my DSOs?

DSO: Amanda Desai, Director of Reisdence Life, Fels 301

Contact Us

Contact Information


Office Hours

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

Summer Office Hours

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


Fels 301