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Student Handbook


It is important that you keep copies of all forms issued regarding your immigration status. Ultimately, while we are here to help you, it is your responsibility to maintain status. It is encouraged that you keep a folder with all your immigration information in a safe place so that you will be able to track the information.

More information can be found under the Immigration tab. 


U.S. Classroom Guidelines

Compared to classrooms in other countries, U.S. classrooms tend to be informal. For the most part, classrooms tend to be places where you are learning and sharing information, ideas, and opinions in a respectful manner. Remember that there are some very basic rules observed in our classrooms.

Tardiness and Absence
  • Arrive on time for class! Professors do not take tardiness lightly. If you arrive late, quietly walk to your seat and do not go up to the professor until the class has ended.
  • If you know that you will be late or absent let the professor know beforehand by email. Make sure to ask the professor or a classmate for the assignments or notes.
  • Try not to miss a class as this will put you behind. Professors usually have guidelines about being absent and might count these against your final grade if you miss too many classes.
  • Since classrooms are informal, professors might sit at a chair (or on the desk) while in class.
  • Professors are available for questions during their “office hours” which are normally listed on the course syllabus or at the professor’s office. You might also be able to make an appointment with them via email if you need to.
  • If you wish to record a class, you must ask permission from the professor beforehand.
  • It is inappropriate to talk to friends, use your phone, or surf the internet while in class (especially if the professor is speaking)
  • Be on time to meetings and classes. This is important not just in the classroom, but everywhere in the U.S.
  • You should expect homework assignments, quizzes, and tests throughout the semester. All of these items will be used along with the final exams to calculate your course grade.
  • It is common for professors to include participation and attendance in factoring into your grades as well.
  • Remember to go to class prepared! You should complete the readings and homework prior to class.
  • Do assignments exactly how the professor asks. If there is something that you do not understand, make sure to ask questions directly to the professor.
  • It is your responsibility to complete assignments. Assignments, quizzes and tests have due dates that are generally listed out on the syllabus and you must ensure that everything is turned in on time.
  • Professors will let you know of their acceptance of late work…it is possible that they will not allow you to turn in assignments after the due date without valid reason (medical or prior agreement).
Asking Questions
  • It is appropriate to ask questions in class. Usually, you will raise your hand and wait for the professor to recognize you before you speak.
  • While some professors are available after class, the easiest way to ask more detailed questions is by scheduling an appointment.
  • Communication is important so make sure you let your professors know about any issues related to the material or personal issues that may inhibit course performance. This can be done after class, during office hours, or via email.
Tips for Academic Success
  • Professors tend to enjoy when students discuss ideas rather than just sitting and listening. Don’t be afraid to speak up in class!
  • If you don’t understand something, ask! This will show that you care about your grades and want to succeed.
  • Being prepared should include studying outside of class, asking any questions, and using resources on campus if you need extra help.
  • If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, do not stop going to classes. This will make the situation more difficult. Instead, you can reach out to your professor, advisor, campus counselor or the International Services team for help.

Academic Dishonesty

Student dishonesty (cheating or plagiarizing) will not be tolerated in any class at Indiana Tech. Students are encouraged to inform the academic advisors of instances of cheating or plagiarizing.


  • Cheatingis defined as dishonesty or deceitfulness in order to gain an advantage. Examples are: talking to other students or looking at their work during examinations.
  • Plagiarismis another form of cheating. Students are guilty of plagiarism when they present someone else’s work as their own. Examples are: asking a friend to write an assignment paper for you, or including portions of material from a book, journal or computer file without giving appropriate credit to the author.
  • Self-plagiarism (or recycling fraud)is the resubmission of part of all of one’s own work to fulfill academic requirements in the same course or in other courses without providing proper acknowledgment of the original work with accurate citations.
  • Fabricationis the falsification or invention of information or data in any academic undertaking.
  • Facilitating academic dishonestyinvolved assisting someone in an act of dishonesty.


Plagiarism can be intentional (you purposely used someone else’s work and did not cite properly) or unintentional (you forgot to cite the author on accident). The results and penalties are the same.

To avoid plagiarism, make sure you cite all of your sources with your assignments using the proper MLA or APA guidelines indicated by your professor. Additionally, there are workshops on campus to help teach you how to cite properly and to give credit to the authors accurately to prevent issues with plagiarism.

Cheating at Indiana Tech is taken very seriously. Do not let others look at your answers or give someone answers, copy from an assignment, or talk during an examination. The penalties for cheating are illustrated above. As a student, it is imperative that you do your own work and do not let others use your answers.


Academic dishonesty is regarded as a serious offense against the academic community. When a student is believed to have disregarded the principles of academic integrity, consequences will follow.

When academic integrity is believed to be compromised, faculty must adhere to the policy as stated on their course syllabi regarding academic dishonesty. In addition, faculty are required to follow the Infraction Card process as outlined in the Student Conduct Policy.

General Policies

Indiana Tech has a set of policies laid out for students which can be accessed at While these are discussed during orientation, some of the highlighted policies are listed below:

  • FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.
  • Title IX: This is a federal civil rights law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. This law protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.
  • Motor Vehicle Policies: All employees and students with a vehicle on campus between the hours of 6am-4pm Monday through Friday, during the traditional undergraduate academic sessions, must have a parking permit.
  • Smoke-Free Campus: In order to foster a professional, healthy, safe and clean learning and working environment, Indiana Tech has adopted a smoke-free and tobacco-free policy. This means that you are unable to smoke (cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, hookah, ect.), vape, chew tobacco on campus grounds.
  • Anti-Harassment: The university attempts to provide all students and employees with an environment free from any form of harassment, including that due to the student’s race, gender, gender identity and expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, or disability.


Campus Life


Health Insurance

All Indiana Tech students are required to have health insurance either through the sponsored program or have to purchase the Indiana Tech’s health insurance plan. Fees for the student health insurance plan coverage are charged to your student account, along with your tuition. Indiana Tech’s health insurance meets the U.S. federal mandate for student health insurance by the Department of Health and Human Services addressing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). This student health insurance plan meets the obligatory coverage requirements and has many of the benefits your future employer may have, making this a plan with good health coverage.

Please keep one of the two insurance cards that you receive in your wallet or purse in case of emergency. Keep the other card in a safe place so that it can be used if the other card is lost.

You will want to check your health insurance plan to ensure that these urgent care/hospital facilities are covered by your plan. Indiana Tech’s health insurance does not have a specific network of hospitals or doctors, so you can go just about anywhere.

For questions, please contact the Business Office: 1.800.937.2448 ext. 3102 or

Medical Services

On Campus

The on-campus Wellness Clinic’s hours vary by semester. Campus normally has a Nurse Practitioner who can assess medical issues and prescribe any needed medication. There is also a Counselor who can help you with any emotion or mental concerns in a confidential nature. We suggest this as your first place for non-emergency concerns.

Location: Andorfer Commons, Student Affairs Suite, Room 150
Call: 260.422.5561, ext. 2448

Off Campus – Hospitals

Emergency rooms in the US are expensive and are designed for life-threatening or very severe illnesses and injuries only. Below is a list based on location to campus:

  • Parkview Hospital
    Address: 2200 Randallia Drive
  • St. Joseph Hospital
    Address: 700 Broadway
  • Parkview Regional Medical Center
    Address: 11109 Parkview Plaza Dr.

If you are experiencing an emergency and need an ambulance, police officer, or fire department – call 911.

Off Campus – Walk-In Clinics

Walk-in and Urgent Care clinics provide a quick service without the need for an appointment. There can be longer wait times so do not use these for life threatening issues.

  • Parkview First Care
    Address: 1515 Hobson Road
  • RediMed (Downtown)
    203 E Berry St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802
  • RediMed
    Address: 3717 Maplecrest Road
  • Physicians Urgent Care Clinic
    Address: 920 Coliseum Blvd E
  • Neighborhood Health Clinic
    Address: 1717 S. Calhoun Street
  • Matthew 25
    Address: 413 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Seeking Treatment

If you have the flu, a sprain or minor cut, you can go to an urgent care center, walk-in clinic, on-campus nurse or doctor’s office for a fraction of the cost of the emergency room. It is important to reserve the emergency room for real emergencies.

The best place to start is your on-campus health center or clinic. These clinics are typically free, are close and convenient, and even if you end up having to go somewhere else later, will save you money under most insurance plans. Other convenient options are walk-in clinics or urgent care centers. They can cost a bit more than a doctor’s office, but much less than an emergency room, and typically accept a wide variety of insurance plans.

What To Expect at a Doctor’s Office

Before you see the doctor…

  • Check in at the Front Desk and Bring Identification.
  • You must show valid photo identification, which can be a driver’s license, passport, or student ID card.
  • Please bring your current insurance card.
  • Have a clear idea of what you would like the doctor to help with.
  • Know and write down your symptoms, the order in which they appeared, and anything that makes them better or worse.
  • Write down any other health concerns you might want to discuss with your doctor.
  • Have a list of any allergies, especially concerning medicine or food, that the doctor or nurse needs to be aware of.
  • Follow the doctor’s advice.
  • If you receive a prescription, take it to the nearest pharmacy so you can purchase your medication.
  • Call your doctor’s office if you don’t understand any of the instructions.
  • Call and tell your doctor or nurse if you feel worse or have other problems or side effects from any medicines after the visit.
  • If you have an appointment for a follow-up visit, keep the appointment.

Submitting an Insurance Claim

After you visit the doctor for an illness, accident or injury, it is likely that you will need to complete a claim form for your insurance company. The claim form is used to inform the insurance company of your recent medical visit. Based on your claim form and the medical bills provided, the insurance company will determine if you will be reimbursed for money spent or if your insurance company will cover some of the medical fees (if eligible) associated with your recent visit.

  • Keep all your receipts and documentation: Ask for a receipt every time you pay for a medical service. You will need to include these with your claim form.
  • Download an official claim form: Visit your insurance web page to assess your claim form.
    • International Medical Group:
    • Wellfleet Student:
    • Make sure you include all the important information about your illness or injury. Try to include as much detail as possible.
    • Don’t skip any questions. The insurance company will not process a claim that is incomplete. If you are unsure about how to answer a question, contact your insurance provider.
    • Sign the form. A claim form without a signature will not be processed.
  • Attach all invoices and receipts to the claim form: Include the original invoices, bills, and receipts with your claim form.
  • Keep a copy for your records: Make a photocopy of the completed claim form and all bills, invoices, and receipts. Keep them together in a folder or envelope, so you know exactly what you sent.
  • Mail, fax, or email everything to the correct address: Your insurance company should include information on how claims are submitted, including a mailing address, fax number, or email. If you can submit your claim by fax or email, we recommend taking advantage of this so that your claim form will be processed quicker and you can keep the original documentation.
  • Wait: Now that you have submitted your claim, there is nothing to do but wait. Keep an eye on your calendar, remembering the date you sent your claim form and documentation. Most claims are normally processed within 30 business days.
    • Once your claim is processed and reviewed. You will receive an Explanation of Benefits (in the mail) that explains what the insurance company will or will not pay for.
      *Any remaining balance will be your responsibility to pay for. The Doctor office or clinic will send you a separate bill.
    • If you don’t receive payment or an update for your claim within the time frame that was given to you:
      • Contact your insurance company and let them know.
      • When you speak to someone, inform them of your name, have your insurance card with you and the date of when you submitted your claim. Also, let them know if you mailed, faxed, or emailed your claim form. This information will allow the insurance company to search for and give you an update on your claim.


Living in Fort Wayne


Indiana is part of the Midwest where summers are hot and humid while winters are cold and windy. Special care should be taken when packing to move to Fort Wayne. A heavy coats, sweaters and gloves are necessary for the winter. 

The average temperatures for the seasons are:

FallSeptember to November42°F to 63.3°F (5°C – 17°C)
WinterDecember to February19°F to 34°F (-7°C – 1°C)
SpringMarch to May39°F to 60°F (4°C – 15°C)
SummerJune to August60°F to 82°F (15°C – 28°C)


There are lots of different things to do around Fort Wayne. During the summer and fall there are festivals and various activities during the weekends. Keep an eye out on the Indiana Tech calendar as we will try to keep you updated on events around town. 

Shopping Malls

 Glenbrook Square

Address: 4201 Coldwater Road

Jefferson Pointe

Address: 4110 W Jefferson Blvd

Museums, Arts, Music

Fort Wayne Museum of Art

Address: 311 East Main Street

Fort Wayne Philharmonic

Address: 4901 Fuller Drive

Foellinger-Frieman Botanical Conservatory

Address: 1100 Calhoun Street


For Upcoming events and activities in Fort Wayne and the surrounding area, go to

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

Address: 3411 Sherman Blvd.

Science Central

Address: 1950 N Clinton St

Promenade Park

This is a newer park area that is downtown close to the river area. It is a location for arts, eating, and recreation activities including kayak rentals. It’s close to different shops and dining options.

Headwaters Park

Located just north of the central city business district, Headwaters Park provides a quiet, recreational spot as well as being the place where area residents come together for festivals, concerts, charitable and other special events.


The Rivergreenway trail is a 20-mile long linear park in Fort Wayne, IN. The trail is along the banks of the Saint Mary’s, Saint Joseph and the Maumee Rivers. For a full listing of Fort Wayne parks and recreation visit

Movie Theaters

Carmike Cinema

Address: 3930 E Dupont Road
Address: 4250 W. Jefferson Blvd.

Cinema Center

Address: 437 East Berry Street

Ethnic Grocery Stores

Asian Market

Type: Asian-Thai
Address: 2615 South Calhoun St.

Fort Wayne Halal Meat & Grocery

Type: Halal, Asia Minor, African
Address: 2326 S Hobson Rd.

George’s International Market

Type: Hispanic
Address: 2021 Broadway

Hoa Hung Oriental Grocery

Type: Asian-Vietnamese
Address: 1940 South Calhoun St.

Oriental Grocery

Type: Asian-Korean
Address: 504 Noble Drive

Lake Avenue Market

Type: Halal, Middle Eastern
Address: 1732 Lake Ave.


Housing Information

On Campus Housing

On Campus Housing

On-Campus housing is recommended and sometimes required, for international undergraduate students. Below is information on the application and housing requirements for undergraduate students.

Application Procedure

  1. Submit housing deposit of $350. Do not send cash. If you can’t submit the payment online, make remittance payable to Indiana Tech by check or money order and mail it to the admission office (not housing).
  2. Activate your student login credentials. This information will be provided to you upon record of receiving the deposit. This may be one to two business days after receiving your deposit.
  3. Complete online application for student housing.
  4. When prompted by email, select roommate and room.

Housing Requirements

All freshman and sophomore students, as well as international students who attend through an agency that requires housing, are required to reside in campus housing. Immediate exemption may be granted if the student is

  • 21 years of age or older prior to the start of the semester of initial enrollment.
  • Living with a responsible relative within 50 miles of the university.
  • Married and living with spouse within 50 miles of the university.

Room Assignment

Initial room assignments begin in late May and information will be sent out by email only in early June. Initial requests for specific roommates are honored provided the deposits and applications are made prior to May 1st and both applicants select each other as roommates. All other roommate assignments or selections are based on as much compatibility as we can determine from the applications. Building and room selection priority is made based on the completion date of a deposit and application. The university reserves the right to make changes in the room assignments when it is in the best interests of the residents and/or the university.

Room Furnishings and Supplies

For information on room furnishings and amenities in each building, please visit our website. All furniture must remain in the room. Mattresses are Twin Long and you will need to provide your own bedding. Refrigerators are allowed but limited to approximately 4 cubic feet. You may want to bring a small desk lamp for additional lighting. Hot plates, air conditioners, space heaters, etc. are not permitted. Since a majority of students tend to have cell phones, telephone service is not provided in the rooms. Toiletries and cleaning supplies will be your responsibility. Shower curtains will be provided. Additional information on rooms and suggestions on what to bring is also located on the website.

Laundry Facilities

Laundry machines are provided in each facility for residential students only at no additional cost. Students desiring finished laundry and/or dry cleaning service may find this available within a reasonable distance off campus.

Off Campus Housing

You can do an internet search for other apartments near campus. Remember: if you do not have a vehicle, you will want to find something that is near a bus station or is in walking or biking distance. It is important to look at the apartment and neighborhood before signing a lease agreement.

We do not suggest living outside of Fort Wayne and highly suggest finding a place to live close to campus. There are many different apartments throughout Fort Wayne. Some of the nearby apartments include:

  • Three Rivers Luxury Apartments,
  • Midtowne Realty Inc.,
  • Kepps Apartments,
  • Canterbury Green Apartments,
  • West Central Properties
Off Campus Leasing Agreements

When you rent a room or an apartment you will be required to sign a lease. A lease is a written contract between you and the landlord (the owner of the rental property). When you sign a lease, you agree to pay a certain amount of money each month and to follow certain rules in exchange for the right to occupy the rental property for a set period of time. Most lease agreements require that you pay a security deposit which can be equal to one month’s rent. This security deposit will be returned to you if you fulfill all the terms of the lease. Read the lease carefully and be sure you understand it before signing it.


Once you have moved in, your main responsibilities are to pay rent on time (use checks only or online bill pay with your bank; do not pay with cash) and keep the property in a clean and safe condition. Once your landlord has received your monthly payment, he/she should send you a receipt for your payment.


While you have responsibilities to pay rent and keep the property in good condition, your landlord has responsibilities too. If you believe the landlord is treating you differently than he would treat an American student, or if the landlord is not keeping the property in working condition, be proactive in addressing the issue(s). Do not endure negligence from your landlord. Insist that the apartment is in a safe, clean, livable condition. Otherwise, you are inviting the landlord to take advantage of you. If you have problems with your landlord, it is a good idea to photograph the contested areas of the apartment which are in disrepair. In addition, put all of your complaints in writing, send your landlord a copy, and keep a copy of your complaints for your own files. If the problems are not resolved, consider taking legal action.


Always keep a copy of your leasing agreement in case you have an issue in the future.

Transportation Options

Local Transportation

Uber: You can get a taxi, private car or rideshare from your mobile phone.



Lyft: You can get a taxi, car or rideshare from your mobile phone.



Taxi: Similar to Uber and Lyft, but often more expensive. This is great for getting to and from the airport.



CitiLink Bus: This will take you to different stops around the city for a fee. There are different pass options to look into if you decide to use the bus often.


Long Distance Options

Greyhound Bus lines offer schedules including stops in Fort Wayne for students arriving in the United States who wish to take the scenic route. This form of transportation is less time efficient and is not suggested for long distances. Buses do not run from the airport.



Hoosier Shuttle is a locally owned business providing daily shuttle service between Fort

Wayne and Indianapolis. The centralized pick-up point in Fort Wayne is located at 418 W. Coliseum Boulevard. Some long-term parking is available. Hoosier Shuttle also offers Village of Coventry pickups at 69 South Exit.  All trips must be scheduled in advance.

Call: 260.422.8747 or visit:



Amtrak train station is located in Waterloo, Indiana, which is a 40-minute drive from campus. Below is the link to the Amtrak site in which you can view the train schedule and also book tickets.


Transportation Policies

Arriving to Fort Wayne

Upon initial arrival, International Services Staff is available to pick up students from the Fort Wayne airport. You will need to schedule this service a week prior to arrival which can be done online: 


If you are ever too sick to go to the doctor or pharmacy alone, you can have a friend or IA member help you.  If you cannot find anyone to assist you, please contact the International Student Services Office to help you find transportation.


If student has a medical emergency, please call 911 for an ambulance



U.S. Addresses

By law, all internationals on F-1 must keep the following contact information on file with the government and report changes within 10 days.

You are required to update your local address within ten days of arriving in Fort Wayne, or after changing addresses. If your first address is temporary – hotel, homestay, etc. – , you must update your address again after you move into longer-term housing. You can always update your local address, phone number, and alternate email address with International Services at any time.

The format follows the same template as below. If you do not have a house number or apartment number, you can leave that part blank. You might also see the apartment/room number under the main street address.

House Number, Street Name, Apartment/Room Number

City, State, Zip Code

1234 Main Street #5b
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

1600 E. Washington Blv.
Andorfer Commons, Room 223
Fort Wayne, IN 46803

Culture Shock

Culture shock is the psychological process of having to adjust to new surroundings and a new culture. It is very common and completely normal. The adjustment process has highs and lows.

Common Symptoms:

  • Feeling isolated, frustrated, and nervous. You may find yourself sleeping a lot even after you should have recovered from jet lag.
  • Feeling very home sick. While it is normal to miss family and friends, if you think of nothing else and write letters or send emails all the time, you are probably suffering from culture shock.
  • Feeling hostile towards the U.S. people around you. Minor irritations may make you very angry.
  • Being dependent on your country’s people on campus.
  • Doubting the decision you or your family made to come to the U.S. could be caused by academic anxieties, social tensions, or difficulties in achieving your goals.

Stages of Cultural Adaptation

  • Honeymoon Phase
    • The first few days or weeks in a new culture are exciting and exotic. This time varies for everyone but it’s generally similar to having that happiness of a new place or vacation. But, soon enough, this blissful feeling wears off.
  • Culture Shock
    • Culture Shock is the emotional and physical response we experience settling into a new culture. For some, culture shock is brief and hardly noticeable. For others, it can cause intense discomfort often accompanied by hyperirritability, bitterness, resentment, homesickness, and depression. Some may experience physical symptoms such as stomach pain or nausea. Cultural shock is normal. Awareness is the most important step in understanding your cultural experience.
  • Cultural Adaptation
    • Cultural adaptation involves psychological adjustment and social adjustment and refers to the success of adapting to a new culture by participating in the local culture, learning the language, making friends, and enjoying life.

Tips for Culture Shock

  • Stay busy with school, friends, sports, and activities.
    • Be open minded to new customs or traditions. Trying new things can help to adjust and make memories.
    • Remember why you came to America
    • Be patient with yourself…these feelings of culture shock and doubt are normal.
    • Reach out to the International Services team for ideas, sympathetic support, and additional resources or ideas.

Language Barrier

Speaking a foreign language in a classroom is one thing but living in a society where you will need to use it daily is completely different. There are some adjustments to prepare for.

  • Accent: You might need a bit of time to get used to the Midwest accent once you arrive as it isn’t always the standard English from your classroom. Alternatively, some locals might not understand you right away so they might ask you to slow down or say something again. But don’t be shy!
  • Slang: There are a lot of slang or idioms in daily speech. It might take time to understand but don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Humor: Some international students have trouble adapting to the informal style of conversation especially since humor and sarcasm are often used. This should be interpreted as a mark of friendliness rather than disrespect.


One of the most important things to understand about Americans is their devotion on individualism. From childhood, Americans have been training to consider themselves as separate individuals who are responsible for their own situations in life and their own destinies. They have not been trained to see themselves as members of a close-knit, tightly interdependent family, religious group, tribe, nation, or other collectivity.

Closely associated with the value they place on individualism is the importance Americans assign to privacy. Americans assume that people need some time to themselves or some time alone to think about things or recover their spent psychological energy.

Americans generally consider themselves to be frank, open, and direct in their dealings with other people. Americans will often speak openly and directly to others about things they dislike. They will try to do so in a manner they call “constructive”, that is, a manner which the other person will not find offensive or unacceptable. If they do not speak openly about what is on their minds, they will often convey their reactions in nonverbal ways (without words) through facial expressions, body positions, and gestures. Americans are not taught that they should mask their emotional responses. Their words, the tone of their voices or their facial expressions will usually reveal when they are feeling angry, unhappy, confused, or content. They do not think it is improper to display these feelings, at least within limits. 


The U.S. and Indiana Tech are very strict in enforcing piracy laws. Downloading, copying, and sharing material such as music, movies, games, and applications, for which the copyright holder has not given you rights is both against the law and Indiana Tech’s Acceptable Use Policy for computing resources. More information on piracy laws can be found in your Student Handbook.



Understanding some of the common cultural patterns in the United States can help ease the transition. It does not mean that by adapting to life in the United States that you are abandoning your previous culture, rather by learning about new and different cultures, you will enhance your experience.

  1. The invitation is usually for only you unless your host specifically invites your family or friends. Bringing guests of your own without asking your host’s permission is considered impolite.
  2. The written invitation will include the date, time, place, and description of the occasion. You should always answer a written invitation, especially if it says R.S.V.P. (Répondez s’il vous plaît; French for “please respond”).
  3. Never accept an invitation unless you really plan to go.
  4. If an unavoidable problem makes it necessary for you to change plans, be certain to tell the host as soon as possible before the time when you are expected.
  5. Make sure you get directions to the place where the event will be held.
  6. When accepting an invitation for a meal, be sure to explain to your host if there is anything you are not supposed to eat. This courtesy will help the host to plan for food and beverages that everyone can enjoy.
  7. If you must refuse something after it has been prepared, refuse politely.
  8. Never hesitate to ask for any food on the table: “Would you please pass the rolls?”, since asking for more food is considered to be a compliment to the host.
  9. Also, being on time is very important in American culture.

Americans generally put a great emphasis on personal cleanliness. Most Americans are very sensitive to smells. For this reason, most Americans bathe at least once a day though it can be more if they workout or the weather is hot. It is very common to use deodorants and small amounts of perfume. Americans are also concerned about having their clothing cleaned frequently, fresh breath, and tidy hair.

  1. Please close your mouth while eating. Americans are taught to eat with their mouth closed, and they don’t usually make sounds when they eat.
  2. Do not talk when you have food in your mouth and do not wave or point with a utensil.
  3. The fork is held in the left hand, pointing downward. The knife is held in the right hand. After cutting the food, the knife is laid down and the fork is switched to the right hand to eat the cut food. Continental style (where the fork stays in the left hand to eat the cut food) is perfectly acceptable.
  4. Your napkin should be placed on your lap shortly after you are seated and kept on your lap at all times during the meal. Do not tuck your napkin under your chin.
  5. Americans tend to eat more quickly than people from other countries. Dining in the United States is seldom the long, lingering event it is in much of the world. The point is more often to eat rather than socialize and savor the meal.

While eating at home or with friends might be informal, restaurants generally have strict etiquette.

  1. Raise your hand or index finger and make eye contact to signal a server.
  2. When eating at a restaurant, the server will bring your bill to the table when the server believes you are finished eating. It’s polite to make payment and leave the restaurant within 10-15 minutes of receiving your bill.
  3. In America, sit down restaurants will generally have a place to add a tip in addition to the cost of your meal. It is highly encouraged to leave 10 – 20% the cost of your meal.

Generally, in the United States people will have a first name and last name. It is common for people around the same age to simply use first names which are the given name. You might also use nicknames or a shortened version of the person’s name.

If someone has a professional title, it is considered respectful to use the title and last name (family name) unless instructed otherwise. Examples of this would be Professor, Doctor, Dean, or President. Don’t be afraid to ask people “what should I call you” or “how should I address you” although naming traditions are generally relaxed in most cases.


While many Americans are open and warm people who are quick to make new acquaintances, busy schedules and independence means that their relationships are often casual and informal. This is not to say that Americans take friendship lightly. It just means that while Americans know a lot of people, their lasting friendships are often few. It is also common to have male and female friends in the same group.


Compared to other countries, dating in the United States is not generally considered a serious family matter. Generally, it is often informal and independent from the family.

People in the United States are generally forward and less inhibited than other countries. It is common practice for men or women to ask a person out if they are interested. In the United States, dating history is considered to be private and should not be discussed with strangers.

If you do date while in America, it is important to remember that if someone says no, this should be respected and you should not continue to push the matter.

Sexual Harrassment and Misconduct is a serious issue. When on campus for orientation, you will go through Title IX Training. Please keep in mind the information covered, which can be accessed at anytime HERE.

Saying No

Americans are accustomed to a more direct way of communicating. Don’t feel bad about saying no to something or someone. Open rejection and disagreement given in a polite way is not often considered rude for Americans. If you are uncomfortable or cannot do something, you can let people know. Generally, you will hear people use “No thank you” to politely decline.



On Campus

An F-1 visa allows students to work twenty (20) hours/week during a semester, and students are allowed to work full time during semester breaks and holidays. To work on campus, please find the “Employment Page” under our Resources tab.


Note: Off-Campus employment other than CPT and OPT is generally prohibited. If you are having severe economic hardship, please discuss with the International Services staff for options.


Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is authorized off-campus employment which is integral to your major and the experience must be part of your curriculum. CPT is a type of internship or off-campus employment permission for F-1 international students who are currently pursuing a program of study in the U.S. It allows students to gain experience in their field of study and is directly connected to the program’s curriculum.  CPT is only available prior to the completion of your degree program. You must have a job offer at the time of your CPT application. CPT employment may not delay completion of your academic program. You are only permitted to have part-time employment during school (under 20 hours total per week) and full-time would only be available during summer break.

For more information, please read our Employment page.


Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is an opportunity to gain work experience to complement your academic program. All F-1 students are eligible for one year (12 months) of practical training for each degree level obtained.

  • The Department of Homeland Security must receive your application for Optional Practical Training no later than the 60th day following your graduation date, or they will not authorize your practical training.
  • Please plan ahead. The application process at the DHS usually takes a minimum of ninety (90) days, so we suggest applying at your earliest eligibility.
  • You must review our Employment page for full details.


STEM Extension

In addition, students who major in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields may be eligible for twenty-four (24) additional months of Optional Practical Training (36 months total) if their employer participates in the E-verify employment verification program.