Three international students sitting on bench and laughing

Newly Admitted International Students

Congratulations on your acceptance! 


We look forward to welcoming you to our community of globally-minded students. Special programs and services will allow you to make a smooth adjustment to campus life. We are a resource for you and your family at every step of your educational path. 

Before you leave home

Look to see if you can attend a pre-departure orientation in your home country.  Education USA offers short general orientations to incoming international students that touch on culture shock, customs check, money matters, and a variety of other useful topics - these are not Manhattanville specific orientations, but U.S. specific. Typically they are offered in May, June and July.


Legal and Medical Requirements


The U.S. government requires that we be absolutely sure, to the best of our ability, that you demonstrate enough financial (cash) support to cover the costs of your program. Undergraduates, this means one academic year (scholarships included) and to provide a plan for how you can afford each following years’ costs. Graduate students must demonstrate the entire cost of your program. 


Please download the appropriate forms to document your finances: here




The University requires all students to be vaccinated.  For more information, please see our Student Health & Counseling website

Every full-time degree student at Manhattanville is eligible for the F-1 visa and the majority of Manhattanville international students hold this visa status.

Some students may also be eligible for the J-1 student visa, an exchange visitor option. This group of students may choose between F-1 or J-1, or be assigned based on their funding requirements. To learn the difference, download the following document.

Please be advised that immigration documents start being produced at the end of MAY for an AUGUST start. 

All students getting F-1/J-1 visas must also pay the SEVIS 901 fee. Students must pay this themselves prior to their visa application and interview — for more information click this link. Remember to attach your I-901 receipt to your immigration documents (I-20/DS-2019) before your interview.
First Year students with F-1 visa can work only on-campus, not off-campus, in the first year of their academic program. 

F-1 students are eligible to apply for internships for 12 months before the end of the program. The internship, which is also called Curriculum Practical Training (CPT), must be related to their area of study. You must be enrolled for one academic year, completed 30 credits, and have declared your major. 

All internships must be registered for credit. The students apply for an internship offer on Handshake. They should notify the OISS about the internship application, so OISS will review and approve the internship on Handshake. Students cannot work without authorization from OISS. 

The students can work for less than 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters. During the Winter and Summer break, they can apply for internships for more than 20 hours per week. If students work full-time CPT for 12 months, they are ineligible to OPT. If students work part-time CPT, it will be fine. 

F-1 students may also be eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) for 12 months. The OPT can be used before and/or after the end of the program. Students normally apply for OPT during the last semester of their program. OPT must be related to the student’s area of study.  

The application timeline for OPT is strictly regulated. Students can apply for OPT 90 days before program completion, and 60 days after program completion.  

Example: OPT Application Timeline 


Students do not need a job offer to apply for an OPT. At the start of your last semester before graduation, you are advised to consult with the OISS about your OPT because OPT is competitive and has a long application process. 

Apply for OPT: 

  1. Request OISS to endorse your I-20 and make a notation in the SEVIS  
  1. You file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization with USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services), accompanied by the required fee and the supporting documentation.  
  1. After you submitted I-765 online, you receive an I-797C Notice of Action receipt immediately 
  1. USCIS will send you an employment authorization card (EAD)by mail in around 1- 3 months.  
  1. You should receive your Social Security card in the mail two weeks after receiving your EAD card. Employment starts on the start date of your approved EAD card. 


For F-1 students studying Sciences, Technologies, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) programs, they are eligible for another 24 months of OPT.  


OPT & Reporting 

DHS requires students to report all periods of employment and unemployment while authorized for OPT and changes of address. 
Updates must be reported within 10 days of the start of your OPT work authorization and within 10 days of any subsequent change. Create a SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) Portal. 

For detailed information on OPT & reporting see the section below.



While you are pursuing your degree, you maintain your F-1 immigration status by pursuing a full course of study. However, while you are on OPT, you maintain your F-1 status by seeking and maintaining appropriate employment.

You may not lawfully begin employment, or pre-employment training, until you receive your OPT/EAD and the start date has arrived. If you work during a gap between previous work authorization (for example, CPT authorization, or on-campus work authorization) and the start of your OPT authorization, you violate your F-1 status.

As of May 2017, students on OPT will create an account on the student SEVP Portal and report directly to SEVIS.  You won't be able to make a portal account until the start date on your EAD.  Whatever email address you reported to the OISS when making your OPT application is the one to check.

As of Spring 2016, students on OPT whose employment information is not complete, or reflects more than 90 days of unemployment, will have their SEVIS record automatically terminated.
To maintain F-1 status during OPT comply with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employment and reporting requirements. See STUDY IN THE STATES
DHS requires students to report all periods of employment and unemployment while authorized for OPT and changes of address.
Updates must be reported within 10 days of the start of your OPT work authorization and within 10 days of any subsequent change.

Some of you apply for OPT then decide not to use it.  Please use the instructions (on the left menu) and take care of this.  You don't want any trouble coming back to the U.S. in the future.

Within 10 days of the start of your period of OPT work authorization and within 10 days of any subsequent change, you are required to report changes in your address:

  • Current U.S. address

Within 10 days of the start of your period of OPT work authorization and within 10 days of any subsequent change, you are required to report the following:

  • Start or end of employment
  • Change of your employer’s address
  • Change of your employer’s name

All Students with an OPT STEM Extension – You are required to report all the above, plus the following:

  • Employment status, 6 months after your extension start date, even if your information has not changed
  • Employment status, 12 months after your extension start date, even if your information has not changed

DHS has ruled that acceptable employment during OPT can include standard employment, contract employment, self-employment and volunteer positions. All employment must be appropriate to your degree and average at least 20 hours per week. Please refer to the following chart for more details.

Type of Employment and Instructions

Single Employer

Provide the employment dates and your employer’s name and address.

None – Actively Seeking Employment

If you have been unemployed for more than 10 days since your OPT start date, indicate those dates. To remain in the U.S., you must be actively looking for relevant employment. In order to maintain your visa status, you must limit unemployment while on OPT to a total of 90 days or 120 days if you have been approved for the 17-month OPT extension.

Work for Hire (contract employment)

Provide the employment dates and your employer’s name and address. If requested by DHS, you must be able to provide evidence that you worked an average of at least 20 hours per week.

Unpaid Volunteer or Intern

Provide the employment dates and your employer’s name and address. If requested by DHS, you must be able to provide evidence that you worked an average of at least 20 hours per week and that the work was related to your OPT degree. This option is not available to students in the 17-month OPT extension period.

Self-Employed U.S. Business Owner

List your company’s name or print “Self-Employed” and the business address. This location may be the same as your personal address, if appropriate. If requested by DHS, you must be able to provide evidence that you have proper business licenses, the business is related to your degree and that the business keeps you full-time employed.


J-1 students are entitled to 18-month academic training. An employment letter is required to apply for academic training. 

Center of Career Development (CCD) assists F-1/J-1 students in searching for internships and OPT employment opportunities and provides training on Handshake. For internships, students should make an appointment with Cassie Robbins, Internship /Career Coordinator of CCD. Email: 


Sprintax is in partnership with the Manhattanville Office of International Student Services to assist our F and J international students to file employment taxes.  

Even if you did not earn any income, if you were physically in the US on F or J status anytime between January 1st – December 31st, 2023, you are obligated to file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The deadline will be April 15, 2024. 


Sprintax Assists International Students to File Tax 

OISS partners with Sprintax to provide software for all F-1 and J-1 students for free. We paid for the software, so you do not need to pay the federal tax filing fee of $49. 

It is important to be aware that, as a non-resident in the US, you are legally required to file a tax return if you received US income during 2023 by  

Deadline: 15 April 2024  

And even if you did not work or receive income in the US, you are still obliged to file Form 8843 with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).  

Manhattanville University has arranged access to Sprintax for you. Sprintax will guide you through the tax preparation process, arrange the necessary documents and check if you are due a tax refund.  

According to the non-resident tax report of 2023, Sprintax helped our international students at Manhattanville receive the average Federal refund of $1,613.56 and the average State refund of $658.80. 

View the Sprintax step-by-step brochure here.


DISCLAIMER: The Office of International Students & Study Abroad (OISS) and the school are NOT permitted to assist any student/scholar with any IRS tax form preparation or tax-related questions. The information provided is intended for your benefit. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Sprintax, a certified tax preparer (who understands non-residents), or a local IRS field office.


Travel Signatures 

If you are planning to travel outside the U.S. for a vacation for five months or less, please see the OISS for a travel signature on your I-20/ DS-2019. This applies to all F-1 & J-1 students: ELI, undergraduates, and graduates. Make an appointment with the OISS a few weeks before traveling. Without a valid signature, re-entry to the United States may be difficult and require time-consuming and expensive paperwork. 

What are the requirements to re-enter the U.S. after traveling? 

  • A Form I-20, endorsed for travel and signed by your DSO (Designated School Official) 
  • You have been out of the United States for less than five months 
  • A current passport valid for at least six months after the date of your reentry or, if you are from one of the countries listed below, a passport that is current through the date of entry 
  • A valid, current visa or you traveled to a contiguous country or adjacent island for less than thirty days 
  • Financial information showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses 

How do I renew my visa? 

You can stay in the United States on an expired F-1 visa if you maintain your student status and have an active I-20 or DS-2019.  

The Department of State recommends that you apply for a visa in your home country. For more information about visa applications visit the Department of State (DoS) website at 

Ensure that you have all the documentation you need for your visa application and allow sufficient time for processing a new visa. The documentation you may need for a new visa includes, but is not limited to the following: 

  • A Form I-20, endorsed for travel and signed by your DSO (see your DSO before you travel) 
  • Original evidence showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses 
  • School documents:  
  • Verification Letter indicates you are a full-time student. Being a full-time student, you need to register for at least 12 credits for undergraduate or at least 9 credits for graduate. You can obtain it by email: 
  • Unofficial Transcript shows the classes you have enrolled in for the next semester. You can obtain it via ServiceHub. 
  • Evidence showing your intention to return to your home country upon program completion, including evidence of compelling social and economic ties to your home country 
  • If you have applied for or had Optional Practical Training (OPT) approved, bring a copy of your Form I-20 endorsed for OPT and your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if you have one 
Automatic Visa Revalidation 

In most cases, you can travel to Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands adjacent (e.g., the Bahamas, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic) to the U.S. for less than 30 days, even if your visa is expired. This process is called automatic visa revalidation. 

For more travel regulations from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE), click here. 

Getting from Airport to Manhattanville

There are many ways to get from JFK airport to the campus, simply proceed to the GROUND
TRANSPORTATION area. (We DO NOT recommend arriving at Newark airport. Newark international
airport is in New Jersey (next state over), it is more expensive).
There are four ways from JFK Airport to Manhattanville University.

Travel Time: 1.5-2 hours
Airport shuttle is cheaper than taxi, but take longer time than taxi.
a. Book a shuttle click Go Airport Shuttle online at least one week in advance
b. Book JFK Airport to Courtyard Marriott – Rye Hotel ($75)
c. Uber/Lyft from Courtyard Marriott – Rye Hotel to Manhattanville University ($20)

2. TRAIN ($21 - $47)
Travel Time: 2 -3 hours
Train is the cheapest way, but it takes longer time and more complicated to change one train to
I. Board Air Train Jamaica
• Get off at the JFK Airport Jamaica train station

II. Board the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Far Rockaway branch train (buy tickets in ticket Machine)
• Exit train at the Grand Central Madison train station
Watch a video showing the way from JFK to Grand Central via the Long Island Railroad

III. Transfer to Metro-North-Railroad. Following signs for the Harlem Line Train (You can check the
app MTA Train Time)
• Exit train at the White Plains train station
IV. Uber/Lyft back to Manhattanville University or Take the Taxi (usually $15-$20 cash)
Walk to White Plain Bus Terminal Lane B
• Board the Bee Line 12 bus Armonk ($2-$3)
• Exit bus at the Manhattanville University stop

Download the bus schedule and the app:
Beeline 12 schedule - you can check bus schedules: Beeline 12 Bus Schedule App

Apps MTA Train Time - you can use to buy train tickets/ check train schedules
Apple: MTA Train App, Android: MTA Train App

3. TAXI ($150 - $210)
Travel Time: 1– 2 hours
Taxi from JFK to Manhattanville University is the fastest way, but expensive.

Driving in New York State

You can drive in NYS with a valid driver's license from another state or country. You don’t need to apply for a NYS driver license unless you become a NYS resident. 

A foreign driver's license allows you to drive in NYS. You are not required to have an International Driving Permit to drive in NYS, but the permit verifies, in several languages, that you have a valid foreign driver's license. This is helpful to police officers who can’t read the language on their foreign driver's license. Contact the authorities in your home country to get an International Driving Permit.

If you decide to get a NY State driver's license it will only be issued the length of your immigration documents. Important links Drivers from Other Nations


While studying in the United States, it is important to maintain your F-1 student status. Your visa says that you are coming to the United States to study. You should not consider any action that detracts from that purpose.

Upon Arrival

New students may enter the United States no more than 30 days before your program of study begins.When you arrive at school, you need to contact the OISS, no later than the program start date listed on your Form I-20 “Certificate of Eligibility.”


  • Attend and pass all your classes. If school is too difficult, speak with the OISS immediately.
  • If you believe that you will be unable to complete your program by the end date listed on your immigration forms, talk with the OISS about requesting a possible program extension.
  • You must take a full course of study each term; if you cannot study full-time, contact your advisor in the OISS immediately. Full-time for undergraduate student is 12 credits (15 if you have a scholarship) and for graduate students between 6-9 credits per term/semester/module depending on your course structure.
  • Do not drop a class without speaking first with your advisor in the OISS

Campus Employment

All F-1 are eligible for campus employment. Please be advised that there are a limited number of campus job. So plan accordingly.  Visit the OISS for more information

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular practical training (CPT) at either the undergraduate or the graduate level is only available if this employment is an integral part of an established curriculum and if the position directly relates to your major area of study. You must be enrolled one academic year, completed 30 credits and have declared your major to be eligible.  All internships must be registered for credit. Your advisor in the OISS can give you the school’s policy on this option.


Do not work without authorization. An F student may work only when authorized.

If you want to work in the United States, talk with your OISS advisor about your options. Your OISS advisor may authorize certain work; other employment may require your advisor’s recommendation and authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

If you choose to work without authorization, you will be forced to leave the United States immediately. You may not be able to re-enter the United States at a later date.

Upon Program Completion

Take action to maintain legal status after completing your program of study.

Once you complete your program of study and any authorized period of practical training, you may wish to learn about doing one of the following:

  • Transfer to another school
  • Change your education level (e.g. bachelor’s to master’s)
  • Apply to change status to another visa status (e.g. H-1B-temporary worker; O-extraordinary ability in science, art or business; P-athlete)

You have 60 days after completion of your program (the program end date on your Form I-20) to leave the United States.

Talk with your OISS advisor first

Your OISS advisor should be the first person you talk with if you have any questions regarding the legal requirements of your stay in the United States.

Your OISS advisor can assist in answering your questions or help you find someone who can help.

Talk with your OISS if you are planning to do any of the following:

  • Change your major, program, or degree level
  • Change your education level
  • Transfer to a new school or take a leave of absence
  • Take a break from school
  • Travel outside the United States 
  • Move to a new address
  • Request a program extension


As a J-1 exchange visitor, it is your responsibility to maintain your immigration status throughout the duration of your J program at UCSB by adhering to the four points listed below. Be certain to review the section below about the 30 day Grace Period that is given to J-1 scholars to remain in the U.S. after the end date on their DS-2019 form.

Maintain up-to-date immigration documents:

  • A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the program end date on form DS-2019. (If the passport needs to be renewed, the student/scholar should contact their embassy to find out the procedures to renew the passport.)
  • Current DS-2019 form
  • I-94 printout issued with entry stamp marked “J-1” or “J-2” with “D/S.”

Report and Update Local Living Address J-1 students/scholars need to update their local living address within 10 days of their registration in SEVIS or upon moving to a new address.

Maintain Insurance Required for J-1 Visa Holders U.S. immigration law states that failure to maintain proper health insurance coverage will result in the termination of the J-1 exchange program. Proof of health insurance is required upon registration with OISS and at the time that a J-1 scholar requests an extension of their DS-2019.

Health Insurance Requirements:

Please see the "Insurance" section of Department of State's Program Administration Website

30 Day Grace Period At the end of the J-1 program (the end date on the DS-2019 form), the J-1 student/scholar and their J-2 dependents may remain in the United States for another 30 days in order to pack their belongings and perhaps do some site-seeing within the United States.

  • If the J-1 visitor leaves the United States during this 30 day period, they will not be able to re-enter the United States in the J-1 status.
  • Exchange visitors are no longer able to engage in any academic or employment activities during the 30 day grace period.


Academic Success Services

Accessibility, Internships, Tutoring, Writing

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) provides free Peer Tutoring sessions for undergraduate students. Through the ARC, students receive individual and group support in a variety of subjects at all levels of the curriculum.

The Center for Student Accessibility partners with students to empower them to take ownership of their college journey. The Center also strives to increase positive dialogue surrounding disabilities, promoting the "people first" approach and communicating the message that disability is an integral part of diversity.

The Andrew Bodenrader Center for Academic Writing and Composition has a mission is to provide Manhattanville students with support at any stage of the writing process. We strive to build the confidence of student writers through encouraging, collaborative one-to-one sessions with peer tutors, graduate Writing Center Fellows, and Academic Writing faculty. 

The Center for Career Development is committed to individualized career exploration counseling, self-assessment, skill development, and utilizing internship and job search strategies that empower students to take ownership in their personal and professional success.

Additional Academic Services

The Valiant Advising Team supports students by providing information about academic policies and degree requirements, assists students in the course selection process, and offers students support and appropriate referrals to other campus resources.

The Library offers impressive collections and outstanding services to help all of our students succeed in the classroom and beyond.

The Registrar's Office has the responsibility to maintain timely and accurate records of the academic progress of all students while upholding the privacy and security of those records.

The Office of Instructional Technology is here to support students, faculty, and staff towards successful teaching and learning. Get tips about online courses, find support, and more.

The Office of the Provost provides valuable information and links to resources for faculty, and for staff who work for, or with the faculty in furthering our educational mission.



Contact International Student Services

  • Regina Moores


    Spellman Hall - G22

    Hours of Operation
    Monday - Friday
    9 AM - 5 PM