Academic Advising for
International Students at ODU
This web site is a guide for Academic Advisors at Old Dominion University, to give them a better understanding of the additional policies and requirements to which our international students must adhere in order to remain legally in the U.S. Should any question come up pertaining to Immigration laws, please send all advisees to us as there are many variables involved when determining the correct action to be taken by a student.
International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) is the main non-academic resource for all students at Old Dominion University who are non-citizens or green card holders. We provide our international students and scholars with information regarding their rights and responsibilities as they pertain to Immigration and Department of State regulations.
Academic Advising for:
If your advisee has questions...
Employment: If your advisee has questions regarding on- or off-campus employment , please refer him/her to our office. There are very specific regulations that differ greatly from one visa status to another. For information on the F-1 Student visa benefit known as Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or the J-1 Student visa benefit known as Academic Training, please see the Internships section below.
Financial Aid: Nonimmigrant visa holders (i.e. those who are not U.S. citizens or those who do not have a green card) are not eligible for student loans from the U.S. government. More often than not, students are funded by their families and it is a sometimes daunting task to ensure sufficient financial resources are available when exchange rates, local economies and other factors ocurring in a student's home country are taken into account. Please refer any advisee with serious funding situations to our office or to our FAQs, where there are links to possible funding resources.
Internships: The majority of our students are on an F-1 visa or a J-1 Student visa and, therefore, may approach you about participating in Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Academic Training; please see below for more details on these immigration benefits.
CPT, for F-1 visa holders, is granted by our office in when students are approved for an off-campus internship; a new visa document is issued to indicate the authorization. Your advisees will bring their CPT request
to you as the GPD must sign off on the internship and provide specific information to verify that there has been discussion about the internship and that specific goals have been established. This helps to certify that the internship "is an integral part of the curriculum or academic program." Some advisors have told ISSS they thought they had
to approve CPT for a student; this is not the case in any way, and there are often occasions where, unfortunately, CPT cannot be granted. Students are required to attend the CPT Workshop.
OPT, for F-1 visa holders, is one year of work permission granted to students upon the completion of their coursework. For Bachelor's and Master's students, applications must be made in their graduating semester; for Ph.D.students, applications are often made in the graduating semester but they are eligible to apply when their coursework is finished and a project/thesis/dissertation defense is pending. While CPT is employer-specific, students participating in OPT are only required to partake of employment directly related to their major. Students are required to attend the OPT Workshop.
Academic Training, for J-1 Student visa holders, is a Department of State benefit allowing students here on exchange programs to be possibly eligible for off-campus work experiences during and after their academic program. Please ask your advisees to make an appointment
with an ISSS advisor if s/he is interested in this program.