Study Abroad for Undergraduate Students
Stony Brook University offers three different types of programs (Study Abroad, Exchange and International Summer School) in four continents and twenty different countries with over eighty partner universities. Engaging in a study abroad program can enhance an international student’s educational experience while attending Stony Brook University. It is important that international students consult their International Student Advisor before finalizing any Study Abroad plans, and remain informed of immigration implications that go hand-in-hand with studying overseas.
Authorization from Visa & Immigration Services is required for any F-1 or J-1 student planning to study outside of the U.S. for SEVIS reporting purposes. Approved requests for Study Abroad, along with the maintenance of full-time enrollment, will ensure that your SEVIS record remains active while you’re abroad, meaning there will be no breaks in your immigration status, even though you are not physically within the US.
- You are required to register full-time (12 credits) in order to maintain your immigration status while abroad.
- Any changes in enrollment while studying abroad could affect your ability to return to the U.S. You will be registered in the U.S. immigration database (SEVIS) as an active Stony Brook student each semester, but only if participating full-time in an approved Study Abroad program.
- Make sure you have valid passport, travel signature (no more than 1-year old) and an unexpired F-1 visa (if applicable) prior to returning to the U.S.
- Immigration Check-In: Students must complete the UG Study Abroad Request in accessVIS each semester they plan to spend abroad to report their address, contact information, and study abroad/travel plans.
Requesting Authorization from VIS:
If you wish to request authorization from Visa & Immigration Services to study abroad please login to accessVIS and complete the Study Abroad (Undergrad) electronic request form.Students must complete the Study Abroad (Undergrad) request in accessVIS prior to the start of each semester they plan to spend abroad so that VIS can ensure your SEVIS record remains active.
Knowing the Immigration Implication of Studying Abroad:
Employment Implications: Because immigration status is not interrupted by SBU/VIS authorized study abroad, you are eligible for OPT or CPT upon returning to the U.S. if you were enrolled full-time for one academic year. Please note: for students wishing to request post-completion OPT, you must be physically within the US to apply for OPT authorization from USCIS. Similarly, students on J-1 visa are eligible for academic training upon return provided that they maintained full-time enrollment while overseas.
Full-Time Enrollment: It’s mandatory to maintain full-time enrollment at all times during study abroad. If students fall below full time enrollment because it’s their last semester, the student must request reduced course load authorization by completing the Part-Time Enrollment request form in accessVIS. Any unauthorized changes in enrollment while studying abroad could affect your ability to return to the U.S. You will be registered in the U.S. immigration database (SEVIS) as an active Stony Brook student each semester, but only if participating full-time in an approved Study Abroad program.
Immigration Implications: If authorized by VIS, your SEVIS status will remain active. J-1 students will receive remarks indicating their authorization to participate in a study abroad program.
SEVIS Registration: You must complete the UG Study Abroad Request in accessVIS prior to each semester you plan to spend abroad as a method of reporting your address, contact information, and study abroad/travel plans.
Renewal of F-1/J-1 Visa:If your student visa expires while studying overseas, you will need to apply for a new visa before making travel plans to return to the US. If the visa application is denied, you must obtain a new visa you’re your home country to return to the U.S.
Visit the International Academic Programs Office or click here for more information about studying abroad!