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For international students: What resources have proved most helpful for you as a Dartmouth student?

A: shuyi

Great question! First, I want to highlight that being an international student doesn't significantly impact your daily life at Dartmouth. The same classes, extracurriculars, and social spaces are available to you as an international student, so I haven't found any huge differences there. Like any other student, my resources for daily life include my UGA, upperclassmen, and mentors that I have established throughout campus, including the people I work for in the Admissions Office, professors, and the Undergraduate Dean's Office!

However, being an international student does influence some more big picture factors of your time at Dartmouth. Of course, there is the important stuff that OVIS helps with, such as entering and leaving the country. On this front, I have found OVIS to be extremely helpful and understanding. While it can be hard to understand all the existing rules around student visas and I-20s, the people at OVIS do a great job of simplyfing things and clearly communicating what our responsibilities and options as students are. Furthermore, they are always available to chat if more niche situations pop up! 

Other than actually entering the country and figuring out your D-Plan, international students face different rules regarding work authorization as well. We can't get a job off-campus, and we can only work for 20 hours per week on-campus. The 20 hour per week rule has never affected me, as I'm able to be a UGA and work for the Admissions Office while staying under 20 hours per week. Once again, OVIS is a great resource for navigating work-related issues, but so are older international friends! During my time at Dartmouth, I have asked friends about the 20-hour limit, internships, and work visas! Dartmouth authorize CPTs for international students - you might not know what a CPT is right now, but it's so helpful that Dartmouth does this for students. Through the help of OVIS and older international students who had already gone through the CPT process, I was able to get a CPT for my summer internship and ask all the questions I had along the way!

Overall, I wouldn't worry too much about needing further support as an international student. While navigating visas and international laws can be difficult, OVIS is a comprehensive support system that is available for every international student. Each student is assigned an OVIS Director, and I've found OVIS to be super responsive and helpful. Outside of OVIS, your best resources will likely be the same as other students, including upperclassmen, professors, and other people you meet!

I've loved being an international student at Dartmouth, as not only do I bring a diverse perspective to campus, but I am able to learn from the perspectives of other students as well - international and domestic! 

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