Chapman International Students studying abroad

Center for Global Education

» International Students & Scholar Services

International Student HandbookThe International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office aids international F-1 visa students, J-1 visa students, research scholars and professors by providing an 1-20 and/or DS2019 form and assisting with other applications for US Citizenship & Immigration Services. In addition, ISSS ensure compliance with the Department of Homeland Security SEVIS immigration regulations. Guide: Easy-to-follow website with everything you need to know about being an international student beginning with the I-20, arriving at the airport, maintaining F-1 status, and other helpful information.

ISSS is the primary resource for students and scholars as it pertains to:

  • Social Security Administration
  • Visa renewal
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • On-campus employment
  • All F & J immigration matters
  • Medical insurance  
  • Travel information  
  • Authorized off-campus employment (Curricular Practical Training/internships)

ISSS also serves as a liaison to campus departments & the surrounding community that serve the needs of international students.

All the information that you need to know pertaining to your F-1 status and Chapman such as how to obtain a social security number, driver’s license or tuition costs can be found in our International Student Undergraduate Handbook or International Graduate Student Handbook.

Note: This web page is for newly admitted and current international students and scholars. If you are looking into applying to Chapman as an international student please visit the website for Chapman International Student Admissions

For important forms, upcoming events, and other information please see below.

+ - Chapman’s International Students at a Glance

View the International Students at a Glance document for statistics on Chapman's international student population for Fall 2016.

+ - Incoming Students

Here are some important links to help you as you prepare for your arrival at Chapman:

Important Information Regarding the F-1 Visa Application Process Guide: Easy-to-follow website with everything you need to know about being an international student beginning with the I-20, arriving at the airport, maintaining F-1 status, and other helpful information.

Citizens of Canada do not have to apply for an F-1 visa at the consulate. Entering the U.S. with an I-20 automatically puts you in F-1 status. To find out more about how to obtain F-1 status as a Canadian student visit the website of the U.S. Embassy for Canadian Students.  

Find Your Nearest Consulate

 Visit the website to locate your nearest consulate. 

Supplemental form Required for I-20

Please print and fill out the following appropriate form: 

SEVIS Transfer Students

Please make sure you have given your old school a copy of the Transfer Form so that they can release your record to us. 

Housing for Graduate Students and Transfers Only

On campus housing is not guaranteed for graduate and transfer students but there are resources to help you find off campus housing. For help finding housing please visit the off campus housing website and fill out an interest questionnaire.

You can also visit the Roommate Corner on Facebook where Chapman students who are looking for roommates post their rooms for rent.

For questions regarding off campus housing, contact:

Amanda Zamora
Off-Campus Housing Coordinator
Office of Housing and Residence Life
Chapman University
Office: (714) 997-6593

The International Student & Scholar Services also keeps a list of rooms for rent. You can contact Susan Sams if you are interested.

+ - Health Care

As stated in the International Student Handbook above, all incoming students must fill out a health form and return it to Student Health Services. To access the form and for more information please visit the Student Health Services website.

+ - Optional Practical Training and Curricular Practical Training


Optional Practical Training or OPT allows you to work for one year, following graduation, in a job related to your major or field of study. Each semester, Susan Sams announces an OPT session for graduating seniors and grads which you are encouraged to attend for more detailed information. You can also make an appointment to speak with Susan Sams about OPT directly. Students must have been in good status as an F-1 visa student for at least one academic year at the time they are applying.


Students who have received a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree in certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields may be eligible for a 24 month extension on their OPT. This is a once in a life time extension that is approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Once approved, an Employment Authorization Document or EAD card will be issued which shows the dates the student is eligible to work in the United States.

STEM Requirements

  • Student must be on OPT at the time they apply
  • Student must verify that they've completed a STEM degree
  • Requirements for Employment:
    • Employment can be paid or unpaid
    • Employment must be at least 20 hours/week
    • Employment must be related to student’s field of study
    • Employer must be certified through the U.S. Government’s E-Verify Employment Verification System
    • Must report termination of employee within 48 hours


Curricular Practical Training or CPT allows you to participate in an off-campus paid internship that is related to your major or field of study. CPT is an academic program that is not for employment purposes. You must prove that the internship will benefit your academic program. CPT is not required for unpaid internships or volunteer positions. However, you may not receive any compensation for work performed in an unpaid internship.

CPT Requirements

  • Student must have been in good status as an F-1 visa student for at least one academic year at the time they are applying.
    • The only exception to this requirement is if an internship is required as part of your academic program.
  • Student must already have a job/internship offer to apply.  Once student receives a job offer, begin the process of registering your internship with Chapman’s Career and Professional Development.

CPT is only authorized for a semester. You must apply again if you would like to continue with your program beyond that first semester.

For information on how to apply or any other questions please contact the International Student & Scholar Services to set up a meeting to talk about CPT directly.

+ - F1 Student Travel Guide

This Travel Guide provides information for F1 students re-entering the U.S. Please contact International Student & Scholar Services in the Center for Global Education if you have any questions prior to leaving the country.

+ - J-1 Scholars

SEVIS Reporting Requirements

Your EV Program Responsible Officer (RO) is Susan Sams and the “Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) is Junko Takada.  Please see the Contact Us section below for details on how to contact them.

As your J-1 Exchange Visitor (EV) Program Sponsor, Chapman University is required to validate your program participation within thirty days of the program start date listed on your DS-2019 and to report any changes of name or U.S. address. These reports are submitted electronically to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE using the Student Exchange Visitor Information System or SEVIS. As soon after arrival as possible, be sure to report in person to International Student & Scholar Services. Please bring the following for both J1 and J2s: passport with visa, DS2019 and proof of health insurance coverage.

Following initial validation, you must notify Susan Sams of any changes to your U.S. address within 10 days of the change. A legal name change must also be reported within 10 days.  

You will need a travel signature from Susan Sams on your DS2019 if you are leaving the U.S. temporarily during your program. We ask that you notify International Student & Scholar Services whenever you plan to be outside the U.S.

Prior to Arrival

You cannot enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start date on DS 2019. For tax purposes, Chapman uses a software system called Glacier. If you will be receiving money from Chapman, an email from will be emailed to you which will ask that you set up an account in Glacier. You should complete the tax questionnaire and follow instructions regarding submission. If you have questions about the questionnaire, you can email

Procedure for Obtaining Your J-1 Visa
  1. You must ensure that your passport is valid for a period of six months beyond the end date listed on your SEVIS DS-2019.
  2. Make an appointment with the U.S. Consulate or Embassy as soon as you receive your SEVIS DS-2019. Some offices have different procedures or forms you will need to submit, so it is best to review the website where you will be applying for the visa. The following will help with finding your nearest US Consulate*.
  3. Before your appointment, you must pay a SEVIS FEE and print the SEVIS fee payment receipt. Take this receipt when you go to your appointment. The fastest way to pay the fee is through the SEVIS I-901 Fee processing website by using a credit card and completing the online Form I901.

*Citizens of Canada do not have to apply for an J-1 visa at the consulate. Entering the U.S. with DS2019 automatically puts you in J-1 status. To find out more about how to obtain J-1 status as a Canadian student visit the website of the U.S. Embassy for Canadian Students.  

Health Insurance Requirements

The Department of State requirements for health insurance coverage are: $100,000 per accident or illness, $50,000 for medical evacuation, $25000 for repatriation and maximum deductible of $500. You must maintain coverage for yourself and your dependents during your entire stay in the U.S. Failure to do so can result in termination of your DS 2019.

Garnett-Powers & Associates (GPA) will be contacting you by email regarding the Chapman University Visiting Scholar Benefit Plan. You can either purchase health insurance from them or complete a waiver if you will have your own comparable health insurance plan.

If you will be at Chapman long term and are offered Chapman benefits in your contract letter, you will need to purchase a supplemental policy for repatriation and medical evacuation. 

Important Information to Know

Housing and Transportation Information

Chapman has limited faculty housing. If your department has not arranged for your housing, please contact Susan Sams and she can help you find something nearby.

Chapman University has two locations in Orange County: the Orange campus and the Rinker campus. The Orange campus is located in the city of Orange, California. The Rinker campus is located in the city of Irvine, California. It is ideal for you to live in the city closest to the Chapman campus where you will do research/teach. Click here for a map of Orange County

The mass transportation system is not convenient or especially good. Southern Californians use personal automobiles and therefore spend a lot of time driving because everything is very spread out. A reliable used car can cost in the $8,000 - $11,000 range. Auto insurance can cost approximately $1,200 per year.

Housing is expensive in Orange County. The average price for a room rental (renting a private, furnished room in someone’s home) is between $600 and $850 per month depending on what is offered and if the bathroom is shared or private. If you decide to rent an apartment and live alone or with your family, almost all are unfurnished and you have to pay utilities. The average price for a 1 bedroom (with kitchen/dining/bath) is approximately $1300 per month.

Housing Information for J-1 scholars located at Rinker Campus

The Irvine Spectrum is a huge shopping/entertainment center near the Rinker campus. The following information provides the nearest wireless cell phone offices and Walmart (for economical shopping) near Irvine Spectrum. In addition, below are the addresses for the nearest (to Rinker) Social Security Office and Dept. of Motor Vehicles.

Apartments near Rinker Campus/ Irvine Spectrum area: Irvine Company Apartment Communities - see Centerpointe, Los Olivos, The Park, The Village

If you are having trouble renting an apartment Heritage Point in Irvine is international student and scholar friendly. They will work with I-20 and DS 2019 students/faculty despite the fact that they may have no social security number or credit history in the U.S. Unfortunately, it is not located as close to Rinker campus as the above apartments.

For Homestay rentals, please speak with Sandra Robbie at the Rinker Campus

Wireless cell phone offices near Rinker:

Verizon: Irvine Spectrum             T-Mobile: Irvine Spectrum     Walmart (for T-Mobile and economical shopping)
649 Spectrum Center Dr. 504 Spectrum Center Dr. 71 Technology Dr.
Irvine, CA 92618 Irvine, CA 92618 Irvine, CA 92618

Urgent Care and Walk-In Clinics near Rinker campus:

Irvine Village Urgent Care PlushCare Urgent Care

Irvine Urgent Care

15435 Jeffrey Rd 19742 MacArthur, Suite 100 (Corner of Jamboree) 2500 Alton Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92618 Irvine, CA 92612

Irvine, CA 92606

Wells Fargo Bank:

We have a special arrangement for our international students and scholars with Wells Fargo bank at Orange Plaza (the Circle, 2 blocks from main campus).

If you ask for Marilyn Rohm she will allow you to open an account with a Chapman ID card and your passport. If you do not yet have your id card, Marilyn will allow you to provide it later. It is possible to open the account with Marilyn but utilize the branch in Irvine that is near Rinker Campus.

Nearest Irvine Wells Fargo branches:

Irvine Spectrum 22 Prism Dr Los Olivos Marketplace      
15771 Rockfield Blvd  Irvine, CA  92618 8587 Irvine Center Dr.
Irvine, CA 92618 Irvine, CA  92618

Social Security Office nearest to Rinker campus:

26051 Acero Road
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Department of Motor Vehicles nearest to Rinker campus:

26535 Moulton Parkway         
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

+ - Faculty Resources for J1 Scholars

Instructions for departments that want to sponsor a J-1 research scholar/professor

This DS 2019 request form is required in order to create the DS 2019 needed for J-1 visa application. Susan Sams oversees immigration processing; however, depending on which department is assisting you with your invitation, other paperwork will be required. Please contact Eileen Besner for Courtesy Appointments/Post Docs or Abbie Kane for salaried employees.

Click on: Faculty/Post Doc Hires & Courtesy Appointment Processes.

+ - Workshops & Events

Upcoming Events

Are you applying for OPT? Join the OPT Panel Discussion on March 6, 2018, 6:00pm-7:00pm in Argyros Forum 209B. Two former international students who are currently on OPT will give you tips for a successful OPT experience. Light food will be provided. RSVP here.


  1. how to find employment
  2. interview process (what to say and what not to say!
  3. how students can better prepare for OPT while they are still in school
  4. If fact or fiction that it is harder for international students to find a job
  5. how working in the U.S. for only a certain period can help achieve an ultimate goal

Interested in pursuing an internship? Join the CPT Panel Discussion on March 7, 2018, 1:00pm-2:00pm at Argyros Forum 209A. Two current international students who are on CPT will discuss the following topics. Light food will be provided. RSVP here.


  1. tips on finding employment
  2. application procedures
  3. pros and cons of working on CPT
  4. experience working in the U.S.
  5. advise for students interested in working off-campus

Past Workshops & Events:

  • February 21 and 22, 22018: OPT Sessions
  • February 21, 2018: Transitioning International Resumes to Fit the American Workplace
  • February 8, 2018:Navigating the American Classroom Workshop
  • February 6, 2018: American Culture and Cultural Adjustment Workshop
  • January 26, 2018 - International Student Orientation
  • October 27, 2017  - Immigration attorney session
  • October 13, 2017 - International Student Welcome Dinner
  • October 4 and October 5, 2017 - OPT Session
  • September 22, 2017 - Navigating the American Classroom Workshop
  • September 20, 2017 - American Culture and Cultural Adjustment Workshop
  • August 25, 2017 - Affinity Social for International Students
  • August 24, 2017 - Graduate International Student Orientation 
  • August 23, 2017 -  Rinker campus students only- Graduate International Student 
  • August 21, 2017 - Undergraduate International Student Orientation
  • May 3, 2017 - Panel discussion on friendships and romantic relationships
  • April 5, 2017 - Immigration Attorney Session
  • March 10, 2017 - OPT Panel Discussion
  • March 6, 2017 - CPT Panel Discussion
  • March 3, 2017 - Immigration Attorney Session 
  • March 2, 2017 - Resume Workshop
  • February 22 and 23, 2017: OPT Session
  • February 15, 2017 - Navigating the American Classroom Workshop
  • February 10, 2017 - American Culture and Cultural Adjustment Workshop 
  • January 27, 2017 - International Student Orientation
  • December 7, 2016 - International Scholar Social Reception
  • November 24, 2016 - Thanksgiving Dinner in the Student Union
  • November 9, 2016 - Resume Workshop
  • October 21, 2016 -  Ensuring Academic Integrity in All Your Work
  • October 13, 2016 - Immigration attorney session
  • October 7, 2016 – International Students Welcome Dinner
  • September 29, 2016: English Corner
  • September 27 and 28, 2016: OPT Session
  • September 22, 2016: Navigating the American Classroom Workshop 
  • September 12, 2016: Ensuring Academic Integrity in All Your Work (only MBA and MS. Accounting)
  • August 22-26, 2016: Graduate and Undergraduate International Student Orientation
  • OPT Panel Discussion
  • May 10, 2016 - Lady of the Palace Film Screening (Arabic subtitles) - Media Room - Henley Basement. Free admission @ 7 p.m.
  • April 28, 2016 - Funny Girl (In English)
  • April 26, 2016 - Immigration Attorney Session
  • April 5, 2016 - CPT Panel Discussion
  • March 1, 2016 - Resume Workshop
  • February 23rd & 24th, 2016 - OPT Session
  • February 18, 2016 - Immigration Attorney Session
  • February 12, 2016 - Navigating the American Classroom Workshop
  • February 11, 2016 - American Culture and Cultural Adjustment Workshop
  • December 3, 2015 - Resume and Cover Letter Workshop
  • November 5, 2015 - Windows of the World: Uniting Cultures through Dialogue
  • November 3, 2015 - International Food Fair
  • October 2nd & 14th, 2015 - Navigating the American Classroom Workshop
  • September 25, 2015 - American Culture and Cultural Adjustment Workshop
  • September 18, 2015 - International Students Welcome Dinner
  • August 28, 2015 - Affinity Social
  • August 27, 2015 - Undergraduate International Student Orientation
  • August 25, 2015 - Graduate International Students Orientation

If you have any questions, please contact Junko Takada.

+ - International Student Videos

Click on the links below to watch interviews of international students at Chapman discuss adjusting to life at Chapman and why they chose to come here. 

International student Yuri Scharan, from Brazil, discusses the challenges and rewards of coming from a different country to attend Chapman University.

International student Veda Bhambani, originally from India, talks about the many opportunities at Chapman University for students from all walks of life.

International student Emiliana Ammirata explains what it was like to come to Chapman University from Brazil and why she chose to attend film school. She talks about the importance of living in the dorms as an international student.

International student Kimaya Singh describes how Chapman University’s personal touch convinced her that this was the right school for her, and as a student, international or otherwise, it’s important to reach out to others.

Student Abby Quick, born in Chicago but raised in Singapore, discusses her initial concerns about attending school so far away from home. Once at Chapman University, she found many resources to assist with the transition and realized that all students are starting new when first attending college.

+ - International Students Studying Abroad

International Students at Chapman may participate on a Semester/Academic Year Program, Short Term Travel Course in January or Summer, or a Summer International Internship. In the 2015/2016 academic year, 35 international students participated on a semester abroad or Travel Course!

International students will need to follow all eligibility and deadline requirements to participate.

Consider these points as you plan to go abroad:

  1. Research your host country’s visa process thoroughly to make sure that you are following all of the necessary steps to obtain your visa and ensure that you are submitting the necessary paperwork. As a student at a U.S. institution you may be able to apply through the host country’s consulate in the U.S. However, if you plan on applying at the host country’s consulate in your home country, have an understanding of the visa processing time as it may be longer.
  2. Understand your travel throughout the program. If you are studying abroad for a summer, semester, or on a short-term program, you should know which countries you are going to visit and understand the visa process for each country to ensure that you will be visiting them legally.
  3. Make sure that your U.S. visa stays current and active while you are abroad. You will need to be in touch with Susan Sams in the Center for Global Education to make sure that you have submitted all the necessary paperwork for this process.

+ - Obtaining a Drivers License and Purchasing a Car

Here are some resources for obtaining a drivers license and purchasing a car:

+ - Contact Us

Susan Sams PDSO, RO
Specialist, International Student & Scholar Services
Phone: (714) 997-6829

Junko Takada DSO, ARO
Department Assistant
Phone: (714) 744-2110

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