The presence of international students and scholars with their varied cultures is an important aspect of the APU campus. Every student and scholar who comes to APU from a different culture brings with him/her a wealth of cross-cultural knowledge that makes the APU campus a richer and more diverse community. Therefore, APU offers a central office where the needs and interests of these students and scholars can be met.
International Students and Scholars (ISS)
“Their Potential Is Our Priority”
International Students and Scholars (ISS) provides relevant services to students and scholars from around the world. Services include a mandatory Global Student Orientation, immigration services, and cross-cultural support services. Numerous activities are provided throughout the year to introduce students to Southern California.
In addition, ISS promotes international understanding through specialized training and international awareness festivities on campus—for example, ISS cosponsors annual events such as Global Expressions, World Night Market, and Welcome events.
Visit the International Center website for more-detailed information.
American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI)
In addition to implementing the three-level, year-round academic ESL program, ALCI offers a variety of other services to meet the needs of international students, American students, faculty, and staff at APU. Graduate students may join the American International Mentoring (AIM) program to enhance their university experience and develop cross-cultural relationships. Interested students should contact email@example.com or apply online.
International Campus Fellowships
International students of APU form numerous Christian fellowship groups that meet weekly on campus to promote understanding of the Christian faith and provide opportunities for building friendships. These groups are supported by ISS as well as the Center for Student Action. The following fellowship groups currently exist: Huaren Association, Japanese Friday Night Fellowship, and Korean Fellowship. For information on meeting times of the various groups, contact ISS.
At present, limited scholarships are available at the postbaccalaureate level. Some teacher assistantships or graduate internships are available in some departments. For more information, see the specific program area.
Any international student studying at APU on an I-20 or DS 2019 (F or J visa status) issued by APU must purchase APU student health insurance, which is paid twice a year and covers the student for 12 months. Student health insurance becomes invalid upon graduation or withdrawal from APU.
International Leadership Scholarship
The International Leadership Scholarship (ILS) offers an educational opportunity for up to five non-U.S. citizens/residents/or current visa holders in need of financial assistance. The scholarship includes a full-tuition award and health insurance coverage annually, and is for individuals who either wish to conduct research and audit courses or seek a degree. To apply for an International Leaders Scholarship, the individual must have a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of three to five years of work experience in a professional capacity, the financial ability to cover one’s own cost of living and books, and meet the minimum English proficiency requirements for the university. These individuals may not have studied in the U.S. prior to this program. International Leaders recipients need to return to their home country or a non North American country (except for Canadians) upon completion of their program in order to impact others around the world. In addition, those desiring the degree-seeking scholarship must meet all of the admission qualifications for a specific degree program. Those selected to be International Leader Scholars will enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa. Contact the International Center for an application and more information about this scholarship.
Azusa Pacific University employs three international student advisers to assist students with immigration issues, from the initial issuing of the immigration documents to any immigration concerns or questions during their stay at the university. APU has been authorized to issue the I-20 (F-1 visa status) and the DS 2019 (J-1 visa status) by the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State.
APU is not responsible for the decisions made by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Legal Requirements for F-1 or J-1 International Students
To maintain legal status, the international student1 must:
- Be full time. For most master’s degree students in a 16-week term, 9 units is considered full time. For the 8-week term, 9 units over two 8-week terms is required. Doctoral degree students must carry a minimum of 6 units of weekly professor contact hours to maintain full-time status. Master’s degree students may not take more than one online or independent study class for every 9 units of coursework. For any exceptions to this policy, make an appointment with an ISS immigration adviser for counsel.
- Work only on campus. U.S. regulations allow F-1 and J-1 students to work on campus for 20 hours a week during the academic year or full time during vacation periods. (J-1 status students will need written verification by the Responsible Officer before starting employment on or off campus). Any off-campus employment must be officially authorized by the U.S. government. To obtain information about working off campus, students should make an appointment in the International Center for counsel. J-1 research scholars have different employment regulations; see immigration adviser for details.
- Report any change of name or address. The U.S. government requires notification within 10 days of any name or address change. Students must report the location of their physical residence (not a post office box) to:
- Obey all laws of the United States. For details of other specific immigration laws that could affect F-1 or J-1 status, contact ISS.
The above requirements do not constitute a comprehensive list. Students are also responsible for immigration laws not stated here.
An international student at APU is defined as any individual not holding a U.S. residency or citizenship. Any non-U.S. resident/citizen is required to apply to APU through the International Center.
Full-time status for international doctoral students in either F-1 or J-1 status should be consistent with university policy for full-time students. A minimum of 6 units per semester is considered full time, with the option of each school/program determining more for full-time status. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of State require students to remain in full-time status during their entire academic program. There are instances in which an individual is permitted to carry less than a full-time schedule; for information on these instances, contact the ISS.
No more than the equivalent of one class or 3 units per term may be taken online or through distance education if the individual is in the U.S. and enrolled as a full-time F-1 or J-1 student.
If an individual is enrolled in an intensive study program (classes meeting on campus twice a year for sessions of two to three weeks, such as in the D.Min. or Ed.D. programs), the student must leave the U.S. between terms or may remain and take one additional in-class course during the term separating the two intensives.