Current and Returning International Students

Maintaining Student Visa Status

As an international student, you must maintain your immigration status and stay in good academic standing. Following the guidelines below will help you to successfully maintain your visa status.

Arrive on Time 

If students cannot arrive by the program start date, International Education strongly advises they defer attendance to the following semester. Students accept the risk that entry could be denied and that MICA cannot control this process. If a student is denied entry to the U.S. it is his/her/their responsibility to pay all related costs.  For more information, see MICA's Arrival Policy and Frequently Asked Questions.  

Enroll in Full-Time Study

Pursue a full course of study, as defined by your degree program. For most students, this is at least 12 credits per semester. Part-time enrollment is only possible in specific situations and must always be authorized by International Education and documented on your I-20 before you drop below 12 credits.

Dropping below full-time status without prior authorization on your I-20 is a violation of F-1 status.

Situations in which part-time enrollment may be possible include: your last semester of study or a documented medical or psychological condition that limits your ability to study full time. If you think you might qualify for authorization to drop below 12 credits, please complete a Program Adjustment Form with your Academic Adviser, and deliver it to International Education. 

Report Changes of Address or Personal Information

Notify International Education within 10 days of any changes to your personal information:

  • U.S. address
  • Address in your home country
  • Name or spelling of your name
  • Citizenship or passport that you use to enter the U.S.
  • Sources of funds on your I-20

Report Change of Academic Information

Notify International Education before you make any changes to your academic information. Please complete a Program Adjustment Form if you need to change your I-20 end date or enroll part-time.

  • Major, minor or concentration
  • Degree (e.g., B.F.A., M.F.A., M.A.T., etc.)
  • Full-time enrollment
  • Expected graduation date
  • Transferring out of MICA

Keep Documents Current

Passport: Your passport should always be at least valid for six months into the future. If you need to renew your passport, you may be able to do so in the United States. Contact your country’s consulate or embassy in the United States (either in Baltimore or in Washington D.C.) about the procedures on how to renew your passport.

Do Not Plagiarize

Plagiarism is the act of one person passing another person's work off as their own. Plagiarism includes everything from repeating someone's idea without properly citing the idea, to copying someone else’s entire essay.  You can avoid plagiarism by being sure to properly cite sources and by creating academic work that stems from your own unique ideas.

Originality and individual achievement are highly valued in America.  This is reflected in the focus on original thinking in class discussions, research projects and papers.  It is also reflected in the rules of academic honesty.

The most important rule of academic honesty is that a student must be evaluated only on the basis of his or her own work.  If students violate this rule by submitting the work of other people as their own, they are committing a serious offense which is called plagiarism.

Plagiarism may result in a student's dismissal from the College.  Some cultures view issues such as plagiarism differently. It is very important for you to understand exactly what comprises plagiarism at an American university.  If you are ever in doubt about whether you may be committing plagiarism by using someone else's words or ideas and claiming them as your own, ask your professor to clarify the matter immediately.

Please refer to MICA's official policy on plagiarism.

Depart on Time 

After you have completed your program, F-1 students must take one of the following actions:

-Depart the U.S. within 60 days

-Apply for Optional Practical Training

-Transfer your SEVIS record to another program

-Apply for a change of visa status through USCIS