Jeonghyun Kim

Three Steps to Finding an Internship in the U.S.

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Saturday, June 20th, 2015 at 9:14 am

Grace Internship2International students studying in the U.S aren’t just interested in getting an education – many are also interested in gaining practical work experience. As an international student, an internship is a great opportunity to understand the work culture in the U.S. and compare it to working back home.

I completed my internship at Voice of America (VOA) in Washington D.C. earlier this month. As an intern for the English web desk, I was responsible for writing some news stories and blogging in English – including writing many of the blog posts you’ve been reading here over the past few weeks! Like many international students, I wanted to take what I learned in class and apply it to real life work. I was able to do that by writing weekly stories, and working with my supervisors and editors to improve my writing. Overall, I had a really great experience at VOA.

My three pieces of advice for international students who are looking for internships in the U.S. are: know your interests, know the visa process, and be positive.

  1. Know Your Interests: Find an opportunity that interests you. To get the right internship as a part of your academic experience, you have to determine what you want to do, and where you want to do it. Find companies or organizations with jobs that interest you, and then apply to the internship position with those employers. Remember, even if you can’t find information about internships at a company, if you are really interested in working there, it can’t hurt to ask.
  2. Know the Visa Process: Can international students legally intern in the U.S? Yes! One of the frustrations of being an international student is visa limitations, especially when it comes to working; many student visas don’t allow the visa holder to have a job. But, even with these restrictions, it’s still possible to have an internship. Most international students are enrolled in a U.S. college on an F-1 visa. Under the F-1, they are allowed to intern for a semester using Curricular Practical Training (CPT) – but as part of the CPT, the internship must be related to their major, and thy must get class credit from the internship. If international students want to intern after they graduate, Optional Practical Training (OPT) is the better choice. Students have to apply for the OPT program with U.S. immigration officials; if approved, you can work in the U.S. for up to one year.
  3. Be Positive!: When international students start looking for an internship, they made face rejection, which can be frustrating. But don’t give up! Internship opportunities don’t knock on your door – you have to be active in your internship search and meet people. You never know where an opportunity will arise.

Jeonghyun Kim is a former VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University.

Andrew Palczewski

EducationUSA Webinar: International Students Share Their Stories

by Andrew Palczewski - Posts (15). Posted Saturday, June 13th, 2015 at 10:07 am

EducationUSA WebinarEducationUSA is hosting another informative webinar next week on June 18th at 1300 UTC (9:00 AM ET). You’ll have a chance to chat with three international students – from Bangladesh, Chile, and Jamaica – who will be sharing their experiences as international students in the U.S. Click here to sign up, and find more information about the event below.

On June 18 at 1300 UTC, international students in the United States will share their successes and challenges both inside and outside the classroom.  Students from around the world will discuss their motivation to study in the United States and the benefits gained from their experience.  This live chat will cover adapting to American culture, social networking, religious organizations, and turning an education in the US into a successful career.


Jeonghyun Kim

Why Do International Students Come to the U.S. to Study?

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Thursday, June 4th, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Mark Strome, Johnn CujardoThe United States is consistently the top study abroad destination for students around the world, with nearly 900,000 international students coming to the U.S. to study during the 2013-2014 school year.

But why do international students choose to come to the United States? While there are numerous different reasons, here are four of the reasons students gave us:

1. Excellent academic programs – in the U.S., there are numerous world-renowned universities and colleges that offer many different academic paths to choose from.

Kwang Yeon Lee, a student at Johns Hopkins University, came to study in the U.S from high school. He says that U.S has the strong reputation for higher education.

“There are a lot of education options here…my country doesn’t have this much educational diversity,” he said.

2. Career-minded learning opportunities – in addition to studying, many students also participate in academic clubs and professional organizations, even if they’re not directly related to their major. These clubs give students an opportunity to learn practical skills that could be use in their careers.

At Georgetown University, for example, students considering a career in journalism can join the school’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) to support their interests. As a member of a professional organization, students have access to conferences, networking opportunities, and many kinds of professional experience to supplement what they learn in the classroom.

3. Specialized libraries and resources – many U.S. schools not only offer students a multitude of resources to help in their education, from books, to films, to academic journals, but offer resources that can be hard to find elsewhere.

Suk-Hwan Kang, a student at Georgetown University, said it was hard to find English books when he studied in his home country, South Korea. He couldn’t find translated or English books, which made it difficult to complete courses in his major: Western History. But, most of time in the United States, he doesn’t have any trouble finding the books he needs.

4. Advanced-level English language programs – many colleges and private English language schools provide English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to help students learn English.

Some international students come to the United States to take these classes and prepare themselves to enter university; others come to learn English while experiencing American life; others come to improve their English while working at an internship or job.

“Before starting my internship in the U.S, I took some language courses that helped me learn the basics of speaking, writing, reading in English” Kang Han, a student at International Language Institute in Washington D.C. “The English program was helpful to understand American culture too.”

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University.

Jeonghyun Kim

Transferring Schools Can Be Trouble For International Students

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Saturday, May 30th, 2015 at 6:16 am

An undocumented UCLA student attends a graduation ceremony at a church near the campus in Los AngelesTransferring from one university to another university is common in the U.S. for a number of reasons, from students seeking better way to pursue their education, to going to school in a different location, to spending less on tuition, and more.

The same is true for international students, some of whom try to transfer to another school from either their university in the U.S. or from their home country.

The first step for international students looking to transfer is to find a school they want to transfer to. This can prove difficult.

“As an international student, it is hard to look for transfer school,” said Kyung Hwan Lee, a student at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) University. “Before I transferred to another school, I needed to make sure the school I wanted to attend has a good curriculum for me. But, as an international student, I had very limited information.”

Another reason it can be hard for international students to pick a new school: it’s hard to get a feel for a new campus’s culture. Each university offers not only different academic opportunities, but different communities and experiences.

American community colleges can be a good option for international students. Soung Huyn Park, a student at Santa Monica College, said that the community colleges’ tuition is cheaper, and make it easier to transfer to another school after either freshman or sophomore year.

“I want to attend community college and then have a plan to transfer to four-year university,” said Park. “Several of my friends transferred to top universities from community colleges because the community colleges have the proven academic performance.”

Once you do find a school, the next step is taking the tests needed to gain admission. Most U.S. colleges require international students to take the TOEFL or IELTS exams, which are English proficiency tests. Then, students must apply to the new school as a transfer student, which can sometimes be more selective than regular admissions.

If you successfully transfer, you may face a problem the credits earned at your previous school: they may not be accepted, especially if the school is outside the United States. One of the first people students meet with after transferring is an academic advisor, who can discuss the transfer of credits.

Minkyu Lee, a student at Georgetown University, shared his transfer credit experience. He said that it is hard for international student to transfer basic courses from another country where English isn’t the primary language. Transcripts and course descriptions from a student’s home country may not explain the course in English. In Lee’s case, he had to translate his syllabuses by himself.

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University.

Jeonghyun Kim

California Love from International Students

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 at 7:16 pm

University of Southern California's Campus (Courtesy:

University of Southern California’s Campus (Courtesy:

As an international student, choosing where to attend school in the U.S. to attend can be a major – and majorly stressful – decision: at nearly 10 million square kilometers, the United States is the third largest country by area in the world, with settings ranging from snowy mountains, to warm and sunny beaches, and numerous others in between.

But when it comes to location, international students definitely have a favorite spot: the U.S. state of California. As a state, California attracts more international students than any other states.

For the past 12 years, the University of Southern California (USC), located in Los Angeles, has had the highest number of international students of any school in the country. This past school year, they boasted over 10,000 international students. Not far behind is the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), with 8,424 international students in the 2013-2014 school year.

University of California Los Angeles' Campus (Courtesy:

University of California Los Angeles’ Campus (Courtesy:

But why California? Soung Hyun Park, a student at California’s Santa Monica College, cited the many top global universities focusing on international education, and the draw of technological innovation happening in California’s in Silicon Valley.

Park said other students come to California because it’s “an international state,” boasting a large Asian community. This may be a big draw, as more than half of the international students coming to the U.S. are from China, India, and South Korea.

After California, the U.S. states of New York, Texas and Massachusetts top the lists of states with the most international students.

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University.

Jeonghyun Kim

Welcome to America? Facing – and Stopping – Discrimination

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 9:39 pm

Oklahoma Fraternity Racist Video

Students rally against racial discrimination at the University of Oklahoma. (AP)

Diversity – both cultural diversity and diversity of experiences – is among the most positive qualities that international students bring when they come to the U.S. to study. International student bring new perspectives to their schools, and help raise awareness for other countries and cultures.

But this diversity – and the discrimination it can bring – can cause some international students to hesitate to come to the U.S.

Despite understanding for different cultures in the U.S., and despite the emphasis in the U.S. on equal rights and opportunities regardless of race, religion or any social status, some international students say they’ve experienced discrimination at their schools.

A study by Shideh Hanassah at UCLA surveyed 640 international students, and found that discrimination can extend to the students’ interactions with professors, university staff, classmates, and potential employers.

I spoke with an international student at Georgetown University who says she’s faced discrimination; because the topic is so sensitive, she wished to remain anonymous.

The international student said that she experienced discrimination in the classroom firsthand. During one class, a professor began talking about a viral online optical illusion where a dress appeared either blue and black, or gold and white, depending on the sensitivity of people’s eyes.

The students and several of her classmates were surprised when the professor told the Chinese students in the class: “You might see that the dress color is red…because you are Chinese.”

It might be that the professor wanted to make a joke, but the student felt that his attempt at humor was not only discriminatory, but inappropriate for international students.

Amanda Johnsen, a student from Denmark at Northern Virginia Community College, also saw discrimination when one of her fellow international students tried to register for a class. The professor told her friend that because she had a strong accent, he was not letting her take his class.

So what should you do if you or your friends feel that you’ve been discriminated against? First, talk to the professor, and explain your viewpoint. In some cases – like the joke to the Chinese students – the discrimination may be unintentional.

If that doesn’t work, many schools have counseling centers or student advocacy groups that you can talk to. You also might consider talking to someone from the International Student Association, who may be able to help.

Remember that international students are an important part of any school community. Don’t let anyone discriminate against you for your differences – instead, celebrate them!

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University

Jeonghyun Kim

For International MBA Students Looking for U.S. Jobs, Persistence Pays Off

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Monday, May 11th, 2015 at 8:47 pm

In the past few years, the U.S. has seen a surge in the number of jobs in the field of business. So naturally, the number of foreign business students who want to work in the U.S. is also growing. Despite challenges like visas, and language and cultural barriers, international students are committed to getting a job in the U.S.

Sang Eun Kim is one of those students. The Korea native and MBA student at Georgetown University is dealing not only with the challenges of studying abroad, but the challenges of trying to get a job in the U.S.

Kim’s concerns are similar to his peers: he’s concerned about sponsorship to obtain a visa, is English skills, and cultural barriers that might arise. But he remains active and passionate. He frequently goes to career center to meet career advisors, and to get help editing his resume and cover letters.

As he discusses in the video above, he came to the U.S. carrying a dream, and has tried to pursue that dream despite the obstacles he faces – turning back was never an option. Ultimately, his persistence paid off: in the coming weeks, he’ll be starting a summer internship in the U.S., which he hopes might eventually lead to a job.

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University

Jeonghyun Kim

The Name Game: a New Country Means a New Identity

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Thursday, May 7th, 2015 at 1:53 pm helps Chinese people find an English name.

A screenshot of, which helps Chinese people find an English name.

Have you wondered why some international students keep their official names, and why others choose an English name?

Many international students I spoke with said their main reason for adopting an English name is because many fellow students cannot understand their original names.

But it’s not just for American students – international students say their fellow foreign students also have trouble pronounce their name correctly.

“Using an English name is easier for my foreign friends,” said Jian “Philip” Sun, a student at Georgetown University.

His classmate, Han-Ping “Michael” Huang added that having an English name is easier for American friends to remember and spell exact name.

If you decide to go by an English name, then how do you choose one? Some students pick an English name that is very similar in pronunciation to their original name. Other students use their middle name or last name.

“I use my middle name for my English name in the U.S because people cannot pronounce my first name, “said Gyrithe “Katherin” Christiansen, a student at Northern Virginia Community College.

Some students selected an English name randomly when they were young, and have stuck with their choice.

“When I was young, my kindergarten English teacher gave my English name,” said Sun. “I think it is unique and I keep using this name.”

And there are even some students who choose their name because based on their favorite celebrity.

“I choose my name, Michael, because I like Michael Jordan,” said Huang.

According to several websites, here are 10 of the most popular English names for international students:

Male Names Female Names
James Mary
Jason Jennifer
Jay Sophia
Michael Emily
David Julie
Kevin Jenny
Joseph Annie
Thomas Alice
Daniel Jasmine
Brian Samantha

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University

Jeonghyun Kim

What’s the Silliest Question an American Has Asked You?

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Friday, May 1st, 2015 at 2:55 pm

There were nearly a million international students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities during the 2013/2014 school year. But even with that big presence, international students still get a lot of weird questions just because they’re from a foreign country.

The video above, filmed by Nana Adwoa Antwi-Boasiako as part of her final school project, asks international students: what’s the silliest question an American has asked you?

While many of the students say they’ve been asked about the country, city, or culture where they grew up, others say they’ve gotten questions that come from students’ misinformation and misconception about live abroad.

But, don’t feel weird or offended about these questions, international students! Sharing your experiences and answering questions – even if they’re silly – is the first step in become acquainted with your fellow students, and making new friends.

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University

Jeonghyun Kim

PHOTOS: Global Expo 2015 at Georgetown University

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Monday, April 20th, 2015 at 10:05 am

Georgetown's Global Expo 2015The Georgetown International Student Association and Office of International Programs held the Global Expo on Saturday, April 11. The Expo gives students a chance to experience their classmates’ cultures – from food, to music, to traditional performance. Check out photos from the Expo below.

Jeonghyun Kim

Finding Authentic International Food, On- and Off-Campus

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Thursday, April 16th, 2015 at 4:41 pm

KoreanFoodEach year, thousands of international students come to the United States to complete their higher education. Leaving home and living abroad is a big major transition in life. And one of the first obstacles many of these students face is one of the most prominent: adapting to new food.

For many international students, it’s a struggle to find the food they grew up with while they study abroad, far away from their home country.

Se-Hoon Park, a student at Georgetown University, said that the only time he can eat authentic Korean food is when he goes back his family back home in Korea.

Nothing beats home cooked meals (even for American students). But many international students miss home cooked meals even more because of the stark difference between the food they’re used to eating and food in the U.S. Some international students say that they are not really used to American food, and that it is too greasy for their tastes.

“I miss my hometown cook,” said Zhou Shen, a student at Georgetown University.

Many international students complain that their school’s cafeterias don’t cater to international tastes with specific meals or dishes.

“I don’t have a chance to eat Korean food on the campus,” said Park. “Most cafeterias provide just simple food such as sandwiches and hamburgers, even though the owner of one of the school cafeterias [at Georgetown] is Korean.”

A woman picks up local beef at Lotte Mart in SeoulMany students try to satisfying their craving for authentic food from their homeland by venturing off-campus. But even at restaurants providing traditional countries’ menus, the food is often Americanized.

So instead, they head to supermarkets to try to cook the meals themselves.

“Usually most of Korean restaurants in D.C. don’t fulfill my appetite because it is American style Korean food,” said Park. “So, I and my friends sometimes cook Korean food together.”

Large grocery stores usually have a section of international food ingredients they can use to cook with – especially if the city has a large international population. And the chance to cook authentic food also gives them a chance to cook with friends and share part of their culture.

“I usually go to Whole Foods to get some ingredients,” said Shen. “It is near my house and I like to buy organic food instead of American junk food.”

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University

Andrew Palczewski

EducationUSA: All About the Student Visa Process

by Andrew Palczewski - Posts (15). Posted Monday, April 13th, 2015 at 10:56 am

EducationUSAWebinarAnother helpful webinar from EducationUSA: on Thursday, April 16, at 1300 UTC (9 AM ET) they’ll be holding an interactive discussion on everything you need to know about the student visa process.

Do you have questions about the steps to obtain a student visa? Wonder how long the the process will take? Want to make sure you’re taking the right steps? Find out on Thursday – additional information can be found below.

EducationUSA Interactive: Student Visas
Thursday, April 16 – 1300 UTC (9 AM ET)
Click here to access the webinar

Do you have questions about applying for your student visa? On April 16 at 13:00 UTC, join the next EducationUSA Interactive webchat to learn about the U.S. student visa process. Tune in to get information about the types of student visas, the visa interview and more as Consular Officer Laura Stein explains the process of obtaining your student visa and answers your questions live. Join us and get one step closer to studying in the United States!

Jeonghyun Kim

Survey Shows the Way for Schools to Keep International Students Happy

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Thursday, April 9th, 2015 at 3:37 pm


International students are overall very satisfied with their study abroad experiences, according to the I-Graduate Analysis of Student Satisfaction, which finds four factors have the greatest influence on the international students’ satisfaction: local atmosphere, learning quality, attitude of professor, and friendliness of the schools.

The analysis could be very useful for U.S. universities looking to improve on the success of their international programs – and improve future students’ experience by highlighting what factors make international students recommend a university to others.

For four students at The George Washington University (GWU), the report is useful in a different way: they researched the international students’ satisfaction rate of 2014 for their marketing research class.

Byeonggwan Lee, one of members of the research group, said that their research is important because international students can contribute to the diversity and the global reputation of the university. It’s especially important at GWU, which has one of the highest percentages of international students of any school in the U.S., according to U.S. News Education.

“I am sure that there are a lot of international students [here],” said Qing Chen, a student at GWU. “In one of my classes, every one of my classmates is Chinese, except for one classmate from the Middle East.”

According to the report, the quality of professors is the most significant factor affecting students’ education satisfaction. Students also commented on professors’ attitudes with international students, including how willing they are to assist foreign students and how they give international examples rather than using examples relevant only in the U.S.

“When we have a team project for marketing class, many professors usually give examples of certain American domestic companies,” said Lee. “Usually, international students don’t have a background with domestic companies, so we have to research and study more than American students.”

Academics are very important for international students. International students are more likely than domestic students to look for a school with good professional development, according to Study Portals. They may also focus on schools with good language support and subject tutors.

“Academic-level language is hard to speak because it requires us to use unfamiliar words,” Ji-yoon Lee, a student at Georgetown University. “I want to have more opportunities to talk about academic subjects with tutors or classmates.”

Campus life also is a significant factor in international students’ satisfaction with general university life in the U.S. Campus life involves health services, school activities, and whether a school has a campus or city atmosphere. University services are one of the ways schools can create a satisfactory campus life experience. International students may need cheaper and more optional health care services, help completing necessary paperwork like immigration forms, and help adjusting to life in the United States.

Another area international students marked as important? Activities and social clubs at their universities. These, they said, are a big opportunity for international students to spend their free time and to make new and lifelong friends.

“Our international office has a coffee hour, and I can make friends at the meeting, “said Chen. “However, it is still hard to make American friends because most of school social clubs that the school provides are for only international students.”

Ultimately, the survey not only shows the areas important for international students who want to have a complete educational experience, but the areas universities can focus on to meet those needs.

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University

Jeonghyun Kim

April Fools’ Day: International Students’ Chance to Play Tricks

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 8:38 am

People might use visual tricks to fool their friends – like this one at the Trick Eye Museum in Singapore, which makes it look like the man is sky diving when the photo is inverted (Reuters).

Happy April Fool’s Day! Even though it is not an official holiday like Valentine’s Day, April Fools’ Day is celebrated with pranks and tricks every April 1 in the United States.

The holiday began during the switch to the Gregorian calendar, which considers April 1 as the first day of the year. When the calendar was first implemented, some people refused to think that the first day of the year was April 1, so the day became one to play tricks on unsuspecting victims – hence the name April Fools.

April Fools’ Day is celebrated in different ways throughout the world; but, the main purpose in the United States is carrying out hilariously harmless pranks on friends for fun. Many international students have celebrated in their home countries, and are looking forward to playing tricks on their new friends in the U.S.

“I celebrated April Fool’s Day when I was in high school in Korea,” said Ji-Yoon Lee, a student at George Washington University. “We played fun jokes on teachers.”

But while international students may also celebrate the holiday, they may embrace a different style of joke than American students because of their different culture.

In Korea, Lee’s classroom in Korea was separated by gender, giving boys and girls an opportunity to prank each other on April Fool’s Day – and prank their teachers. One year, Lee says, the boys and girls changed classrooms to confuse their teachers. Another year, they swapped clothes.

Ser Jamil Aslam, an international student at Georgetown University, also fondly remembers celebrating April Fool’s Day in Pakistan.

“We pretend that we had an exam…on April Fool’s Day,” and then told friends that they had forgotten to study, Aslam said.

Other countries around the world have different April Fools’ Day traditions. In France, the holiday is known as Poisson d’Avril, which translates to April Fish. In India, rather than April Fool’s Day, people celebrate Holi, a festival on March 31 where people play jokes, toss colored dust on to others, and wear face and body paint.

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University

Jeonghyun Kim

Traveling Outside the U.S.? Don’t Forget Your Forms!

by Jeonghyun Kim - Posts (24). Posted Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 at 9:39 am

ImmigrationFormsWhether international students want to return to the home country, or explore Mexico, Canada or any country nearby the U.S during their spring break or summer vacation, they have to make sure to bring the appropriate immigration documents, including SEVIS I-20/DS-2019 – the forms that certify that an international student is eligible to study in the United States.

To protect internationals’ status in the U.S., both the I-20 (F-1 students) and the DS-2019 (J-1 students/ scholars) have to confirm the last signed date for travel by an immigrant advisor. The signature is expired after 12 months. If the date is expired, international students will have trouble re-entering the U.S.

Schools emphasize the importance of this travel signature on immigration documents when students first start orientation.

“The travel signature…shows that the student is continuing their status when they re-enter…[and] the students is continuing to meet the requirements of their status, as confirmed by a school office,” said Sean Milton, an assistant director for international education at Northern Arizona University.

If you do forget your travel forms, though, don’t worry! Here are three ways to solve problems that come up when international students forget to get travel signatures on the immigration documents.

First, if an international student forgets to get a travel signature, the fastest and best way to fix the problem would be to send immigration documents by express mail to the international office of their school for signatures. Most schools are able to receive express mail, so the process usually takes within a week or less.

Another way is to get a new copy of I-20 from your school – most schools’ international offices can send an updated copy of the form directly to international students if they don’t get travel signature before leaving.

But if you don’t have enough time for either of those options, there is a third way: you can bring some additional documents from your college that certify you’re a student. Two examples – an unofficial transcript and a receipt of payment of tuition – are easily to obtain from your school profile online. While not ideal, these forms will allow a port of entry officer to give you an I-515, which allows international student entry to the U.S in F-1 or J-1 status for 30 days.

But remember: even if you now know how to solve these common issues with immigration forms, the easiest way to solve a problem is never to face it at all – so make sure to keep your documents safe before, during, and after you travel!

Jeonghyun Kim is a VOA intern for the English web desk. She is from South Korea, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Professional Studies in Journalism at Georgetown University.

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