International Students

Global Scots.

international students

Future International Students

Monmouth College welcomes international students from all over the world! We have students from: France, Spain, Ghana, Pakistan, Kenya, Mexico, Trinidad Tobago, Australia, Japan and England.

Whether you’re coming to play a sport or because you got an awesome scholarship Monmouth is the place for you. Our campus is its own little city in a rural town of 9,000 people in Illinois.  There’s always something to do from theatre performances, to concerts, and clubs and organizations to be a part of of, you’ll never be bored. 

Learn more and apply 

Future Exchange Students

Study abroad at Monmouth for one semester or one year!

How to apply:

To be considered a study abroad student for admission, all applicants should submit:

  1. An application, which can be found here (opens to application or takes to different page)
  2. Copies of your official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended. All documents must be accompanied by a translation into English if the original documents in another language.
  3. A statement of your educational goals and objectives.
  4. One letter of recommendation from a professor or international staff member at your home institution.
  5. Official TOEFEL/ IELTS/ Duolingo scores (for those whose country’s native language is English or attend an institution with English instruction)
  6. Financial Certification form with supporting documents

Apply here

Monmouth College currently only sponsors F-1 and J-1 visas.

F-1 Student Status-Non-immigrant students working towards specific degree (e.g. BA, MA, PhD, MD) and some exchange programs. Documents for these students include form I-20, F-1 visa, I-94 card or Electronic I-94 record and admission stamp.

J-1 student status- Non-immigrant status used for international exchange. Documents for these students include from DS-2019, J-1 visa, I-94 card or electronic I-94 record and admission stamp.

Current International Students


It is essential for international students to understand when and how they can start working off campus. They will need to be able to articulate their student visa work authorization options and their employment visa options to employers, as not all U.S. employers are experienced in hiring international candidates. Please see below for information that may be helpful to international students as they explain your employment authorization to employers.

Work Authorization

What is work authorization?

A benefit of the F-1 and J-1 status is that most students may apply for work authorization to accept a variety of employment opportunities. Best of all, it is possible for students to begin working without their employers having to provide visa sponsorship. However, some work authorization types do require an application from the government or the student’s international office at their school. Below is a brief overview of the types of work authorization available to F-1 and J-1 students.

To obtain work authorization as an F-1 student:

  • Speak with the PDSO/ DSO about your plans and receive an OPT recommended I-20
  • Complete an I-765 form
  • You must have your work authorization granted prior to beginning to work

Type of OPT

Timeline for submitting I-765

Pre-Completion OPT

  • May submit up to 90 days before the date you plan to begin working
  • Must submit up within 30 days of the Office of Global Engagement recommending your OPT in SEVIS (this may differ from the date listed on your I-20)

Post-Completion OPT

DO NOT submit your I-765 without receiving an OPT recommendation and I-20 from the Office of Global Engagement

  • May submit up to 90 days before the program end date but must submit within 60 days after your program date
  • Must submit within 30 days of the Office of Global Engagement recommending your OPT in SEVIS (this can differ from the date listed on the I-20)

24-Month STEM Extension

DO NOT submit your I-765 without receiving a STEM OPT recommended I-20 from the Office of Global Engagement

  • May submit up to 90 days before the expiration of your current post-completion OPT EAD card but no later than the expiration date listed on your post-completion OPT EAD card
  • Must submit within 60 days of the Office of Global Engagement recommending your STEM OPT in SEVIS (this can differ from the date listed on the I-20)

Please Note: It is your responsibility to understand and comply with the terms of your immigration status during your stay in the United States. A violation of immigration regulations (for example, failure to maintain a full-time credit load or unauthorized employment) could jeopardize your F-1/J-1 status and legal stay in the U.S.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is an F-1 student benefit. It is authorization for employment which is an integral part of an established curriculum and is related to a student’s major area of study. This can be defined as: alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education (CO-OP) or other type of required internship or practicum.

There are two types of CPT: required for academic program and non-required. For CPT that is required, the academic program mandates practical work experience in the field of study to graduate. For CPT, which is a non-required part of the program, the practical work experience is for credit and directly related to your field of study (independent study). Both must be an integral part of your major.

Other Characteristics of CPT:

  • No employer sponsorship is needed, but the application does require the employer to provide a CPT letter
  • You must be enrolled full-time for one academic year at Monmouth College before you can apply
  • CPT can only be used before you complete your degree/graduates
  • Allows part-time and full-time work
  • You must have a job offer before applying
  • Need to receive course credit
  • If the position is paid, apply for work authorization and obtain a social security card

Employer Responsibilities:

When you apply for CPT, you’ll be required to submit a CPT employer letter. This Letter is crucial to authorizing CPT and we strongly recommend that employers use the CPT employer letter template listed below to make sure all required information is included and percent CPT processing delays.

Employer Template and Example


Once all documents are received, it will take between 24 hours - 1 week for the Office of Global Engagement to authorize CPT. CPT approval comes in the form of a new I-20 form which will detail the employment authorization. The I-20 forms may be copied for Human Resources purposes, however, the student is required to carry the original. You cannot start training until your listed start date and have received an updated I-20 with a PDSO or DSO signature.

Apply here

F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is a type of F-1 off-campus work authorization for degree-seeking students who wish to gain experience in jobs directly related to their major area of study.

Other Characteristics of OPT-

  • If you are collecting pay, you must have work authorization and a social security number
  • You cannot start OPT until the approved date by USCIS

Pre-completion OPT

OPT is training that can take place prior to your program end date where you can volunteer, work off-campus or hold an internship. Although this can deduct time off of your post-graduation OPT available. A job offer isn’t required to apply but advise you have a position lined up.

Other Characteristics of Pre OPT

  • You must be enrolled for one year before applying to OPT
  • No job offer is required to apply
  • No employer sponsorship needed
  • You must work in a job that is directly related to their degree program
  • You can only work 20 hours when classes are in session but can work full-time when on breaks

Post-Completion OPT

This is offered post-graduation and gives you a chance to have temporary work within the US for 12 months.

Other Characteristics of Post OPT:

  • Application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be submitted up to 90 days before the program end date but must submit within 60 days after your program end date
  • No job offer is required to apply
  • Cannot start OPT position until after program end date
  • Must work at least 20 hours a week
  • Must be related to your major area of study
  • Must update PDSO or DSO about any updates (job change, position change, address change, supervisor change etc.)

Employer Responsibilities:

Employers can choose to have little to no involvement with the OPT application process, however, students are required to report employment information to the Office of Global Engagement and may request an Employment Verification Letter for travel purposes.


OPT approval comes in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). This card will state the specific start and end dates for OPT.

STEM Optional Practical Training Extension (STEM OPT)

This option gives students who studied a major in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics the chance to apply to work on an F-1 visa for 24 more months additional to their original 12 months.

Other Characteristics of STEM OPT:

  • Must have graduated within a STEM field (determined by U.S. Homeland Security)
  • Must file an extension with your PDSO or DSO 60 days prior to the end of your post-OPT
  • You MUST submit a report to the Office of Global Engagement every 6 months starting from the EAD start date of your STEM OPT extension (this is the responsibility of the student to remember)
  • You MUST submit a self-evaluation of your progress toward the training goals in your I-983

IMPORTANT: students are not permitted to begin their off-campus employment until their work authorization has been approved and the start date has been reached. Working even one day without proper work authorization can have severe consequences on the student’s immigration status and on the company.

Social Security Card

To Obtain a Social Security Number as an F-1 Student:

  • Complete an SS-5 Application for a Social Security Card
  • Have at least two documents that establish the applicant’s age and identity including a passport and one additional document establishing identity (birth certificate)
  • Have your I-94 record
  • Have your Form I-20
  • Poof of employment authorization
  • Take all these to the social security office in Galesburg (2060 Windish Dr. Galesburg, IL)


Filling out an I-765 application

About CPT

About OPT


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is of a general nature and not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual. The content is written with care, but may not be comprehensive or up-to-date. Monmouth College is not responsible for content found through external links. Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to maintain legal status in the U.S. at all times and to comply fully with college policies and procedures. The PDSO and DSOs cannot provide legal advice.