The University of Tennessee College of Business Administration offers a opportunities for students to realize their academic, personal, and professional goals at an internationally reknown institution which stresses entrepreneurialsm and professionalism through real world case studies, innovative, creative and independent thinking, and access to cutting edge methoologies. Our students gain professional skills that set them apart in the eyes of employers helping them to launch top notch careers in international business.
In order to begin your studies at the University of Tennessee, new and current International Students in the College of Business Administration need to obtain an I-20 in order to obtain a student visa and to enter the United States or to maintain their status, or for a variety of other reasons. This page provides information about the I-20, how to obtain it, and what materials must be submitted as part of the application process.
The I-20 is also known as the Certificate of Eligibility. The initial I-20 that international students at the University of Tennessee (UT) receive is issued by the UT Admissions Office. It is one of the documents you must present to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in order to apply for a student visa (if you are entering the University from abroad) or maintain your non-immigrant student status (if you are already in the United States). If you are coming to the U.S. for the first time as a UT F-1 student you will also be asked to present evidence of your financial support, your English language ability, and your academic qualifications. You will also be asked to show that you have strong ties to your home country and plan to return home when you have completed your education in the United States.
All prospective international students are required to pay a special fee before a visa can be issued to them by the U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. This is known as the SEVIS fee. For more information on the SEVIS fee, visit the UT Center for International Education web site at: http://web.utk.edu/~globe/students/sevisfee.php
In order to help you adjust to your new home here at UT, to find your way around campus, and to become familiar with both University policies and U.S. law, international students are required to attend an orientation session. This orientation is provided by the Center for International Education. For more information, visit the CIE web site.
- I-20 Certificate of Eligibility: The document that is issued by the University of Tennessee to enable you to apply for an F-1 student visa (if you are entering the University from abroad) or maintain your non-immigrant student status (if you are already in the United States)
DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 Exchange Visitor Status: The document issued by the University of Tennessee to enable an individual coming to UT to apply for a visa to enter the US as a J-1 Exchange Visitor, student, short term scholar, professor, researcher, or specialist.
- Visa: A visa is stamp placed inside your passport by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. A visa allows you to come to the border of the United States and to request permission from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service to enter the United States. The I-94 Record of Arrival/Departure determines how long you may stay after you arrive. Your visa stamp, therefore, does not need to be renewed while you remain in this country (unless you plan to leave the USA and re-enter). If you leave the USA and want to re-enter the USA, there are certain conditions you must meet. If you have been in valid F-1 status and will be gone less than 5 months, you still need a valid visa, but you may use your previous I-20 as long as it is endorsed on the back. If you will be gone for 5 months or more, you will need a new I-20, transcripts, and proof of financial support, as well as a new visa stamp.
If you are transferring to the University of Tennessee from another U.S. Institution
Follow the instructions above. You must also take the last page of the application to your current International Student Advisor who must be an INS authorized "Designated School Official." S/he must complete the form and fax it to our office. Please pay special attention to the question that asks whether you plan to travel before beginning your studies. If you are traveling, your I-20 will be mailed to you and you should re-enter the United States using UT’s I-20. If you are not traveling, bring all your old and your new UT I-20 to the UT Center for International Education when you arrive on campus. At that time, you will complete the immigration transfer procedure.
Current UT Students who need to obtain a new I-20
Current UT University students may need to obtain a new I-20 for a variety of reasons. You may need a new I-20 due to:
- Dependents who need an I-20 to enter the United States to join you
- Change in major
- Change in degree including level
- Lost previously issued I-20
- Traveling outside the U.S. for 5 months or more
- Previous I-20 is expiring
If any of these circumstances apply to you, you should go to the CIE with new documentation showing your financial support, evidence that you have maintained your status, and complete a request for a new I-20.
What to Bring
The University of Tennessee is fortunate to be located in an area of the United States where we experience all four seasons (Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer) each year. Students should keep this in mind when planning what to bring.
UT students dress casually for class. Attire worn to class can range from long slacks and a shirt with a think coat, hat, gloves, and scarf during the winter, to shorts and a tee-shirt worn during the summer. It is also a good idea to bring several pairs of shoes and boots for various occasions and seasons. There are likely to be special occasions when formal attire should be worn, such as when you may be asked to make classroom presentations, as well as for special social functions, interviews, and departmental events. You may also wish to bring your national dress for special "international" events on campus where you can represent your country.
Americans are very fastidious about hygiene, and go out of their way to make or prevent body odors of any kind. Thus, it is common here to use antiperspirants, deodorants, cologne, perfume, aftershave, mouthwash, scented or deodorant soaps, etc.
If you have a medical condition, you should check with your doctor for advice and guidance. You should also do the following:
- Carry a 30 day supply of prescription medication along with a copy of your prescription giving both the generic and trade names. Ensure that such medicines are kept in their original containers. If your medicine is unusual, check whether it is available in the United States before you leave your home country and make preparations to have the medication shipped to you if allowed under U.S. customs law.
- For any medical condition, it is also a good idea to bring a summary of your medical history including diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
- Carry an extra pair of prescription glasses or contact lenses and a copy of your prescription.
- Seek advice from your doctor if you are pregnant.
If you have a pre-existing medical condition that could present a problem while you are traveling, it is wise to wear a MedicAlert® bracelet. Through the MedicAlert® Foundation, your vital medical facts become part of a database that can be accessed 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world. Call (800) 825-3785 for membership information or visit the MedicAlert® Web site (http://www.medicalert.ca).
You should also be aware that the health insurance provided by the University does not cover pre-existing medical conditions. Consequently, if you need regular treatment for a medical condition, it is recommended that you obtain supplemental travel/medical insurance coverage to cover your pre-existing conditions before you leave your home country. This coverage will be in addition to the University Health Insurance Coverage, mandated by the University for all international students and exchange visitors, which will provide coverage for any new medical problems or accidents during your stay .
Theft, lost luggage and flight cancellations are frequent occurrences and can cause major disruptions in your travels. You may wish to purchase a travel insurance package that will help you in the event of such inconveniences.
Many international students find it useful to bring items needed for the first few weeks they are here such as a set of sheets and towels, and other items needed for daily living. It is also a good idea to bring a bi-lingual dictionary and other reference books in your native languages. Many students also enjoy bringing some pictures of their family, friends, and country.
The U.S. Zero Tolerance Policy imposes severe penalties for the possession of even a small amount of an illegal drug. Even prescription drugs and syringes used for legitimate medical purposes come under intense scrutiny.
- Never carry a package or luggage for someone else unless you have been able to verify the contents completely.
- Choose your traveling companions wisely. If you are coming from Canada or Mexico, never cross the border with a hitchhiker or as a hitchhiker. Though you may not be carrying anything illegal, your companions might be and you could be implicated.
- Be equally careful about who and what you carry in your vehicle. As the driver, you could be held responsible for the misdeeds of your passengers, even if committed without your knowledge or involvement.
Very specific U.S. regulations govern what you may bring into the United States. These cover gifts, alcohol, tobacco and vehicles. Also included are various prohibited and restricted items such as lottery tickets, liquor-filled candy, seditious and treasonable materials, obscene or pornographic material, products made by convicts or forced labor, and products, such as ivory, made from endangered species. Switchblade knives are prohibited, except those owned by persons with one arm.
Remember when you are packing that airlines do not allow passengers to bring into the airline cabin the following, however, they can be placed into your checked luggage:
Metal scissors with pointed tips
Cricket, baseball or softball bats
Spray deodorants and flammable perfumes if less than 473 ml and the total is less than 2.07 (amounts larger prohibited even from checked baggage)
Some items may not be brought aboard an airline, even in packed luggage. These include:
matches, flares, sparklers, firewords, gun powder, ammunition
flammable aerosols (hair spray, spray paints, or insect repellants), gas cartridges, cigarette lighters, oxygen tanks, mace, and pepper sprays
Weed killers, pesticides, insecticides, rodent poisents, arsenci, and syanides
Drain cleaners, car batteries, alkalis, and mercury
A non-resident may bring in new merchandise worth up to US$ 200 free of duty for personal or household use. You may of course bring what you need to live here during your studies. On visits of 72 hours or more, you may carry an additional US$ 100 worth of merchandise free of duty as gifts for other people. However, there are restrictions. Further information can be obtained by phoning one of the U.S. Customs offices. For more information, you may also wish to consult the U.S. Customs Web site (http://www.customs.ustreas.gov/index.htm).
If you have any questions regarding any of this information, please contact the UT Center for International Education