FAQ's for International Students

How do I get a student visa?
If you are accepted to Bethel University, you will be issued a form I-20. You will use this form to obtain a student visa from your local embassy. For more information and a current fee schedule, visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html.

Do I need to declare major?
To better plan your educational path at Bethel University, we prefer that all new students declare a major. For international students, we must have a major to declare on your I-20. This will also determine which Academic Advisor you will work with. If you decide to change your major, please discuss this with your Advisor and also notify the International Coordinator so a new I-20 with your new major can be issued.

How do I get a social security number?
You can only be issued a social security number if you are currently employed in the United States. Otherwise, you may get a Tax Payer ID card  for the purposes of banking, credit card applications, etc. Locally, most banks only require two forms of picture ID in which case, your passport and student ID would suffice. 

Can I get a driver's license?
International students are eligible to apply for a Temporary Driver's License. for more information visit  www.state.tn.us/safety/dlmain.htm

Am I required to purchase health insurance through Bethel? 
Yes, all internationals students are required to purchase Bethel's International Student Health Insurance.

Do I have to live on campus?
We prefer all incoming international students to live on campus unless you have a sponsor or parent living within a reasonable commuting distance. 

How many credit hours do I need to take each semester?
To maintain status, you must be enrolled for at least 12 credit hours each full semester.

What personal items should I bring?
Since our dorm rooms are furnished with basic furniture (bed, mattress, etc.), it is not necessary to bring these items. You will need to bring weather-appropriate clothing, linens and towels, personal hygiene items, etc. 

What expenses will I be responsible for each semester?
If you do not receive an athletic or academic scholarship, you will be responsible for the full cost of tuition, room, and board each semester. Other expenditures to be prepared for are travel, books, and personal spending such as entertainment, clothing, eating out, etc (view the current International Student Budget.) Before registering at Bethel University, be prepared to pay any balance you might have with the Business Office. This might include costs not covered by scholarships, fees, and books.

What scholarship opportunities are available to international students?
International students are eligible for the same academic and athletic scholarships listed on our scholarship page. In addition, two international students may be chosen each year to receive the Bethel University Honors Program International Student Scholarship. The students must meet the criteria for the Honors Program Scholarship. In addition, the following criteria apply:
1. Satisfactory progress in the Honors Program. This will be defined as continued participation in the Honors Program curriculum and the maintenance of a 3.0 GPA in Honors Program courses. Students who fall below the 3.0 minimum in Honors courses may register for additional Honors courses only with the approval of the Honor Program Director.
2. An Honors Program Scholarship recipient must maintain at least a cumulative 3.5 GPA (calculated on a yearly basis) from the date he/she begins the program.
3. This scholarship may not be combined with any other Bethel University award (academic, athletic, or Renaissance) except the Cumberland Presbyterian Grant.
4. As with other awards, Bethel University reserves the right to limit institutional financial aid to the cost of tuition, room, meals, and activity fees when combining institutional aid with federal, state or other "outside" scholarship resources.