International FAQs

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 U.S. Consulate. For more information visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.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 Form 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 Form 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, or have the promise of a job. 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 https://www.dmv.org/tn-tennessee/

Am I required to purchase health insurance through Bethel? Yes, all international 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 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 at Scholarships (with the exception of the Honors Program Scholarship).