Welcome to The New School and New York City!
We hope that you had a pleasant trip and are adjusting well to your new surroundings. Below we have listed several important first steps for new international students, some of which are required (per U.S. immigration regulations) and some of which are optional but strongly recommended. All new students, both U.S. and international, must visit The New School's New Student Information Page to learn about their program-specific orientation week events, placement tests they need to take or forms they need to submit, and procedures for signing up for various on-campus resources and programs. We also encourage you to visit our Resources and FAQ page, where you can find information on opening a bank account, signing up for wireless service, shopping for essential items, and looking for housing and on aspects of life in New York City, including transportation, safety, and security.
International Student Check-In (Required)
All international students, professors, and scholars must officially check in with ISS within ten days of arriving in the United States, at the beginning of each semester, and every time they travel abroad and reenter the United States during their time at The New School. New students must go to the check-in location specified in their Orientation Schedule (accessible through the New Student Information Page) and bring their immigration documents (I-20/DS-2019, passport, and printout of their electronic I-94 card). For more information, see Step-by-Step Procedures for Proper Check-In with ISS.
New International Student Orientation (Required)
The in-person New International Student Orientation is required by both The New School and the U.S. government. During this session, you will learn your rights and responsibilities while in F-1 or J-1 status, learn more about the ISS office. and meet other international students. Information about the date and location of the New International Student Orientation is listed in your Orientation Schedule available on the New Student Information Page. Orientation information was also included in the Welcome Letter by ISS Senior Director, Monique Ngozi Nri, which was mailed along with your I-20 or DS-2019.
For students beginning their program at The New School in the fall semester, there are two New International Student Orientations: a Saturday orientation intended for Freshmen, and a Tuesday orientation intended for Graduate Students and Transfer Students. Students only need to attend one of the sessions. For students beginning their program at The New School in the spring semester, there is only one New International Student Orientation and all are required to attend.
Please note: your New School Division (Parsons, NSSR, NSPE, Lang, Mannes, Drama or Jazz) may have a separate orientation program for new and/or international students that you may be required to attend. Attending your divisional orientation program does not fulfill your immigration requirement and you must still attend the ISS New International Student Orientation.
Full-Time Enrollment for International Students (Required)
As you register for classes for your first semester at The New School, please be advised that all F-1 and J-1 students are required to enroll full-time each fall and spring semester. Failure to maintain a full course load is a violation of status and may jeopardize your ability to remain in the United States as a student or exchange visitor. Exceptions may be made in specific situations, but they must be approved in advance in writing by an international student advisor. Only one (1) online course (maximum of 3 credits) can be applied toward full-time enrollment.
Full-Time Enrollment Requirements
Undergraduate Programs (Associate, Bachelor's): 12 credits per semester (all New School divisions)
Master’s and PhD Programs:
- New School for Social Research: 9 credits per semester
- New School for Drama: 9 credits per semester
- New School for Public Engagement: 9 credits per semester
- Mannes: 12 credits per semester (except Professional Studies Diploma which is 9 credits)
- Parsons: 12 credits per semester (select graduate programs are 9 credits; please check with ISS for details)
- ESL: 18 class hours per week / 4 sessions per semester
- Film Studies and Documentary Media Studies: 3 classes (9 credits)
ISS Programs and Workshops (Recommended)
In addition to issuing immigration forms and providing immigration advice to international students, professors, and scholars, ISS maintains a year-round schedule of programs and workshops designed to help you adjust to life in the United States and provide you with the tools you need to achieve your full potential at The New School and beyond. For detailed descriptions of our most popular programs, visit our Programs and Events page.
We also encourage you to take advantage of the ISS workshops described below, which you may find useful in your first semester at The New School.
International Student Experience
This interactive session provides information and resources to help international students deal with the effects of culture shock and adjust to life in New York City and The New School. Learn about on- and off-campus student activities and get tips for successful social and cultural adjustment.
International students interested in working on or off campus should attend this workshop to learn about the pertinent immigration regulations, how to approach the U.S. job market, and where to look for employment options. Although your focus during your time in the United States will be your studies, valuable lessons about the practical application of your studies and understanding U.S. culture can come from volunteering, interning., or working. If you are thinking about taking advantage of Optional Practical Training or Academic Training at the end of your course of study, it is important to start to understand the U.S. workplace and to make links with employers as soon as possible. We will discuss resume building, job search, volunteer opportunities, on-campus employment, Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT) employment authorization, internships with an international organization, severe economic hardship employment authorization, and Academic Training.
Want to know about life beyond F-1 or J-1 status? Wondering about your options after OPT or Academic Training? Join us for a presentation on H1-B visas, O-1 visas, TN visas, and other visa types available to internationals. An immigration attorney will be present to answer all of your questions and address your concerns.
Additionally, during the school year ISS organizes a weekly Coffee & Tea event on Thursdays in the lobby of 6 East 16th Street, between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. Stop by to get a free cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea and a little snack, meet new friends, and learn about upcoming ISS programs. All are welcome!
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns as you begin your adventure at The New School. And remember to add us on Facebook—we post daily updates, remind you about deadlines, post immigration news, and advise you about free programs and fun things to do!
Have a great semester!