A warm welcome from Reiko Ohmura
, Assistant Registrar & International Student Advisor. I look forward to meeting you and hope that your experience here is productive and rewarding. This page provides details on matters of interest to international students, including securing visas, traveling to the US, and student work arrangements. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. My contact information
is at the bottom of this page.
OBTAINING A VISA
Obtaining a visa can be a fairly quick process for some students and can be more lengthy for others. We are here to help as much as possible, but please note we have no ability to influence the speed with which the US Government finalizes your visa. Therefore, it is critical that you review in detail the visa information page and submit the first set of paperwork by May 25 to help get the process off to a smooth start.
All F-1 students will be automatically billed for the Tufts University student health insurance. If you can demonstrate enrollment in a U.S. based health insurance company, you may choose to waive the Tufts insurance coverage. The details of insurance coverage as well as waiver procedures will be mailed to you from Tufts University Health Services.
All J-1 students who are sponsored by The Fletcher School must purchase the Tufts University student health insurance which complies with the J-1 insurance regulations standards established by the United States Information Agency. Your accompanying dependents must also purchase health insurance coverage which complies with the J-1 insurance regulations. You will be automatically billed for Tufts University student health insurance and additional rider which covers only the Fletcher student. If you are coming with dependents, you must notify Health Services to request coverage for them.
Please note: F-1 and J-1 visa status holders are not eligible to participate in publicly-funded health insurance policies such as MassHealth (funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) based on citizenship or national status requirement.
Students in the U.S. on F-1 visas are expected to have sufficient financial resources so that they will not have to work, at least during their first year in the U.S. However, if you experience financial difficulty and find that you must work during your first year, you may work on campus. J-1 students may also work on campus anytime during their status as a full-time student. “On-campus” refers to the Fletcher/Tufts campus only. Students may work for no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session or full-time during vacation periods. Please keep in mind that The Fletcher School cannot guarantee an on-campus job. Therefore, both F-1 and J-1 students should plan their finances accordingly.
F-1 Practical Training
Curricular Practical Training
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a type of employment opportunity for international students who hold an F-1 student visa. This particular category does not require approval by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), but must be approved by Reiko Ohmura, the International Student Advisor and Primary Designated School Official. Students must meet certain requirements in order to be approved for CPT. Requirements include successful completion of the Professional Development Program and enrollment in IR CPT: Curricular Practical Training which includes mandatory attendance at a lecture in the spring semester, the internship and a presentation at the conclusion of the internship. Students must be prepared to complete these requirements in order to qualify for Curricular Practical Training.
Optional Practical Training
An F-1 student may apply for Practical Training (before or after completion of studies) and/or paid internships provided he or she has been a full-time student in good standing, and has maintained legal F-1 status for at least one academic year. Employment must be directly related to the student’s field of study. F-1 students are eligible for up to a maximum of 12 months practical training.
The Registrar/Academic Programs Office has copies of Department of Homeland Security regulations, as well as the necessary documents needed to apply for employment authorization. PLEASE NOTE: Reiko Ohmura, International Student Advisor, must approve and endorse all documents necessary for practical training and/or paid internships. F-1 students working without authorization from the DHS will jeopardize their F-1 status. Approval can take 8-12 weeks from submission of the application.
J-1 Academic Training
A student in J-1 status may apply for Academic Training any time during the course of study if (1) he or she is in good academic standing at Fletcher, (2) the proposed employment is related to the field of study, and (3) health insurance coverage is maintained in the U.S. for the student and any dependents for the duration of the practical training period. J-1 students are eligible for up to a maximum of 18 months academic training. Vacation period employment counts towards the 18 months total.
In order to apply for academic training, J-1 students must have a job offer. Once a job offer is secured, a student must obtain a letter of offer from the employer and a letter of recommendation from his or her academic advisor. The International Student Advisor or sponsor has copies of the appropriate regulations and will issue the new DS-2019 when the student has presented the necessary documentation for academic training. The student should apply for academic training BEFORE graduation.
Travel in the U.S.
After arriving at Fletcher, if you plan to travel within the United States, the only requirement is to carry your passport and I-20 or DS-2019 so that you can present them if necessary.
Travel Outside the U.S.
While at Fletcher, if you plan to travel outside the United States at any time , please be sure that your visa stamp is valid. Contact the Registrar/Academic Programs Office or your sponsor for the required signatures on your I-20 or DS-2019 in order to return. Since several countries require a visa to enter, you should check with the Consulate of the country you plan to visit. Many consulate offices are located in Boston and a listing can be found online.
When entering into the United States at any time, you will need to present an I-20 or DS-2019 form with signatures from the Registrar's Office or your sponsor on the back, and a valid visa stamp in your passport. It is also recommended that you carry proof of financial support and, in some cases, a letter of enrollment from Fletcher. If you need a new visa stamp for re-entry, take your I-20 or DS-2019 along with your passport and proof of financial support to the closest American Consulate office in the country where you are visiting. Please be warned that if you are not a resident of that country, there is no guarantee that you will be able to obtain a new visa.
Travel Check List
- I-20 or DS-2019 endorsed for travel by International Student Advisor Reiko Ohmura or the Responsible Officer for your sponsored program (i.e. Fulbright, CEEVN, etc.)
- Passport valid for 6 months into the future (longer validity may be required depending on country that issued the passport)
- Valid visa stamp in your passport
- Proof of financial support
- Letter of enrollment from Fletcher (optional)
STA Travel issues an International Student ID Card, which is indispensable for obtaining discounts and low-cost travel arrangements. Cards cost approximately $22.00 and you will need one photo. You may apply for the card directly at STA Travel and will need to show your Fletcher School ID card.
International Student Advisor Contact Information
Reiko Ohmura, International Student Advisor
Physical Location: Office of the Registrar (Goddard 212), Regular business hours are Monday-Friday, 9 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 4 pm EST.
Mailing Address: Reiko Ohmura, The Fletcher School, 160 Packard Ave, Medford, MA 02155 USA
Telephone number: +1-617-627-3055
Fax number: +1-617-627-4028