International Student Services
Your personal, social and educational success is important to us. We encourage you to get involved by joining a workshop or program, and to let us know when you need help or have any questions.
Our international student advisors can help you with:
- Adjusting to American culture
- Making decisions and solving problems
- Building positive relationships with roommates, classmates and professors
- Staying safe
- Improving your English
- Understanding employment options
- Understanding immigration requirements
- Finding resources on campus
Call us at (951) 827-4113 to schedule a one-on-one appointment.
Academic Resource Center-ARC (for undergraduates only)
- Academic Resource Center-ARC
Graduate Success (for graduate students only)
- If you need learning accommodations or tools, the Academic Support Center at the Student Disability Resource Center can help.
- Visit Student Conduct and Academic integrity Programs to learn about academic rules and regulations at UCR.
- The rules at UCR may be different from those in your home country.
- Read about succeeding in the U.S. Classroom.
- Undergraduate Academic Advising
- English Language Success
- The Career Center
- Update your resume, meet with a career counselor, review employment opportunities on Handshake, and join the Get Hired Program.
- Career Services for graduate students in the A. Gary Anderson School of Management
- Career Planning Tools for graduate students
- Employment Eligibility and International Student Workshops
- The Career Center
- Health and Wellness Resources
- If you are off-campus: Call 911.
- If you are on-campus: Call 911 or the UCR Police (951-827-5222) from your cell phone.
- Program the UCR Police number (951-827-5222) into your cell phone.
- If you need to contact an International Student Advisor for an urgent health or safety matter and the office is closed, call our after-hours emergency number: (951) 206-8810
- Looking for resources and not sure where to start? Visit the HELP@UCR website, a resource designed to help you find a good point of contact for a variety of problems, issues, or concerns.
- Use the Campus Safety Escort Service to cross campus safely at night.
- Use UCR’s point-to-point-shuttle to travel from campus to your nearby apartment.
- Check out the UCR Police Department website and safety overview.
- Avoid Scams and Fraud.
- Sign up for the UCR Emergency Notification System.
- Check UCR’s Campus Emergency Status.
Get Involved during your time at UCR
Your personal, social, and educational success is important to us!
- Explore UCR intramural sports.
- Join one of many Student Organizations on campus.
- For those wanting to connect with other international students, you can join the International Student Union.
- Learn more about Student Life at UCR
- See the Events Calendar
- Get Involved with the Graduate Student Association
- Get Involved with the Associated Students Programming Board (undergraduates)
- Explore Diversity at UCR
International Students and Scholars Mission
To facilitate intercultural understanding, engagement and respect throughout our community while supporting the personal, professional, and academic goals of our students, scholars, and peers. We foster this mission through our services, programming, advocacy and outreach.
International Student Profile
UCR hosts over 2000 international students from more than 70 different countries pursuing bachelors, masters and PHD degrees. We also host exchange students from our UC Education Abroad partner institutions.
Programs and Services
Explore the programs and services we provide for students and peers.
- Invite us to your classroom or department so we can share what we do. Contact us.
- Share your experience and your expertise at our orientations and workshops. Contact us for details.
- Are you teaching in a Riverside-area school and interested in bringing in an international student to interact with your class? Please feel free to contact us to see if we can help connect you for a mutual exchange of culture and/or language.
Things to Keep in Mind Immigration 101
As a faculty or staff member, it may be helpful for you to keep in mind that International students (F-1 & J-1) MUST…
- Maintain a full course load (12 units) each quarter. Please do not advise them to drop classes, take a leave of absence or withdraw before talking with an international student advisor in International Affairs
- Have authorization to work off-campus. Consequences for unauthorized employment are serious. Do not advise anyone to get a job before talking to an international student advisor.
- Obtain ISS permission before working on-campus (if J-1).
- Limit on-campus work to 20 hours or less during the academic year.
- Consult with International Affairs before traveling outside the US. Certain steps must be taken when leaving and re-entering.
- Report change of major, degree objective or financial sponsorship to an international student advisor.
- Extend their Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 before the program end date if more time is needed to complete their degree.
Things to consider: when communicating, culture counts.
- NAMES MATTER
- Make an effort to learn what a student would like to be called and how to pronounce their name correctly
- EYE CONTACT
- Rules of politeness vary across cultures. In the U.S. for example, direct eye contact is encouraged, but in some countries, it is considered rude. A student may avoid eye contact because it’s the polite thing to do, not because they aren’t listening or don’t care.
- WRITE IT DOWN
- When you help an international student who seems to be struggling, consider writing down what you talked about so that they can refer to it later.
- “I DON’T GET IT …”
- American jokes, cultural references, acronyms and slang may not be immediately understood. Take the time to explain a reference.
- NOT SO FAST
- When you ask an international student a question, give them a little extra time to gather their thoughts before they respond. Put yourself in their shoes.
- SLOW DOWN (IF NEEDED)
- If there is a language barrier, speaking a little more slowly can increase understanding. However, remember some international students are quite comfortable speaking English and have been doing so all their lives.
- ALWAYS CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING (YOURS AND THEIRS)
- “Where do I get a bus card?” directing them to the bus station sounds reasonable, right? However, what if they meant an R’Card? You probably would have responded differently! Ask for clarification. Restate what you think the student is trying to say, and have them do the same. Asking, “Do you understand?” is not as effective as inviting them to share what they heard you say.
- WHY WOULD YOU ASK ME HOW I AM AND THEN JUST WALK AWAY?
- Interactions that are quite normal in the U.S. may seem odd to an international student at first. For example, saying, “How are you?” as a greeting, without waiting for an answer, may seem strange to students from certain countries. Strive to resolve these misunderstandings
- FACULTY: YOUR RULES MIGHT BE NEW RULES
- In some countries, copying work is considered high praise. Take extra time to go over your expectations regarding academic integrity, attendance, punctuality and deadlines
- KNOW THAT YOU DON’T ALWAYS KNOW
- KNOW Don’t make assumptions or judge. Be open. Seek to truly understand international students. You’ll be glad you did.
- NAMES MATTER
- Where do I find these common forms and guides?
- NAFSA is the Association of International Educators and has extensive information and resource on international education worldwide
- Study in the States is the Department of Homeland Security's guide for international students
- ISS monitors the guidelines and rules set forth for students by both the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the US Customs and Immigration Services
- The Institute for International Education is a gateway for all to get involved and contribute to global success.
- The Intercultural Communication Institute exists to foster awareness and appreciation of cultural difference.
- Visit The PIE News for articles informing Professionals in International Education.
- Before you complete your studies, consider applying for Optional Practical Training (F-1) or Academic Training (J-1); a period of authorized employment and training in your field of study.
- Order a copy of your official transcripts from the Registrar’s Office. Make sure to tell them, you want the transcripts after your final grades post
- Log into R’web, update your contact information and pay any pending charges on your billing statement before you leave.
- Are you transferring out to a new program or school? Make sure you request to transfer your SEVIS record to your new school by completing our Document request form
- Stay in touch with International Affairs us and let us know what your plans are! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join our International Affairs LinkedIn page. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
- Connect with the Career Center before you leave to learn about important services offered to Alumni.
- Join the UCR Alumni Association
Getting Around Riverside and Southern California
- Bicycling at UC Riverside is safe and convenient with bike lanes.
- Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) provides free bus rides for UC Riverside students with an R’Card (UCR ID Card).
- Metrolink offers transportation to five surrounding counties along a regional rail system. Take advantage of their $10 weekend day pass to any destination! Make sure you review the departure and return times before your trip.
Driving in Riverside
If you plan to drive a car while in the United States, we encourage you to apply for a
- Review the steps at State of California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
- Read the California Driver’s Handbook (several languages available) and review the requirements for a California Driver’s License.
- Visit a local DMV office to apply and take the written test. We recommend making an appointment ahead of time to avoid long lines and wait times. You may also have to take a driving test.
Take the following documents with you when applying,
- Valid Passport
- I-94 Arrival/Departure record
- Two residency documents (lease, utility bill).
- If you have a social security number, please take your social security card.
- Students on OPT/STEM OPT should also take their EAD card.
- Please wait for 10 days after your arrival in the United States to apply for a driver’s license so that your arrival information can be updated in all systems.
- Your SEVIS (electronic I-20/DS-2019) record needs to be in active status (F/J students) when you apply.
- All California drivers are required to have car insurance coverage.
Childcare and Schools
- The UCR Early Childhood Services offers safe, affordable childcare and kindergarten for children ages 2 months to 5 years old. It near the UCR campus and is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs.
- Families with school-aged children should bring all previous academic records (original and in English) and immunization records (either issued through the World Health Organization or from your doctor). Children must have immunization records in order to enroll in school. Otherwise, they will be required to receive immunizations prior to enrollment.
- Your child will be assigned to a school according to the location of your residence in Riverside. Please call the Riverside Unified School District at 951-788-7135 for specific information regarding enrollment and attendance guidelines.
Additional Community Resources
- See what’s happening in the City of Riverside.
- Explore Riverside City Parks and Recreation Activity Guide for a list of programs and activities.
- UCR Botanic Gardens
- Riverside Metropolitan Museum
- UCR California Museum of Photography and Barbara & Art Culver Center of the Arts
- Riverside Fox Theatre and Riverside Municipal Auditorium
- Riverside Art Museum
- California Citrus State Park
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
- Riverside Public Library