Study Abroad

Since international students on approved study abroad programs are still enrolled at AU, there is no break in their immigration status, even though they are physically outside the United States.

Therefore, F-1 visa students must consult with ISSS and obtain all required signatures on their Study Abroad Application form and on their I-20 before finalizing their study abroad plans.

Immigration Responsibilities While Abroad

Students on approved study abroad programs have immigration responsibilities in order to maintain their immigration status and are required to do the following during their time abroad:

  • Maintain Full-time Enrollment. Falling below full-time will result in the termination of the student's immigration record. The minimum credit hours requirements are as follows:
    Level of Study
    Credit Hours per Semester
    12 credit hours
    9 credit hours
    9 credit hours
    8 credit hours
    12 credit hours
    8 credit hours
  • Update Current US Address on the MyAU Portal. When students are overseas, they must change their current US address to the ISSS office address (In the MyAU Portal go to Academics, Personalized Links, and click on Contact Information Current Students). Enter the ISSS office address in the following order: 410 Butler Pavilion, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016-8041

Immigration Implications of Studying Abroad

Visa Renewal

If your F-1 visa expires while you are overseas, you need to apply for a new visa before making travel plans to return to the US. Please check at the US Embassy/Consulate abroad for visa appointment and processing wait times. It is faster and recommended to renew your visa in your home country. If you plan to remain abroad after finishing your study abroad program, please contact the ISSS office immediately for advising.

Employment Eligibility

F-1 immigration status is not interrupted while on approved study abroad. Students are eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) right after returning from abroad if they had spent at least one full academic semester enrolled in a full course of study in the U.S. prior to studying abroad.

Study Abroad in Final Semester

Students studying abroad in their final semester must be physically present in the U.S. to apply for Post-completion OPT. Please consult with an ISSS Advisor on the best timeline for your application. 

Interested in Studying Abroad?

International students may study abroad while at AU. Contact AU Abroad to learn about study abroad programs.

Contact AU Abroad