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203B Vivacqua Hall

(215) 204-7708

Temple University maintains a number of services specifically designed to aid students from countries other than the U.S. The Office of International Services operates many of these activities.

This Office has the primary responsibility of serving international students, faculty, and researchers who are engaged in full-time study, teaching, or research at Temple University. This service is based on the requirements of their non-immigrant visa status and the subsequent administrative responsibilities assigned to the University by the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the State Department. The Office provides advice and assistance regarding government regulations and has been designated the only official University office authorized to issue non-immigrant visa documents for student, faculty, and exchange-visitor programs. Therefore, all questions concerning immigration matters should be referred to the Office of International Services.

In addition to the legal responsibilities, the Office provides a variety of services and programs for international visitors in order to assist them in their educational and professional objectives and to make their visit to this country as pleasant and productive as possible.

The international student advisers (ISA) are available to assist with personal or academic problems involving international students and scholars. The ISA should be contacted if a student plans to change, or has changed, his or her academic status or is transferring to another institution. The ISAs work very closely with the appropriate offices on campus to coordinate the services available to international scholars and to make proper referrals. General information concerning admission to the University is provided as well. Information is made available to visiting faculty and researchers concerning income taxes, spouse employment, special English language courses, and other related matters. An in-depth orientation program is offered to all incoming new students, and every effort is made to provide ongoing orientation during the course of the academic year through newsletters, social and recreational activities, and participation in city-wide programs and seminars for international visitors.

In general, international students are not permitted to work off campus or engage in business while in this country unless specific permission is granted by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, subsequent to the endorsement of the international student adviser. Part-time on-campus employment, however, may be authorized by the international student advisers under certain circumstances.

International students in non-immigrant status (i.e., F-1, J-1) are not eligible for federal work study grants or loans. For this reason, the Office attempts to assist international students who are having financial difficulties by maintaining a small library of information on alternative sources of financial aid. In general, international students are eligible only for aid through their individual academic departments. To assist graduate students, the Office has limited information on other sources of financial assistance from outside the University through private organizations and government agencies.

Intensive English Language Program

211 Vivacqua Hall
(215) 204-7899

The Intensive English Language Program (IELP) of Temple University offers a distinct program designed to meet the varying needs of non-English speakers.

The IELP offers a full-time day program with six levels of study (from beginner to advanced). It is designed to prepare students for study in the United States.

The full session lasts 14 weeks with mid-term admission at seven weeks. The students spend 20 hours in class each week. The daily class schedule includes communication skills, grammar, reading, vocabulary, listening, writing, academic skills prep, and TOEFL prep.

Temple University is a testing center for the institutional Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Important Information for International Students

  • If any newly accepted student currently in the U.S. or abroad has or is in need of a non-immigrant visa, he or she should contact the Office of International Services immediately concerning immigration documents and mandatory orientation.
  • All graduate programs at Temple University require a good speaking, reading, and writing knowledge of the English language. If any international student, including those who have scored over 230 computer-based version or 575 paper-based version on the TOEFL, is in need of English language instruction, he or she should contact the Office for remedial or intensive instruction in the English language.
  • Health insurance is mandatory for all international students, scholars, researchers, visiting faculty, and all dependents.

Notice to all prospective International Students applying to Temple University for the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility Form or the IAP-66 Exchange Visitor Form.

Health Insurance

Temple University requires all international students in non-immigrant status (F-1, J-1 etc.) to carry health insurance based on the requirements of United States Information Agency (USIA).

Minimum health insurance coverage is determined by USIA as:

  • A maximum deductible of $500 per accident or illness
  • Payment of at least 75% of covered expenses
  • Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness
  • Repatriation benefits of $7,500 or moren  
  • Medical evacuation benefits of $10,000 or more

New students are notified in advance of their arrival and matriculation at Temple University so that they will have time to prepare and budget for the financial expense of such coverage. This mandatory health insurance policy went into effect on September 1, 1996.

Student bills will carry a charge of approximately $700 for individual health insurance coverage for the period of September 1 to August 31. There also will be a fee of $25.00 per semester for Student Health Services. The mandatory health insurance fee and the health services fee are two separate charges.

The student health fee covers basic health care at Student Health Services (SHS). Services included are care in the General Medicine Clinic, Womenís Health Clinic, Allergy Clinic, Dermatology Clinic, free HIV testing, referrals to specialist, a Self Care Center for minor ailments and access to general health information through the Health Awareness Resource Team (H.A.R.T.). Care is free or low cost with some charges for medications or immunizations including fees for clinical laboratory work and elective physical examinations. Health insurance coverage pays for many services beyond those offered in Student Health Services.

Health insurance coverage will be mandated for all students in F-1 status; however, health insurance coverage will not be mandated for accompanying dependents of F-1 students. The University recommends that such coverage be purchased. Exchange visitors in J-1 status need to be aware that USIA does mandate health insurance coverage for dependents in J-2 status. Fees for the health insurance coverage of a dependent will not be assessed on your tuition bill; it will be the studentís responsibility to handle this fee separately through the Department of Human Resources, Personnel Benefits Office which is located at 201 University Services Building, 1601 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122, 215-204-1321.

Non-immigrant status students and their dependents are not eligible for federal aid from the U.S. government. Taking advantage of these U.S. federal funds will impact negatively upon future applications for U.S. permanent residency.

All students in F-1 status and all exchange visitors in J-1 status will be expected to enroll in the Low Option of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Plan which provides health insurance coverage, as well as the International Group Services Plan which provides repatriation and medical evacuation coverage. By combining the features of both plans, students will be ensured adequate coverage as determined by the USIA guidelines. The estimated fee of $700 is the total cost of the combined coverage.

A student may submit a waiver request indicating proof of comparable coverage as defined by University guidelines during designated enrollment/waiver sessions. Waiver application forms are available in the Department of Human Resources, Personnel Benefits Office. If a student believes that the health insurance coverage that he/she currently has or that is provided by his/her national home plan will be adequate to meet health insurance needs while at the University, bring a copy of the plan (translated into English) so that the Benefits Office may review it to determine eligibility for a waiver from the Temple Low Option Blue Cross/Blue Shield Plan and the International Group Services plan.

This new health insurance policy was enacted to minimize interruption of a studentís studies that may result from the financial burden of unexpected medical expenses. Temple University joins a long list of comparable educational institutions that have enacted similar health insurance requirements for F-1 and J-1 students. Further information on the new mandatory health insurance requirement is provided at the New International Student Orientation. For questions regarding this requirement before arrival to the University, please write, fax, or call The Office of International Services.