Study Abroad

International Students

Southwestern University enrolls students from around the globe.  The Southwestern community benefits greatly from the cultural diversity which each of these students brings to the campus.



Meaghan Bellande

Meaghan Bellande

Assistant Director of Study Abroad and International Student Services


Meaghan Bellande

Meaghan Bellande

Assistant Director of Study Abroad and International Student Services

Spring Return Information

We look forward to welcoming international students (F-1 and J-1 visa) to campus in January 2021.  Please see important updates and deadlines regarding winter break and arrival in January.

New International Students - Arrival Information

Returning International Students - Winter Break and January Arrival Information


Exchange Student Information

  • The following minimum official or institutional English language score is required:

    • TOEFL = 80 iBT (213 CBT, 550 PBT)


    • IELTS = 6.5

    There are no ESL language offerings at Southwestern University.  Students must be prepared to read and write at a very high level.

  • Students are housed in double-occupancy rooms in one of the residence halls located on campus. Students may be housed in a suite, which is comprised of two bedrooms (each double-occupancy) and a shared bathroom and common room. No single-occupancy rooms or married student housing are available. Students receive a full meal plan (19 meals/week) in the university dining hall.

  • Prior to arrival, international students are provided with an International & Exchange Student Handbook to assist with the transition to university life in the United States. Information covered in the handbook includes: Southwestern University and the concept of a liberal arts education, the Office of Study Abroad and International Student Services, International Student Orientation, a Student’s Perspective, University Services (i.e. bookstore, center for academic success, dining facilities, health and counseling services, etc.), Community Services (i.e. banking, hospital, pharmacy, social security office, etc.), Immigration Information, and Georgetown, Texas. This handbook serves to begin orienting international students to life and studies at Southwestern University, in Georgetown, TX, and in the U.S.A. as a whole.

    International students are matched with student mentors who guide them through the initial week/s on campus. Mentors may be returning international students or U.S. students returning from a period of study abroad. Student mentors or a staff member from the Office of Study Abroad and International Student Services will provide airport pick-up for those students arriving on the official arrival date. The Office of Study Abroad and International Student Services can provide arrival instructions and recommendations to students should they be arriving early. There are formal and informal orientation sessions, including sessions on common procedures (banking, health and safety, shopping, etc.), academics, and cross-cultural adjustment, in addition to an extensive orientation for all new students (first-year, international, and transfer) regarding Southwestern policies and campus life. During this orientation, important logistical information will be covered and registration tasks will be accomplished. Details regarding the academic expectations of the institution will also be covered in this session.

    During orientation, international students work with the Office of Study Abroad and International Student Services and the Center for Academic Success to register for courses. International students are assigned an academic advisor from the Center for Academic Success to assist in registering for classes, adding/dropping courses, and/or other endeavors as they pertain to the success of the international students in their classes.

  • Southwestern’s small size gives students the opportunity to get more out of their college experience! Our residential campus is abuzz 24/7. From concerts to renowned guest speakers to salsa lessons to a lively pick-up game of frisbee on the green, you’ll find plenty of things to do around here. And with most students living in our on-campus residence halls, living-learning communities and apartments, you’re never far from home, class, food, or friends.

    Through Southwestern’s ninety plus student organizations - including eight nationally-affiliated fraternities and sororities - you can connect intellectually, socially, politically, and spiritually with students who share your passions and interests (e.g. diversity & social justice). Can’t find what you’re looking for? Create it! The Office of Student Activities can help.

    Our close proximity to the Texas Hill Country means endless possibilities for outdoor excursion; whether caving, rock climbing, or exploring the vast array of local rivers and lakes. The folks in Intramural and Recreational Activities (SIRA) can outfit and guide you. Or, if you’d rather just take a cardio class or lunchtime pilates, they do that too.

    If you like music or comedy, Friday Night Live brings nationally touring performers to the Campus Center. Cinematic Saturdays presents the latest blockbusters at The Cove. Or, step off-campus and discover Georgetown and its festivals, art shows, and award winning town square. And with Austin just a few miles south of us, opportunities abound for expanding your live music, art, culture, and culinary horizons.

    As for sports, Southwestern has a variety of ways for you to get involved and show your skills. Participate through nationally competitive club sports and intramurals. Have some fun during our Late Night Robertson Center evenings. Or, ride a Pirate Bike to the fields to cheer on your favorite Pirate team from the stands or sidelines.

  • If you are a non-resident for U.S. tax purposes, you are not eligible to file your income tax return electronically. Commercially purchased tax software will not complete the forms correctly. Non-residents for U.S. tax purposes should only use the Sprintax software. 

    2020 for 2019 Tax Filing Information

    As you may be aware, the U.S. tax filing season arrives in January at which this time you should begin receiving tax forms from the university. Following is a brief description of the tax forms you might have received. 

    Form W-2: shows the amount paid by the university during 2019, through payroll. You will get a W-2 if you were employed in any SU job and you did not claim tax treaty benefits.

    Form 1042-S: will show the amount of money that you received in qualified, U.S. tax reportable scholarships (such as room and board) or tax treaty benefits for either payroll income or reportable scholarships (or both). The university is required to mail Form 1042-S to you NO LATER than March 15.   

    1095-B (or C):  documents that you are covered with health insurance meeting the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and are not subject to a tax penalty for not having health insurance.  This is only applicable for people who are U.S. residents for tax purposes. If you are a non-resident for tax purposes, disregard the form. However, if you receive the form, you should keep it in your tax documentation file.

    Form 1098-T: shows the tuition and fees paid during 2019. If you registered for spring 2020 semester before December 31, 2019, you may have 2020 tuition and fees showing on the 1098-T.  This has no relevance for international students who are non-residents for U.S. tax purposes. It is referred to as the “useless” form. However, you should keep it in your tax documentation file.

    Unusual Income types:   Under IRS guidelines capital gains and stock/mutual fund dividends are taxable to the individuals receiving them whether they are U.S. residents for tax purposes or not.  This includes stock market and mutual fund transactions as well as virtual currency transactions like bitcoin. Failure to report these transactions appropriately can lead to penalties and interest.  Tax non-residents should report these transactions/income sources on the 1040NR form.  

    Tax forms to be completed:

    • IRS form 1040NR or 1040NREZ:  If you are a non-resident for U.S. tax purposes. Generally, this is if you are in F or J student status and in the U.S. five years or less; or J-1 status and in the U.S. under three years. All others may be required to use the form 1040 series of forms.  
    • Form 8843:  ALL individuals in F- or J- status who are non-residents for U.S. tax purposes MUST COMPLETE and submit this form even if you did not have any U.S. source income (pay from the university, tuition awards and/or other scholarships).  Forms must also be submitted for dependents in F-2 or J-2 status.

      Forms are for tax reporting year 2019 with the due date of April 15, 2020.  Forms for reporting income received in 2019 are linked below for your reference. 

    IRS Form 8843 for F and J Students (PDF)

    IRS Form 1040NREZ Instructions (PDF)

    IRS Form 1040NREZ (PDF)

    Sprintax : Sprintax is for filing your U.S. federal tax forms, if you are a nonresident for tax purposes.  

    Any filing fees related to your tax filing is the responsibility of the student.

    IRS Mailing Deadlines   




    Department of the Treasury

    Internal Revenue Service

    Austin, TX   73301-0215 USA



    Internal Revenue Service

    P.O. Box 1303

    Charlotte, NC  28201-1303 USA


Degree Seeking Students

Southwestern University enrolls students from around the globe. The Southwestern community benefits greatly from the cultural diversity which each of these students brings to the campus. Since over half of its students study abroad, and many faculty have experience teaching and conducting research outside the United States, the Southwestern community is welcoming of an international presence on campus. International students are regularly called upon for their unique perspective and expertise, and contribute greatly to the dynamic and diverse climate at Southwestern.