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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

The questions below are frequently asked by international students who are newly admitted to OU or newly arrived on campus.

Have a question not listed here? Email us at

Why haven't I received my I-20/DS-2019 yet?

  1. Were you admitted by the Office of Admissions or the Office of Graduate Admissions? We cannot issue an I-20 or DS-2019 for you until you are admitted to the university by the Office of Admissions or Office of Graduate Admissions. A recommendation for admission from your department is insufficient.
  2. Did you request express shipping using eShip Global through the correct office? Bachelor students must select the Office of Admissions. Students coming from another school in the US, Master’s, and Doctoral students must select International Student Services. If you selected the wrong office, contact eShip Global at to change your shipment to the correct office.
  3. Are you transferring from another school in the US? We cannot create your OU I-20 until the date your I-20 is transferred to the University of Oklahoma.

I already have a US visa. Do I really need a student visa?

If your primary purpose in the US is to study, then you must have a valid F-1 or J-1 visa to study at OU. 

Some US visa classifications allow study and some do not (for example, tourist visa holders are not permitted to study). If you need more information, please email

When should I arrive at OU?

In general, we recommend that students starting in the Fall semester should arrive the Monday before classes start. Students starting in the Spring semester should arrive the Tuesday before classes start. This will give you plenty of time between your arrival and Crimson Connection, the mandatory in-person orientation.

You can enter the US earlier if necessary. US federal immigration regulations restrict new international students from entering the US more than 30 days before the program start date listed on the I-20 or DS-2019.

How do I enroll?

International Student Services does not enroll international students in classes. For information on enrolling, please speak with your academic advisor or department chair. See How to Get Advised (

What are these holds on my account?

  • “Title IX” (Sexual Misconduct Awareness Training) – complete the course online at This hold WILL prevent you from enrolling.
  • “Attend ISS Arrival appointment” – come to the ISS office as required to maintain your legal immigration status. This hold WILL NOT prevent you from enrolling.

How do I get a US bank account or a phone?

Phone and banking services are available for set up before Crimson Connection each semester. If you need a local bank account or a local phone, please plan to arrive to Crimson Connection early to set up these services. Multiple choices will be provided but students must be in orientation by the beginning regardless if they have their services set up or not.  

Beyond Crimson Connection, ISS does not assist with setting up  any other banking or phone services.

What is the International Gateway class?

Incoming F-1 freshman and transfer-in students are required to enroll in the international section of the University College's "Gateway to College Learning" class. This is a semester-long, 2 credit hour class that introduces students to the OU community and how to manage their college career at OU, but specifically designed for international students.  This freshman level class covers topics such as the nature of higher education, library use, time management, essential academic skills (critical reading, writing, listening as well as test taking), campus policies, campus resources, and career education. This course does not count for major credit in any department. However, this course may count for elective credit as granted by a department.

For more information about the University College's Gateway classes, click here.

How do I get a driver's license?

If you have a valid license from your home country, you do not need an Oklahoma driver's license. You must carry your driver's license and passport with you whenever you drive.

If you want to apply for a US Driver's License, follow the steps below.

  1. Study the Oklahoma Driver's Manual to assist you in completing the written portion of the driving exam
  2. Wait 10 days after arriving in the US to allow all US government databases to update
  3. Read the information on the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety website
  4. You must have the following with you:
    • Current printed copy of your I-20 or DS-2019
    • Valid passport
    • Most recently issued F-1 or J-1 visa, even if it is expired
    • Current I-94 record, obtain a copy here by clicking the Get Most Recent I-94 button
    • OU ID card
    • A vehicle to drive for your driving test
    • Proof of valid motor vehicle insurance for the vehicle that you will drive during the driving test