Frequently Asked Questions for Current International Students at UC San Diego

How do I become a student at UC San Diego?

How much does it cost to attend UC San Diego as an international student?

How can I work in the U.S.?

How do I get a Social Security Number?

What do I need to travel outside of and return to the U.S. on my student visa?

It's important that you prepare in advance of any international travel to ensure you have correct and valid documents to re-enter the United States. This information will list everything you need before you travel:

**Remember: the travel signature on your I-20/DS-2019 is valid for one year. If it has expired (or will expire while you are abroad), you need to have it signed by an international student advisor. Note that it takes 2 business days to process this request.

What do I do if I forget to obtain a valid travel signature?

If you forget your travel signature and have already left the United States, please follow these steps:

  1. Fill in a replacement I-20 Request Form (F-1 students) or a replacement DS-2019 Form (J-1 students). Choose "Replacement I-20" or "Replacement DS-2019" from the request list and briefly state that you need a new travel signature.
  2. Set up an Express Mail Services Account (eShipGlobal) so that we can send your I-20 back to you.
  3. Email istudents@ucsd.edu with both your I-20 Request Form/DS-2019 Request Form and your Express Mail tracking number.
  4. Please allow 10 business days for processing.

How do I update my new local or permanent address?

Both F-1 and J-1 students must enter a change of address in TritonLink within 10 days of any move or change.

What do I do if I lose my I-20 or DS-2019?

If you lose your I-20 or DS-2019, please complete the appropriate replacement document request form:

What do I need to do if I change majors?

If you change your major, you need to inform the International Students & Programs Office within10 days of this change. Both F-1 and J-1 students can find out how to do this on our Change of Major page.

What do I need to do if I change to a higher program level at UC San Diego?

If you have been accepted into a higher program level at UC San Diego (ie:bachelors to masters or masters to Ph.D.), you must apply for a program level change no later than 10 days before the end of your 60-day grace period of your previous program.

How do I take a leave of absence?

Students who wish to go on a leave of absence from UC San diego for one or more quarters must obtain permission from the International Students & Programs Office prior to their proposed leave. Both F-1 and J-1 students can find out how to do this on our Leave of Absence page.

I'm returning from a leave of absence. What should I do?

Students returning from a leave of absence can find out how to return to UC San Diego on our Leave of Absence page.

I want to drop below full-time student status (12 units). How do I reduce my course load (RCL)?

International students MUST receive approval from the International Students & Programs Office prior to dropping below full-time (12 units) status.

Find out more information about applying for a reduced course load.

How do I take a class at another school?

If you would like to take a class at another SEVIS-approved school at the same time as studying at UC San Diego, you can apply for concurrent enrollment.

How do I transfer to a new school?

If you would like to transfer to a new school, you must apply for a SEVIS record release from UC San Diego.

How do I withdraw from UC San Diego?

Students withdrawing from UC San Diego must notify the International Students & Programs Office. Find out how to do so by visiting our Withdrawal from Program of Study page.