Life at Parkside
Residence Halls: All freshmen & sophomores are required to reside in the university residence halls unless you qualify for an exemption. Look at our different housing options and complete a residence hall contract. Apply early to get your preferred housing option!
Students can request to move in early by contacting the Housing & Residence Life at email@example.com. Students who arrive early will be charged additional fees.
Off-Campus Housing: Married students and students with children will require off-campus housing. See: ABODO
Dining Plans: After completing your residence hall application, you must choose a dining plan.
Local and regional transport
Residence Hall Weekend Shuttle: The weekend shuttle bus is available to take residence hall students to department stores, grocery stores, hair salons, and a multitude of other places. Watch for the schedule.
Uber.com: Many students find Uber to be a useful taxi option in the Kenosha area.
Autos and Driver's Licenses
Buying a Car
Review the State of Wisconsin buying and selling guide before you purchase a new or used vehicle. Please note that there are many additional expenses when purchasing a vehicle (sales tax, auto insurance, registration fees, license plates, gasoline, parking fees and vehicle maintenance)
Most US states require you to have liability automobile insurance which pays for another’s injuries and property damage in case of an accident. If you drive a five-year-old car or newer, you may want to also purchase collision insurance coverage (covering your own car’s damage). If you drive a six-year-old or older car, you may want to save your money and purchase only liability coverage. Comprehensive insurance is a third category of insurance that covers non-collision (non-accident) events like theft, striking an animal, weather damage.
Wisconsin law requires that you register a purchased vehicle and also that you re-register every year. Review information on how to register a vehicle in Wisconsin before you buy.
Students living in Wisconsin for 1 year or less: International students can use their driver's license from their home country for up to one year providing that their country is party to U.S. international driving agreements. If the home country driver's license is in a language other than English, the student should visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get a form for translating the license. The student should carry the translation with the license.
An International Driver's License is also valid for one year of driving in Wisconsin.
Obtaining a Wisconsin Driver’s License: You can apply for a Wisconsin’s driver license at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if you have immigration paperwork that shows that you will be in the US for 366 days or longer. If you will be in the US less than that period, you must have a valid license from your home country. To apply for your license, you must be able to show these documents to the DMV.
- I-20 which shows that you will be in the US a minimum of one year.
- Social Security card (If you are not eligible for a Social Security Number you must sign the MV3741 SSN non-eligibility certification statement.
- Most recent I-94 card (Follow these instructions to print your I-94 card).
Learn more about safe driving in Wisconsin and to prepare for the driver knowledge test.
Working in the U.S.A.
Opportunities to gain work experience
U.S. law limits employment authorization for non-citizens. Parkside International students, however, are allowed to legally gain practical work experience through the following programs:
International students can be employed at the University for 20 hours a week while school is in session and during Winterim. During summer breaks, students are eligible to work up to 25 hours per week at the University.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Internship Program
International students are eligible to apply for paid academic internships with US employers. Students must be registered for an internship course and the work position must relate directly to the student's field of study. CPT students are eligible to work 20 hours a week while school is in session and 40 hours a week during break periods. CPT participation is limited during the first two semesters in F-1 visa status.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) Work Program
After the first two semesters at the University, international students are eligible to apply for OPT which allows for 12 months of paid employment in their field of study during or after their studies. This program has an application fee and takes approximately 3 months to process through the US government. Usually international students save this employment opportunity until after they graduate.
Optional Practical Training Extension for Students in S.T.E.M. Majors
Students in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) majors may have the opportunity to extend their OPT work period for an additional 24 months for a total authorized work period of 3 years.
Obtaining a U.S. Social Security Card
Non-immigrant International Students (F-1) are required to apply for a Social Security card in order to be paid for employment. Before applying for a Social Security card, you must be registered full-time at UW-Parkside and have a job offer. Normal processing of a Social Security card takes approximately 3 weeks, however you may be able to start work before having the card in hand.
To prepare your application, you must obtain a letter that has been signed by both the employer and the ISS/SA Office (Greenquist 210). Once an international student has obtained the above-mentioned signatures, he/she must present the following at the Social Security Office:
- A Social Security Application form
- A valid passport
- I-94 number
- A valid visa document (Form I-20 or DS-2019)
Social Security Offices
4020 Durand Ave
Racine , WI 53405
5624 6th Ave
Kenosha , WI 53140
International Student Taxes
Do international students have to file federal tax returns?
Yes! All international students on F visas are classified as nonresidents for U.S. tax purposes and are required to file an annual tax return if you have any income. Additionally, you are required to file Form 8843 regardless of your income. Here is a description of the forms you are required to file a tax return ( Form 1040 NR-EZ or Form 1040 NR) and attach the supplemental Form 8843. These forms and instructions can be downloaded from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) Web site.
Additionally, if you have a UW Parkside grant or scholarship that amounts to more than the cost of tuition and books, a portion of your aid may be considered as taxable. In this case, your student account may be charged for the taxes owed.
What Happens If you Don't File?
You might be wondering what will happen if you do not file a return. Well, the IRS will not impose penalties if no tax is due. However, your student visa requires you to comply with all US laws, including the requirement to file an income tax return form. You may be required to show proof that you filed a tax return if you wish to change your visa status, obtain permanent residency, or regain entry into the US once you have left. Don't risk your visa status by failing to comply with this requirement.
When and Where to File
If you received wages or other income, the due date for filing your tax return is April 15 of the following year. If you did not receive taxable wages during the year, the due date for filing your tax return is June 15 of the following year. Your Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ (including Form 8843) must be sent to the Internal Revenue Service Center, Philadelphia , PA 19255 .
Watch for information from the ISS/SA Office regarding tax information in February or March each year. The office will provide you with resources that can help with the necessary forms.
Need More Information About Taxes?
Health and Safety
At Parkside, student health & safety are extremely important to us. This is why our Student Health & Counseling Center is available to all students. The Center is fully staffed to provide you with preventative health programs, medical treatment and referrals.
As US medical costs are high, the State of Wisconsin requires that all international students be fully covered by the University health insurance policy. For complete information about the Student Assurance Services International Student/Scholar Plan. The semester cost for an individual is approximately $600. Spouses and children must also be covered at an additional fee. You will be automatically enrolled in the health insurance plan and charged for this on your student account.
The University also has a public Police department on our campus that prevents crime, promotes a safe environment and protects the campus community.
Key University Resources
While the International Student Services/Study Abroad Office (ISS/SA) can be considered your “home base” at Parkside, we wanted you to be aware of these “key” amenities:
- Parkside Academic Resource Center (PARC) offers free academic tutoring and support in a variety of undergraduate subjects each fall and spring semester. They can even proofread your academic essays for English errors before you submit them to your professors.
- Parkside Transcripts: Order your university transcripts here.
- Academic Calendar: Need to know when to book your flights? Check the academic calendar.
- Cashier's Office Tuition and Fees
- Educator's Credit Union is located on campus and provides easy access to banking services.
- Parkside has partnered with Flywire to help international students pay their fees from abroad. Flywire offers excellent foreign exchange rates, allowing you to pay in your home currency. You will be notified by email when your payments are received by us. See: Cashiers Payments
- RangerTrak: on-campus student employment search.
- Campus Connect: the place to go for information about what is happening on campus and document your participation in campus life
- Residence Hall Weekend Shuttle Bus: is available to take residence hall students to department stores, grocery stores, hair salons, and a multitude of other places. Watch for the schedule.
See a little of what life is like when you come to Parkside.
International Admissions Office