Office of International Student Services

Regent University has approximately 125 international students representing about 60 nations through on-campus and online programs. The Office of International Student Services (OISS) understands and appreciates the unique needs of our international students and helps meet those needs by providing specialized services with a caring approach. We are committed to serving you and welcoming you to our community. Our role includes educating and advising faculty, staff and students about F‐1 student immigration rules, procedures and benefits, and maintaining compliance with government regulations and reporting requirements.

Contact Details:

International Student Support Coordinator

Mary Ohaneson-Laughton

SC 201

Phone: +001.757.352.4130 | Fax: +001.757.352.4100

Hours:   M-F: 8 am – 5 pm

Orientation & Services

International Student Orientation assists new international students with their transition to Regent and life in the United States. All new and transfer F‐1 international students are required to attend. Prior to the orientation, new students will receive a pre-arrival packet and a welcome packet. Plan about one week to recover from jet‐lag and get settled. Orientation includes:

  • Getting Settled – Trips to local stores, banks, and cell phone providers; a campus tour and library tour.
  • Get Acquainted – Meet other students and people and places on campus.
  • Get General Information – Materials on programs and services available on campus and in the community;
  • Get Legal Information – Learn about maintaining your F-1 visa status while a student in the United States.

You may also participate in workshops on how to apply for Curricular and Optional Practical Training (CPT & OPT) and how to file taxes in the United States. OISS offers on- and off-campus activities for international students, and serves as the advising center for the International Student Organization.

Employment & Scholarships

Immigration regulations permit international students who have maintained their legal F‐1 status to work on‐campus up to 20 hours per week while school is in session, and more hours during school breaks. Working for more hours than permitted or without proper authorization (off campus) is a serious violation of the F‐1 immigration status, which can lead to a student’s deportation.

You must have a United States Social Security Number (SSN) before any payment for on-campus employment can be issued. The OISS can assist students in applying for a SSN. On-campus employment is not guaranteed and will not financially support a student’s tuition or living expenses while in the United States.

Merit-based scholarship consideration is determined once students are admitted to a program of study. International students may also qualify for the Church Match Grant of $750 per semester and other scholarships available through an application obtained through the International Admissions counselors. We strongly encourage students to seek scholarships and sponsorship from their home country before applying for admission.

Be prepared to bring start‐up funds for incidentals such as a cell phone, bedding, kitchen supplies, books and food. Students who plan to live off campus may need to pay a security deposit for utilities and rent. Minimally, a student should plan to bring $2,000 with them, and no more than $10,000 in cash.

Health Insurance

All F‐1 international students are required to have health insurance coverage. The United States does not have socialized medicine. Students will be responsible for purchasing an insurance policy, and must maintain continuous coverage while in the United States. Before purchasing a health insurance policy, students must first contact OISS to have the policy approved.

Your Health Insurance coverage while in the United States must provide:

  • Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per injury or accident.
  • Repatriation of remains benefits of at least $7,500.
  • Expenses associated with medical evacuation of the foreign student to his or her home country for at least $10,000.
  • The deductible may not exceed $500 per accident or injury.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), “There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to the United States.” For CDC guidance for travelers to the U.S., please see the information found at this link:

Currently, Regent does not require any particular vaccinations but encourages all students to have a medical evaluation and immunizations, in particular, Hepatitis B and Meningococcal.

For information about Regent’s vaccination policy, please refer to the Student Handbook.

Academic Requirements

The academic year generally includes a fall and spring semester although some academic programs require summer enrollment as well.

Fall semester begins near the middle of August and ends near the middle of December, followed by a two- to three-week winter break.

Spring semester usually starts in the second week of January and ends in early May.

Summer sessions are offered from the middle of May to the middle of August. You may take summer courses even if it is not required from your program.

All new international students must begin in the fall or spring semester so they can attend the comprehensive International Student Orientation. New students may not begin in the summer semester.

Full‐Time Enrollment Requirement

Immigration regulations require international students in F‐1 immigration status to enroll in classes on a full‐time basis every fall and spring semester (minimum of 12 credit hours for undergraduate students, 10 credit hours for JD law students, 9 credit hours for graduate students, and 6 credit hours for doctoral students). Students in academic programs that require summer enrollment are also required by immigration regulations to be enrolled full‐time during the summer term.

Online Academic Credit Restriction

Students in the F‐1 immigration status cannot count more than one online/distance education class or three online/distance education credits per semester toward the full‐time status requirement, when enrolled for the minimum number of credits. For immigration purposes online/distance education is that which does not require a student’s physical attendance for course completion. Students must check with each academic department/school for individual credit requirements and with the director of OISS before enrolling in multiple online courses.

Your academic advisor will assist you with class registration each semester to assure that the proper number of on-campus credits are assigned and that you are on track for degree completion.

Student Profiles

Elisa Sosa

Elisa Sosa, Guatemala, College of Arts & Sciences

HOLA! I am currently pursuing a B.A. in Animation at Regent. This has been an amazing blessing in my life! God opened this door and gave me the opportunity to study my passion at this school. I decided to leave my country, come to the United States to study and start this new season of my life with God. It has been a journey full of joy, hard work and amazing friendships. I have learned so many things, not only academically but also spiritually. Although homesickness comes every once in a while, and speaking in English gets tiring, I would not change my experience at Regent and all the amazing things I have gone through during my first year here. It has been a time of confronting fears and stepping out of comfort zones. I try new things, fail, and get back up! God will never stop to amaze me, for the idea of coming to Regent was only a dream, yet He made it possible. He has also given me the opportunity to meet some pretty awesome people on campus. I cannot describe how excited and happy I am to meet people with a heart surrendered to God and a passion to glorify Him with their lives — people that I can now call friends. To God be the glory. He is good, very good.


Arun Daniel

Arun Daniel, India, Graduate School of Business & Leadership

As I was looking for schools, Regent’s bold and powerful statement Christian Leadership to Change the World captured my attention. I’m an ardent reader of contemporary business news; and I have found the fall of successful organizations was due to lack of right values and vision. The prospect of being trained to be a Christian leader with biblical values sounded very exciting for me. I can confidently say that I got what I expected. Our professors teach business principles from a Christian worldview without compromising the integrity of either. The best part for me, a different experience from India, is being encouraged by professors to think critically and creatively. Methodically they guide us to present our ideas within the framework of professional business and biblical principles.The natural beauty of our campus is another huge blessing, as is my ability to do online research through our Wi-Fi, and the knowledge pool we have in our library is something worth mentioning here. Finally, I’m blessed to work on campus and serve the student body as a senator for the School of Business & Leadership. As an international student at Regent I find myself one among many of God’s children, blessed and chosen to be here to learn and to serve in His name.


Hadil Arusi, Syria, Graduate School of Law

Hadil Arusi

Hi! My name is Hadil Arusi, and I am from Syria. I came to the United States after finishing my law degree in Syria. I am working towards an LL.M. in Human Rights at Regent. I have had many great opportunities here. I was on the student staff at the Center for Global Justice which was a wonderful experience. Being part of the center gave me the opportunity to work with the Advocates International team. I got to travel to conferences and meet like-minded people. The whole experience opened my eyes to a lot of interesting issues and helped me gain knowledge. I highly encourage law students to get involved in the center. I feel truly blessed by being at Regent. I have met great professors who serve as mentors, and I have made wonderful friends. I am blessed to have such great people around me who have helped me succeed. War in Syria has displaced my family, and as a result we are now divided between the United States, Canada and Syria, as is the case for so many Syrian families. I believe that my experiences with the war in Syria and the rich curriculum at Regent have prepared me to work in the humanitarian field as I try to make a positive change in this world.