5. Student Affairs
Recognizing that students learn from one another and from others in associations outside the formal curriculum, the Texas Union serves the University as a community center, providing facilities, services, and programs for students, faculty members, staff members, alumni, and friends of the University.
Major objectives of the Union include offering programs for intellectual, cultural, social, and recreational development, coordinating beneficial cocurricular activities, promoting genuine democracy, cultivating responsible citizenship, and facilitating an intelligent interest in and deeper affection for the University of Texas at Austin. Serving as a laboratory for student leadership experience, self-expression, and management, the Union contributes to the development of effective leaders for future responsibilities in community, civic, state, and national affairs.
The Board of Directors recommends policy for the Texas Union. The voting membership of the board includes six students and three faculty members. The director of the Texas Union and the vice president for student affairs, or the vice president's delegate, serve as ex officio members without vote.
The International Office coordinates and administers programs that serve international students, faculty members, staff members, and visitors to the University community, as well as University students going abroad. The office is located at 105 West Dean Keeton Street and is open 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. The telephone number is (512) 471-1211.
Advisers who are aware of the demands associated with studying in another country are available to assist international students with academic matters not specifically within the province of the student's academic adviser, and to answer questions concerning cross-cultural adjustment, orientation to the University, immigration status, financial aid, health insurance, housing, legal issues, employment, income tax status, social security regulations, and personal problems or concerns. The International Office assists in case of an emergency involving an international student or the student's family.
Sponsored Student Program. Students and sponsors of international students are provided advisers, special financial arrangements, required certifications, and supervision while in academic status and under sponsorship. The office also provides reports to sponsors.
Reduced course load and withdrawal petition. In accordance with immigration regulations, an international student who seeks to be enrolled for fewer than twelve hours as an undergraduate or fewer than nine hours as a graduate student is referred to the International Office. Withdrawal petitions for international students are referred to the International Office before final action is taken by the appropriate academic dean's office.
Special programs. The office administers special contract programs consistent with the academic objectives of the University and handles special arrangements for groups, including visiting representatives of other nations.
Mandatory health insurance. The Student Health Insurance Program is mandatory for international students, and the cost is included in the student's fee bill each semester. A student who has an acceptable level of coverage under a mandatory employee insurance plan, including University employee insurance, or a mandatory government-sponsored plan, may request a waiver of the fee at the time of registration or a refund prior to the last class day each semester. The minimum acceptable level of coverage is $50,000 per accident or illness, $10,000 for medical evacuation to the home country, and $7,500 for repatriation. Waivers must be requested at the International Office. Dependents in J-2 (exchange visitor) status are also required to have an acceptable level of coverage. Coverage for dependents may be arranged through the International Office.
English as a second language services. English classes for nonnative speakers are available through ESL Services in the International Office.
ESL Services offers two intensive English programs that are open to adult nonnative speakers of English. The Academic English Program (AEP) is a full-time academic program for prospective graduate students who have completed their first university degree and plan to pursue a master's or doctoral degree in the United States. English proficiency at the intermediate level or above is required for admission to the program. The English Language Program (ELP) provides both full-time and part-time instruction in general-purpose English for students at all levels of English proficiency, including prospective undergraduates and those interested in improving their communication skills. Both programs offer optional test preparation instruction for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and other admission tests. Discounts are available for University students, staff members, faculty members, and University-affiliated family members.
Information about educational opportunities in other countries, including study abroad, international internships, international research opportunities, and international scholarship programs, is available at the Center for Global Educational Opportunities (C-Geo), located at 105 West Dean Keeton. Information sessions are offered daily for most of the academic year; students are required to attend a session before seeking staff assistance in selecting the program most appropriate to their needs and interests. The sessions include University policies governing study abroad, program options, funding sources, and application and selection procedures. Information is also disseminated through publications, special events, group meetings, individual appointments, reference materials, and at the C-Geo Web site.
University programs available to students include reciprocal exchanges with foreign universities, affiliated studies through organizations and institutions, and faculty-led programs.
Exchange programs. Students in exchange programs register for a block of coursework in study abroad (SAB). Faculty members in the appropriate academic departments review the student's work to determine equivalent University courses and assign grades based on evaluation from the host institution. Courses and grades are recorded as resident credit. Students are assessed the normal tuition and fees for the number of semester credit hours they undertake, plus a study abroad fee of $10 per semester credit hour.
Affiliated studies. Students register for affiliated studies (1) when they participate in study abroad programs offered by organizations and institutions with which the University has an affiliation agreement, and (2) when they engage in independent study or research and have been awarded a University-approved scholarship, fellowship, or grant. Students enrolled in affiliated studies (A S) are considered full-time students. A fee of $100 is assessed students registering for affiliated studies.
Faculty-led programs. Academic units may offer courses taught abroad as a part of their regular curriculum. Students who take these courses follow normal registration procedures and are assessed normal tuition and fees for the number of semester credit hours they undertake. Additional fees are charged to cover program costs.
Financial assistance. C-Geo advisers verify budgets for students awarded funding through the Office of Student Financial Services. Information about other funding opportunities for study abroad is available at the center. The center administers the campus competition for a number of grants, including the Institute of International Education (IIE) Fulbright grants, the National Security Education Program (NSEP) grants, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) grants, regional IIE awards, and the University's International Education Fee Scholarship (IEFS).
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17 August 2004. Office of the Registrar
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