International Students

Across its history, Bates has provided a world-class interactive, integrated program for the many students who comprise its international community. All students are supported in participating in the full scope of experiences and opportunities at Bates. Over 200 students comprise the international community at Bates. Citizens of countries outside of the U.S. comprise 130 international students, representing 67 countries. There are an additional 70 students who have resided for a significant period of their lives in other countries as dual-citizens, as recent permanent residents to the U.S., or as U.S. citizens not resident in the United States.

The Center for Global Education has open and extensive contact with international students to address an array of topics, issues, questions, thoughts, and ideas, helping to lead to success in their academic and co-curricular careers. The goal is for Bates students of the international community to have wide-ranging, fulfilling experiences engaging with students from the U.S. and the world in a rich array of learning and involvement with all on campus. The Center for Global Education operates on achievements, principles, and programs which, for over a century, have attracted outstanding students from all around the world. From the 1920’s-onward, Bates has sought and funded students who are exceptional in their abilities, eager to learn and exchange, and move forward with informed knowledge and great impact on the world’s societies, inclusive of the U.S. and beyond.

Upon arrival, the Center for Global Education will welcome and introduce you to the college, will provide you with information about the college and the communities of Lewiston and Auburn, and the state of Maine. We also offer full assistance with visas, I-20’s and other government documents, guidelines and recommendations for those in need.

Throughout the school year, we will contact you via email and newsletter to inform you of programs we have planned that will offer you the opportunity to get to know other international students, as well as the greater Bates community.

James Reese
Associate Dean of Students
International Student Programs
127 Roger Williams Hall
(207) 786-6223 e-mail:

Shelley Palmer
Global Education Coordinator
124 Roger Williams Hall
(207) 786-6223 e-mail:

International Community and…

International Orientation

The international orientation is an informative, enjoyable and eye-opening introduction to Bates and U.S. life. All students bring their individuality along with their academic skills to this campus setting. From there, their knowledge and insights gained and shared expands exponentially and infinitely. Our setting becomes a continual exchange of ideas, experiences, understandings and goals. Respect for people and cultures. Respect for individual perspectives and aspirations.

I-20s and Visas

I-20s — Important forms for your stay in the US

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) requires these forms for entry to the United States. Read the I-20 carefully before you apply for your visa form. Prior to any departure from the United States (even a weekend trip to Canada), your form must have been signed in the previous 12 months by the International Student Advisor. In the case that a signature is forgotten, International Students are usually given a lengthy question-and-answer session at the entry port and then given a form for the International Student Advisor to sign and return to INS within 30 days.

Visas — Important Information

Prior to enrollment and sometimes after entering Bates, international students need to obtain a United States visa. The visa permits entry into the United States. Students may stay in the United States beyond the visa expiration date as long as the person is enrolled as a full time student.

To obtain an initial visa or a visa renewal, you will take the I-20 documents you received from Bates and your Bates letter of admission, or a letter of current enrollment from the International Student Advisor Office, to the United States Embassy or Consulate. Visas can only be obtained at an Embassy or Consulate outside of the United States. At the Embassy or Consulate, the officials will have you complete an additional visa application form. Call ahead to the Embassy or Consulate to know what other documents or fees are required, and to check to see if you need an appointment. In each country of the world, the requirements are slightly different. You likely will need to provide some financial evidence (bank statement or family property record or business ownership record) that demonstrates that you and your family have the funds to cover what Bates is asking you to pay towards your education here. The officials will also interview you on your plans to attend Bates, and they will ask you how they can be sure that you intend to return to your home country after your education.

Social Security and Taxes

Social Security Number — Crucial for general identification

This is a United States Government number issued to anyone for purposes of record-keeping for pay checks, bank records, and general identification. All students must have one. The International Student Advisor will assist new international students in obtaining the numbers at the beginning of each academic year.

Taxes — Who gets taxed?

International Students have taxes removed from paychecks as a norm. A few countries have treaties with the United States agreeing to not have taxes removed. The Student Employment Office has a computer list of the countries with treaties. All students who work must submit a tax filing form to the United States Government between January 1 and April 15 for work performed in the previous calendar year, January 1 to December 31. Typically, there is a return of taxes that have been removed. This is dependent on how much was earned by the student during the calendar year.

Several group meetings to discuss filing taxes and to assist with the forms are held each Winter Semester. Attending one of these will suffice in completing the forms. For preparing the tax forms, students should bring the 1042-S form received from the Personnel Office, and any W-2 forms received from anywhere you have worked. Additionally, the Bates financial aid support letter will be needed, if applicable.

Students who are not citizens of United States need the 1040 NR-EZ forms to file the taxes. Our office will have the appropriate forms. The Ladd Library usually has the 1040 NR or 1040 NR-EZ forms, also. Please note that the forms have to be the NR version. Other forms that are 1040 but not NR are not the correct forms. Specific questions on taxes may be directed to the International Student Office.


Recesses and Breaks

There are six vacation periods during the year.

Students from countries outside the U.S. may stay on campus during each recess/break. The residences that are open  are posted in the Office of Residence Life and Health Education in Chase Hall. Students must sign up for housing prior to the break. The Office of Residence Life and Health Education will determine which residences will remain open based on occupancy.

The Center for Global Education assists international students during each break with planning for meals, shopping, and travel arrangements. All students who plan to stay on campus during any break must have money for food and related expenses for that break period. Please remember to plan accordingly.

October Recess October 16-20, 2019
Thanksgiving Recess* November 23-December 1, 2019
Holiday Break* December 16, 2019 to January 11, 2020
Winter Recess* February 15-23, 2020
April Break* April 20-26, 2020
Summer Break May 30 to September 6, 2020

Students typically cook their own meals during the starred periods (*) and are responsible for the cost of their own food. Transportation is provided to purchase groceries. Students on campus during vacation enjoy cooking together in groups. The Dining Hall is open during the entirety of the October recess.

Students working on campus during the summer may pay per week to stay in college houses. Since those students staying on campus during the summer no longer have the option of cooking for themselves, Dining Services provides meal plan packages. There are several packages to choose from.

Activities and programs are provided during the break periods for all who are on campus.