Student Media of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri


Student Media of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri


Student Media of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri


Graduation guide: what international students need to do before they graduate

Photo by Catalina Corredor
Spring 2022 Graduate Lluc Bonnin, an international student from Spain.

Due to several factors, including schoolwork and other responsibilities, international students are usually worried about what they need to do before they graduate.

Not having your family around and needing to get everything in order for graduation and life after college is hard. That is why, with the help of Lindenwood’s immigration specialist Roudina Thomsen, we have gathered a list of things you should consider if you are an international student graduating soon.

Here is 11 things to do before graduation as an international student:

  • Apply for graduation.

Work with your advisor to make sure you have met the requirements for graduating before you submit the form. You can do so by going to your student portal / External Links / Forms and Documents /Application for degree.

Story continues below advertisement

  • Apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training)

This is optional, but international students are encouraged to do it. You should apply for OPT if you want to work for a year in the United States before returning to your home country/applying for a master’s degree/doing something else. You should apply 90 days prior to the end of the term (Friday of finals)

You should receive an email with more information about the process. For questions, you can contact [email protected].

  • Look for employment:

Start the process with Career Services (located at The LARC – 221). They will help with mock interviews, resume construction and review, and assist you with job searches.

Whenever you apply for any job, make sure you state that you have applied for the EAD card (Employment Authorization Document)

  • Order your cap and gown and notify your family of the graduation ceremony date so arrangements can be made.

  • Return your books or any rented materials.

Make sure your account is up to date or paid. For any questions contact Lindenwood’s bursars’ office ([email protected]) or go in person to Spellmann’s 3rd floor.

  • Plan on either storing or selling your items, especially if you are planning on returning home.

If you are relocating, you may need to store your belongings until you have a place lined up or moving out of state.

  • If you currently live on campus, start looking for new housing.
  • Apply for grad school if you are not applying for OPT (optional).

You will want to apply for grad school prior to graduation, best to start at the beginning of the term.

  • Apply to another school.

If you are wanting to transfer to another school once you have completed your current program you will need to make sure that your SEVIS record / I-20 is released to the new school in plenty of time and remains in “Active Status.

If you are planning on transferring we will need a copy of the acceptance letter and SEVIS transfer form (if they have one)

  • Make plans to return home if you are not going to grad school or doing OPT.

If your plan is to travel outside of the U.S before you receive your OPT approval, make sure you have a ‘Pending’ status I-20. If your documents are not being sent to Lindenwood please keep in contact with Roudina Thomsen so the international services office can make sure you have an ‘Approved’ I-20 (if available) for your return trip.

You can travel while you are pending OPT approval. Just make sure that the I-20 you have is the most current and up to date. You will also want to return to the U.S prior to the start of the requested OPT start date.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Lindenlink
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists who produce Lindenlink. Your contribution will help to cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Catalina Corredor
Catalina Corredor, Reporter
Catalina Corredor is a photographer and a reporter for Lindenlink. She is a senior double majoring in Cinema Arts as well as Mass Communication with an emphasis in Media Arts and Production at Lindenwood. She is an international student from Colombia and is involved on-campus with Sigma Sigma Sigma, Synergy Dance Association, and Lindenwood Cinema Arts Association.
Donate to Lindenlink
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Lindenlink Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *