Union University
Union University Dept of Language
International Students

International Student Office

International Student Resources


Students chat with Dr. Van in the international student lounge.

Whether or not you are earning an income in the US, you will be required to file a tax return each year. The Union University International Student Office is neither qualified nor permitted to give individual tax advice. Students with complicated tax situations may wish to consult with a tax preparation service, professional tax accountant, or tax attorney who is knowledgeable about nonresident tax law.

However, the sites and links below contain information that may be helpful in answering some additional tax questions.

Tax Help
Sometimes local accountants offer their tax preparation services to Union University international students. Please contact your International Student Advisor for more information.

You may also go to the Jackson IRS office, 109 S. Highland, Jackson, TN 38301, or call (731) 423-2441. The office is open Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Forms and Information
You may download any tax forms you need from their website by using the "Search Forms and Publications" function -- or click on the form below:

Tax Preparation Software
If you like, you may purchase Glacier Tax Prep (Arctic International LLC) software to assist you in completing your tax forms. This software is only intended for those who are classified nonresident aliens for tax purposes. (Students in F-1 status). Note: There is a fee to use this software.

Social Security

As of October 13, 2004, F-1 students may only obtain a Social Security number if the student is working. This is a Social Security Administration regulation. For more information on F-1 students and Social Security numbers, please visit http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10096.html.

An F-1 student must submit the following as part of the application process:

  • Application for Social Security Card
  • At least 2 documents that establish applicant's age and identity, including a passport and one additional document (i.e. Visa, etc.)
  • Form I-94: Accessed through the CBP site here: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request
  • Original and most current SEVIS I-20
  • Proof of Employment: forms available through the International Student Office, to be filled out by DSO and your employer

Once these documents have been gathered and completed, you may proceed to the Social Security Office where you will apply for a social security number and if approved will later receive a card in the mail.

The Social Security Office in Jackson is located at 415 CHEYENNE DR., JACKSON, TN 38305

The office is open MONDAY - FRIDAY: 08:30 AM - 03:30 PM (except holidays). The office can be reached by calling (731) 660-3384

Drivers License

Students mingle in the international student lounge.

International students are allowed to obtain a Drivers License during their stay in the U.S. For information on scheduling a driving test please visit: http://www.tn.gov/safety/dlmain.shtml

International students should wait at least 10 days after arriving in the United States before they apply for a Drivers License. When you go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) - the common name for a state government office that issues driver's licenses - remember to bring all your paperwork. For Tennessee, the paperwork includes these documents:

  • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
  • Copy of Form I-94, "Arrival/Departure Record"
  • Passport (with visa, if applicable)
  • Letter from International Student Advisor that provides proof of legal presence in Tennessee.


There are many different banks in Jackson; a few of them are walking distance to campus. If you need suggestions on a good bank to choose, just visit the ISO.

To open a checking account:

  1. Bring passport, I-20, and college ID
  2. Know your school address and telephone number
  3. Must have at least $50 to deposit

Check Card:

  • Works like a credit card, but takes money directly from the bank account.
  • Can be used in ATM machines but must use the ones approved by your bank.
  • If you use one that isn't your own bank, there will be a fee (between $1.00 and $5.00 usually).
  • Carefully keep track of your receipts so that you know how much is left in your account.
  • You do NOT want to overdraw. You will be charged a fee each time you overdraw.
  • If you have questions about savings accounts, please schedule an appointment with the ISO. Most college students prefer checking accounts.

Wire Transfers:

  • If your parents wire you money, an incoming wire generally costs $8.00.
  • Outgoing wires generally cost $10.00, but can only be sent to U.S. accounts. You cannot send a wire internationally at very many banks in the area.
  • Wires must be sent before 1:00 pm. Banks cannot take information after that time.
  • For your to receive a wire, you must tell the bank the amount of money being sent and the account numbers and banking routing numbers of both the sending bank and the receiving bank.

Depositing Large Checks:

If you deposit a check for a large amount of money, the bank will usually hold your check for five days. They will not let you spend that money for those five days until they are certain that the source of the money is safe. This is a precaution against fraud. During that time, your bank account may appear to have a negative amount, but that is because they are holding your check. Your debit or check card may also not work at that time, so be sure to keep some money with you.

Account Safety:

  • Never tell anyone your pin number.
  • Don't give your account numbers or pin over the phone, and be careful about giving the information on the Internet.
  • If you want to make an internet purchase, be sure the site is trustworthy and reliable.
  • If your debit/check/credit card is stolen, call the bank immediately and have the cards cancelled so that no one can run up bills on your account. Your bank will help you establish a new account number.

International Student Health Insurance

All Union University F-1 International students are required to maintain insurance that covers healthcare and other unexpected expenditures, including emergency medical care in country and medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, and non-health related emergency evacuation (political unrest, natural disaster, etc.), through the duration of their academic program.

Students will automatically be enrolled in international student health insurance through a Union University approved insurance provider for the 10 month academic term. Students not traveling outside the United States during the summer vacation terms will then also be enrolled in international student health insurance during the summer. The insurance premium will be billed to my student account at Union University at the start of each academic or summer term.

Students will receive a copy of their insurance card and insurance policy each academic year they are enrolled at Union University. Please keep this information with you and please contact your International Student Advisor if you have any questions or concerns about your coverage.

*Students may apply for an exemption of enrollment in the insurance plan provided by Union University, if they submit evidence of insurance coverage that meets all Union University requirements. All exemption requests must be submitted to the International Student Office by July 25 for Fall enrollment and January 15 for Spring enrollment. Failure to request an exemption by these dates may result in cancelation fees. Students must apply for an exemption each academic year.


Students gather for a photo in the international student lounge.

Academic Advisor(s)
Your academic advisor is the faculty member who overseas your course schedule. During your first year at Union, you will have dual academic advisors that will help you plan your course of study. In addition to your advisor in your program of study (i.e. marketing, engineering, etc.), Dr. Phillip Ryan, a professor in the areas of Intercultural Studies and Teaching English as a Second Language, is available to help with registration and will answer any questions regarding exceptions to the required courses for international students. He will help you plan which classes you should be taking during your first semester at Union. If you have any registration or class questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Ryan at pryan@uu.edu

Hundley Center
The Hundley Center is a quiet place to get work done and find valuable academic resources. Located up the spiral staircase in the middle of the library, the Hundley Center offers subject specific tutors, ESL tutors, writing labs, On-line study tools, and research coaches. Whether you make an appointment or just drop by, the Hundley Center has resources to specifically help international students succeed academically.

ESL tutors
If you need ESL (English as a second language) assistance, visit the Hundley Center to meet with one of their highly qualified tutors.

ICS 105, ENG 111 and ENG 112

  • ICS 105 - Introduction to Intercultural Studies for International Students (ICS 105) is a 3 credit hour course that all first semester international students are required to take. The course serves as an introduction to cross-cultural communication by examining some of the basics of intercultural theory, using United States culture as a point of reference for developing a conceptual framework
  • ENG 111 - All first semester international students are required to take English 111, which is designed specifically for international students. In this class, student will study the principles of grammar, usage, and rhetoric, while emphasizing the writing of clear, effective composition.
  • ENG 112 - After students take English 111, they are required to take English 112 - also designed specifically for international students. This course includes library orientation and instruction in research methods. Students will also write critical themes and a research paper.

International Student Life

International Student Union
The International Students Union desires to cater to the needs of the individual members and to bring them together by providing an on-going network of encouragement, fellowship and understanding among members; provide a friendly, welcoming and tolerant home away from home where students from different countries can express their difficulties or concerns and find support while here in the United States; raise awareness of the importance of the presence of international diversity on campus and integrate the international community with the American society; and promote awareness and appreciation of international issues, cultures and the needs in different countries around the world.

The ISU also holds various events throughout the school year, such as a Cultural Celebrations, Coffee and Conversation Hour, off campus excursions, and the annual International Food Fair.

International Student Workshops
The International Student Office hosts helpful workshops once a month to help connect international students with relevant resources and information. These workshops are centered around topics that are most helpful to you. Topics include: Immigration Updates, Tax Help, How to search and apply for employment as an International Student, United States Insurance, and Academic Resources for International Students.

International Student Events

  • International Student Family Weekend - We know many of your families are far away and are not be able to attend the annual Union University Family Weekend. Therefore, the International Student Office hosts special events for you to hang out with your fellow international students.
  • Culture Fest - CultureFEST is a daylong celebration that focuses on the diverse cultures represented at Union. During this day there is a special chapel service designed to emphasize God's heart for the nations, as well as various other activities that promote a global appreciation across the campus.
  • End of the Semester Celebrations - Celebrate the end of each semester with various international student parties. A good chance to get off campus and just relax with the international student community.
  • More Campus Events


In the United States, the phone number you dial in case of emergences is 911. Only serious emergencies warrant a call to 911, such as a car wreck or a medical emergency.

For lesser emergencies, Union provides a 24-hour security service. Safety and Security provides a secure campus environment for all students, faculty, and staff. It is a good idea to put their number in your cell phone: 731-394-2922.

Health Services

Union's Health Services is the place to go if you get sick. The clinic is staffed by a full-time Family Nurse Practitioner who sees students on a walk-in basis in the mornings from 8-10am and then by appointment from 10-4:15pm.


The majority of people get around Jackson in their own vehicles; however, there is also a bus service. Visit ridejta.com for more information.

If you need a taxi, call 731.423.TAXI (8294) for Affordable Taxi Service. Call anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Megabus is an economy bus service that runs all over the country. The closest Megabus stops are Memphis and Nashville. This is a safe, reliable, and inexpensive way to travel.

Also, feel free to check out the Union Ride Board group on Facebook. It is an easy way to connect with rides for holidays. Search "Union Ride Board" on Facebook for more information.


The closest international airports to fly into are:

Jackson is also home to a regional airport, The McKellar Sipes Regional Airport. MKL flies to Memphis, Nashville, and Atlanta on a regular schedule. Visit mckellarsipes.com for more information.