Some of the support services described on this page are not associated with or endorsed by the University of West Georgia. We provide this information and these links as a service to help international students adjust to life in West Georgia. Should you need more information on services not listed and you aren't getting good results with web searches, feel free to contact the International Student Admissions and Programs (ISAP) office. We will do our best to assist you in finding what you need. 

Support Services

Getting a Georgia Driver's License

A valid international or U.S. driver’s license and automobile insurance is required to operate a motor vehicle in the United States. To save money on insurance, you may wish to obtain a Georgia driver’s license. Please see details at: Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)

Fees and Verification

  • Cost: approximately $25
  • Wait at least 10 days after U.S. entry and activation of your I-20 or DS-2019 by ISAP before applying. You must attend International Check-in and Orientation for that to occur.
  • Two forms of  of Residence (utility bill, bank statement, rental/leasing contract, etc.)
  • Passport and I-20 form or DS-2019 form
  • I-94 form
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
      • If you do not have an SSN, you must go in person to a Social Security Administration office (SSA) and request Form SSA-L676 , the "letter of ineligibility" before visiting a DDS Center to apply for a driver's license.

Validity Period of License

The expiration date of your new license will match the end date of your I-20 or DS-2019 form. To renew your Driver's License, you must extend your immigration status first. Contact ISAP about this if needed.

ISAP encourages you to open a U.S. Bank Account when you arrive. We provide time for this during new international student orientation. 

Benefits: 

  • Makes transactions easier both domestically and internationally
  • Earn interest on your money.
  • Ease of international wire transfers
  • Ease of using ATM's / Cash Machines throughout the U.S. 
  • Ease of establishing credit if you later want to apply for a U.S. credit card or loan. 

All international students have at least 1 tax form to file each year, regardless of employment or income in the U.S. It is very important to understand this information. ISAP provides a workshop each year called "Let's Taco Bout Taxes", and we provide tacos during the session. All the details are on our tax information page for non-residents.

International Student Tax Information

Out of State Tuition Waivers 

Non-residents of Georgia, including international students, pay much higher tuition than Georgia residents. However, ISAP offers waivers to cover the difference between the "in-state" and "out-of-state" tuition rate, which can save up to $15,000 per year in tuition.  

CCWC International Student Emergency Fund

Provided by the Carrollton Civic Woman’s Club (CCWC)

This fund was set up in support of CCWC’s passion to help international students and their motto, “Planting the Seeds of Service in our Community” for the following purposes:

  • Critical, unforeseen situation; Sudden health emergency or expenses not covered by health insurance; Death in the family, or other family emergency; Loss of personal items due to theft, fire or vandalism. 
  1. General Information
    • Up to $400.00
    • Eligible for support once per year when school is in session.
    • Student must be enrolled full-time, except for approved RCL.
    • Not intended for tuition, fees or personal living expenses.
  2. Process & Disbursement
    • Applications are reviewed within 48 hours.
    • Once approved, emergency items will be purchased by ISAP with a debit card issued expressly for this purpose. No cash payments to students. Itemized receipts will be retained to document expenses. 

See Also: 

Off Campus Employment Authorization for "Severe Economic Hardship"

Scholarships

For consideration, all students can review scholarships and submit a single application via the General Scholarship Application, maintained by UWG's Enrollment Services Center.

Two scholarships for international students in particular are:

  1. Sylvia Shortt Scholarship
    • Sylvia Shortt led international student services at UWG for over 20 years. Upon her retirement in 2014, two international alumni: Oluwafemi Owodunni from Nigeria, c/o '98; and Malcolm Dookharan from Trinidad and Tobago, c/o '00 created this scholarship in her honor to support future international students at UWG.
    • Amount: approximately $4000
    • Criteria: 
      • Demonstrated Financial Need*
      • Academic Excellence based on Cumulative GPA
      • Quality of personal essay
    • *Documenting Financial Need:
      As international students are not eligible for federal financial aid and do not submit a FAFSA form, this criteria will be documented by the student holistically. Examples of financial need may include but not be limited to: currency devaluation; natural disaster / loss of livelihood or medical expenses of the student, parent(s), or sponsor; war / civil strife in the student's home country; theft / ID fraud. All references to financial need mentioned in the student's essay must be documented with appropriate, compelling evidence such as: bank statements, news articles, police reports, medical summaries etc.
  2. James R. Rash Rotary Club of Carrollton Scholarship
    • This scholarship is intended to support a Georgia Rotary Student Program (GRSP) student who has completed their Rotary year and wishes to continue their studies at UWG. If a GRSP alumni is not available to apply, a returning international student beginning their junior or senior year may apply. 
    • Amount: approximately $2000
    • Criteria: Demonstrated financial need

Other Scholarships

  • International Students are encouraged to research, find and apply for private, governmental or organizational private scholarships.

All international students are required to have health insurance coverage while in the USA. Visit our ISAP Health Insurance page for more details.

International Student Health Insurance Options

One of the best ways to succeed academically is to get involved socially. ISAP encourages all students to choose from over 100+ clubs and activities at UWG. Membership is free. It's also one of the best ways to make friends and improve your casual English skills. 

  • International Student Club ISC members enjoy access to free limited printing and computers in the ISAP office. 
  • Wolf Connect (website and app) - find UWG events, 100+ clubs and student news. 
  • International Fall Leadership Retreat

Purpose & Description

To support the entire UWG community in celebrating and highlighting the diverse, global dimensions of UWG.

ISAP has acquired a full set of 193 international country flags recognized by the United Nations. They are 5 x 7 polyester flags with 2 metal grommets. Flags may be checked-out by UWG clubs, organizations, academic and administrative offices for UWG sponsored programs and events. Note: poles and rope are not provided. 

Learn More or Borrow a Flag

Wifi Around Campus

UWG provides 24 / 7 access to outdoor and indoor wifi around campus at the following locations.

Wifi HotSpots at UWG (PDF, 143K)

Wifi Around the World

  • "Eduroam" is a wifi network you can access at any participating institution in the U.S. or abroad if they are part of the Eduroam network. 
  • Check-out the Eduroam Map for global access locations. 
  • Simply log-in with your UWG email address and password. No need to request a guest account. It's free. 
  • For set-up and details, visit the Eduroam Wireless tab on the UWG ITS page.

The UWG shopper shuttle departs Fridays at 1pm in front of Row Hall and returns at 4pm. The shuttle is free with current UWG ID. It goes to / from the main shopping area near Target / Walmart as well as Publix and Kroger supermarkets,

Originally, the shopper shuttle idea came from a group of international students in 2014 who saw a need for all UWG students without personal vehicles. 

Walkable Alternatives for the Basics:

  • CVS Pharmacy & Personal Items:  2125 Maple St, 15 min. walk / .8 mile / 1.2km
  • Food Depot Supermarket:  180 Maple Crossing, 20 min. walk / 1.2 miles / 1.9km
  • Family Dollar (discount, mini-variety store):  2290 Maple St. / 1.3 miles / 2.1km

Need Campus Housing Over Break?

Limited housing is available during Spring, Summer, Fall (Thanksgiving) and Winter break. The nightly fee is around $26. 

Fee Waiver Request

Follow this process in order for the charge to be considered for a waiver by Housing & Residence Life. There is no guarantee of a waiver.

  1. Complete a Break Stay Request at: Housing & Residence Life Residence Hall Closing Information
  2. Email global@westga.edu at least two weeks before your the start of the break. Include: 
    • Full Name
    • 917#
    • UWG Email
    • Residence Hall Name & Room #
    • Start and End Dates of your break stay request
    • Reason for break stay request

Failure to include all this information could delay the process of your request! Processing time takes up to 3 business days as we coordinate with UWG Housing & Residence Life.

Transcripts

UWG Transcripts and requests are managed by the Office of the Registrar.

Pre-Graduation Checklist

  • Final Semester
    • Meet with your academic advisor to verify degree requirements and completion date.
    • In your final semester only, if you don't need full-time enrollment, submit the RCL form (PDF, 205K)
    • Apply for graduation with the Registrar's Office through MyUWG.
  • 2-3 Months Before
    • Friends and family who want to visit the US to attend your graduation ceremony apply for a B2 Visitor from the US Embassy or Consulate closest to them. A visa support letter is available. See below.
    • Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) if you plan to work in the US after graduation.
  • 1 month Before
    • If you will be moving, give notice to your landlord or housing office that you will be vacating the apartment. Most leases require 30-days written notice. Check your lease for details.
    • Pay any fines you may have and return all loaned or rented books.
    • Contact your health insurance, car insurance, and life insurance companies to discuss coverage options and whether you need to close the account

Visitor Visa Support Letter

To support the B1 Visitor Visa application of family, relatives or friends who may want to travel to the U.S. to see you graduate, UWG's Registrar offers pre-graduation confirmation letters, free of charge. 

  • Email: graduation@westga.edu 
  • Include your full name and 917 number.
  • You can also request the letter in person at the Registrar's office. 

What Does The Letter Say?

It states your name, confirms eligibility for graduation, and states the term and date for the ceremony. It will be signed by a staff member in the UWG Registrar's Office. 

What Should Your Visitors Prepare?

They must demonstrate permanent strong ties to their home country and intention to return home for visa approval by documenting the following to show at the visa interview, if asked. 

  • property ownership (home or business)
  • bank loans in the home country
  • utility bills (power, water, phone, internet)
  • ownership of a personal vehicle (registration, insurance etc.. reflecting the home country address)
  • bank statements

Post-Graduation Grace Period 

All F1 and J1 students who are in active status are automatically granted a certain number of days (Grace Periods) after the completion of their academic programs during which they can remain in the U.S without further action.  This date is based on your program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019, not the graduation date. 

Grace Periods

  • F1 Students: 60 days 
  • J1 Students: 30 days 

What Can I Do During My Grace Period?

  • Transfer to a new school or program
  • Begin a new program of study at the same or different school, or at a higher degree level
  • Change of Status ex: F1 > PR; F1 > H1-B
  • Apply for OPT
  • Depart the U.S.

International Travel During Grace Period

You are advised that departure from the US during a grace period without prior action to maintain status may constitute abandonment of status. You cannot re-enter the US in that case. Contact ISAP about your travel plans before making them, if your grace period is an issue. 

Other Helpful Links: