FAQ - Foreign Students
Frequently Asked Questions by Foreign Students
What is the curriculum?
Exchange students are expected to enroll in at least 4 classes per semester, to obtain a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 15 credit hours. Selected courses should be approved by your home institution and Stetson. For courses currently available, see the Registrar's page.
How many units can I transfer back to my home institution?
Please work with your home institution to determine what courses at Stetson University will apply towards your degree. Stetson will send enrollment information, including a list of relevant courses and a Course Sign-up Sheet, to your home institution approximately one month before the start of instruction. You will need to return the completed Course Sign-up Sheet with your choices in order of priority. Enrollment will be based on availability and your preferences. You may be able to make changes and enroll in other classes after your arrival - this information will be provided during Orientation before the start of the semester.
What level of English fluency is needed to attend Stetson?
A TOEFL score of at least 79-80 (internet based), 213 (computer based), or 550 (paper-based) OR an IELTS score of at least 6.5 is required for international exchange students attending Stetson. Fluency in both written and spoken English is necessary as the curriculum requires active student participation in the classroom, group projects, and numerous written assignments.
When and where can I take the TOEFL?
For information about the TOEFL exam, dates and locations, visit http://www.ets.org/toefl. The codes for TOEFL exam to be sent directly to Stetson University College of Law are:
Stetson College of Law "Institution Code" = 5630
Stetson College of Law "Department Code"= 03
[NOTE: Exchange students from Victoria University, Australia, are waived from the fluency requirement.]
Where do I pay tuition?
The Exchange Program is based on tuition-reciprocity. That means that you need to pay tuition to your home school.
What are some other economic considerations?
You should expect to pay for all travel, living, and educational material expenses while in Stetson. Below you will find information about some of the most common expenses. To help you determine your budget, visit http://www.stetson.edu/law/admissions/financial/estimated-student-budget.php
The cost of books and materials can be expensive. Materials can cost $600 or more per semester. Used books are available at the start of each semester, but the quantity is limited and it exhausts quickly. Used books should be purchased as early as possible. More information will be provided during Orientation before the start of the semester.
Stetson is fully networked, and at times students are required to use their computers in class. All JD students are required to have a laptop computer. Stetson's Information Technology Department will set up and service your computer during your stay. If you decide to purchase a laptop check Stetson's laptop requirements at https://intranet.law.stetson.edu/IT/laptopreq.asp (Login Required).
There is a cafeteria on campus. Campus food is inexpensive: soup and salad at Stetson's on-campus café is about $7 and a small coffee is $2. There are a number of nearby off-campus restaurants but prices can vary widely. As a general guide, however, plan on spending approximately $7 for breakfast, $12 for lunch, and $20 for dinner.
Will I find on-campus housing?
We will make every attempt to find on-campus housing for you. However, space is limited and we might not be able to secure on-campus housing for you. The sooner you are admitted the better the chances are that we may do so. For specific information about dorms go to http://www.stetson.edu/law/students/housing/dorm-room-information.php
Where else may I find housing?
Most of our students find off-campus housing nearby. Rent in the area varies from $800 to over $1600 per month depending on proximity to the campus and the size of the unit. A furnished apartment is unusual, and renting furnishings adds approximately $300 to your monthly expenses. We will help you find off campus housing through our office of Graduate and International Programs.
Will I need a car?
If you live on campus you will not need a car. There are several bus lines that run close to the school. However, local transportation infrastructure is not as good as you may be used to in your country of origin. You may want to buy a car to allow for more freedom of movement, outside the campus, during your stay. Consider your means of transportation when selecting your housing location.
Can I work while I am a student at Stetson?
As a foreign student, on a student visa, you may not accept off-campus employment at any time during the first year in the U.S. However, you may work a limited amount of hours per week on campus. Foreign students are frequently sought by faculty to work as research assistants.
What is Stetson's mailing address?
Stetson University College of Law
International Programs Office
1401 61st Street S.
Gulfport, FL 33707
What can you tell me about visas?
Stetson foreign students usually obtain an J-1 visa once they have been admitted. However, often the type of visa issued depends on your country of citizenship and the type of funding you receive. We will send you the form required to process your visa.
What is SEVIS?
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a web-based system for maintaining information on international students and exchange visitors in the United States. SEVIS is administered by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A fee is generally charged when you submit your visa documentation to the US Consulate. You must pay this fee to receive your visa, so please check with your local consulate to determine when and how much should be paid. A second fee of $10 will be assessed during your stay at Stetson. This fee is a one-time record maintenance fee paid to the University. For more information visit http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm.
When should I arrive in Tampa?
You should arrive by the program start date as specified on your Form DS-2019. The J-1 visa allows you to enter the U.S. thirty (30) days or less in advance of your program start date as shown on the Form DS-2019. The initial admission of an exchange visitor, spouse and children may not exceed the period specified on Form DS-2019, plus a period of 30 days only for domestic travel and/or to prepare for and depart from the U.S. Your travel plans should be made within these parameters. Arriving after the dates specified, could delay or prevent your entry into the United States. Your "arrive by" date that will be listed on your DS-2019 is not negotiable and is determined by the International Programs Office at Stetson University College of Law.
How would you describe the Tampa Bay area?
With 2.5 million residents, the Tampa Bay area is the 18th-largest metropolitan area in the United States and is rated as one of the world's most desirable areas in which to live. The Tampa Bay area has year-round festivals and activities, and a climate that is consistently pleasant and sunny.
The Tampa Bay area is situated off the Gulf of Mexico, and features outstanding local beaches located close to our Gulfport campus. Other exciting places are Busch Gardens/Adventure Island, the Lowry Park Zoo, The Florida Aquarium and the historic Ybor City area. Miami and Orlando, with all of its theme parks, are only a few hours away from our Tampa and Gulfport campuses.
The area has numerous professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the NHL's 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. If you are interested in the arts, you will be happy to visit the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, the Ringling Brothers Museum in Sarasota, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and the Tampa Museum of Art. You can find numerous concerts and performances at venues such as the St. Pete Times Forum and Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall.
For more information, see Virtual Tour.
What are the average temperatures for each season?
The Tampa Bay area enjoys an average of 361 days of sunshine a year.
Winter - January to March, 50 to 82°f
Spring - April to June, 61 to 90°f
Summer - July to September, 73 to 90°f
Fall - October to December, 52 to 84°f
Who may I contact if I have more questions?
Kristen M. Cohen
Assistant Director of International Programs
Stetson University College of Law
1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707