For International Students
The Office of International Students and Programs provides a multitude of services for the International Student at CalArts, including advice on all aspects of visas and immigration matters, off-campus housing, assistance in locating ESL classes off campus, inter-cultural mediation and U.S. tax information. In addition, we present various programs throughout the year, including immigration and financial aid workshops, as well as assistance with immigration forms, employment authorization (practical training), and U.S. tax regulations. From time to time, the International Student Office will present entertainment and cultural events for the International Students as well as the CalArts community.
The International Students and Programs Office holds an orientation session for all new international students each September, usually on the Tuesday before Thursday's registration begins. Topics covered are immigration/visa regulations, housing, buying a car and obtaining a drivers license, registration procedures, employment regulations, transportation, as well as a question and answer period. Additional orientation sessions may be held to cover such topics as acquiring a Social Security number and setting up a bank account. Times for these sessions will be announced at the orientation session. You are asked to bring your passport, I-20 (or IAP 66 form) and I-94 arrival/departure record to this orientation session.
If, for some reason you are unable to attend the initial orientation session, you should know that you are required to report to the International Students/Programs Office as soon as you arrive at CalArts. Bring your passport, I-20 (or IAP 66 form) and I-94 arrival/departure record at this time.
CalArts offers on-campus housing in two separate units: Chouinard Hall for undergraduate students and Ahmanson Hall for graduate students. If interested in on-campus housing, you must request information and an application from the housing office directly (24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355).
For those of you staying in on-campus housing, remember that your housing contract is for one academic year. This contract cannot be canceled without penalty, unless the student has left CalArts and is no longer enrolled.
Off-campus housing can be difficult to obtain. There are apartments and rooms available in the Santa Clarita Valley (Valencia, Newhall, Saugus, Canyon Country, Stevenson Ranch) as well as other parts of Los Angeles. Available area vacancies are listed in the Off-campus Housing section. In addition, our Student Affairs Office has space for listing apartments/houses to rent/share as well as space for a listing for those students who are looking for a place to live. As transportation is limited (see below), it is suggested that you live near the CalArts campus if you do not have a car.
Please visit the Residential Life section for more housing information.
The Santa Clarita Transit provides bus service to areas within the Santa Clarita Valley (Valencia, Canyon Country, Castaic, Newhall and Saugus) as well as limited connecting service to the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles. Buses are rather infrequent, however, and service is offered during limited hours of the day. It is not a good idea to depend on this bus system for transportation to and from CalArts.
In addition, the Metrolink train offers service to and from Burbank, Glendale and downtown Los Angeles Monday through Saturday. Again, hours of service are limited. The telephone for the Santa Clarita Transit Service is 661.294.1287. For the Metrolink Train Service, dial 800.371.5465.
Please see the Transportation section for more information.
All international students must carry health/accident insurance while enrolled in school in the U.S. You have the option of purchasing the CalArts insurance policy or you can purchase another plan, either from your home country or a private plan purchased here in the U.S. If you chose the latter, you must present proof of being enrolled in another plan at the time of registration. If you elect to purchase the CalArts insurance plan, you may do so at registration.
The Nurse's Office at CalArts is able to see you should you have a minor accident or become ill. The nurse will refer you to an appropriate physician or health care center for further treatment if necessary.
Check with your individual school for the metier requirements as well as any concerns you may have with your program. The Registrar's Office will give you information on transfer credit as well as graduation/degree requirements.
Income Tax Summary
IRS: Internal Revenue Service. This is the income tax-collecting agency of the U.S. government. All F1 and J1 visa holders are required to file an income tax return, regardless of whether or not they have an income from a U.S. source, if they were present in the United States during the tax year, which is Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.
International students are required to file form 1040NR or 1040NREZ. These forms must be sent to the IRS Center in Philadelphia, PA, by April 15 of each calendar year. Such forms will reflect the previous year's income/taxes.
Each year, the Office of International Students/Programs sponsors a workshop on filing these tax forms, with the actual forms and instructions available. Look for information on this in February.