International Student Services

Harding is proud to host students from all over the world. Whether the students come to Harding on their own or through an international program. For information about coming to and living at Harding, please see the information below.


International Student Advising

I-20 and Visa

What is the next step after receiving my I-20?

Your next step is to pay your I-901 Student and Exchange VIsitor Information System Fee. The cost of the fee is $350, subject to change and is non-refundable. We highly recommend that you pay with a debit/credit card to prevent any delays. Once you complete your payment, please make a copy of the payment confirmation page. You will need this page for your visa interview.

I have my passport and I have paid my I-901 fee, what's next?

Next, you will begin the visa process (Canada & Bermuda, you do not have to apply for a visa; you are exempt). The first step is to complete the DS-160 Application. There is an application fee of $160, subject to change. Your country may also have an issuance fee. The following US goverment website can provide further information about a US Visa.

On the day of your visa interview, please make sure you have your I-901 payment confirmation, Harding acceptance letter, I-20, passport, and DS-160 confirmation page and payment receipt with you.

The travel endorsement section of my I-20 isn't signed. Do I need to get it signed before I travel?

The travel endorsement does not have to be signed upon entering the US for the first time. Any time thereafter, yes, it will need to be signed. Please bring your I-20 with you when you check in with ISS upon arrival to campus for a signature. The signature will be good for 1 months. After 12 months, you will need to have it signed again.

Is there a SEVIS portal for students? 

No. The Department of Homeland Security is in the process of building a portal, but we do not have a date when this will be available. If any changes that need to be made to your I-20, please come to the ISS office or email me at

Can my I-20 be transferred to another school?

Yes, as long as your SEVIS record is still active. For those who are transferring, please provide the acceptance letter to your new school and their tranfer notification form to ISS. 

My passport is about to expire. Do I need to renew my passport before I travel?

For passports that expire during the school year, yes, you will need to start the renewal process. You will be unabvle to enter the US if your passport expires in six months or fewer. Also, passports that expire while you are in the US, you are required to leave the country. Please keep track of your expiration date so you can begin the renewal process before it expires.

Arriving on Campus

Day of Travel

On your day of travel, make sure to keep your I-20, passport and visa on you. You will need these items at US Customs. The closest airport to Searcy is located in Little Rock, AR — Clinton National Airport (LIT). Harding University's Student Life office has a Little Rock airport shuttle that runs on certain days and times. The following webpage can provide more information:

What is the Arkansas Weather Like?

A freshman at Harding once told me that our weather here is broken. That is a very true statement. Be prepared for anything. Here in Arkansas, just give the weather five minutes, and it will change. The summers are very hot and humid. It will be hot through October, and then it will turn cool. It doesn't get really cold until January. In January and February, we may have winter weather like ice, sleet and snow. It will be cool in March, and beginning in mid-April, it will warm back up.

What do I need to do once I arrive on campus?

Once you arrive on campus, you will need to check in with ISS. We are located in the Holland-Waller building. Our office hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., closed daily for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Please bring your phone (we will have you complete a new student form digitally), passport/visa and your I-20. Please check in with our office at the beginning of every semester so we can register you in SEVIS as present on campus. 

Maintaining Status

To maintain status as an F-1 nonimmigrant, the student must attend the school whose I-w0 was used to gain admission to the United States. (The student may not transfer to another school until he or she attends the original school and completes proper transfer notification procedures). The student must attend school full time for at least the full academic year (eight to nine months). Students in semester-system or trimester-system schools may take any one of the terms as an annual vacation.

An undergraduate student must carry at least 12 credit hours each school term. Any deviation from this minimum requirement should be discussed by the faculty adviser and the international student adviser. Student athletes should discuss these regulations carefully with their coaches and international student adviser to avoid conflicts. The regulations allow each school to determine what consitutes full-time attendance by graduate students, but they, too, must attend school for eight to nine months each year. Faculty and students should be particularly careful to check with the international student adviser when the student is enrolled in thesis cred hours since such enrollment is ofter for only one or two credit hours.

Additional requirements of maintenance of status include a good faith effort to keep a valid passport at all times, not accepting unauthorized employment, and no transferring schools or changing programs without going through the prescribed procedure. 

Curricular Practical Training Application

The Department of Homeland Security allows F-1 students in good standing to work off campus as part of their curriculum. The off campus work MUST be done for academic credit. An academic advisor must fill out the CPT Application pdf.

OPT Application Requirements

Download and print application form I-765 pdf.

Send the following documents with the application: 

- New I-20 signed by Dr. Boyd recommended approval of OPT and signed by the student. Once you have all the documents, you will have to come to our office and have a new l-20 created to send with your application.
- 1-765 Application for Employment Authorization fill out correctly
- 2 passport photos in color
- Copy of I-94 Departure Record front and back
- Check of $410 made out to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Do not use USDHS or DHS)
- Copy of VISA page
- Double check email with Dr. Boyd, to prepare Portal account information

Rules for AFTER acceptance for OPT:

- Remember, you have 90 days to find employment from your OPT start date. (If work is not found, you must leave the country)
- Certain F-1 students who receive science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees may apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT
- 90 days of unemployment will result in termination from SEVP.
- You will receive an email from SEVP saying, “Congratulations, you have been approved.” You will then be able to open your portal account and update your address, employer information, etc.

Insurance Information

Trying to make sure that all INternational Students have adquate health coverage is important to the university. To be assured that everyone will be covered, the university requires that all International Students have health insurance. Health insurance coverage can be either:

  • insurance coverage from your home country that is accepted in the United States
  • insurance bought from an insurance agent or company in the United States
  • you may purchase the insurance offered by Harding to all students

To make sure everyone has adequate health insurance, Harding will add the insurance offered to all students to their school bills. 

If you do have a separate insurance policy or your family has a health insurance policy that will cover you while in the United States, you will not need the health insurance offered by the school and may delete it from your bill. You must show proof of your own personal insurance coverage within two weeks of registration to have the insurance removed from your school bill.

Health Insurance Provided by Harding

The insurance from GeoBlue will be added to your Business Office account. The charges will be by semester (August 1-December 31 and January 1-July 31). Download the Member Guide for Harding University pdf.


Staying well while you’re in the United States is important. That’s why Harding University has
selected GeoBlue as your health plan carrier.

With more than 20 years of experience supporting the globally mobile, GeoBlue provides trusted
health insurance coverage and technology-powered services to keep members safe and healthy
on their journey. GeoBlue’s network access in the United States is so expansive that more than
95% of physicians and 96% of hospitals participate. That means you have access to quality
care in every U.S. zip code.


Simplifying the health care experience is our specialty. GeoBlue has created an assortment of
digital resources to make using your plan easy. As an enrolled member, you will receive a
GeoBlue welcome email with the steps to register on the GeoBlue Student website, after you
register, you can refer the GeoBlue Student website to begin using the secure member
hub. Parents can register on our Parent Portal.

Once registered, you can access your global benefits information, self-service and concierge-
level member tools. Other features include:

- GeoBlue ID Card
- Certificate of Coverage/Member Guide
- Find a provider
- Profile information
- Total Support & Assistance
- Claims
- Quick Shortcuts
- Tools & Services
- Travel Resources

With the GeoBlue mobile app, world travelers have convenient access to the best local doctors, hospitals and resources anywhere in the world. Use the app to:

- Find providers
- Display an ID card
- And more

For more information download the GeoBlue mobile app. Did you know you can get access to quality, non-emergency care from the comfort of your home? It’s convenient and it’s at no cost to you. With our Global TeleMD smartphone app, you have free 24/7/365 access to confidential, non-emergency, remote care. Global TeleMED Flyer pdf

Adapting to a new routine and environment can be overwhelming. If you’re feeling anxious, depressed, homesick, or unlike your usual self—know that help is always available with Global Wellness Assist. It’s free, confidential and here for you 24/7/365. Global Wellness Assist Flyer pdf

Tuberculosis Testing

Students from certain countries are required to have tuberculosis testing. The test will be administered at Student Health Services here on campus, and it is a simple blood test. The cost is $15 and will be automatically charged to your Harding student account. This test has to be completed in the US. Once you have registered for classes, I will email you an appointment date and time. Transfer students to Harding from another school in the US who have previously had this test can provide us with the official test results to be exempt from another test. 

The following countries DO NOT need to be tested: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Britist Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Croatioa, Cuba, Curacao, Cyprus, Czechia (Czech Republic), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Grenada, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Montserrat, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nive, Norway, Oman, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

International Student Society

The International Student Society is a student organization that exists to promote the profile of international students on campus and their interest among faculty, staff, and the student body at large. Through planned activities and initiatives, the Society seeks to gain assistance and support for international students as they adapt to the host culture and to give them opportunities to share their culture at Harding.

  • International Student Speakers Bureau
  • African Students Association
  • Chinese Students and Scholars Association
  • Walton International Scholarship Program Service Organizations
    • Educating for Life - Through various fundraisers, collects money for Manos de Amor in Tucuru, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.
    • Smiles for Christ - Through various fundraisers, collects money for Project Miqueas in Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Friends of International Students

Contact Us

International Student Services

Location: Holland-Waller Center 104

Dr. Nicky Boyd:

Mary Ellen Brumley: