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Life at APSU and in the U.S.  

We hope you are now all settled and enjoying your exchange experience. The Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange counsels exchange students on many topics throughout their stay. Please contact our office at any time during your exchange experience if you have any questions regarding student visa regulations, health and housing during your stay at APSU, academic questions, concerns, or if you just have suggestions or feedback.

Exchange students from the 2019-2020 academic year show that they are still an APSU Gov while in their home country.

The Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange invites you to join the Bridge Program. The Bridge Program is a peer-mentor group of both international and domestic students enrolled at APSU. It is designed to help international students explore American culture and history while teaching First Friends (domestic students) about the culture and history of their countries. More>>

J-1 international students will be expected to follow regular APSU policies. Please look at the complete policy list for details.

Disability Policy. Any student who has a disability that affects his or her academic performance is encouraged to make an appointment with the Office of Student Disability Resource Center.

Academic/Classroom Misconduct. Students are expected to conduct themselves appropriately at all times. Academic and classroom misconduct will not be tolerated. Students should read the APSU Code of Conduct.

Plagiarism/Cheating Policy. Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses and can result in a failing grade for the assignment/course. Plagiarism is taking another person’s idea or written work and using it as (or part of) your own work without appropriate credit. At no time is it acceptable to hand in class work which has been taken from someone else’s work – this includes the Internet.

Grievances Policy. If a student has any complaints or troubles in regard to a certain class or teacher, the student should first talk with the teacher and work together to address the situation and come to a mutual agreement. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome, the student should then make an appointment with the department chair, who will try to work with both the student and the teacher to reach a satisfactory resolution.

Academic Probation. In addition to excessive absences (see attendance policy above) if a student does not participate in class or habitually does not turn in assignments or homework, the student’s visa status will be in jeopardy.

Check out the many engagement opportunities offered by the Office of Student Life and Engagement. Exchange students that participate in APSU events and activities adjust quicker to their new campus environment and life in the U.S. Also, students who get involved have a more rewarding experience overall.

Looking for other student organizations and clubs? Click here.

You do not need to have a Social Security number to get a driver’s license if you have a J-1 visa.


Where to go?

The Clarksville Driver Services Center is located at 220 West Dunbar Cave Road which is off Wilma Rudolph Boulevard.

The Center is open Monday – Friday from 8:30am to 5:00 pm; however, they may stop taking applicants earlier than the closing time in order to complete processing by the end of the business day.

More information, directions to the Clarksville office, and road test appointments can be found online. 


What do I need to bring?

Be ready to take the vision, written and road driving tests and pay the fee for the license. You need to study the Tennessee Driver’s Manual for the written test. 


When can I apply?

You will need to wait at least 10 days after you enter the country and 48 business hours after your record has been activated (registered) in SEVIS for the current term.

Contact the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange to register your SEVIS record. You will need to be registered and confirmed for classes for the current term before for your SEVIS record can be registered.


How long will it take?

Be prepared for long lines at the driver’s license office.

Make an appointment for road driving tests to help reduce the wait time, but remember you can only take the road test after you have passed both the written and the vision tests.

Make an appointment online for the road test. 


What if I lose my license or it is stolen?

You may be able to apply for a duplicate license online. It  can take up to 20 business days and you will need to pay a fee. The confirmation page/receipt can be used as legitimate proof of a valid license while you wait for the license to arrive.


How do I change my address?

You can change your address online. You can choose if you would like to order a new license with the updated address; but you are not required to have your new address on your license as long as you have notified TN Driver Services.

We encourage exchange students to travel around the United States to experience the wide variety of culture, places, and people. Here are a few hints to make your experience enjoyable and safe.

  • There are many ways to travel throughout the U.S. It is easiest to travel by car, but you can also travel by plane, bus, or train.

  • It is usually difficult to rent a car if you are under the age of 25.

  • You must possess a driver license issued by the state or country of residence in order to drive.

  • If you plan to stay in the U.S. for longer than 6 months, you must apply for a TN temporary driver license if you plan on driving.

  • Driving laws differ in each state, so be sure to research the requirements in bordering states before traveling.

  • Keep in mind that drinking and driving, and texting and driving, are both illegal in the state of Tennessee. Also, some states have laws against talking on the phone and driving.

  • Plan your trips in advance and make a backup plan.

  • If you need a ride to the airport, give friends or office staff at least 72 hours notice.

  • Being on time is important when traveling around the United States. Do your best to be on time or early!

  • Make sure you always have a copy of your passport, visa, and other travel documents.

Couchsurfing is not recommended by our office. For safety reasons, we strongly discourage this style of accommodations. If you decide to couchsurf, please follow safety guidelines.

You must have your DS-2019 form signed by a university DSO/RO before traveling outside of the United States. Please contact the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange to make an appointment to get a travel signature. You must make sure that your passport is valid up to six months after your re-entry date. Before leaving you must check to make sure that your student visa will still be valid upon re-entry into the U.S. If not, you will need to apply for a new visa prior to your return to the U.S. As long as your DS-2019 record in SEVIS is current and in good status, you do not need a valid visa to remain in the United States. A valid J-1 visa is only required for international travel to re-enter the United States. If you need to renew your visa in order to re-enter the United States:

  • You must apply in person to a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

  • Applicants are normally required to submit the following documentation: valid passport, current passport-size photographs, valid Form DS-2019, proof of financial support (bank statements and/or scholarship, or financial aid letter) and proof of enrollment (certificate of enrollment or transcript).

  • Certain students may be eligible to waive the visa interview process when renewing a visa. See the consulate or embassy website where you will be applying to see if you will be eligible.

These items should be in your carry-on bags (NOT in your checked luggage) when leaving and re-entering the U.S.

  • Your DS-2019 (with travel signature).

  • Passport.

  • Visa.

  • Financial support documentation.

  • Emergency contact information for the APSU SEVIS PDSO/RO and APSU Public Safety in case of after business hours emergency.

  • Other proof of student identification including transcripts, student I.D., current/next semester class schedule/registration.


Exchange students participating in the Mudbowl, a long-standing APSU tradition.