International Student & Scholars Program

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International Student & Scholars Program

208 Minor Hall 434-982-3010

Meet with an international advisor…

  • for questions regarding travel outside the US, including renewing a visa.

  • if you are thinking about changing your immigration status to another category.

  • to review a volunteer opportunity.

  • to discuss any problems you are having transitioning to life in Charlottesville.

  • for advice on whom to contact regarding health insurance, counseling services, and social opportunities.

Walk-in advising hours:

Richard Tanson, Senior International Student & Scholar Services Advisor

Mon. – Thurs. 10-12, 2-4 982-3017

Linda Callihan, International Student Advisor/J-1 Program

Mon.-Thurs. 10-12, 2-4 982-3015

Adrienne Kim Bird, International Student & Scholar Services Coordinator

Mon-Fri: 9 – 1 243-1433
Keep in touch!

  • For all things international:

  • Sign up to receive the Multicultural Events Calendar:

  • Sign up to receive announcements about events at the International Center:

  • To learn about services and programs for children:

  • UVA Calendars + Events:
Also check out the New Media tab on UVa’s home page at

International Hospitality Programs (IHP)

IHP coordinates activities that provide friendship, assistance, and hospitality to international students, scholars, and their families while they’re at the University of Virginia. Programs include…

Scholars Welcome Network

Visiting international scholars are matched up with families and individuals who would like to share American culture while learning about other cultures.

International Women’s Group

International women partners of UVa students, scholars, or professors are invited to meet other international women as well as permanent members of the Charlottesville community. Activities include social gatherings, outings, playgroups, and one on one English tutoring. The group meets twice a month at Meadows Presbyterian Church at 200 Angus Road. Transportation and child care are available.

The Community Host Program

International students coming to UVa can request to be matched with a local host family or individual. Hosts participate in cultural exchange and help students acclimate to life in the US.

English Classes

There are many opportunities to learn English or to improve your English at the university and in the community, through classes, and one-on-one conversation practice and tutoring.

At UVa

International Center


Outside the University

International Women’s Group

English conversation tutors. Free

Pooja Panta, Coordinator,, 293-5650
Albemarle County Public Schools

Low cost adult education ESOL, TOEFL test preparation, and US citizenship test prep are held at schools around the county. There is a “Children’s Room” at Albemarle High School. While adults are in class, children work with volunteers who help with homework, play language games, etc. For more information or to register, contact Rebecca Snider at 296-3872, extension 2 or email Or go to:

Charlottesville City Schools

Low cost adult education ESL courses are held in downtown Charlottesville at the Adult Learning Center in the IX building (935-A Second St., SE) and at other sites. Homework help, a Dialogue Café for conversation practice, and an online ESL class are also available. The Madison House volunteers at UVa staff additional ESL programs both during and after school at Buford, Burley, and Jack Jouett Middle Schools, and at Charlottesville High School. For class and registration information, contact Stephanie Whiting at 245-2817 or email

OR go to:

Literacy Volunteers Charlottesville/Albemarle

Provides free one-on-one English as a Second Language tutoring.,, 977-3838

Personal Enrichment Classes

UVA School of Continuing & Professional Studies (

Offers a wide range of personal enrichment noncredit classes every semester.


Piedmont Virginia Community College also offers a wide range of noncredit “workforce” classes.

Charlottesville Parks & Recreation ( )

Aquatics, gymnastics, sports, art, fitness & wellness, outdoor programs, therapeutic programs, programs for people over 50, etc.

Albemarle Co. Parks & Recreation (

Dance, yoga, exercise, karate, & special interests classes

YMCA (, 974-YMCA

Exercise, fitness, dance, CPR, and First Aid classes for children & adults.

Piedmont Council for the Arts (

The PCA provides support services to artists, arts organizations, and their audiences. Their website lists classes in writing, photography, acting, dancing, etc.

McGuffey Arts Center (, 295-7973.

Art classes for children & adults.

Glass Palette (, 434-977-9009.

A glass studio on the downtown mall. Offers classes in various glass art techniques. For students of high school age through adult. Also offers summer studio camps.

Studio Baboo,, 434-244-2905

Classes in beading.

SPEAK! Language Center, ( 434-243-TALK,

Speak! Language Center specializes in foreign language and culture education for adults and children interested in personal and professional enrichment.

L ’Alliance Française, (

French classes for adults and children.

In case of emergency, dial 911.

Elson Student Health Center
Students who pay the comprehensive student fee are eligible to receive care at the Student Health Center. Any student with questions regarding eligibility should contact Student Health Medical Records at 924-1525. Please note that non-degree-seeking students or students on non-resident leave are not eligible for Student Health services. Students enrolled in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and certain special degree programs, including the Darden MBA for Executives, Commerce MIT (16 months), Commerce MIS graduate plans, and the BIS undergraduate plan, are also not eligible for Student Health services.
ONLY registered students who pay the comprehensive student fee are eligible for services.
If you are not enrolled in Summer Session, continuing students may receive services at Student Health by paying, out-of-pocket, the same fee as registered students pay with their summer tuition. Self-pay students may pay $41.00 for 30 days of services. Students enrolled in Summer Session pay tuition and a comprehensive fee that covers their access to the Student Health Center. Paying the summer fee out-of-pocket is an option for students who are between semesters but not registered for Summer Session in order to allow them access to continuous care while staying in the area over the summer (e.g. for research or teaching responsibilities).

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

CAPS is the mental health division of Elson Student Health Center for students who pay the comprehensive student fee. Services are also provided to university faculty, staff and administrators who may need consultation about student issues. Clinical staff is composed of 12 licensed psychotherapists and 4 part-time psychiatrists. Appointments and walk-in hours. All students seeking services will begin with a brief screening telephone call. (Call 434-243-5150 to schedule a brief screening call within one to two business days).

On-call Crisis Intervention
CAPS maintains on-call clinician availability 24 hours a day.
During daytime weekday operating hours at least an emergency consult clinician is available to respond to phone calls (434-243-5150). The on-call clinician provides both informational consultation and crisis intervention as needed.
After hours or weekends emergencies, call CAPS answering service (434-972-7004) and ask to speak with the emergency consult clinician.
Where psychiatric hospitalization of a student may be indicated, but the situation requires further assessment prior to reaching a decision about hospitalization, the on-call clinician will to come to UVa grounds for an on-site clinical assessment.

Sexual Assault
The University of Virginia’s Women’s Center 434-982-2361

Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) 434-977-7273

Both offer emergency information and support for victims of sexual assault.
Martha Jefferson Hospital

This community hospital that will be moving from its Locust Avenue location to Pantops Mountain August 28, 2011.

University of Virginia Medical Center

A larger teaching hospital with greater emphasis on research.

Urgent Care centers
These centers are for patients who do not have primary care physicians, who are unable to get appointments with their usual physician, or whose medical conditions are outside the expertise of their usual physician. They are alternatives to hospital emergency rooms for less serious emergencies. For more serious emergencies, always go to a hospital Emergency Department. Typically they accept all forms of insurance, do not require appointments, and have shorter wait times.

  • Prompt Care, 1149 Seminole Trail, 434-978-3998

  • First Med, (125 Riverbend Drive, Suite 3/Pantops).

Charlottesville Free Clinic
This clinic housed in the Health Department at 1138 Rose Hill Drive, Suite 200, provides free primary medical care, prescription medications, limited mental health services, and limited acute dental care for working uninsured adults and their families in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Medical care is provided by volunteer physicians and nurse practitioners. Patients are seen by appointment at Daytime Clinic Monday through Thursday and during Evening Clinics on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights.
Interpreters are available to assist patients with daytime or evening clinic visits or appointments with community providers.

Health Department
Fees based on income. Offers counseling, family planning, HIV/AIDS testing, immunization, flu vaccines, maternity services, pregnancy tests, STD testing and treatment, TB screening, WIC nutrition and supplemental food program, which provides screening & referrals to other agencies, nutrition education, supplemental nutritious food.

Mental Health Services
Women’s Center

1400 University Avenue


The Women’s Center advocates for gender equity through programs and services. Some of these include: free individual, couples, and group counseling* for male or female UVa faculty, staff, students, and members of the Charlottesville community; learning opportunities abroad and at the university to educate the community about global issues facing women today; and support for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. *Counseling is provided by advanced masters students and doctoral degree candidates in counselor education.
Region 10

Provides mental health services for adults and children living in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties.

Hard Waiver Program for International Students
The university requires all students to carry health insurance which meets specific coverage requirements. A student is billed the full cost for single coverage under the University’s endorsed student health insurance plan. The student may avoid this cost if s/he provides proof that s/he has other comparable health insurance coverage* which meets the University’s specific coverage requirements. International students with the J-1 visa status are required by law to maintain health insurance at proscribed minimum levels throughout their studies or face the loss of legal status.
Dependents of international students are not subject to the hard waiver program, however the University expects that dependents will maintain adequate health coverage throughout their stay in the United States. Dependents with the J-2 visa status are required by law to maintain health insurance at proscribed minimum levels throughout their stay or risk the loss of legal status.
The on-line enrollment/waiver site will open on July 15, 2011.
Deadlines for filing a waiver application and submitting an appeal are strictly enforced. NO waiver applications will be accepted after October 3, 2011. Any appeals must be submitted by October 10, 2011.
*To determine “comparable coverage,” an international student must complete a waiver application by accessing the online waiver site administered by Aetna Student Health at and following the instructions under the tab labeled “International Students.” Before entering the online waiver site, an international student should have 1) his/her current health plan ID card and 2) his/her health insurance carrier’s brochure or plan description.
International students who hold or are pursing permanent resident, refugee, asylum or temporary protective status must submit appropriate documentation to the International Studies Office by October 3, 2011 to be exempt from the University’s hard waiver program.
The University will post the premium of $2,326.00 to the accounts of all international students subject to the 2011-2012 hard waiver program between July 1 and July 15, 2011. This charge will not become due unless you fail to demonstrate comparable coverage in the online waiver site by October 3, 2011.
International students who fail to waive coverage by October 3, 2011 will be required to pay the premium of $2,326.00 by October 31, 2011.
Failure to pay the full cost will result in a registration block which will prevent registration for spring classes.
For questions regarding “comparable coverage” or the online waiver process, please contact Student Health at or Meena Sirivastava at 243-2702.

Other Resources
Did you know that you are welcome to use the University’s libraries? To obtain borrowing privileges you will need to provide an I.D. such as a VA driver’s license. A passport and something that shows your VA address (for example, a utility bill) also suffice. You may check out books, but not media.
The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library is the public library with branches all over Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the surrounding area. Register in-person with a photo ID and a document showing your Charlottesville address for borrowing privileges.

Books, CDs, DVDs are all available for you to borrow free of charge. The libraries host wonderful programs for children and adults throughout the year.

The University of Virginia Women’s Club

This club's purpose is "to promote sociability among its members and to be of service to the University Community."

Newcomers Club of Greater Charlottesville

This organization welcomes newcomers to Charlottesville (3 years or less), those who have had a recent lifestyle change or who have recently retired. The group hosts activities throughout the year.

Outdoor Adventure Social Club of Greater Charlottesville

Organizes outdoor adventures, social, and cultural activities every day for members currently ranging in age from 19 to 70s.

Tax questions and assistance
University Human Resources-Foreign National Tax Office 924-1377 or 982-2735

Look out for notices about tax workshops.

UVa Babysitter Lists
The Women’s Center, contact Sue Gerrans 982-2361 to obtain list

UVa School of Nursing, email Gwen Christmas at to obtain list

Senior Citizens
Jefferson Board of Aging (JABA)


Provides many services for seniors, including an adult day activity and health center
Senior Center

1180 Pepsi Place


Volunteer Opportunities

World Wide Wahoos

World Wide Wahoos is the International Studies Office’s outreach program, and we need you to make it successful!

  • Would you be willing to serve as an Ambassador to prospective students from your home country who have questions about UVa or life in Charlottesville?

  • Would you be willing to go to a local school or community group to share an aspect of your culture as part of our World Wide Speakers Bureau?

  • Would you be willing to serve as an interpreter on an occasional basis for hospitals or schools?

If interested, please contact Adrienne Kim Bird (, 243-1433).

International Center

Do you love to cook, dance, play an instrument? The International Center presents programs all year round and is always looking for volunteers who could represent their culture.

If interested, please contact Quynh Nguyen (, 924-7983).

Community Relations at the University of Virginia

Other contacts

Some volunteer clearinghouses:

United Way:

City of Charlottesville:

Volunteer Match:

Albemarle Family:

C’ville Calendar:

Some other opportunities:

Emergency Food Bank: http://efb/, 979-9180

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville :

SPCA (for animal lovers!):

Public School Information

(Kindergarten through 12th Grade)
Albemarle County: Charlottesville City:

In Virginia, all children are required to go to school between the ages of 5 and 18. They may be enrolled in public or private schools, or be homeschooled. Children, who have reached their 5th birthday on or before September 30th of the school year, must enroll in Kindergarten. A child who will not have reached his sixth birthday on or before September 30 of each school year whose parent or guardian notifies the appropriate Superintendent that s/he does not wish the child to attend school until the following year because the child is not mentally, physically or emotionally prepared to attend school, may delay the child's attendance for one year. A child who will be six on or before September 30th MUST attend school.

Usually, children will go to school in the district where they live. Transportation and tuition are free.
For Albemarle County schools, all international families (including those from English-speaking countries) must call or email to make a registration appointment with the International & ESOL Intake Center, located at 907 Henry Avenue. Call or email Courtney Stewart at 296-6517 or Please note that the Center is not staffed to take walk-ins.
Please bring:
A copy of a lease or contract for a house/apartment/trailer with your name on it. If your name does not appear on the contract you’ll do a “shared housing” agreement and the person whose name appears on the contract will have to complete an affidavit.
Photo I.D.
Original birth certificate of the child, valid passport, or IRC documents
2 types of official mail with your name and address (bank statements, utility bills, etc.)
School records if available
Immunization and health records

For Charlottesville City Schools, register at the appropriate school. For a tour or help filling out forms, etc. call or email to make an appointment with Cherry Stewart

245-2817 or
Please bring:
1. Birth Certificate

An official certified copy of the child's birth record. (NOT a photocopy); OR, for non-U.S. citizens, other substantiating documentation such as a passport or an I-94 form.

2. The child’s social security card
3. Proof of City residency which can be a:

*Deed/Mortgage/Lease papers

*Notarized letter confirming residency when living with another household

*Receipts for tax or utility bill/deposit

*Voter registration card

*Recent payroll stub with address

*VISA/I-94 for international families

  1. A copy of a comprehensive physical examination by a qualified, licensed physician within 12 months prior to the date the child begins school

  1. Evidence of immunizations as required by Virginia law:

To prevent delay of your child starting kindergarten on time, have your doctor complete Part II and Part III of the Virginia School Entrance Health Form and be sure the doctor signs it.

You need to complete Part I of the Virginia School Entrance Health Form.
If you can’t get a complete shot record, your child will have to have the missing shots over again.
Minimum Immunizations Requirements for Entry In to Child Care and School is available at the Virginia Department of Health website. Children whose immunizations are incomplete may be admitted conditionally, if the parent or guardian provides documentation that the child has received at least one dose of the required immunizations and has a written schedule for completing the remaining doses within 90 days.

No certificate of immunization shall be required for the admission to school of any student if (i) the student or his parent submits an affidavit to the admitting official stating that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with the student's religious tenets or practices; or (ii) the school has written certification from a licensed physician or a local health department that one or more of the required immunizations may be detrimental to the student's health, indicating the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstance that contraindicates immunization.

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