International Student Life

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Your Home Away From Home

International Student Life in the Office of Student Engagement is aimed at supporting and building community among our currently-enrolled, on-campus international and domestic students. We are happy to welcome all of our international students and hope to provide them with support outside of the classroom. We put on events to help foster student experiences as they attend Fairfield University and provide immigration support to our visa-holding students.

In this vibrant community with over 100 clubs and organizations, there are countless activities to choose from. Whether it is participating in an intramural sport, Broadway trip, Fairfield@Night event, attending athletic games or quintessential events like Red Sea Madness, Alumni & Family Weekend, or Presidential Ball, there is always something to do.

A Celebration of Culture

The Office of Student Engagement (OSE) works with student organizations, faculty, and other University offices to further integrate diversity into developmental and social programs for students. As a result, the office establishes meaningful relationships with students in order to effectively address their needs, interests, and concerns. We encourage you to discover and join the hundreds of student clubs, events, and programs that Fairfield University has to offer!

Events & Traditions


Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is a celebration that includes food, dancing, and music in celebration of life. At the event, the community participates in a lighting and prayer ceremony, traditional food, and group and solo dance and singing routines.


Celebrate the arrival of spring with Holi! Similar to a Color Run, wear white and leave in color.

Flavors of Asia

An annual event, the night includes diverse performances, a fashion show, food, henna, as well as dancing and lots of fun!

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is the one of the most festive holidays of the year. The University celebrates this event with games, photo booths, Chinese calligraphy and performances to bring Asian culture closer to Fairfield students.

We're Here for You, Every Step of the Way

Student life at Fairfield University supports the Jesuit tradition of caring for the whole person by providing opportunities that engage students in meaningful activities designed for their living and learning experience. Along with meeting lifelong friends, Fairfield provides a rich opportunity to grow as a whole person with the help of mentors, professors and community members.

Student Services

Fairfield's campus provides serene beauty, while its modern buildings provide state-of-the-art technology and the resources you'll need to complement your classroom experience.

Student Engagement

The Office of Student Engagement seeks to underscore the development of the whole person, and particularly assist students in their transition and exploration at Fairfield. Student Engagement empowers students to work together to build community, lead ethically, and value differences.

Professional Development

We are committed to helping undergraduate students throughout their professional development process. Comprehensive services are available through the Career Center that include career counseling, career readiness programs, leadership and professional development offerings, and on and off-campus recruiting opportunities.

Health & Wellness

Fairfield University Health & Wellness involves three key areas for students: Fitness & Recreation, Counseling & Psychological Services and the Health Center.

Getting Involved

At Fairfield, we have over 100 student-led clubs and organizations—ranging from honor societies to academic-focused clubs to political and cultural clubs—where students gain first-hand experience in leadership, organizational development and management, decision-making, diversity, and event planning.

Technology Resources

The ITS department at Fairfield University understands the vital role technology plays in the teaching and learning experience. Our mission is to provide our integrative thinkers with competitive, reliable, innovative, and sustainable technology to support teaching, learning, research, collaboration, and service.

There are three ways that F-1 International Students may be employed in the United States: on-campus employment, Curricular Practical Training, and Optional Practical Training.

J-1 exchange students may seek employment as a part of their exchange program, on campus or via Academic Training. J-1 students should schedule a meeting with the office to discuss the requirements and limitations.

Under U.S. federal immigration law, all F-1 and J-1 status holders are required to register and complete full-time studies each semester during the student's academic career. Fairfield University considers full-time registration for undergraduate students to be 12 credits. However, a student may be authorized for a reduced course load in certain extraordinary circumstances.

Please contact the Office of Student Engagement via e-mail at or by phone +1-203-254-4110  if you believe you may require a reduced course load for the upcoming semester.

Special Notes and Limitations

  • The Office of Student Engagement - International Student Life must receive applications no later than the student's registration date or withdrawal date from a course.
  • Failure to receive prior approval for part-time study is a violation of an international student's lawful status in the United States.
  • You are only allowed to file for RCL once per degree or academic level
  • When filing a RCL due to a certified illness or medical condition, you are allowed to file for a total of 12 aggregate months during any one course of study. You must re-file for RCL before each term, as required.

If, for any reason, there are questions that the Office of Student Engagement - International Student Life is not able to answer, or you are seeking to change your immigration status, we recommend that you consult an immigration attorney.

Please keep in mind that not all who claim to be immigration attorneys are certified and entitled to advise you. Fraud is very common in this field. Make sure to check credentials and references from the immigration lawyer you are seeking to work with.

While Fairfield University is unable to make specific recommendations on the choice of an attorney, we recommend visiting the lawyer locater service of the American Immigration Law Association (AILA) to find attorneys in the region who are AILA members and who practice in the field of immigration law. Visit for more information.

These attorneys are neither approved nor endorsed by Fairfield University.

Traveling in the United States

Traveling within the United States is unrestricted. However, it is important for you to keep your documents with you when traveling. Make sure you have your passport, Form I-20 or DS2019, and your Fairfield StagCard. Please notify the Office of Student Engagement if you are planning to travel outside of the New England or Tri-State area.

Traveling outside the United States

If you are planning on traveling outside the United States, there are some things you need to keep in mind in order to make sure that you will be able to re-enter the U.S. and resume your studies at Fairfield. Before going abroad you will need to complete the Student Travel Form via OrgSync, and have your I-20 signed by the office on page 2.

The following documents need to be in order:

  • Passport - valid at least six months into the future from the time you come back into the country
  • Valid U.S. Visa - If your current visa has expired or you have changed your status while in the U.S., you will need to obtain a new visa at the American Embassy in your place of permanent residence with an I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Current Form I-20 or DS-2019 with travel signature
  • Proof of Financial Resources - You should carry a letter verifying your fellowship, assistantship, or private resources which are covering your expenses as a student.
  • *Visa to Enter a Third Country - If you are visiting a country other than your own, you may need a visa from the third country to enter it. For details, contact the embassy or consulate of the country in question

Not a Current Student?

Are you excited to become a student at Fairfield? What are you waiting for?! Apply today!

If you've already been admitted, congratulations! We can't wait for you to come join us on campus at your home away from home.

If you have any questions or want to get in touch, the Office of Student Engagement - International Student Life is located in Barone Campus Center: Room 96. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST. You can reach us via e-mail at or by calling +1-203-254-4053.

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