Student Resources



Adjusting to a new country, culture and educational system poses many challenges to new international students.

Here, new students entering the Graduate School at Hood College can learn about the numerous opportunities and resources available to them. Below are some answers to the most common questions we receive. Be sure to explore the International Student Handbook for more topics.



Come join us for these upcoming Hood College international events:

Apply in Advance: This process can take some time. Check for visa wait times in your home country. If there are no appointments available in your area, you may wish to pursue an expedited appointment.

Practice Conversational English: You need to be comfortable explaining yourself and having a conversation.  For example, be able to tell the interviewer Hood College is located in Frederick, Maryland. Whatever happens, stay calm and positive.

Dress Professionally: Make it clear you care about the interview and its outcome.

Know Your Course of Study: Be able to explain why you want to study in the United States as well as why you chose Hood College and your particular course of study. You also want to clearly state how your degree will help you with your career goals.

Have Your Documents Ready and Organized:

  • I-20
  • Acceptance letter
  • Financial documents or proof of financial support
  • Passport valid fort at least 6 months
  • SEVIS payment receipt
  • Photos for visa
  • Completed visa application (DS-160)
  • Transcripts or mark sheets, and diploma
  • Test scores such as GRE, TOEFL, IELTS

Have a Financial Plan: You will need to pay for tuition, housing, food, transportation, books, and so on. Therefore, have a reasonable plan that will allow you to explain how you will pay for your education and living costs, such as you or your family’s savings, and any scholarships you may have received.

Explain Your Ties to Your Home Country: Since you are applying for a student visa, you want to explain you will be returning home after studying in the USA. For example:

  • Your family
  • Property/businesses you may have
  • Employment
  • Long term professional goals

Taeyol "Ted" Oh serves as the Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) and Director of International Student Services.The Office of International Student Services is an important resource for international students. He processes the initial I-20 visa forms and serves as the primary point of contact on visa issues. Ted can also provide important information on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) options.

Ted can be reached by phone at 301-696-3811 or by email at His office is on the first floor in Apple Hall, Room #1.

This international graduate student handbook provides information on visas, housing, banking, transportation, weather, clothing, school systems and other resources to help with the transition to Hood College and the Frederick area.

Many international (F-1) students are interested in internships (or Curricular Practical Training). There are a number of resources for securing such an opportunity after the F-1 student has completed his or her first year of coursework. Additionally, Hood College provides opportunities for Optional Practical Training for students that have fulfilled all program requirements. 

For the 2020-2021 academic year, we are proud to report a 100% OPT/CPT application approval rate with 100% of those approvals resulting in employment with an average starting salary of $71,034.

Examples of companies that have recently hired Hood international students for OPT and CPT include, but are not limited to, the following:

​​​​​​On-campus employment is available for domestic and F1 graduate students. Examples include jobs in the Bookstore, Dining/Catering Services, Facilities, Student Services (CAAR), and the Library.  Opportunities can be found online through the Career Center’s free Handshake platform:

Nonresident Tax Preparation Assistance:

Hood College neither endorses nor opposes these businesses.  Students patronize these businesses at their own risk

Tax Preparation Resources for International Students & Scholars:

1. Go to the Social Security Office for Frederick, MD and ask about the paper that justifies the person cannot apply for a social security card.

Frederick Social Security Office Address:

Social Security Phone (Local) : 1-866-331-7089 
Social Security Phone (Nat'l) : 1-800-772-1213 
TTY : 1-800-325-0778

2. Submit an electronic SAVE Verification Request Form online. Please click here. Once you have submitted the form, a MVA representative will contact you with the verification results and information to continue the process. If you experience any difficulties with the form, or do not receive a response within five (5) business days, please send an email to

The documents you need:

  1. Sources of proof are required for age, identity, and Maryland residency (SAVE verification of lawful status through the Department of Homeland Security may be required if applicable).

  2. The knowledge (law) test and the driving skills portion of the test for a license of the equivalent class will be waived.

  3. If the driver's license is expired, then the vision, knowledge & skills tests are required.
    • Exception: licenses from France and Japan may be expired less than 1 year.
    • If over 1 year, all tests are required.
  4. Must pass the vision screening, submit a completed "vision screening" form (form # DL-043 or DL-043A) or have an authorized online vision certification provider electronically submit the vision results to the MVA
    • Test administered by vision provider must have been done within the previous 12 months.
  5. Agreement applies to non-commercial driver (class C) licenses; no learners permits, class M or commercial licenses.

  6. Provide certification of the 3-hour drug & alcohol education program.

  7. Present out-of-country license along with an international license or translation into English from the MVA's Approved Interpreter/Translator Provider Listing (if required).
    • License and any documentation pertaining to the license must be scanned into the driver’s licensing system transaction (ex: translation);
  8. Applicable fees are required.

Hood College F-1 students who get an offer of on-campus or approved off-campus employment will need to apply for a Social Security Card. Only students who have an offer of employment qualify for a social security card. You must apply in person. After applying for your Social Security number, a card will be mailed to you in approximately 3 to 4 weeks.

Please make an appointment with Mr. Ted Oh, PDSO, by emailing before going to apply for a social security number. You will need to have the following to apply for a social security number:

  • A letter from the PDSO confirming your immigration status and Hood College student status.
  • An offer letter from your employer on their letter head paper which should also include their EIN. (Employer Identification Number)*
    *On-campus employer – refer to this suggested language for verifying F-1 student’s employment to the Social Security Administration.
  • Your immigration documents including: your passport with your I-94 card, your I-20, and your Social Security Number Application.

Take the above to the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office at Suite N 5340 Spectrum Drive Frederick, Monday- Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (closed on federal holidays) phone number: 1-866- 331-7089. You will be required to fill out an application form, which you can download in advance from their website at

Hood College strongly recommends that all students on nonimmigrant F-1 visas enroll in a comprehensive health insurance plan, which covers accidents, hospitalization and illness. Even if you are covered by a family medical policy at home, these policies often do not provide the coverage Hood College feels you need. Since you, not the College, are responsible for paying whatever medical costs are not covered by your insurance, look carefully at plans before making a decision. You are encouraged to purchase a health insurance policy that will cover you for accident and illness before coming to campus. Additional information regarding health plans is available from the Hood College Health Center and the office of International Student Services.

Below is a list of health insurance companies for international students. Hood College does not endorse any of the programs listed and students will need to purchase with their discretion. Our purpose is to provide you various health insurance program options which are available to you.

International Student Insurance 

Maryland Health Insurance Exchange

Edusure: Health Insurance Marketplace

ISO Insurance                                                                                

Cultural Insurance Services International                                                               

VISIT International Health Insurance         

IMG Global                                                       

Hood College does not offer graduate students housing on campus.  However, the local Frederick area offers a number of rental options. Finding the right fit for you will take some research. Local newspaper classified ads and website listings may be good places to begin your search. The following are some examples of websites which may be helpful:

In addition, there are some nearby apartment complexes which may warrant consideration:

Those with an asterisk(*) indicates they accept I-20 as evidence for financial backing for international students.

Note that the information in this message is provided as a convenience to students strictly as an informational service. Hood College has not inspected or approved any of the listings for fire, heat, and/or safety conditions and makes no warranties or representations concerning these items. Tenants assume full responsibility for location, condition, and contractual terms of their off-campus rentals. Hood College operates under the assumption that landlords and rental agencies conduct business within the guidelines of the law. All contractual agreements are between students and the landlords or agents.

Hood College Dining Services
Hood College Dining Services offers grab-and-go items or meal plans to fit your unique needs at three locations on campus. Whether it’s a full meal or just a snack, you can enjoy options that include healthy and necessary dietary restricted choices offered throughout the day. You can pre-pay and load meals on your Hood student ID card to utilize as needed. Hood faculty and students get a discount on campus dining services.

For locations, hours and menus, click here:

For meal plan options, click here:

Local Dining 
There are many diverse local dining options in downtown Frederick and surrounding area located just minutes away from campus. Below is a sample of some local dining options available to you.

A Asian Restaurant 

Brewer's Alley (American)

Cacique Restaurant (Spanish / Mexican)

Callahan's Restaurant (American)

China Garden

Clay Oven (Indian)

Firestone's (American)

Greek Aroma

Hunan Gourmet

Kittiwat Thai Kitchen

Isabella's (Spanish)

La Paz Mexican Restaurant

Lucky Corner (Vietnamese)

Manna Taqueria (Mexican)

Mayta's Peruvian Cuisine

Nido Italiano

Orchard Restaurant (American Vegan)

Pho TNT (Vietnamese)

Sabor De Cuba

Sumittra Thai Cuisine

That Hummus Place (Middle Eastern)

Tulip Grill (Pakistani)

ALDI (Grocery)

Asian Super Market (Grocery)

Francis Scott Key Mall (Shopping)

Giant Eagle (Grocery)

Indian Pak Grocery

International Market 

Kohls (Clothing)

P7 International Market of Frederick 

Target (Clothing and Grocery)

Walmart (All Goods)

Helpful Links

Current Alerts

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the appropriate point person listed below:

  • General: April Boulton, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School
  • Immigration or Visa: Mr. Ted O, Primary Designated Officer (PDSO)
  • Religious or Spiritual: Rev. Beth O’Malley, Dean of the Chapel