First Semester Information for Current International Students | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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First Semester Information

As you begin your first semester at NWACC as an international student, you may find it challenging to transition into a new culture and education system. Feel free to view the information and resources below to help you be successful in your academic journey. 

First Semester Items

During your first semester at NWACC, you will have a hold posted to your account after the first month called “IR” which references that the International Review is due. This hold will block your enrollment for the future semesters until you complete it. The requirement takes about 30-45 minutes and you may complete it on Canvas by clicking the below link. 

Enroll in International Review 

Once you click the link, it will require you to sign into Canvas before adding the course to your library. In short, this International Review will recap many of the important aspects you learned about in orientation like your immigration requirements, support services on-campus, degree plans, etc…. There will be a quiz after each section and you must average an 80% or better to pass. You may have multiple attempts on the quiz. These quiz grades will not be reflected on your college GPA. Once you complete it, please email so it can be verified and your IR hold can be removed. 

First semester international students may be eligible for a reduced course load. In order to apply for this, students must meet with the international student advisor prior to the close of registration and federal reporting. An academic or program advisor must approve any course reduction in advance. 

Submit a reduced course load application.

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods 
  • Difficulty with the English language 
  • Improper course placement 
  • Medical or illness condition 
  • Concurrent enrollment at another SEVP approved Institution 
  • Degree completion/graduation 

Depending on your country of citizenship, you may be requested to provide evidence of two MMR vaccines and a negative TB test during your first semester and prior to enrollment in your second semester at NWACC.  Learn how to remove MMR/TB holds. 

Join a Student Club
Joining a student club helps you become more active on-campus and develop friendships and experience less homesickness and success in the classroom. Learn more about student clubs and organizations at NWACC. 

Library and Academic Support 
The college provides free tutoring and library resources for all students who desire or need assistance. Learn more about the NWACC LibraryTutoring Center, Writing Center and the Math Center

Mental Health Counseling
NWACC provides free counseling services to all students and it is strongly encouraged for you to reach out if you need help or if you are experiencing culture shock. Learn more about NWACC's Counseling and Wellness Center 


SEVP Course Expectations 

NWACC and the United States government expects all F-1 and J-1 international students to enroll in a total of 12 credits per semester. Of those 12 credits, nine must be live on-campus coursework.  

You must complete your courses even if you are not doing well in a course. To protect your immigration status, the college recommends that you enroll in 15 credits each semester so you have the flexibility to drop a course if necessary. 

The United States government allows NWACC to award an I-20 or DS-2019 for the duration of study that is expected for an associate degree. You will have an average of two years to obtain a college degree at NWACC. If needed, NWACC can grant an extension  prior  to the end of your ‘duration of status’.