International Student Services
At Centre, our commitment is to enrich all of our students with worldwide opportunities, such as our study abroad or exchange programs. Centre actively seeks to provide opportunities for students from other countries to come to our college and welcome them into our college community.
Centre has had students from the following countries: Bangladesh, Bosnia, China, India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Turkey, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom.
Centre’s international students are supported in part by an international student advisor, who provides information and assistance to students in dealing with federal and state regulations (e.g., immigration, visa, tax) and supports students academically, culturally, and personally.
Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/CentreISS.
Prospective students from outside the U.S. should click here to learn about applying to Centre.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Danville like?
Danville is a charming town that offers the benefits of both city and small town life. Danville is unusual in that it offers much of what you’d expect to find in a big city: Fortune 500 companies; a major medical complex; a variety of dining options from fast food to bistros to full service restaurants with bars. And with Centre’s Norton Center for the Arts, Danville presents world-class entertainment. At the same time, many international students have found the small town atmosphere perfect for studying and focusing on academics.
In addition to all that Danville has to offer, Centre is less than an hour away from Lexington, the second-largest city in Kentucky and the “Horse Capital of the World”. This city adds endless options for students whenever they want to venture out from Danville and Centre’s campus. Kentucky, in general, offers natural beauty that can be enjoyed throughout the four seasons, world-famous horse racing events, the world’s longest known cave system inside Mammoth Cave National Park, and a rich history of unique culture and music.
What are the dining services like?
Centre offers various meal plans, all of which include weekly swipes to be used in the Cowan Dining Hall and flex dollars that can be used at the Everyday Cafe or the Hall of Fame Cafe. Cowan Dining Hall offers a variety of foods and stations in an all-you-can-eat style. Monthly, the International Student Association (ISA) hosts a “Country of the Month”-themed night in which the dining hall serves several dishes inspired by that country. In addition to the dining hall, there is also the Everyday Cafe and the Hall of Fame Cafe. As mentioned above, Danville and surrounding cities offer a variety of restaurants. International students also enjoy communal kitchens in every dorm where they can prepare their favorite foods for themselves or to share with others. For more information on dining services, click here.
Can you explain the academic calendar?
Centre operates on a 4-1-4 semester plan. There are two full semesters in the Fall and Spring terms. In between these full terms, we have a January-term, or “CentreTerm”. During this shorter semester of roughly 3 weeks, students are offered both classes that pertain to their majors and minors as well as exciting and unusual classes that are not regularly offered over the regular semesters. This shorter term is spent attending this one course for three hours a day, every day, in order that students can receive a full 3-hour credit. CentreTerm is also a wonderful time to study abroad as there are many trips not regularly offered during the full semesters.
What should I expect academically?
Centre is a top-50 liberal arts college with professors dedicated to encouraging and challenging students academically. With over 40 majors and minors, students are encouraged to double major or minor, as well as participate in internships, collaborative research projects, and study abroad trips. International students can expect smaller-sized classrooms that foster class discussion and participation. For one-on-one advice, professors hold regular office hours throughout the week. For guidance relating to academic issues, such as class selection, each student will have an academic advisor. If there are ever concerns about English proficiency, our Language Specialist, Sean Flaherty, holds office hours for one-on-one assistance and hosts weekly conversation groups.
Who can I talk to when I’m feeling stressed out or I just need someone to talk to?
We acknowledge the difficulties of studying far from home in college and we are committed to providing a variety of services and supportive structures. Our Parsons Student Health Services provides professional resources in a walk-in clinic style. International students are also highly encouraged to speak with the International Student Advisor, Stephen Swan, located in Old Carnegie as well as other faculty on campus. The Host Family Program and the Student Mentor Program can also serve as additional forms of support as described below.
What is the Host Family Program?
This program is designed to introduce international students to American family life. Although Centre students won’t live with their host families, they will have the opportunity to spend time with them, whether it is during meals, local outings, or other activities.
Host families are chosen from both the Centre College community, such as college faculty, as well as from the greater Danville community. Pairings are made during the summer based on questionnaires answered by both the international students and the potential host families in order to take into account both parties’ preferences. More information on the Host Family Program will be provided to accepted International Students during the summer and New International Student Orientation.
What is the Student Mentor Program?
This program was created to help integrate international students into all aspects of Centre life, including classroom learning, extracurricular activities, campus organizations, and more; to create an atmosphere of support—academically, culturally, and personally—for new international students; and to provide new international students with a fellow student’s perspective on both academic and personal life at Centre.
During the first semester on campus, each international student will meet with their student mentor at least once a week whether it is for a meal, a convo, a local outing, or another activity. After Christmas, students will most likely meet with their mentors less often, although all are welcome and encouraged to spend as much time with their mentors as they would like. The student mentors are fellow students who truly want to get to know Centre’s international students and help them in any way possible.
Should I get involved in activities outside of the classroom?
Yes! All students are encouraged to get involved in any clubs or organizations on campus. Participation in extracurricular activities is a great way for international students to connect with their fellow peers outside of the classroom. In addition to Greek organizations, Centre offers a wide variety of clubs that fall under several categories: academic and professional, cultural, governmental, honor societies, performing arts, political, service and social awareness, spiritual and religious, sports and recreational, and student media and publications. EXPO during the first week of classes is a great time to get information about any club or organization you have interest in. For more information on how to get involved, click here.
Am I allowed to work while attending Centre?
International students are eligible to work on-campus for up to twenty hours per week while school is in session and forty hours per week during holidays without special approval and without applying for OPT (Optional Practical Training). Jobs on campus are sometimes difficult to find, however, and no student should assume they will be able to work on campus. No international student may accept an internship or job off-campus without applying for OPT (job) or CPT (internship). For more information about OPT, click here. For more on CPT and internships, click here.
Students who work WILL need to apply for a social security number. This can be done at the local Social Security Office; trips to this office will be provided for international students during the first few weeks of the fall term.
How can I find Centre graduates near me?
Centre boasts a strong alumni network that spans the globe, and as our international student body on campus grows, so does our international alumni! For all Centre graduates, you can request access to the Colonel Connection, our alumni directory that can put you in contact with fellow Colonels based on factors such as region, class year, or directory. Prospective students can be on the lookout for events hosted by Centre alumni in their general area. There is also the Worldwide Centre Social, an annual event hosted throughout the world that brings Centre alumni together to celebrate their alma mater. For more information on alumni services, click here.
New International Student Orientation
Each August, Centre welcomes new international students to campus several days before regular incoming first-year students arrive. This gives international students time to adjust to Kentucky time and to familiarize themselves with campus before beginning regular new student orientation.For Fall 2017, those students flying into the Lexington Bluegrass Airport (LEX) should arrive on Monday, August 14th. Those flying into the Louisville International Airport (SDF) should arrive on the following day, Tuesday, August 15th. Our orientation assistants will pick up international students from the airport throughout the assigned day for each location.
International students will be assigned an International Student Orientation Leader (ISOL) in the summer before their first year at Centre. The ISOL will be in touch with the new international student throughout the summer and will help them grow comfortable with Danville and American life during their first days at Centre.
During orientation, students will have the opportunity to open bank accounts, purchase cell phones, and more. They will also hear from several Centre faculty and staff members about classes, convocations, student health issues, clubs and organizations, OPT, CPT, and more.
Orientation will include activities such as academic advising, book discussions, sample classes, library tours, city and campus tours, shopping trips, receptions, financial aid information, information on extracurricular activities, host family introductions, and social events (e.g. movie night, bowling night, trip to Lexington). While on campus, meals will be provided by the College in our dining hall.
Parents and family are more than welcome to accompany their student(s) to Centre College, however, they cannot participate in orientation activities and are responsible for reserving their own accommodations and transportation. One option for accommodations is Comfort Suites, located less than 5 minutes from campus. Parents and family are not allowed to participate in orientation.
Arrival and Transportation Information
When arriving on campus for the first time:
Centre sends orientation assistants to the airport to bring first-year international students to campus. Students must submit their arrival information on time and arrive on the designated arrival date. More information and arrival forms will be sent to new international students during the summer.
Once on campus:
No car? No problem.
Not all students have cars, and we’re doing our best to make sure that doesn’t stop them from having the transportation they need. Below are a handful of options:
DanTran (community bus service)
This service is perfect for trips to local shopping and grocery centers such as Walmart or Kroger.
• Website: www.dantranroute.org
• Telephone: 859.238.2260
• Bus stop locations: Outside the Campus Center at the intersection of West Walnut and College Streets.
• Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
This service is offered to the city of Danville on a Deviated Fixed Route that will deviate for the general public with and without disabilities. Actual times may vary according to traffic conditions, weather conditions, coordination, availability, and demand. Deviation requests remain available with a 24-hour notice. Deviation requests off the normal route are limited to one-half (1/2) on one mile.
• Price: Effective 7/1/2014, the fare is $2.00 per person per trip, or $1.00 per person per trip for Veterans with a photo ID. Exact change only, as the driver does not carry cash.
•What’s allowed on the bus: Driver does not handle rider packages parcels, or personal items. Groceries are allowed for a limited amount of parcels. Children under the age of 13 will require an adult to accompany them. A good option is
• DanTran Schedule of Times & Routes (PDF)
Blue Grass Community Action (bus service between Danville and Lexington)
• Website: www.bluegrasscommunityaction.org
• Telephone: 1.800.456.6588
• Bus stop locations: From the Danville parking garage, the bus takes riders to three stops in Lexington: Greyhound bus terminal on New Circle Road, LexTran Transit Center, and Blue Grass Airport. Once in Lexington, riders who want to travel around the city have the option of boarding the LexTran lines at the transit center or continuing on the bus for a fare of $1 per person, per mile, with a 3-mile minimum.
• Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Buses leave the Danville parking garage at 8 a.m., 10 p.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. to take riders to the above-mentioned stops in Lexington. NOTE: This service is not offered on holidays.
• Price: $5.00 per person one way or $10.00 per person round trip.
Allows you to rent a car for quick trips in town or to nearby areas.
Arranges for transportation to Louisville and/or Lexington.
For those staying on campus during school breaks, these transportation options are still available (although with possible changes in availability during holidays).
Getting a Driver’s License
If you are getting a driver’s license for the first time:
1. Obtain letter of student standing from Stephen Swan or the registrar’s office.
2. If you have Social Security card, skip #3.
3. If you do not have a Social Security card, go to the Social Security office (103 Belinda Blvd. Danville, KY 40422) with passport, latest I-20, and latest I-94 print out. You will receive a ‘denial letter’ stating you do not require a social security card.
4. Go to the DMV (162 E. Main St. Lexington, KY 40507) with the following documents:
• Official proof of address (utility, phone, or school bill that shows your school address)
• The letter you received from Stephen Swan AND the Social Security denial letter
• Latest I-20
• Passport with Visa
• Latest I-94 print out
5. You will be scheduled to complete a written test. After passing the written test, you will be able to schedule a driving test 30 days after holding a learner’s permit and without any incidents (date to take driving test determined by availability).
Important Travel Documents
There are several important documents you must bring with you when you enter the United States; please carefully read information on your passport, I-20 and I-94 forms at the link below. If you have any questions about this information, contact International Student Advisor Stephen Swan.
Curricular Practical Training
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is temporary training authorization for work directly related to your field of study. CPT is authorized by your DSO in accordance with the F-1 regulations. You can apply for CPT during the regular academic year (you must remain registered full-time) and during the summer (as long as you register and pay for a one-course credit).
Click here for information.
International students are able to complete internships while at Centre, but there are specific rules and eligibility depending on whether the internship is on-campus or off-campus and paid or unpaid. Please carefully read this information and contact International Student Advisor Stephen Swanif you have any questions.
Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is off-campus work authorization for international students with F-1 visas. International students with F-1 visas are allowed to work with certain restrictions. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services regulates the various types of employment permission.