Surviving as an International Student

Schreiner University always welcomes international students that wish to continue their academic education in the United States. However, despite the outstanding support from the faculty and staff, attending college in the U.S. as international student can be a challenging task. My name is Valentina Hernandez, and I am an international student from Michoacán, Mexico. I came to the USA when I was 13 years to attend school at the Presbyterian Pan American School in Kingsville, Texas. old and have decided to get my BS here at Schreiner! My first year was full of unforgettable memories: I met tons of new friends, had a lot of fun in my classes, and even tried Chick-fil-A for the first time ever! Unfortunately, this year, I also went through a series of unfortunate events.

First, getting a work-study or an internship during college are great opportunities that would definitely help you build a strong resume and gain work experience. I got my first work-study job on campus in August of 2021 and tried applying for an internship related to my major in May 2022. I was very excited to get more hands-on experience related to what I want to do in the future. However, after submitting tons of paperwork and taking exams, right at the last step of my application, I got asked, “Ma’am, do you have a Social Security Number?” Since I am not an American citizen, my answer was no. As a result, I was unable to start my internship on time and felt really disappointed. I had done everything right and was rejected due to something completely out of my control.  I could not believe it! A nine-digit number was preventing me from step number one in my professional career.

Many international students find obstacles in their way just like this one. Despite adversity and unpleasant situations, there is always a solution for every problem. I was able to apply for my Social Security Number in the Kerrville office, and within 2 weeks, an envelope with a SSN card was in the mail. I want to share what it takes to get your SSN as soon as you get that acceptance letter from Schreiner.

Documents needed to request a SSN: You must present some type of birth certificate, current proof of identity (preferable your passport), immigrant status such as your student visa, and a letter of work eligibility you can easily request at Student Services. Bellow is the SSN official documentation list of everything you need to have and know before you show up at the SSN office located at 1060 Guadalupe St, Kerrville, TX 78028.

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By Valentina H. Solache
Valentina H. Solache Assistant