Links for International Students

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Getting an SSN

OIE has instructions here. F-1/J-1 students usually need an offer for an on-campus job to apply for and receive an SSN in this way.

Driver’s license

If you have your SSN, this process goes in 2 steps:

  1. Obtain a Learner’s Permit:
    1. Schedule a physical exam (you can do so through HealthConnect and have it at UHS). Do this quickly as appointments are sometimes not available for months!
    2. Once you have the physical, go to DMV and give the learners exam (To prepare, use the PA Driver’s Practice Test apps on Google Play/App Store — they have the same questions that actually appear on the test.).
  2. With a Learner’s Permit, schedule a road test at the DMV. Recommend Bridgeville/Penn Hills. You’ll need a kind friend with a car who will go with you. Some people have used Zipcars (which you can get with an international license).

More (current) information about the whole process is on the DMV website.

You can usually drive in PA with your international license (if it has English language on it), for 1 year from when you enter the US (it is unclear if this resets every time you enter the US or only from the first time). See Q5 on the DMV FAQ

Building credit

One of our RoboOrg officers, Xuning Yang, has an excellent guide on building credit as an international student here



Links for International Students