Intercultural programs

Life at Westmont

We want to help you feel prepared upon entering Westmont and have listed some information that may be helpful to you. Please know that if you have any questions or need someone to talk to, please contact us.

Attending Chapel

The college community gathers three times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) to worship and enjoy God. Chapel attendance is mandatory to maintain enrollment. However, students may miss up to (but not exceeding) 12 chapels per semester. Please note that the purpose of Chapel misses is for the occasional "as needed" basis and should be managed as a bank account; to cover a student in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Follow this link for more information, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office.

Counseling Services

Westmont provides on-site short term counseling for enrolled Westmont College students, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and is located on the lower part of campus next to Armington Hall, in the same building as the Health Center.

Getting a job on campus

There are certain immigration requirements for International students to fulfill before considering an on campus job. Please contact Tiffany Lobner (Assistant to the Vice President for Student Life and International Student Services Liaison) at tlobner@westmont.edu to learn about the requirements.

Once you have met with Tiffany, you can begin to apply for jobs through JobSpot. Be sure to read this helpful information before beginning your job search. For information on how to use JobSpot, please visit the Career Development & Calling office, located in Kerr Student Center (above the Dining Commons) or call (805) 565-6263 or 805-565-6031 or email careerdev@westmont.edu.

Health Insurance

Students attending Westmont College with an F-1 student visa are required to maintain adequate F-1 visa insurance coverage while studying in the United States. There are no insurance requirements set forth by the US Department of State, however Westmont College, like most colleges, requires you to purchase insurance for the full duration of your stay in the United States. While Westmont does provide basic health care to all students at the Health Center, for broken bones, x-rays and major medical emergencies and visits to the dentist, you will be referred out to a local health care provider, where you would need to provide evidence of your own insurance. This is particularly important because parents are living out of the country, and it's especially critical if you are an athlete or have a heath condition requiring ongoing medical supervision.

What do I do if I get sick?

Emergency Help - If you experience a life-threatening illness, call 911. State the problem and your exact location when speaking to the 911 operator.

In the case of a medical problem that in not life-threatening, please contact one of the following in this order:

1) Health Center (805) 565-6164; you can also visit the Health Center without an appointment during the following hours: MONDAY: 10am-12pm /1pm-4pm, TUESDAY- THURSDAY: 9am-5pm, and FRIDAY: 10am-12pm /1pm-4pm

2) Contact your Resident Assistant (RA) or Resident Director (RD). They have access to first aid and medical supplies. If it is determined you need urgent medical care, your RA and RD will be there to help you with these arrangements.

If you become ill or injured when the Health Center is closed, your RA or RD) can give you first-aid supplies or help you get to a local health facility. The following facilities are available to you:

The Med Center - 2954 State Street, Phone: 682.7411

  • Hours: Monday - Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Open Sundays and holidays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • No appointment necessary.
  • Bring your Primary Insurance Card

Urgent Care Center - 51 Hitchcock Rd, Phone: 805-563-6110

  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Open Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Open Sundays: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • No appointment necessary
  • Closed most Holidays

 Cottage Hospital Emergency Room - Pueblo at Bath Street, Phone: 682.7111, ext. 2421

  • Hours: Sunday - Saturday, 24 hours a day.
  • No appointment necessary.
  • Bring your Primary Insurance Card (insurance from home)
Holidays and Housing During Campus Breaks, May Term and Summer

During the academic year, there are several holidays in which campus services are either limited or completely unavailable to you. Residence halls are open for most holidays but are closed for Christmas Break. Additionally, the Library is closed during all holidays including Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break, Good Friday and Easter.

Holiday Dining Commons Hours: The Dining Commons closes or offers limited hours during specific holidays for example the Fall Holiday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, President's Holiday, Spring Recess/Easter Weekend. For exact hour details, please use the above link. If you are interested in having a Thanksgiving meal with a faculty or staff member, please contact Tiffany at 805.565.6028.

Campus Shuttle and Dial-a-Ride: Shuttle service runs through the school year with breaks in service during holidays. The holidays when the shuttle is not available are: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break and Easter Sunday. For more information, please find it here. Dial-a-Ride is available to take students to various locations in the Santa Barbara area where the shuttle service does not go. Dial-a-Ride is available for rides to/from the Santa Barbara Airport, Amtrak, Greyhound and Santa Barbara Airbus locations during the school year and before and after holidays.

Housing Information: Housing during most holidays is available on campus, but certain restrictions apply. If you find that you are unable to go home for Christmas, please contact Tiffany at 805.565.6028. The following housing opportunities during Spring Break, May Term and during the summer months have restrictions that should be taken into consideration. Spring Break You must sign up to stay on campus during Spring Break. May Term Housing Housing is only available if you take classes during May Term. Summer Housing available only in Ocean View (off campus) Please note that there is no shuttle service or dial-a-ride available for this housing. If you have a job during the summer on campus will need to have your own transportation to get to campus in the summer months.

Mentors

Having a mentor is a great way to connect with a faculty or staff member, talk about your experiences, talk through problems or struggles and help you with your transition of studying and life at Westmont. If you are interested in being connected with a mentor, please email Professor Amanda Sparkman at sparkman@westmont.edu.

Taxes

If you earned an income from any source, even on campus, between January 1 and December 31 of any given year, you must file both Federal and State income tax returns. You will need the following forms:

  • Form 8843
  • Form 1040NR-EZ or 1040NR (See below for information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to see if you need to file.)

If you did not earn an income, you are still required to file

  • Form 8843. This form is not an income tax return but an informational statement required by the U.S. government. More information can be found on page 3-4 of the form.
  • Form 540 or 540A (California tax form- The State of California makes no distinction between resident and non-resident status for tax purposes. See below for information from the Franchise Tax Board to see if you need to file California state taxes.)

The deadline for filing tax returns is always in April. So if you earned income in the U.S. in 2015 you must file tax returns by April 18, 2016 (or file a formal extension to file taxes later in the year).

Westmont staff is not able to assist with tax filing in any way. Students are fully responsible for filing their own taxes. We understand that it can seem confusing, so we have gathered a few resources below, to get you started.

Government Websites
Federal taxes are collected by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS website has a page specifically for international students and scholars here.This site is very comprehensive. Most people prepare their Federal Tax return first, since you will need information from you return to complete your State return.

The State of California Franchise Tax Board website has instructions and forms for filing State income tax returns.

Tax Preparation Software
Sprintax
-- Sprintax is a web-based tax tool (affiliated with TurboTax) tailored specifically for non-resident students, scholars, teachers, researchers, trainees and other international education visitors with visa types F, H, J, L, M, Q and green card immigration status.

Sprintax guides the user through each part of the tax return process and applies all relevant tax treaties and credits available to international students and scholars. You can create an account for free. There is a fee to file your taxes. More information can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I file my tax return? What forms should I have before filing?

The deadline for the IRS to receive your tax return is April 18, 2016. You should have the following forms and information available when preparing to file:

• Visa/Immigration Status information
• Passport
• Form DS-2019, if J status
• Form I-20, if F status
• Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), if you have been assigned one
• Address information (Current U.S. and Foreign Address)
• U.S. Entry and Exit Dates for the current and past visits to the U.S.
• Forms W-2, 1042-S**, and/or 1099, 1098-T, if you received any
• Scholarship/fellowship grant letter, if you received any
• Copy of your 2012 federal income tax return, if you filed a federal income tax return last year
• Bank account number and routing number, or check, for direct deposit

** If you are from a country with a tax treaty or received a scholarship, do not file until you receive your Form 1042-S, which will be available in early March. Please ask Candace in the Business Office if you should be receiving any form.

I did not earn any income last year. Am I still required to file taxes?

While you are not required to file taxes, you are still required to file a Form 8843. All nonresident aliens who are present in the U.S. under F, J, M, or Q I-94 statuses at any point in the tax year are required to file this form.Form 8843 is not an income tax return but an informational statement required by the U.S. government. More information can be found on page 3-4 of the form.

However, if you are a nonresident who has earned income, you will file the Form 8843 in addition to Form 1040NR-EZ or 1040NR.

How do I know if I am a resident or nonresident for tax purposes?

If you choose to use Sprintax, Step 1 of the online questionnaire will determine whether you are a resident or nonresident for tax purposes.