International Students

There is no doubt that being an international student can be an exciting, but also a stressful experience! This is especially true during the first academic semester when the amount of coursework and university-related paperwork reach their culmination. The purpose of this page is to help incoming international students transition better to their new life at the University of Oklahoma, while making use of the amazing opportunities the university has to offer. Throughout this page, you will find useful tips and guidelines intended to relief the stress of settling down in a foreign country. The information presented here will be updated regularly in order to reflect all outstanding issues faced by incoming international students. Therefore, all international students are encouraged to share their views and opinions with SAC’s International Representative – Hristo Chipilski, who can be reached at

Preparation for arriving at OU



What do I need to do when I first arrive at the School of Meteorology?

Obtain a Social Security Number (SSN)

What is SSN?
The Social Security Number (SSN) is a 9-digit number that is issued by the Social Security Administration and used to track individuals’ earnings. It is your national identification number for taxation and other purposes. WIth a few exceptions that will be discussed below, all J-1 and F-1 international students that are employed in SoM  or other organizations (CAPS, CIMMS, NSSL, etc.) need to apply for SSN.

How to apply for a SSN?
Regardless of who you are affiliated with, the first step towards obtaining a SSN would be to contact the International Student Services (ISS) and

  • provide an original campus employment confirmation letter to their representative staff members;
  • request a Social Security Letter from the following link:

Only after your on-campus employment is verified with ISS, you will be in position to go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in Moore, Oklahoma. Before you head there, don’t forget to bring the aforementioned documents, i.e. employment confirmation letter and Social Security Letter.

Although it is possible to go straight to the SSA without an ISS letter, I would strongly adise you against it. The latter could severely delay the SSN. Bear in mind that even without a SSN, international students are eligible to work at OU. The only noticeable difference is that international students will receive their monthly stipends by depositing checks with their representative banks.

Those international students who do not have cars can travel to  Moore by either taking the N44 Social Security Route from the Cleveland Area Rapid Transit (CART; more information on or messaging Hristo Chipilski who will kindly offer you a ride.

SSA address: 200 Ne 27th St, Moore, Oklahoma 73160

Phone number: 1-866-964-4260