Change Vacation Quarter

Vacation Quarters

What is a vacation quarter?

All international students are eligible for 1 vacation term each year. During your vacation term, you will continue to maintain F-1 status while taking a break from classes. You can also choose to take classes during your vacation term, and it will remain a vacation term. Summer is the automatic vacation term for all students, unless otherwise requested. This means that every summer, students are allowed to either stay inside the US or depart the US, and can either take classes or not take classes, while still maintaining F-1 status. **EXCEPTION: If summer is your first quarter at SU, you are required to take a full-time course load in that summer term and it does not count as a vacation. All future summer quarters will be a vacation term.

Changing Vacation Quarters

Depending on your plans, you may want to change your vacation to a different quarter. This may be because you want to return to your home country for a long winter holiday, or simply take a break from classes in a different quarter. If you are interested in changing your vacation quarter, note the following:

  • You must apply with the ISC to change your summer term to be a regular quarter, and you must take a full-time course load in the summer
  • You must be registered as full-time in the 3 quarters PRIOR to your desired vacation term
  • You are not eligible for another vacation term until another 3 quarters AFTER your new vacation term
  • Your vacation change must be approved by the ISC in advance

Instructions to change vacation quarter:

  1. Complete a Vacation Change Request Form and send it to your advisor or 
  2. Be sure to take a full-time course load in summer, since it is now a regular term for you
  3. After returning from your vacation quarter, be sure to take a full-time course load for the next 3 consecutive quarters
  4. If you want to use a term other than summer for your vacation again, you must complete a new vacation change request form

Example scenario: Sara is interested in returning home during the entire winter quarter to be with family. She decides that she will take a full-time course load in spring, summer, and fall so that she can be eligible to make winter her new vacation quarter. Before summer quarter starts, she completes a Vacation Change Request form, sends it to the ISC, and receives approval and an updated I-20 noting that summer is now a regular quarter and winter is her new vacation term. After she uses winter as her vacation term, she now must be full-time again in the following summer.