Why it’s crucial that international students don’t skip classes

don't skip class
This might be a more desirable way to spend your Tuesday morning but you've got to go to class! Source: Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

Domestic students do it all the time… You had a late night, there’s something too good on TV or you simply have better plans, so you decide why not just skip a lecture or five, right?

What are the consequences? Maybe an attendance meeting after missing two or three lectures without an excuse, but nothing too serious. You apologise, maybe claim you were ill and then you simply get back to it.

But if you’re an international student, it’s not quite so easy.

Among the many, many reasons why skipping class for no excusable reason is a pretty foolish idea (according to experts, it has a huge societal impact) is the fact international students can find themselves in some pretty dangerous territory.

In many countries, if an international student misses a certain number of lectures, they face deportation.

You may feel a little like this in your 9AM lecture but going is for the best. Source: Giphy

Essentially, if a student is absent for a number of lectures, faculty will inform immigration as the student is violating the terms of their visa.

Criteria vary depending on what the visa regulations are in that particular country or possibly the regulations at a particular institution, so it’s definitely wise to check your responsibilities before skipping out on class for any reason.

That’s not to say domestic students go completely without consequence though. Miss too many lectures with no justified reason and students may face losing their place on the course, just as international students do.

However, as worrying as that is, it’s not quite as crucial as losing their legal status in the country.

To help you understand the procedures better, here’s what we discovered of the rules for international students in the US, UK and Australia:


The rules in the US

In the US, if you miss the number of classes determined by the state or institution you study in as stated on your F-1 visa, you “fall out of status” and therefore your student visa is revoked.

It’s probably not worth the extra hour in bed to be deported from the US for missing your Wednesday morning lecture each week, so take note and do what’s required of you!

The rules in Australia

There is a clause in student visas in Australia which says: “You must maintain satisfactory attendance in your course and course progress for each study period as required by your education provider.”

If you fail to meet the “satisfactory attendance” you will not meet the conditions of your visa and will not be allowed to remain in the country.

The rules in the UK

Similar to the US and Australia, miss too many lectures and you’re out! You’ll receive a number of formal warnings before you get deported, so you’ll have a chance to reverse your fate by showing up.

But if you continue to fail to do so, immigration will be notified and you will be forced to leave the country.

The University of Edinburgh in the UK writes: “If you miss a ‘contact point’ without providing a satisfactory explanation, certain college procedures will be initiated to confirm that you are not absent from the university.

“Failing this your absence will be reported to University authorities – and you may be withdrawn from your courses and programme. In the case of international students, the university’s sponsorship of your entry visa may be revoked.”

It is pretty much universal: miss your classes, violate your visa, lose your visa, have to leave the course and country.

It may seem a little extreme to be deported for skipping the odd lecture to galavant off somewhere fun with friends or catch up on a little extra sleep but there are instances of students enrolling on courses just to get a visa.

The rules are in place to prevent this from happening, so only international students serious about their studies are allowed to remain in the country.

So, maybe think twice the next time you decide to skip that morning lecture in favour of a late-night Netflix binge and a lie-in… it could cost you your degree and your right to remain in the country.

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