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.
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:
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.