A Social Security card is NOT REQUIRED for international students, but you will most likely find it helpful. If you will be working at all — whether on-campus, or eventually off-campus — you will be required to get a social security number. The number you are given will remain the same for the rest of your life.
How Do I Get a Social Security Number?
After your arrival and registration, you can make an appointment with the Immigration Specialist in the Office of the Registrar and she will supply the appropriate letter from the university requesting that you are given a Social Security Number. The laws regulating the Social Security Administration are changing, so you must see the Immigration Advisor as your first step.
Before meeting the Advisor, read the following two online documents see how SSN works.
Take your completed SSN application and original documents to your local Social Security office.
Guard Your SSN!
You can be a victim of privacy violations and identity theft if you do not carefully handle your SSN. Do not become a victim. Inform and protect yourself. Never carry your Social Security Card and a picture identification card together. If they are lost or stolen, then it is easier for someone else to steal your identity. See the following: