A student should consider very carefully when it comes to transferring to a different university. All the time and effort spent on settling in the first university goes through the drain. If the decision, after careful thought was to transfer to another university, then the student needs to initiate a process. It begins with notifying the international student office (ISO) that you would like to transfer from the current university. Similarly, the student will have to notify the international student office at the transferring university as well. The offices will work to update the SEVIS status. The transferring university will issue a new I20. Students often communicate with the transferring university and do not notify the office at the current university. This is not courteous nor is the appropriate process. Students need to understand that the universities cannot stop from transferring. It is up to the student who decides where he/she would like to attend school.
A more debatable issue is transferring even before attending the first semester. Students are issued a visa to attend a particular university. It is therefore fair for them to attend the same unless there is valid reason. For example, another university may have granted funding. In which case, the student should still notify the ISOs on both ends to complete the transfer process. Students should avoid transferring even before they start attending a school by all means necessary.