Things to do before you leave home:
Congratulations! You've been accepted to PSU. We want to help you get adjusted to life at Penn State Scranton, living in the United States and becoming familiar with the Scranton area. The following information should be completed prior to your arrival to campus. This is not a complete list, but it will help to keep things in order
ALL new and transfer international undergraduate students must attend the New Student Orientation on August 19-23. Plan to arrive by August 16.
Step 1: Register for Orientation
First-year and transfer international students:
- Register for New Student Orientation (NSO).
- First Year Student take the ALEKS Math Assessment, if needed/required, prior to arriving to Penn State.
Step 2: Make Your Travel Plans to the United States
Schedule visa application appointment from a consulate office in your country.
To obtain your visa follow the pre-arrival visa application steps
F-1 Visas (student visa) see link: U.S. Department of State
- Keep your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, money, and other valuables with you at all times. You must be able to access your documents at the port of entry
- Familiarize yourself with the US arrival process
- Check airlines and review Transportation Information to make travel arrangements.
- Make sure to purchase your tickets and arrange your travel so you will arrive in the area by August 16.
Step 3: Arrange for housing
- Look for off-campus housing options and make arrangements early.
DO NOT SIGN MULTIPLE HOUSING AGREEMENTS! Housing agreement is a financially binding contract between you and the owner.
Step 4: Travel to Penn State Scranton campus
- Have a local U.S. phone number with you for a friend, family member, or Penn State Scranton campus that you can call in case of emergency
- You must have all your immigration documents (and Penn State information) with you to go through the U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection at port of entry
- If your airline loses your luggage, complete a lost luggage report (see customer service from the airline you traveled) at your final destination. Provide your local U.S. address, or Penn State Scranton, Office of Student Services and Engagement, 120 Ridge View Drive Dunmore, PA 18512, where your luggage will be delivered.
- Settle into your housing, based on what you arranged.
- Check our page on transportation information and getting to Penn State Scranton
Step 4: Complete online document check-in
- Start your online document check-in prior to traveling to the United States.
- Log into iStart, to view the Pre-Arrival Checklist
- Complete the on-line requirements for "Mandatory Document Check-In."
- Complete the required eForms and upload scanned copies of the requested documents.
- Make sure to sign your I-20 or DS-2019 before scanning it.
- After your arrival in the U.S., go to www.cbp.gov/i94 to retrieve your most recent travel document (I-94 form). Save the form as a PDF document before uploading to iStart.
- Update your permanent address ( your home address is outside of the U.S.) and update your Local U.S. address (where you sleep while attending school) in the U.S) on LionPath
- Email [email protected] if you have questions regarding Mandatory Document Check –In
Step 6: Fulfill mandatory health care requirements
- Translate your medical records, immunization records, and prescription information into English and bring them with you.
- Purchase the Penn State health insurance plan or complete a waiver by the established deadline. See link University Health Services Insurance and Requirements for International Students.
- Learn about the immunizations (vaccination) you need and how to report them to Penn State. Students will learn more about health insurance at International Student Orientation.
Step 7: Prepare for life at your new home
- Find out more about Scranton and Northeast PA by seeing the Beyond Campus section on our Visit Us page
- Social Media
Checklist of things to bring with you:
- Passport and passports of any accompanying family member
- I-94 card
- I-20 or DS-2019 Student Visa
- 1 photo
- Documents from your sponsor if you are a government/corporate sponsored student
- Specialty food items - commercially packed. (These items will be subject to inspection at U.S. Customs.)
- Cell phone
Once you arrive on campus, you'll be given a list of other items that you may want to have in your possession.