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Future Red Wolves! You’ve been admitted to A-State, now what do you do? Please review the vital and helpful information below regarding steps to do pre-arrival, your arrival process and information about mandatory orientation week. We are excited you will soon be joining us on campus!
Step One: Receive Immigration Documents and Visa
After receiving your I-20 or DS-2019, verify that your information on your form is correct. If you find mistakes, notify our office immediately. If everything appears correct, please read your document carefully and then sign your name and date on the front page.
Prior to applying for your visa, you must pay your SEVIS fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html.
Once paid, schedule your visa interview with your nearest embassy or consulate. Check your wait time at the closest Consulate or Embassy here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html
You can attend your visa interview 120 days before your program start date if you are applying for a F-1 visa. You can attend your visa interview anytime prior to the program start date if you are applying for a J-1 visa.
Check your wait time at the closest Consulate or Embassy here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html
For some tips on conducting a visa interview, click here.
Step Two: Book Your Accomodation
If you are not in freshmen year status, you may choose to live off-campus. Arkansas State University nor the Office of International Programs endorses any specific apartment complex or landlord. You are responsible for finding and securing your off-campus housing. However, to stay connected to the campus, we encourage all individuals to stay in on-campus accommodations.
To view your options for on-campus housing, please visit University Housing’s website. If there are additional questions, check out our frequently asked questions below or you can email University Housing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step Three: Reserve Airfare and Transportation
When you first enter the U.S., you will travel through a U.S. port of entry. To read about what you should expect at a port of entry, please visit Study in the States page here.
The closest airport is the Memphis International Airport. The airport code is MEM. This is where our complimentary transportation is. Read more about that below
International Student Services provides a complimentary shuttle from the Memphis Airport to campus on select days before the orientation period starts. To check these dates and reserve your transportation, please go here and click 'A-State Shuttle'.
Should you choose to travel outside of the dates we offer the complimentary shuttle, you will need to arrange your own transportation to campus. Certain transportation methods that we are aware of from the Airport to Campus is: a Greyhound bus (comes to Jonesboro, but not campus); a taxi; an Uber; or you can contact our office at email@example.com to see if a Community Partner can pick you up, if you are comfortable with that. Please note that the Community Partner is someone from Jonesboro that has signed up to help the International Student Services office, but does not work for A-State.
Step Four: Confirm Your Arrival and Submit Appropriate Documents
It is very important that upon receiving your visa to attend A-State, that you confirm your arrival and arrival date with our office using the link that says ‘Confirm Arrival’ on the left.
Before you arrive to campus, you will need to prepare the following items to submit to our office.
Immigration Forms: When you go to the Confirm Arrival link, you’ll be asked to upload these documents: Passport, Visa, Acceptance Letter, and I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1). This will help to ensure a swift check-in process for you upon arrival.
Immunizations: If you do not have any immunizations from your home country, please skip this step. You can get them when you arrive. However, if you have an immunization booklet, please send them in for review prior to your departure. What we require is two doses of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella immunization. The immunization information you submit should be in English, display your name, include the name of the immunization(s) and dates taken, and be signed by a doctor. If your immunizations are not in English, you may email us to get a copy of a form that your doctor can fill out that will also be accepted. If you have them, please submit all referenced above to our Director at firstname.lastname@example.org, along with any questions you have prior to arrival. Please note, again, that if you do not have these immunizations/tests, it is okay. You can get them upon arrival. Regardless if you do or do not submit your MMR immunizations, you will be required to take a skin or blood test for Tuberculosis upon arrival.
Official Documents: If you were admitted with scanned copies of admission documents, such as scanned transcripts or test scores, please be prepared to bring them officially when you arrive. A more detailed explanation of official documents can be found in our Admissions FAQ.
Step Five: Prepare for Departure
Please click here a list of suggested items to pack.
Step Six: Arrival and Orientation
The earliest that Customs and Borders allows a student into the U.S. is 30 days before their program start date.
If you arrive before your dormitory or apartment is ready for move-in, you should be prepared to stay in a hotel in Jonesboro. Hotel reservations and costs will be the responsibility of the student.
Rest up! If you are arriving the weekend directly before orientation, rest up! Orientation week is meant to help you acclimate to campus and to Jonesboro, but can also be very tiring to get everything done.
You do not have to report to the Office of International Student Services that you arrived until the orientation day.
Are you ready to get started as a Red Wolf? International Student Services hosts a mandatory orientation for all incoming international students. Without attending orientation, you cannot register for courses so attending orientation is a vital step in your transition to A-State. Orientation is not just one day. Orientation can last up to the full week before the first day of class. During the orientation week, you will get officially checked in (for the government to tell them you’re here), attend orientation sessions to learn more about A-State, attend an immigration session to understand the federal immigration laws for your visa class, go through a health screening (if needed), pay fees, meet fellow classmates, get advised, etc.
As you prepare for arrival and prepare for orientation week, there are some items that you can start doing now.
Pay Your Student Deposit: There is a $350 student deposit that all students must pay. This deposit is refunded to you upon graduation from a degree at A-State. If you withdraw from A-State at any point (including transferring to another school), this deposit is forfeited.
Pay Your Student Insurance: Per the Board of Trustees for A-State, all students on a F-1 or J-1 visa with A-State must take A-State’s international insurance. The rate varies each term, so you want to make sure you are selecting the correct term that you are entering in for to pay for your insurance. If you do not see your term appear in our link to pay, you can contact Leah Lewert-Taylor at email@example.com.
For instructions on paying both of these fees, please click here.
Update Your Address: Once you know what your living address will be in Jonesboro, go ahead and update your address. This will be required for immigration once you check-in, so if you can do it early, it’s best.
For instructions on how to update your address, please click here.
Step Seven: Registration
All students must complete international orientation prior to being able to register for courses. After you complete orientation, check below on how you will know how to register
Undergraduate First-Year Freshman: You will take a placement exam during orientation week (unless you have official SAT or ACT scores that you want to submit prior—not required). The placement exam does not affect your eligibility to take classes. It just tells us which classes you should start off by taking. Once you take your placement exam, you will be placed in your first semester courses by our Transition Studies Office. Once registered, International Student Services will alert you of your registration and schedule.
Undergraduate Transfer and Post-Degree: During orientation week, International Student Services will set you up an appointment to meet with your advisor in your major/field of study. You will attend the meeting with your advisor at the given date/time and then receive a list of courses you should take for that term. Once you go to the appointment and receive that list, you will complete your registration through our online Self-Service Portal.
Graduate (Masters and Doctoral): On your orientation schedule, you will find dates/times that your major/field of study advisor is hosting open advising. Please attend that session to receive your list of courses for you to take that term. (Exemption: Computer Science does a placement exam the Friday before classes start in place of open-advising that you will need to attend if you are a Computer Science major). Once you attend advising or the exam, you will have your list of courses to take and will complete your registration through our online Self-Service Portal.
English as a Second Language: You will take a placement exam during orientation week to determine which level of the ESL program that you should begin in based off of your current level of English proficiency. Upon receiving your level placement, the Assistant Director for the English Learning Academy will meet with you to help you register in your courses for that term.