If you are living on campus and know which room you have been assigned, go directly to the front desk at the residence hall where you will be living. If you do not know what room you have been assigned, you will need to contact the Student Housing and Residential Education (SHaRE) during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5pm, University Center 5th floor or email@example.com) for your room assignment. If you arrive when SHaRE cannot assist you, you will need to find alternate accommodations for a place to stay. Look at short term housing options on the SHaRE website: www.usfca.edu/offcampushousing/alternative_housing/.
International Student Orientation (ISO) takes place before the start of classes and is required for all J-1 and F-1 visa holders. At ISO you will have a chance to learn about your student visa status, get tips for academic success and cultural adjustment, get to know campus resources, and more. Please find the ISO dates, location and schedule online as the semester approaches: www.usfca.edu/isss/orientation.
In addition to International Student Orientation, you will also have an orientation for your degree program. Both orientations are mandatory and will help you begin your program with the information you need.
Undergraduate students should attend the New Student Orientation (NSO), which will take place right after the International Student Orientation and before classes start. This program will cover important information about your major and the expectations of your program. During NSO there will be an opportunity for you to speak with an advisor about your course schedule and make changes to your classes as needed. As NSO approaches, details about the schedule will be posted online at www.usfca.edu/orientation.
Graduate students should attend the orientation session provided by their department. You should receive information directly from your department about your orientation and registering for classes. If you need additional information about course registration, please contact your department office: http://www.usfca.edu/admission/graduate/contact/.
Your student ID card is your access to campus buildings and can also be your meal ticket if you have a meal plan, as well as your bus pass. Go to the One Card website to pre-order your card online and pick it up at the One Card office when you arrive. If you were not able to order your card online at www.usfca.edu/onecard, you can also go to the One Card office to take your photo and wait to have your card made.
Upon arrival to USF, you will want to submit your proof of immunization to the Health Promotion Services (HPS) office as soon as possible. For contact information and details on what to submit, visit www.usfca.edu/hps.
All international students will be charged for USF student health insurance, which will show up in your student account. Make sure to update your mailing address in USF connect so that your health card will be sent to your United States address.
Be sure to review the Next Steps when you arrive to make sure you have taken all the necessary steps to get ready for your academic year to begin. Next Steps provide detailed information on getting registered for courses, meeting immunization and health insurance requirements, paying tuition, confirming on-campus housing, and more: http://www.usfca.edu/nextsteps/
. The USF Next Steps also lists important contact information for offices on campus. Be sure to reference this contact information when you have a questions or need assistance. These offices are happy to help you.
To open a bank account you will need to bring your Certificate of Eligibility, passport, I-94 card, and cash to deposit. Request to open a student checking account. You DO NOT need a Social Security Number to open a bank account. If the bank representative tells you that you need one, politely let them know that you know that you do not need one to open account. If they still want one, ask to speak with someone else at the bank. USF does not endorse any particular bank and there are many to choose from. Important things to consider are banking fees, bank locations, Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) locations, and wire transfer options with your bank in your home country.
Many students want to get a cell phone soon after arriving at USF.
The online wireless guide (http://www.wirelessguide.org/) is a helpful resource in choosing the right cell phone option for you. Some cell phone companies require a two year commitment, and some will allow you to pay each month or add minutes to your phone as needed. You will need your passport, Certificate of Eligibility, and I-94 to start a cell phone plan. You do not need a Social Security Number to apply for a cell phone, but most companies will want to verify your ability to pay the cell phone bill or require an extra deposit. ISSS has written a vendor letter that you can use to help prove your finances.