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Essential Checklist for International Students Arriving in the US

Congratulations on embarking on your educational journey in the United States! To ensure a successful transition, we have compiled a comprehensive checklist for international students to guide you through the necessary steps before and during your arrival.


This is the checklist for international students:

1. Obtain the initial I-20 or DS-2019

Complete the necessary paperwork to secure your I-20 or DS-2019 form from your university.

2. Pay the SEVIS fee

Make the required payment for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee.

3. Apply for housing or find off-campus apartments

Research and apply for on-campus housing options or explore off-campus apartments in the area.

4. Submit health and immunization information

Provide your university with the required health and immunization records as per their guidelines, if required.

5. Apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa

Begin the visa application process by submitting the required documents and attending the visa interview.

6. Make travel plans

Once you receive your visa, make travel arrangements, ensuring you have your I-20 or DS-2019, a valid passport, visa, and a copy of the I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt.

7. Register for classes

Review the course catalog and register for classes within the designated timeline.

8. Check in with your university

Once you arrive in the US, complete the check-in process with your university by submitting the necessary documents like the entry stamp, passport copy, visa copy, and I-94.

9. Pay tuition fees

Ensure timely payment of your tuition fees according to the university's guidelines.

10. Enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan or request a waiver

Familiarize yourself with the university's health insurance requirements and either enroll in their plan or request a waiver if you have alternative coverage.


By following this checklist, you will be well-prepared to start your academic journey in the United States. Remember to stay organized, reach out to your university for support, and embrace the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. Welcome to your new home away from home! 🎓

Please note: While this checklist is provided in a particular order, it's important to review the entire list before beginning your preparations. Depending on your individual circumstances and university requirements, some items may need to be adjusted or completed in a different sequence.

Have any questions or need further guidance? CollaboratHive is here to assist you every step of the way. Connect with current students who have gone through this process and gain valuable insights. Let us help make your transition smooth and successful! 🤝💡

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