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The Center for Global Engagement International Student Scholar Services staff is looking forward to meeting you in person!

Before we meet during Transitions (international Graduate student Orientation), to help you best adjust socially and academically as well as understand the implications of your international student status from an immigration standpoint, we know that you have several steps (including the New Graduate Student Checklist), to take care of before you even arrive. To make this process easier for you, refer yourself to the information found on this page.

For more questions comments and concerns, please contact the following individuals:

New Graduate International Student Checklist:

 1. Accept your offer

Have you officially accepted your offer of admission? To do so, go to your Activity Page.

 2. Provide proof of funding to ISSS

To obtain your I-20/DS-2019 for your visa appointment, you must demonstrate that you can pay for tuition, fees, and living expenses. You will need to complete the Financial Declaration Form as a part of the admission process, and then show proof of funds to cover estimated costs for at least the first year of your program for the immigration processes. Proof of funding must be submitted to Marlee Meikrantz Sharp.

 3. Apply for a visa

Once you receive your I-20/DS-2019 form and pay the SEVIS fee, you can schedule your visa appointment. Contact your local US Embassy for application materials and other requirements. If you have any questions, please email Marlee Meikrantz Sharp.

 4. Money Matters

How will you pay for your education, housing, health and social needs? What are some of the anticipated costs and expenses? What else should you take into consideration in terms of money related issues? => Money Matters handout

 5. Contact THRIVE

THRIVE, Towards a Healthy Responsive Inclusively Valued Environment, is a graduate-run program dedicated to providing meaningful support and growth opportunities for graduate students of diverse perspectives. Contact THRIVE or your academic dept. to obtain names of current students and/or intl. grad students who can provide you with some tips, advice and perhaps even assistance with your questions, comments and/or concerns.

 6. Finding a place to call home

Looking for an apt. is one thing, but doing so from a distance adds mores stress. What are other factors that you should be taking into account?

=> A specific living/learning community has specifically been arranged to meet the needs of new graduate international students in mind.

=> Finding a Place to Call Home handout

 7. Health check

The state of Virginia requires that every individual who is studying in the state receive all of the required vaccinations. Have you received all of these vaccinations? What else should be taking into consideration? => Health Check handout

 Harrisonburg Arrival & Trip Planner

You already know that classes start August, but how you plan to get there will impact when and how you should arrive. => Harrisonburg Arrival & Trip Planner handout

 9. Packing List

A packing list may seem only relevant for a couple days prior to your departure, but have you given some thoughts about how your phone will function once you are in the US? Have you considered how much cash you will need for the first few weeks? => Packing List handout

 10. Transitions

You already know that you need to be on campus on August 19

  • How will you go about reserving a seat on the airport pick-up shuttle to get to JMU? What else will you need to be planning? => Transitions handout
  • Find out the details as to where, when, and what the Transitions schedule will consist of.

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