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Register for January 6, 2023, International Student Welcome and Orientation.
The mandatory International Student Welcome is geared for all new undergraduate freshmen, transfer, and new graduate international students.
Congratulations on being accepted to Penn State! Please follow these step by step instructions to make your start at Penn State Harrisburg the best possible experience.
Step 1: International Student Welcome and Orientation - Spring 2023
ALL new, new-to-campus, and transfer international undergraduate and graduate should plan to attend the New International Student Welcome. In-person welcome sessions will include resources, important Harrisburg campus information, campus tours, and document check-in. Shopping trips and social programs will be available.
Step 2: Travel 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
Step 3: Travel to Penn State Harrisburg campus
- Have a local U.S. phone number with you for a friend, family member, or Penn State Harrisburg campus that you can call in case of emergency. If you are in a crisis/emergency immigration situation and trying to get into the US, you are in secondary inspection over an issue with your visa or I-20, ask the immigration/CBP official if you can call your Immigration Adviser at Penn State. Call 717-948-6232 (24/7) and they have instructions on how to reach me or the DISSA Director from UP.
- 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 travelled) at your final destination. Provide your local apartment (U.S. address) or Penn State Harrisburg, Office of Student Life & Intercultural Programs, 777 W. Harrisburg Pike, SEC Building, Middletown, PA 17057 where your luggage will be delivered.
- Settle into your housing, based on what you arranged. (See Step 5).
- Make sure to purchase your tickets and arrange your travel so you will arrive in the area by the start of the orientation.
- Check our page on how to get to Penn State Harrisburg.
Step 4: Mandatory Immigration Document Check-In
- The US Government requires that each student on an F1 or J1 visa complete this process. You can begin your online document check-in prior to traveling to the United States.
- Log into iStart, to view Mandatory Document Check-In E-forms.
- Complete the on-line requirements for "Mandatory Immigration Check-In."
- Training form
- Uploading your documents (Passport, visa, your I-20 issued by PSU with YOUR signature at the bottom of page 1)
- 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.
- After your arrival in the U.S., go to U.S. Customs and Border Protection site to retrieve your most recent travel document (I-94 form). Save the form as a PDF document before uploading to iStart.
- Email [email protected] if you have questions regarding Mandatory Document Check –In
Step 5: Arrange for housing
Look for permanent housing options for the school year and make arrangements early.
DO NOT SIGN MULTIPLE HOUSING AGREEMENTS! Housing agreement is a financially binding contract between your and the owner. Inform yourself about off campus living options
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 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 Welcome.
Step 7: Prepare for life at your new home
- Find out more about the Middletown/Harrisburg PA area.
- Check the Resources for Incoming Students page to find answers for adjusting to life at Penn State Harrisburg.
- Check the Guide to American Culture and Etiquette page to find the insight and observation of Global Ambassadors of Penn State Harrisburg
- Social Media