Pre-Arrival Checklist for New International Students
When to Arrive: Students should plan to arrive in Marietta before classes begin and in time to attend Orientation and get settled. Some things to consider when you are planning when to arrive are:
- USCIS immigration regulations permit you to enter the United States no more than 30 days prior to the start date on your I-20.
- New Student Orientation is mandatory for all students.
- There is also a separate international student orientation session for all F (F-1, F-2) visa holders enrolling at LIFE for the first time.
- You will be unable to register for classes until after you attend Orientation.
More information on the university-wide orientation will be sent to you from the Office of Student Affairs. Please visit this section of the LIFE website for the most up-to-date orientation information or call the Office of Student Affairs at 770.426.2700.
Before You Leave
Booking Your Flight:
Planes fly into Hartsfield Jackson International Airport located in Atlanta, Georgia. The airport is located approximately 25 miles away from the campus of Life University.
Medical and Dental Care:
You should plan to schedule medical and dental appointments before you depart your home country. You may also want to bring any prescription or any non-prescription medications (with copies of your prescriptions translated into English) with you. LIFE requires all students to have health insurance.
You may want to contact LIFE’s Student Accounts office to determine the cost of tuition and fees and acceptable payment methods. We have found that international students typically bring $200-$500 (USD) in cash when they arrive. You may also want to bring a credit card. At New Student Orientation, you will be able to learn more about signing up for a bank account if you choose. While there are several banks which you can choose within the United States, however LIFE has a Wells Fargo ATM on campus.
You should consider having your important documents (school transcripts, marriage license, medication prescriptions, etc.) translated into English before you leave your country. Please make sure to leave an extra copy of all important documents with a family member or trusted friend at home.
Packing Your Bags
Because you will have to carry everything yourself once you arrive, you will want to make sure it is a manageable size. One helpful website to find packing lists, advice and important links is: www.onebag.com.
The weather in Georgia is hot and humid during the summer, ranging from 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit (32-38 degrees Celsius). You will want to keep this in mind when packing suitable clothes and shoes. You will also want to plan for all four seasons – fall, winter, spring and summer. To plan for changing weather during fall and winter, you will want to have at least one heavy coat or jacket, and a light jacket and sweater to start with. You may want to plan to buy other clothing items when you arrive.
Momentos from Home:
You may want to bring photographs of friends and family from back home. You may also want to bring items that remind you of home to comfort you when you may be missing your home culture.
Although on-campus housing is furnished, plan on purchasing most of your household items (small electrical appliances, kitchenware, food, bed sheets, towels, etc.) once you arrive.
We recommend that you put valuable items in your carry-on bag, just in case your suitcase gets lost or misplaced during your flight.
*Please remember: Carry your immigration documents on your person during your flight, as you may be asked for them several times throughout your travels. You may also want to consider visiting the U.S. Transportation Security Administration website where you can determine which items are prohibited for air travel.
Housing Arrangements at LIFE:
LIFE offers its students apartments conveniently located on the campus. If you would like to live on campus, it is important that you act quickly. Housing on campus is not guaranteed, and we recommend you submit your housing application as soon as possible. You can do so by following the instructions on the LIFE website.
* Please note that on-campus housing is not guaranteed, please make sure that your housing is confirmed. To find a list of apartments or temporary housing located near LIFE, please visit the housing section of this website.
Upon Your Arrival
Port of Entry Travel Tips:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement provides information on what an F-1 student can expect upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry. You may want to download and print this information to carry it with you as you travel to the U.S. Please visit www.uscis.gov for more information.
Getting to LIFE from the Airport:
Taxi cabs from the airport to campus cost approximately $75 (USD). Taxis queue outside the airport.Shuttle services from the airport to campus vary. Shuttle services are available at designated locations in the airport.
Please visit the airport website for more information at www.atlanta-airport.com
You will want to call home to tell your friends and family that you arrived safely. To make an international call, you will need to purchase an international calling card. You can purchase one at the airport or at a local store in Marietta, GA.
Most students have successfully purchased U.S. cell phones at MetroPCS. “Pay as you Go” phones are also available at WALMART. If you want to purchase phones through AT&T or Verizon, please note that due to credit restrictions, they require a $500 deposit.
Check-In with the ISP at LIFE:
You will NEED to check-in with the International Programs & Enrollment office during Orientation and submit copies of your immigration documents:
- Your I-20 form (page 1 and 3)
- Your Visa
- Your identification page in your passport including expiration date
- Both sides of your I-94 form
If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact the International Programs Office directly. We look forward to meeting you and ensuring your successful transition. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey!