EducationUSA Pre-Departure Orientations
EducationUSA is a network of hundreds of advising centers in 170 countries, where millions of international students each year find accurate, comprehensive, and current information about how to apply to accredited U.S. colleges and universities.
EducationUSA offices all over the world offer pre-departure orientation sessions to international students preparing to depart for the United States. These sessions address frequently asked questions about living in the United States, succeeding at a U.S. university and logistical issues involved with moving to and entering the country. For details on session dates, times and locations, please visit the EducationUSA website. Sessions are generally offered in May, June or July each year.
Carry Appropriate Documentation
Required Travel Documentation
When traveling to the United States, the following documents must be kept with you at all times and made available to immigration officers at your port of entry:
- Passport (main proof of identity while traveling in the United States)
- I-20 or DS-2019 (provides information for issuing a student visa)
- Visa (endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a country)
- I-94 (form denoting your Arrival-Departure)
- You may be asked to show additional documents, such as proof of financial support, so it's not a bad idea to carry that with you as well.
Make sure to carry these documents on your person, not in your checked baggage.
Carrying Money While Traveling in the US
If you choose to bring large amounts of money with you, we recommend that you carry traveler’s checks rather than cash. Do not carry money in your baggage; keep it on your person at all times.
If you carry $10,000 or more (or the foreign equivalent) in cash or checks with you, you must file a report with U.S. Customs when you enter the United States. The U.S. government allows you to carry any amount of currency or other monetary instruments into the United States, but failure to report amounts of $10,000 or more may result in confiscation of these funds by the U.S. government. If you travel with family members, including your parents, you must add together all the funds brought to the United States by all family members and report them in a family declaration with the U.S. Customs if the total amount is $10,000 or above.
You Are Responsible For Maintaining Your Status
- Do Not Allow Your Passport To Expire While Here In The United States
- The U.S. government requires passports to be valid for at least 6 months into the future before entering the U.S.
- The following link provides info on the embassies and consulates around the world: www.embassyworld.com
- Your visa is your permission to enter the country. It is not your legal status here in the U.S.
- If your visa expires while you are in the U.S. , that is not a problem. You will need to renew it the next time you leave the country.
- If you need to renew your visa because you will be traveling home, please contact the International Students and Scholars office (435-797-1124)
VISA vs Status
- Visa: a stamp or sticker in your passport from the U.S. consulate or embassy.
- Only valid for entry in the U.S.
- Visa can expire while in the U.S.
- Can only renew visa outside the U.S.
- Status: (F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2) is your legal status in the U.S. determined by the DHS(Department of Homeland Security).
- Never put your status in danger. Always maintain your status.
- SEVIS: Student Exchange Visitor Information System
- SEVIS shares information that DHS has put in place for F and J students/scholars
- Each I-20 and DS-2019 are issued through SEVIS
- USU must report the following on eachstudenttoSEVIS:
- Change of address, enrollment each semester, and any changes with students or dependent’s status.
How to have a successful visa interview
- Keep your answers to the officer's questions short and to the point.
- Do not bring family members with you to the interview
- Maintain a positive attitude. Do not argue with the consular officer.
- Do not concede that you intend to work in the U.S. after your studies.
- If you are rejected for the visa, ask the officer for a list of documents you should bring to your next visa interview
- If you are married and your spouse is applying for an F-2 visa, be aware that F-2 visa holders can never work in the USA. If asked, be prepared to explain what your spouse intends to do while in the USA. Volunteer work without compensation for spouses is a permitted activity. Dependent children, kindergarten through high school, are allowed to attend school on an F-2 visa.
- If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your country, be prepared to explain how they will support themselves in your absence. If the consular officer thinks that your family will need you to send money to them from the United States, your visa will probably be denied. To obtain the student visa, bring the following documents to the Consulate or Embassy:
- Form I-20
- A valid passport
- Proof of sufficient funds to meet all the expenses that you will incur during the entire period of your academic program
- Recent photograph of yourself
- The passport and I-20 must also be presented to the Immigration Service upon entry into the U.S.
- DO NOT LET YOUR I-20 OR DS-2019 EXPIRE!
- Please know the expiration date of your document. If your document expires before you finish your program, it cannot be extended.
- If your I-20 or DS-2019 will expire before your program is complete, please contact a international student advisor (435-797-1124)
Registering for Classes during Priority Registration Week
- You must register full time during fall and spring semester.
- Summer semester is your vacation semester and it is not required that you register for classes, if your first semester is fall or spring.
- 12 credits for undergraduate students is full-time (9 of the 12 must be on campus in class credits).
- 9 credits for graduate students is full-time (6 of the 9 credits must be on campus in class credits.
- 18 hours for Intensive English Language (IELI ) students is full-time.
- Students must be enrolled full-time by the end of the last add/drop date of each semester.
- See the last day to add/drop a class for each semester
- If you have questions about registering for classes, contact Sarah Rasmussen at email@example.com.
Navigate Your Port of Entry
Booking your Flight
A port of entry is the first airport that you arrive at in the United States. Sometimes this airport will be the Salt Lake City International Airport, but more often you will arrive at a different port of entry before boarding a connecting flight to Salt Lake City.
When booking your flight to the United States, be sure to allow at least three hours during your layover at your U.S. port of entry. This is a minimum amount of time that you'll need to be processed through Customs and to locate your connecting flight. Booking connecting flights that are scheduled too closely together could create problems with very expensive solutions.
International Arrival at a U.S. Port of Entry
During your flight to the United States, flight attendants will distribute CBP Declaration Forms (CBP Form 6059B) for you to fill out. Use your exact spelling of your name off of your passport or visa.
Upon arrival to your U.S. port of entry, you will be asked by an Immigrations Officer of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to present your passport with entry visa, your completed CBP Declaration Form 6059B, I-94, and your I-20 document. You may be asked to show additional documents such as proof of financial support. Make sure to carry these documents with you, not in your checked baggage. For more information about the port of entry process, please visit the US Customs and Border Protection website.
Ask for Help
As you travel to and in the United States, please ask for help as often as you are feeling confused, lost, or taken advantage of. There are many individuals (officers, friendly looking travelers, shop keepers, and airport staff members) who would love to help an international student.
Arrive at Salt Lake City Intl Airport
Salt Lake City International Airport and the City of Logan
The Salt Lake City International Airport is the most commonly used arrival point for Utah State University students traveling to Utah by plane. The airport has two main terminals (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2).
Utah State University is located in the city of Logan, which is a 1.5 hour drive north from the Salt Lake City International Airport. USU is not located in Salt Lake City, which is the largest city in the region and the state capitol city of Utah.
Logan is a large mountain-lined community at the center of the Cache Valley in the northeast corner of the state of Utah. When making travel plans, be sure to include an additional 1.5 hours for the drive from the airport to the university.
Logan is located in a beautiful mountain valley (elevation 4,535 feet) and has four seasons. Spring is beautiful with moderate temperatures. Summer has warm to hot days and warm evenings. Summer temperatures average 73° F (23° C) during the day. In fall the days are warm and nights are cool. Winter can be very cold. Winter temperatures average 22° F (-5.55° C) during the day. You can expect several snowstorms during the winter months. Rainfall averages 10 to 12 inches per year in Logan.
Ground Transportation to Logan
Salt Lake Express Shuttle
There are no public trains or buses that travel from the Salt Lake City (SLC) airport to USU. While there are many different ways to travel from the airport to the city of Logan, we have found that the Salt Lake Express shuttle is one of the quickest and least expensive ways (usually around $25-30 one way). However, this service must be booked in advanced!
To arrange for a Salt Lake Express shuttle ride from the SLC International Airport to USU, please follow these steps:
- Immediately after you've booked your airline flight (well in advance of arriving to Utah), visit the following website: http://www.saltlakeexpress.com
- Select the “One-Way” trip option
- Enter departure (Salt Lake City, UT – Airport) and destination (Logan, UT) information:
- Off Campus-Housing: To be dropped off at a specific address not on campus, select “Logan, UT – Door to Door." We encourage this option if you are living off-campus.
- On Campus-Housing: To be dropped off at your on-campus housing we suggest you contact Housing in advanced to find out if you check in at your residence hall or another residence hall in your housing unit. Once you find out where you are checking-in for housing, select "Logan, UT – Door to Door" to be dropped off at at the check-in location to avoid multiple trips.
- USU On-Campus Housing is available for move in for the fall 2022 semester August 20, 2022 from 10 am-10 pm. If arriving later than 10pm you will need to set up temporary accommodations.
Friends and Family
Obviously, if you have friends and family who are willing to pick you up from the airport and drive you to Logan, you'll want to take advantage of their hospitality. Many student organizations are willing to send student volunteers to pick up arriving students at the airport, so be sure to ask any USU student contacts that you have if this option is available to you.
While taxi cabs are a very popular mode of transportation across the globe, we discourage students from using taxi cabs to travel from the airport to Logan due to how expensive it can be (usually around $200). Please refer to the above information about the Salt Lake Express shuttle before resorting to taking a taxi from the airport to USU campus.
Setup Temporary Lodging
If you are not going to be able to move into your permanent housing (on-campus or off-campus) immediately after you arrive, you will need to arrange for temporary lodging. There are many different temporary lodging options within the city of Logan, including contacting friends and relatives that might have extra space in their homes.
One particularly good choice for temporary lodging is staying at the USU University Inn. This full-service hotel offers competitive prices when compared to other similar hotels in Logan and has the advantage of being located right in the center of USU campus. Please visit the University Inn webpage for more information.
If you need assistance arranging temporary lodging in Logan, please feel free to contact the International Orientation Program Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attend to Everyday Needs
Once you've arrived in Logan or on campus, there are going to be a number of things that you'll want to start making arrangements for. Please keep in mind that, due to common religious observances in Utah, many retail, food, and other business services are not open on Sundays.
Once you arrive in Logan, there are many different restaurants on campus and in the city where you can get a quick meal. Use a Google search to locate an option that fits your tastes.
For options on campus, please visit the USU Dining Services webpage.
Door Dash is a smart phone application that you can download from your phone's application store. Many of Logan's restaurants offer delivery services through this application. Simply type in your address and have food delivered right to your door.
Sunday Food Options
If you are trying to find a quick meal on a Sunday, the following restaurants deliver food right to your door and will expect a 10-20% tip with your payment:
- Black Pearl Asian Bistro & Sushi - 2095 N. Main Street, # C, Logan, UT - +1(435) 750-0888
- Jimmy John's Sandwiches - 1482 N. Main Street, Logan, UT - +1(435)-787-8299
- Domino's Pizza - 1153 N. Main Street, Logan, UT - +1(435) 753-8770
- Smith's Grocery Store (442 N. 175 E., Logan, UT) will deliver groceries right to your door.
- Natural Grocers (1075 N Main St #110, Logan, UT) are also open on Sundays.
Once you've settled in and would like to do regular grocery shopping for meals you cook yourself, please visit the Find Fabulous Food module within this International Student Arrival Guide, which can be found in the menu above.
For more information about banking, please visit the Everyday Life module within this International Student Arrival Guide.
Immediately after you've arrived on campus, you may find yourself needing to make a call. Please use the following guide to make different types of phone calls:
- Emergencies - Call 911. This is the national emergency number for police, ambulance services, and fire department.
- Directory Assistance - Call 411. An operator will give you phone numbers for people and businesses. There is a $1.25 fee.
- Calling to outside the U.S. - Call 011 + country code + city code + phone number. See below for “collect calls.”
- Calls in the U.S. but going outside your local area code - In Logan, the area code is 435. If you are calling outside the city of Logan, call 1 + three digit area code + seven digit phone number.
- Calls within the local area code 435 - Call the seven-digit phone number directly.
- Collect Calls - When you make a collect call, the person you are calling pays for the call. To do so, dial +1(800)265-5328 and tell the operator you want to place a collect call. The operator will dial the number for you and ask the person who answers if they will accept the collect call. If they accept, you can begin talking immediately.
- +1(800) Calls - All +1(800) calls are completely free.
For more information about setting up regular cellular phone service, please visit the Everyday Life module within this International Student Arrival Guide.
For more information about local transportation services, please visit the Using Public Transport module within this International Student Arrival Guide.
International New Student Arrival Guide
As you can see from the menu above, a number of different orientation modules have been designed to help you have a great experience at Utah State University. Please take some time to explore these modules and feel free to contact the International New Student Orientation Coordinator at any time if you have any questions or need help:
Check-In With Global Engagement After Arriving in the United States & Registering for Courses
In order to validate their non-immigrant status, all international students are required to login to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Portal here. Login to the ISSS Portal with your A-number and strong password. Complete and submit the "Immigration Check-in" request found under the "Student Forms" tab.
For a tutorial on how to check-in, please visit: https://youtu.be/Zk8KT4iaEGw.
The ISSS Portal is a one-stop hub for all SEVIS or immigration requests processed through the Office of Global Engagement. The ISSS Portal will simplify and expedite the processes for immigration requests. You will need to have following documents on hand to check-in:
- I-20 or DS-2019
The Office of Global Engagement is located on the south side of the Military Science Building, Room 115:
Due to the increased risk of contracting viral illness during international travel, all USU students should receive the following immunizations before leaving their home country:
USU requires the following immunizations
- TDaP - series and current booster
- MMR - 2 doses
- Polio - 3 doses
- Varicella - immunity or record of illness
- TB Skin - Test after foreign travel or residence > 8 wks
USU recommends the following immunizations
- Hepatitis B - 3 dose series
- Hepatitis A - 2 dose series
- Meningitis - 1 dose every 10 years
- Influenza - annual vaccination
- HPV - 3 dose series
Bring your immunization records with you when you travel.
Please take every effort before you leave your home country to receive these immunizations to protect yourself and others during your travel to the United States.
Once you’ve received the necessary immunizations, you should record this information using our online health system at https://aggiehealth.usu.edu.
USU students who arrive to the United States without receiving the appropriate immunizations will be asked to become immunized as soon as possible. Being immunized after arrival is a service provided by the Bear River Health Department (655 East 1300 North, Logan, Utah 84341) and can be billed to insurance or paid for in cash:
- The TDaP vaccination costs $50, which is billable to insurance or $15 cash without insurance due to a government grant.
- The MMR vaccination costs $75 cash or is billable to insurance.
- The Polio vaccination costs $45 cash or is billable to insurance.
- The Chickenpox vaccination costs $115 cash or is billable to insurance.
- The TB test is $15 cash or is billable to insurance.
If you plan on being immunized before leaving your home country, please consult with an appropriate health care professionals well before you travel.
International Starter Kit Available
An International Starter Kit is available to support international students coming to Utah State University (USU).
Complete International Orientation Online
Undergraduate International Students are required to complete International Orientation online.
- Undergraduate students starting the Fall 2022 semester complete online orientation here.
- Graduate students will receive an orientation via Canvas from the Graduate School.
- For Graduate students who may have further questions please email the International Orientation Program Coordinator at email@example.com.