All admission letters for international students are sent to the Office of International Education. Our office will then create an immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019) and mail an admissions packet to you. The Office of International Education does
not mail American Language Institute and American Language Institute/Provisional Admission packets—only packets for exchange, undergraduate, and graduate students.
Undergraduate Students must pay the $150 tuition deposit in order to receive your full information packet. Please see your undergraduate admission email from the Admission Office for more details on how to pay your deposit.
Please Note: International Education begins mailing admissions packets in February for students admitted for the fall and summer semesters; it begins mailing packets in October for students admitted for the spring semester. The Office of International
Education mails admissions packages via US Postal Service air mail. Standard delivery time is two to four weeks, depending on the country.
The admissions packet includes the following:
I-20 or DS-2019
IUP admission letter
Immunization and Health History forms
International Student Checklist and Orientation letter
Instructions for Ordering Express Mail
You may wish to have your admissions package sent by express mail to you (delivered within two to three days). IUP is not able to pay for this service, but students can pay for express mailing using an online service that will allow you to receive your
immigration documents through an express-mail carrier. You must use the website provided below—do not go through the DHL or FedEx websites directly .
Student Shipping: No student ID is required to complete this; simply enter all zeroes (000...).
Students can create a user name and password to set up an account. Then, select Indiana University of Pennsylvania—Main Campus, Office of International Education, as the university and office from which you wish to create a shipment. You will
also need your mailing address, email address, phone number, and credit card information to complete this online request.
If you have questions or experience problems when using this online service, please use the “help” feature on its webpage. Once your documents are mailed, you will be sent an email that will provide you with the tracking number and order details for
In addition to the standard shipping charges, a “Restricted Access Country” service charge of $100 per shipment will apply for shipments to countries where US economic embargoes are in effect, which currently includes Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, Democratic
People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Iran, Sudan, and Syria.
International students coming to the United States for study will need to apply for the appropriate visa before being permitted to enter the country. As a student, you will be applying for an F-1 (I-20) or a J-1 (DS-2019) visa. US law states that F and
J visas are given to those who intend to remain in the U.S. temporarily, and their primary purpose is for academics.
Step 1: Pay the SEVIS Fee
All accepted international students and scholars applying for an F or J visa will become part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) when an I-20 or DS-2019 is created for you. SEVIS is a national tracking/monitoring system that
will allow the US government to monitor and track various events during your program of study. Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Office of International Education handles all SEVIS records for all international students and scholars. We are required
to report your USA address, registration of classes, and any changes within your program at IUP. For more information, see Study in the States.
All F, M, and J visa applicants must complete Form I-901 and pay a SEVIS fee, $350 for F Visa and $220 for J Visa, to the Department of Homeland Security before applying for a new visa. Take the receipt to your interview. Dependents
and spouses are not required to pay. The purpose of the fee is to cover the costs of administering and maintaining SEVIS. If you have questions, please visit the Student and Exchange Visitor Program fee processing website for information on the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement website; call (from overseas) 011+ 785-330-1048; or email fmjfee.SEVIS@dhs.gov.
Step 2: Make a Visa Appointment
Plan as well in advance as possible. Contact your local embassy or consulate for an appointment. To find your closest US Embassy, go to the list of embassies on the US Department of
State website. Visit your embassy or consulate’s website for specific application procedures. IUP does not have any power to influence your consular officials, so please do not ask us to call or fax letters to your consulate or embassy. Please use
the IUP letters in your acceptance packet.
As a student, you will be applying for an F-1 (I-20) or J-1 (DS-2019) visa. U.S. law states that F and J visas are given to persons who intend to remain in the U.S. temporarily and their primary purpose is for academics.
What you will need to obtain a student visa:
Visa Interview Tips
If you have an F-1 or J-1 visa and have dependents who will accompany you to IUP:
Visa Approval or Denial
You may check your visa application status by going to Visa Application Status Tracker.
If your visa is denied, you can apply again within the same year. If you decide to defer until the next semester, notify the Office of International Education in writing as soon as possible. Your SEVIS fee is valid for 12 months.
Please make plans for your housing and transportation.
For Additional Information
All newly admitted international students who are unable to report to IUP by the scheduled start date have two options.
Option One: Withdraw their admission to IUP.
Option Two: Defer their admission to the next academic semester.
Students can defer up to one full calendar year before needing to submit a new application, financial statement, and application fee. However, some graduate programs might require a one-year deferral.
Students who are in the United States and unable to report to IUP should be in contact with our office immediately to sort out potential immigration issues.
Instructions for Deferrals
Please follow these instructions for deferrals. Note that new acceptance packages will be mailed to students who have chosen to defer starting in mid-February for fall admission (late August) and early October for spring admission (January).
Students who are in F-1 or J-1 status, coming to IUP from any school in the United States (high school, university, or English language school), are considered transfer students for immigration purposes.
All transfers, both F-1 and J-1, will need to work with their previous school or program sponsor within 60 days (F-1) or 30 days (J-1) of finishing at their former school to determine a SEVIS transfer release date.
Students must complete IUP’s SEVIS Transfer form, which will be emailed to the student after admission to IUP. Our office will contact transfer students as soon as their immigration documents have been processed. Transfer students are not required to pay the SEVIS fee and do not need a new visa if their current visa is valid. Students should use their IUP I-20 to re-enter the United States.
MyIUP is the university portal that allows students to complete a wide variety of university functions, including registering for classes, viewing grades, and reserving housing. In addition, students are provided a university email address that will serve as the official means of communication between faculty, staff, and administration and students. Follow this technology "to do" list to get your semester off to a smooth start.
Before You Arrive On Campus
After You Arrive On Campus
Both on- and off-campus housing is available for students coming to IUP. New and transfer undergraduate international students with fewer than 60 credits must live on campus. In addition, all exchange students are required to live in an IUP residence hall. Living on campus makes it easier to meet others, and everything you need will be in close proximity. Exceptions to this requirement include students who:
Students requesting an exemption to the IUP residency requirement must complete a Residency Requirement Exemption Request Form, available online at the Office of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining website, or at the Office of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining in Ruddock Hall, Suite G37, 1099 Maple Street, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA 15705.
Students wishing to live on campus can complete a housing contract through MyIUP. See instructions below. The on-campus residence halls at IUP are newly built and refurnished. There are a variety of types of rooms you can
reserve. Visit the Office of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining for more details.
Wallwork Hall, our Global Awareness building, is the residence hall we suggest international students reserve because it is available during breaks and most international students will be housed here. The Office of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining
cannot make a room assignment without your signed agreement. For general questions about housing, please see the Office of Housing, Residential Living, and Dining website, email IUP-OHRL@iup.edu, or call 724-357-2696.
For fall 2019, all students must complete their housing contracts to IUP by June 1, 2020, to guarantee housing. If your contract is submitted after this date, IUP cannot guarantee on-campus housing, nor will we arrange off-campus housing. For spring 2021,
housing contracts should be submitted online prior to December 15, 2020.
Please note that an online on-campus housing contract is a binding legal agreement. If you sign a contract for fall, you are required to stay in the residence hall for fall and spring, unless you are a one-semester exchange student. If you sign a contract
for spring, your contract ends at the end of the spring semester. Contracts are renewed every year and must be applied separately for summer sessions. Students are only permitted to live on campus while taking classes during summer sessions.
All lodging accommodations require advance reservations. Shared apartment and residence hall accommodations are available to graduate students without spouses or families. There are no on-campus housing for married couples or students with children.
Students living in IUP residence halls may stay in Wallwork Hall for free during holiday breaks (applications must be completed as well as other conditions being met). If an international student needs housing for winter 2020–21, there is an estimated fee of $400+. Summer housing can only be applied for if students are taking classes during that term. Otherwise, they have to move out during the summer break. Cafeterias are closed during Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks. A student may stay
after the fall semester (up to four days prior to returning student check-in) for a fee of $30 per night.
Many students enjoy living off campus, particularly graduate students and those with families. Here are a few links to off-campus housing websites.
IUP is not affiliated with any housing company or landlords and is not able to make off-campus arrangements for students. It is important that you take the necessary steps to secure adequate housing before arriving at IUP. Most apartment managers and landlords will require signing a contract that is legally binding and will require a security deposit, which can sometimes equal one extra months’ rent before moving in.
Note: In the United States, the written word is very strict. Read every document and make sure you understand it before signing any document such as a lease or contract. A lease is binding legal contract between you and the property owner or landlord. When you sign a lease, you will typically be required to pay a “security deposit,” usually equivalent to at least one month's rent, as well as the rent for the first month. The security deposit will be returned to you when you move out, provided you leave the apartment in good condition. Also, after signing the lease, if you decide that you no longer want to live in that apartment, your landlord has the right to keep your security deposit because you signed the lease. Never sign a lease unless you understand all of the terms and are completely satisfied with the apartment and surrounding property.
When you sign a lease, you are also obligated to pay the landlord monthly rent for the duration of the lease. Before you sign the lease, you should be reasonably sure that you plan to live in that location for the duration of your lease. With permission from your landlord, you may be allowed to find a tenant to take your place for the remainder of your contract. If you “sublease” your apartment to other tenants, however, you probably will remain responsible for their actions.
Students living in IUP residence halls are required to purchase one of five meal plans. Students living off campus who want a meal plan have the option to purchase one of six meal plans. It is not required for off-campus students to purchase a meal plan. A meal plan can be chosen through the student’s IUP computer account as well.
Please be advised that there is always an adjustment period to the food and beverages in a new country or culture. The campus dining personnel will work with students who have special dietary requirements. No exceptions to or alterations of the meal plan contract will be allowed.
Meal plans will begin for all IUP students, domestic as well as international, with lunch/dinner on the weekend before classes. You should be prepared to pay for meals off campus prior to that date. Please refer all dining questions to IUPfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Healthcare in the United States is very expensive. All F and J visa holders need to purchase health insurance for themselves and their dependents in case you have an emergency or need medical care while studying here. Students will be required to submit proof of health insurance coverage (in English) to the Office of International Education during orientation. Immigration status cannot be validated until this requirement is met.
If you do not have insurance, bills can be as high as $5,000 for a simple emergency room visit, or $100 for a regular doctor’s visit. Minimal coverage requirements are listed below—this is what you can look for in an insurance policy. The Office of International Education is not able to advise you or assist you with purchasing health insurance. Please note that even basic health insurance in the United States does not cover all medical benefits like prescriptions or dental or vision.
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans for International Students in the United States
This is a listing of the most commonly purchased Insurance Plans for international students in the United States. Students must purchase insurance from a company in the U.S. online with a credit card or request a brochure and mail a check or money order. Keep proof of insurance in your wallet in case of emergency.
Remember, healthcare is expensive in the USA, and international students are responsible for any costs associated with their physical or mental health.
Immunization Records are Required
IUP requires documentation from all new freshman and transfer students of all immunization dates. This includes the following vaccines:
Bring copies of your health and immunization history. You will be asked to complete an electronic record of your health and immunization history after you arrive and are registered for classes.
Additionally, IUP requires that all students, prior to moving into university-owned residence halls, must receive the vaccination for meningococcal meningitis or sign a document stating that the student has chosen to be exempt from receiving the vaccination.
IUP Health and Wellness Fee
All students will be billed for a health service fee. This fee allows you to visit IUP's on-campus clinic to obtain basic medicine for colds, visit a doctor, and receive referrals to other doctors. For a more complete list for service offered, see Center for Health and Well-Being. This fee is not insurance. Students must also purchase a separate health insurance policy.
United States Federal Guidelines for Health Insurance Minimums for J-Visa Visitors
Those holding J-Visas are required by federal regulations to have insurance plus insurance for all J-2 dependents. Exchange visitors must select an insurance policy that is in compliance with the stated requirements below and turn in proof of insurance to their J-1 advisor.
In October 2014, the US Department of State issued a final rule that the requirements of J-1 insurance coverage were changed to:
These new levels of coverage will come into effect on May 15, 2015, so students and scholars arriving after this date will need to meet these new requirements.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently issued a travel alert to highlight countries where Zika virus is prevalent. For more information, visit the Health Service page about Zika.
Things to Bring
Documents to Bring
Should you have any packages that you plan to mail to IUP prior to arrival, send them addressed them to yourself and c/o IUP Folger Post Office, 900 Maple Street, Indiana, PA 15705, USA. You may claim them later at the Post Office, which is in the basement of Folger Hall.