Penn State Harrisburg

International Student Orientation

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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 Orientation – Spring 2017

  • All first year (freshman) undergraduate, graduate, and transfer international students must attend.
    • When: Wednesday, January 4, 2017
    • Check-in: 9:15 a.m.
    • Location: Morrison Gallery (Library Bldg., Room 101)

Step 2: New Student Orientation (NSO) Information

ALL new and transfer international students must attend the New Student Orientation. Students will meet with staff and faculty member to assist you with course scheduling. All students must complete the reservation process to attend the January 5, 2017 NSO program: Follow the links below. 

Graduate Students:

First year, and transfer students will meet with staff and faculty member to assist you with course scheduling. To complete the reservation process for January 5, 2017 NSO program follow the links below. 

Check your Penn State University email daily as soon as you activate your access account during NSO

Step 3: Travel to the United States

Travel Plans

Schedule visa application appointment from a consulate office in your country.

To obtain your visa follow the pre-arrival visa application steps.

 Complete the financial guarantee.

  • Request an I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Pay the SEVIS fee and apply for your student visa.
  • 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
  • If your airline loses your luggage, complete a lost luggage report at your final airport with the local U.S. address where your luggage will be delivered.
  • Pick-up services from Harrisburg International Airport (MDT) and local bus stations are available.
  • Settle into your temporary or permanent housing, based on what you arranged. (See Step 6).

Step 4: Travel to Penn State Harrisburg campus

  • Plan to arrive in the area by the start of the orientation:
  • Check our page on how to get to Penn State Harrisburg.
  • Purchase a flight ticket, make plans to drive, or travel by train to Harrisburg.

Step 5: Complete online document check-in

  • Log into iStart, to view the Pre-Arrival Checklist and select "Mandatory Document Check-In."
  • Complete the questions and upload scanned copies of the requested documents.
    • Make sure to sign your I-20 or DS-2019 before scanning it.
    • After your arrival in the U.S., obtain your I-94 arrival information online and save it as a PDF document before uploading it to iStart.
    • Update your permanent address (outside of the U.S.) and local address (where you sleep) on LionPath
    • Check Mandatory iStart Document Check-in page.
    • Email if you need help.

Step 6: Make arrangements for housing

  • Look for permanent housing options for the school year and make arrangements early.
  • International students living on campus who wish to stay in residence halls during breaks should find out more about break access housing policy.
  • Inform yourself about off campus living options

Step 7: 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 established deadline.
  • Learn about the immunizations (vaccination) you need and how to report them to Penn State. The Penn State student health insurance plan can be purchased at  Aetna
  • Students will learn more about health insurance at International Student Orientation

Step 8: Prepare for life at your new home