In order to be a full-time international student at a university in the United States, you are typically required to get an F1 or J1 student visa. For an F1 visa, you'll have to first get an I20 document and have a visa interview. For a J1 visa, you will get a DS 2019 instead of the I20.
You will work directly with the Penn State office called DISSA (Directorate of Student and Scholar Advising) in order to get your I20 or DS 2019. DISSA is located at University Park, and the email address for their pre-arrival department is firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit DISSA's website for more information about how to apply for the I20 or DS 2019 document.
There is an airport in Erie (airport code ERI). The locations that offer flights to the Erie airport are Detroit, Michigan (DTW); Chicago, Illinois (ORD); and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PHL). Make arrangements to arrive to the Erie airport. Do not fly into State College, PA. State College is a 4-hour drive from Erie, and there are no direct bus routes connecting them.
If you have a housing contract to live on campus, and you arrive in Erie before the Arrival Day (see schedule below), you will have to stay in a hotel until the day that you can move into your on-campus housing. Here is a partial list of hotels to choose from.
Once you know your arrival information, please fill out this intake form to let us know when you are arriving, so that we can plan accordingly. You also can request transportation on this form.
Typically, a representative from International Student Services is able to pick students up at the airport or hotel and bring them to campus, depending on when they arrive. Once you know your arrival information, please fill out this intake form to let us know if you would like transportation, and we will do our best to accommodate your request if possible.
Here is a downloadable map of Penn State Behrend to help you prepare for your arrival.
International Student Orientation is mandatory for newly-admitted students before each fall and spring semester and includes:
Thursday, January 5 — Arrival and Check-in Day. First orientation session at 3pm EST. (First day to move in to on-campus housing)
Friday, January 6 — Orientation Activities including scheduling classes
Our International Student Office is housed in the Reed Union Building, Room 1. Staff members are Andy Herrera, Director of Educational Equity and Diversity Programs (email@example.com), Debbie Hayes, International Student Advisor (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Alecia Hollinger, International Student Advisor (email@example.com). Please email questions to Debbie or Alecia or call the Educational Equity Office at 1-814-898-7101. To see more information about Andy, Debbie, and Alecia, please visit our Meet the Staff page.
Living on campus can be beneficial for making friends, and it is more convenient than trying to drive through the snow in winter. For these reasons, we do recommend that freshman international students live on campus, at least for the first year. Here is a link with information about on-campus housing. Keep in mind that once you accept your housing contract, you are legally obligated to pay that contract, so be sure that you want to live on campus before accepting the contract. You also can see the costs for on-campus housing here.
There are many options for off-campus housing, some very close, but most requiring a car or other transportation to campus. You can see a list of available rentals here. The two apartment complexes within walking distance to campus are University Gate Apartments and Hudson Lofts. Please visit their websites for more information about availability and pricing.
The final tuition and fees rates for the 2016/17 academic year will not be available until July, but to give you an idea, here are the tuition and fees amounts from the 2015/16 year. Amounts listed are for one semester, and are the out-of-state tuition rates.
|Type of Fee||Cost|
|Information Technology Fee||$252|
|Tuition and Fees Total||$11,917|
Spring 2017 Tuition Bill for new students scheduling classes after January 1 - Bill will be available February 1 and will be due February 22
In general, tuition bills are due:
Fall Semester: Due the 22 of August
Spring Semester: Due the 22 of December
Summer Session: Due the 22 of May
To see the current on-campus room and board costs, visit Penn State Behrend's Housing website.
Here is a website that helps to explain common insurance terms, which can be quite confusing at first. Health insurance for international students is mandatory for several reasons. Health care can be extremely expensive in the United States and the United States does not have a national health care plan.
It is possible to use a different health insurance policy than the Penn State AETNA Insurance policy, but your policy must meet all sixteen waiver standards listed below. There are no exceptions to these sixteen waiver standards.
Sixteen Waiver Standards:
Your comparable health insurance coverage must remain in effect throughout the full academic year (*August 10, 2016-August 9, 2017). *Students beginning in the spring semester must have an effective date of January 10, 2017.
You must understand that you are responsible for payment of all fees for medical and mental health treatment not covered by your health insurance plan (including but not limited to deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance, and the expenses above your policy maximums and benefit limits). You must understand that some health facilities may require payment at the time treatment is provided.
Waiver applications must be submitted on an annual basis each fall semester.
Please complete the online waiver application through Aetna Student Health. You will need a copy of your current health insurance ID card and your health insurance brochure or plan description before you start the waiver. Your online application will be reviewed and you will receive an email approving or denying your application from Student Health Insurance. You must reply to that email and attach a copy of your confirmation letter or insurance card to complete the waiver. (The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.)
You must wait until you schedule your classes and pay your tuition bill before you can go online and request a waiver.
There is a $50.00 late fee for students who fail to fulfill the mandatory health insurance requirement by the established semester deadline. There is a $100.00 late fee for students who don't fulfill the mandatory health insurance requirement the second and any subsequent times. Late fees must be in the form of a Money Order. These can be purchased at many gas stations like GetGo or Country Fair, Walmart, and most banks or post offices.
To see list of the other recommended (but not required) immunizations, visit the University Health Services website.
For instructions on how to submit your immunization records, please visit the Submission Requirements page of the University Health Services website.
Penn State Behrend is located in Erie, Pennsylvania, a mid-sized city that offers the culture and entertainment options of a large metropolitan area with an abundance of natural resources and the friendly ease of a small town.
Pennsylvania’s fourth largest city, Erie is located by Lake Erie's beautiful Presque Isle peninsula, which boasts a 3,200-acre state park offering more than a dozen miles of sandy beaches, boating, and a thirteen-mile trail for walking, jogging, in-line-skating, and cross-country skiing.
The downtown area offers a variety of cultural and historical attractions, including the Erie Art Museum, the Erie Playhouse, and the U.S. Brig Niagara, a victor in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Erie is also home to the Seawolves, a Class AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers; the Otters of the Ontario Hockey League; and the Bayhawks, an NBA Development League for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Many shopping and dining options are offered along the Peach Street corridor, just a 10-minute drive from the Penn State Behrend campus.
This very drivable city is conveniently located within two hours of Buffalo, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh, and is a comfortable four-hour drive from both Toronto and Penn State's University Park campus. There is also a public bus system in Erie, which is free for Penn State students to use with their ID card. For routes and timetables, go to the EMTA website or visit the RUB desk on campus.
We know that the role of parents is very important in the education of their children, so we want to provide resources to keep you informed and involved.