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International checklist

Welcome to Virginia Commonwealth University!

The information below should be used as a guide for pre-arrival planning and preparation by students who have completed the appropriate admission documents and have been admitted into an academic program.

In addition, be sure to visit the getting started section of the Global Education Office website for detailed orientation and arrival information, or contact issp@vcu.edu with questions.

Notify us that you plan to enroll at Virginia Commonwealth University by sending an email to vcuia@vcu.edu. Please include your full name and V-number (found on your acceptance letter).

Submit all required documents listed on your acceptance letter to the Office of Admissions prior to your arrival to prevent receiving administrative holds that could delay your course registration.

Obtain a student visa by following these instructions and paying the I-901 SEVIS fee.

Visit your doctor in your home country and request that they complete the VCU Certificate of Immunization or provide you with an official immunization document in English, which should include all dates of required immunizations. Learn more »

Find your eID, create your password and log in to your VCU email account. The VCU eID is the username used, along with your corresponding password, to give you access to many VCU electronic services via eServices. Your eID is not your student number (V-number). Your eID is usually a combination of your last name and initials.

Memorize your V-number. Your official VCU student identification number (known as the V-number) is listed in the upper right-hand corner of your acceptance letter. It is extremely important to memorize this number or keep a copy of it with you as you will need it for housing, library use, computers, gym access and many other VCU-related activities.

Register online for the English Language Placement test if it is listed as a requirement on your acceptance letter.

Arrange transportation to the VCU campus from the airport or bus station where you will arrive.

Make housing arrangements in Richmond.

Complete the online Math Placement Test (required for all undergraduates).

Read the selected Summer Reading Program book, which will be used for discussion in different settings during your freshman year (undergraduate freshman only). While you will not be provided with a copy of this book until International Student Orientation, VCU encourages students to read the book before August, when possible.

Review important orientation dates before making travel arrangements.

Transfer students should register online for New Student Orientation.

Attend International Student Orientation (required for F and J visa holders; however, students with other visa types may also find it useful to attend). Contact issp@vcu.edu with any questions about this orientation.

Notify Immigration Services that you have arrived by presenting your immigration documents to us in person (there will be a specified time to do this at International Student Orientation).

Attend New Student Orientation (undergraduate students only) and register for courses with your academic adviser.

Attend Graduate School Orientation (graduate students only).

Get your VCU student ID card at the VCUCard Office. Note: You must first register for classes before getting your VCU student ID card.

Finalize housing arrangements. International students are encouraged to contact International Student and Scholar Programs staff member Pam Haney at pohaney@vcu.edu for off-campus housing assistance or issp@vcu.edu for on-campus housing assistance.

Sign up for VCU’s text messaging alert system.

Register your computer with VCU Police.

Pay tuition and fees to VCU Student Accounting.

Request a GRTC student transit pass. GRTC passes are discounted for all full-time students at the Parking and Transportation Office.

Purchase health insurance.

Submit the Certificate of Immunization or official immunization document to University Student Health Services.

Complete the PPD skin test (Tuberculosis Skin Test) at University Student Health Services. Note: Student Health Services does not accept tuberculosis (TB) tests done outside the U.S. You must get the TB test at Student Health Services after you arrive. Learn more »

Review helpful hints for maintaining your J-1 or F-1 visa status regularly.

Check your VCU student email regularly for updates from the Global Education Office or VCU.

Read the VCU Insider Student Handbook and Resource Guide.

Familiarize yourself with the university student honor system.

Visa and flight delays are sometimes unavoidable. If you are unable to report to VCU by the program start date listed on your visa document, notify the Office of Admissions at vcuia@vcu.edu immediately of your planned arrival date.

Generally, arrivals through the course registration deadline can be accommodated; however, you should make every effort to arrive before the mandatory International Student Orientation.

If you are unable to attend orientation, notify issp@vcu.edu immediately. Late arrivals will find the registration process very challenging and missed orientations must be made up. Those unable to arrive by the registration deadline will have to defer their admission to a future term.

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VCU’s diverse campus has helped me learn in an environment very similar to what I anticipate my professional environment to be.

Grace Hunsinger
Communications art
Class of 2017