Pre-Arrival Information

F1 Student Pre-Arrival Guide (Undergraduate Students)

F1 Student Pre-Arrival Guide (Graduate Students)

Pre-Arrival Brochure for J-1 Students

Before Arriving to the U.S.


Activate your FAU Account  

Your FAUNet ID is generated when you have been admitted to FAU. The FAUNet ID will be provided to you in your Acceptance letter. To begin using your FAUNet ID you must first activate it by going to the FAU Account Self-Services portal: https://accounts.fau.edu/

Request and obtain your I-20  

International students who wish to study in the U.S. must request a form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for F1 non-immigrant visa) from the International Student Services office. Visit the Documents for Student Visa page for more instructions.

Electronic I-20 will be issued via email. Upon receipt, review the attached I-20 carefully. Sign page 1 after confirming all information is accurate and after reading the information on page 3.

Pay the SEVIS fee  

Newly admitted students who enter the U.S. for the first time in F-1 status must pay the SEVIS fee ($350) prior to applying for their visa. Payment information is available at "https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html#"

Obtain the F-1 or J-1 Visa  
  • If you are currently abroad, visit a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country to apply for a visa. You will have to present your I-20 issued by Florida Atlantic University (FAU), passport (valid at least six months into the future), FAU admission letter, and financial documents to prove availability of funds for your education and living expenses.
  • Application procedures for the F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant visa vary among consular posts. Please contact the consular office where you plan to obtain your visa for appointment information, forms, fees, and other application details.
  • Canadian students must pay the SEVIS fee but do not have to apply for the F-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy
  • DO NOT ENTER THE U.S. using a B-1/B-2 tourist visa. B-1/B-2 (tourist) visa holders are not allowed to enroll as students.

Please check this guide for the visa application process: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/student-visa.html

If you are currently in the U.S. and/or already have an F-1 visa from another university or other visa type, please contact our office for more information.

Register for the mandatory immigration orientation and check-in sessions  

As a new international student, you are required to attend the mandatory immigration orientation and check-in sessions hosted by the ISS office. To view more detailed information and complete the registration form, visit the Immigration Orientation and Check-in page.

In addition, you may also be required to attend at least one more university-wide new student orientation based on your academic level. Visit the respective page for details:

Clear registration holds that will prevent class registration  

Registration holds are placed on a student's record by different offices to prevent the student from registering. When the matter has been resolved the student can register.

To view holds:

  • Undergraduate students: Please check your  OwlDone Portal to view the unfinished tasks.
  • Graduate students: Please log into your  MyFau Portal to see what hold is in your account.

All holds must be cleared by the issuing office BEFORE a student can register. To learn the meaning of each holds, visit the Registration Holds page. Some of the common registration holds are:

  • International student (IS) hold: Students need to submit all the required documents for I-20 and register for the mandatory immigration orientation and check-in
  • Immunization (IM) hold: All students are required to submit their immunization records to the Medicat portal. For instructions, visit the Immunization Compliance
  • FAU Aler (FA) hold: Complete the verification task after login into your MyFAU account for the first time.
  • Statement of Responsibility (OF) hold: Complete the statement after login into your MyFAU account for the first time.
  • Grad ADM File Incomplete (TX) hold: Need to submit an official transcript to the Graduate College.
  • Admission File Incomplete (TZ) hold: Need to submit an official transcript to the Undergraduate Admissions office.
  • UAS Academic Advising (UN) hold: This hold is for undergraduate freshman only who is required to complete the advising sept in the Owldone portal .
Register for classes  

Consult with your academic advisor regarding course selection/registration.

International students on F-1 visas must be enrolled in a full course of study at FAU.

  • Graduate (Master's/Ph.D.) students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours each Fall and Spring semester.
  • Undergraduate (Bachelor's) students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours each Fall and Spring semester.

Visit the Enrollment Information page for more instructions on class registration.

Make housing arrangements  
  • To live on-campus, students should apply far in advance of the semester start date. For further housing information, visit the housing website at https://www.fau.edu/housing/ or call 561-297-2880. International students who already have housing arrangements may check in early (additional cost will apply). Please contact the International Services office if you need more information about earlier arrival on campus.
  • For off-campus housing information please click here.
Prepare for money matters  

Open an Bank Account When you go to the bank to open a bank account, you will need to bring:

  • Your full name, home address, home telephone number, your campus telephone number, and letters showing the local address – i.e. utility bills or apartment contract)
  • Unexpired passport
  • I-94 card
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • Any secondary form of identification (such as: your passport, your Student ID card, birth certificate, state driver’s license, or a letter from the International Students and Scholars Office)
  • Enrollment verification letter from your school

You will also need the funds you want to deposit and open the account with. Every bank has slightly different requirements, so make sure you ask beforehand so you don’t forget something you need. PNC Bank office is located on FAU Boca Raton campus also offers Virtual Wallet Student, please click here for information and features of this service.FAU PNC Office PNC ATMs on Campus

  • Lobby of the Student Support Services, Boca Raton campus
  • Breezeway Food Court, Boca Raton campus
  • Lobby of the Administration Building, Boca Raton campus
  • Stadium, Boca Raton campus
  • Student Lounge, Davie campus
  • Student Lounge, Jupiter campus

You are expected to have sufficient funds for the period of studies as indicated on the I-20 or DS-2019. Click here for more information about the cost of attendance. For your initial arrival bring cash or travelers' checks to cover your initial expenses, medical insurance, tuition/fees, books and supplies, and initial housing arrangements. Individual financial needs vary greatly, but we recommend that you have at least $3000.00 to $4000.00 in travelers' checks or arrange for a wire transfer of funds that can be immediately available. Florida Atlantic University (FAU) also offers Installment Payment Plans, which are payment options designed to provide budgetary assistance in meeting a student’s term education expenses. Click here to learn more: Payment Plans If you are a graduate student with an assistantship, it may take a month or longer after the beginning of the semester to receive your first payment from the university. Thus you will need to have some funds available to cover your initial expenses. How to pay for tuition from abroad? Flywire: Paying tuition with Flywire is safe, fast, and convenient. To learn more about the simple steps to make your payment(s) please visit: Making Secure Payments through Flywire

Read the mandatory medical insurance information  

All F1 and J-1 students in the United States are required to have health insurance that meets the university’s requirements. International students will be routinely enrolled in the university-sponsored Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP), and the insurance premium will be charged to the student’s FAU account. International students who wish to use an alternate insurance plan that meets state-mandated coverage guidelines must submit a waiver form by the deadline. Students who do not submit a waiver form by the deadline will have the premium for SHIP added to their student accounts. For eligibility requirements for Alternate Insurance and Waiver deadline information, visit the Student Health Services Enrollment and Waivers Process for International Students page.

Prepare for entry to the United States  

U.S. immigration regulations do not allow international students to enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019. So,the earliest you can enter the U.S. is 30 days prior the I-20 program start date. If you are unable to arrive in Boca Raton in the date of international orientation and immigration check-in, you must notify International Student Services at isss@fau.edu . At the port of entry (i.e. Fort Lauderdale International Airport, Miami International Airport, etc.) you will need to present the following documents:

  • passport with valid F-1 or J-1 visa stamp,
  • FAU I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Additional supporting documents:
  • proof of enrollment
  • proof of finances
  • other documents to help you answer questions about the purpose of your entry to the U.S., what you will be studying, etc.
  • For more information about how to prepare for your entry in the United States, please visit: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/getting-to-the-united-states

 

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After Arriving at FAU


Travel to FAU Campuses  

FAU does not provide pick-up services from the airport to students. You need to prepare your transportation to get to the campus or your accommodation. Use the resources below to plan your travel:

  • get2fau.com is a website that provides information for getting to the four FAU campuses (Boca, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, and Jupiter) and more information for getting around our community using public transit. The site also includes information for an “emergency ride home.”
  • Travel and Transportation Guide to FAU Boca Campus is a guide that focuses mainly on ground transportation from the three main local airports (MIA, FLL, and PBI) to the FAU Boca campus.
Check-in with the International Student Services Office by attending both mandatory immigration orientation and check-in sessions  
  • Immigration Orientation - All international students who are starting as a new student, changing status, or changing the level of study, are required to attend Immigration Orientation. This is a separate session, different from other academic, departmental, or university-wide orientations and it will cover information specific to international students that you MUST be aware of. This session will be held in person. 
  • Immigration Check-in- Federal regulations require every international student who has entered the U.S. to report to the ISS office and has their immigration documents reviewed. Without completing the check-in process, your record will not be registered and activated in SEVIS. This session will be held virtually.

Visit the Immigration Orientation and Check-in page for the date, time, location, and more information.

Attend the additional new student orientation based on the academic program level  

In addition to the immigration orientation hosted by the ISS office, you may also be required to attend at least one more university-wide new student orientation based on your academic level. Visit the respective page for details:

Request and obtain your OWL card  

All students are required to obtain an OWL card, as it serves as your official photo identification, debit card,  Owl Bucks card, library card, residence hall building key, meal card for those who have meal plans, and tickets to many FAU events, including sporting events. You will need to present your OWL card to receive the benefits of the many services offered at FAU. Visit the Owl Card Center page to request your Owl card for pickup.

Register for Classes  

Remove all the Registration Holds that are preventing you from registering for classes. Consult with your academic advisor regarding course selection/registration.

International students on F-1 visas must be enrolled in a full course of study at FAU.

  • Graduate (Master's/Ph.D.) students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours each Fall and Spring semester.
  • Undergraduate (Bachelor's) students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours each Fall and Spring semester.

Visit the Enrollment Information page for more instructions on class registration.

FAU First-Year Connections  

Whether a first-year or transfer student, the program introduces students new to FAU to a faculty, staff, graduate student, or undergraduate peer mentor. Matches are made based on academic interests, co-curricular involvement, and shared goals for a mentoring relationship.

Apply here: First Year Connections Program

Mentee: Any undergraduate student new to FAU within their first two semesters of enrollment not already affiliated with a mentoring program.

Mentor: FAU faculty, staff, and graduate students. Undergraduate peer mentors are selected through an application process.

 

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Important Contact Infomation at FAU


International Student Services Office  
Undergraduate Admissions  
Graduate Admissions  
Registrar's Office  
Housing and Residential Education  
Student Health Services and Immunizations Office  
International Student Health Insurance Office  

 

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