Planning Students Arrival


For many students, this will be the first time traveling internationally and may have many questions. Going through the following checklist will help you relieve stress for your travel:

  • Keep your passport, I-20, and acceptance letter in one place. You will need these documents regularly as you prepare to arrive in the United States.
  • Apply for a Student Visa. You may apply for a visa up to 120 days before the academic program start date. Complete and submit payment of the I-901 fee at Contact the US Embassy requesting a student visa and take the following documents to your Visa interview: I-20, Passport, Proof of financial support, receipt for I-901 fee. For more information on applying for a student visa, visit our Applying for Visa page.
  • Arrange housing in Seattle as early as you can. You can visit our Student Housing page for information on housing options. Applications for homestay may take up to 45 days to process. If you are unsure of where to live, contact us immediately at
  • Arrange transportation from airport to your housing accommodation. Many homestay agencies will provide transportation from the airport. If you arranged a homestay accommodation, please contact the agency for more information. You can also request airport pickup through our office if it is unavailable through your agency or if you have made different plans.     
  • Bring enough cash to cover personal expenses for the first several days. Major credit cards are preferable. DO NOT BRING large amount (over $1000) of cash
  • Roaming access for your mobile phone. If possible, allow roaming access for your mobile phone from your home country for first couple days. You can also purchase an international phone card either at your home country before your departure or from convenience stores in the U.S.
  • Enter the United States before the mandatory Orientation. Check the Dates and Deadlines page for a list of dates for upcoming Orientations.

 Please view our Pre-Arrival Check List


What to bring

  • Passport, I-20 and acceptance letter: These documents need to be with you and not in your luggage.
  • South Seattle College Address and Phone Number:
    6000 16the Ave. SW
    Seattle, WA 98106
  • Housing Address: Your homestay or housing accommodation address.
  • Clothing: We recommend that you bring a wide range of clothing with you. On campus, students dress informally. Bring light and heavy jackets and comfortable clothes and shoes, as many people in Seattle enjoy walking and biking and be outdoors. Appropriate clothes can be purchased at local stores or outlet malls.
  • Personal Items: Bring pictures, traditional clothing and music, books and small souvenirs from your country. These items are useful and interesting when you explain about your home, family, culture and country with the people and friends you make in the U.S. They also keep you from becoming homesick.
  • Medicine: If you have any health concerns and take prescribed medication, ask your doctor to provide a copy of the prescription and bring it with you. If you have any special medical condition, bring a copy of your medical records. If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, bring an extra pair.
  • Household Items: Bring basic toiletries and personal items you think necessary. You can purchase everything you will need when you arrive.
  • Books & Supplies: Schoolbooks and supplies can be purchased from the college bookstore when you register for classes. You may bring pens and notebooks that you use.