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International Student Guide
This guide is to help you navigate your way through the many requirements and procedures involved with coming to Northland College from your home country. Please be sure to read all the information, and use it as a reference when you have questions.
For more information, please contact:
Division of Student Life
Toll-free (866) 781-0001
We are interested in making your initial travel to Northland College as smooth as possible. We strongly recommend you visit the following website to gather further information for entering the United States: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/. This particular page is the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement web site and contains up-to-date and valuable information for international students.
Please check in to the Student Life office, Ponzio Campus Center 203, within a few days of your arrival in the U.S. We will need copies of several documents including your passport, I-20, and I-94.
We recommend that you obtain an inexpensive expanding portfolio or folder to organize and carry your important documents. When you begin gathering the documents for your F-1 Visa application, it will be an easy and organized way to carry them all, and you will be able to easily file any new paperwork as you receive it. You should hand-carry this personal file when traveling. Once you are at Northland College, you should keep the folder in a safe place.
Plan to come in to the Student Life offices within your first few days of your arrival at Northland College. The Immigration Service requires the College to maintain a file for each international student, and we will need to make copies of some of your documents. We also advise you to make copies of your important documents to keep in a secure place should anything happen to your originals.
Your personal file should contain as many of the following as possible:
- Form I-20 from Northland College
- Identity documents including
- Passport, current and valid
- Birth Certificate
- International Driver's License (if you plan to drive immediately)
- Proof of permanent residence outside the USA
- Two recent passport-style photographs
- Educational documents
- Letter of acceptance from Northland College
- Transcripts and degrees for all educational institutions attended, including high school
- Student TOEFL score report or other proof of English-language proficiency
- Score report from other U.S. standardized tests: SAT, ACT, etc.
- Any awards, prizes, certificates, letters of recommendation, newspaper articles, or other documentation to show that you excel in your field of study
- Portfolio exhibiting art, performances, writings, etc. or other sample/collection of work
- Copies of all your correspondence with Northland
- Copies of your grade reports from Northland College
- Financial documents
- Collect and organize the financial documents that you prepared for completing the requirements for the Application for the I-20 and the F-1 visa
- Health records, immunization records, medical histories, dental records
- Prescriptions for glasses and contacts
- Other important health documents
- Deeds, titles, or other documents showing that you and/or your parents own land or other assets in your country.
If you have any unusual legal issues that might need clarification, be sure to bring the appropriate legal documents with you.
Your first month in the U.S. is likely to be one of the most expensive periods of your stay. Before the term begins, you will need a plan to pay for the following:
- Tuition and fees
- Books and supplies
- Additional clothing
Traveling with very large sums of money is not safe, and in some cases it can make it difficult for you to cross international borders. For the money you carry with you on the airplane, use traveler's checks. They can be replaced if lost or stolen.
For very large sums of money, it is advisable for you to complete a wire transfer of funds from your (or your parents') bank in your home country into a U.S. bank account. Approach the bank in your home country and ask them about wire transfer procedures and costs. Typically, to transfer funds, banks will require the following information:
- Name of bank and address to which you are transferring funds
- Your name (or name of person on the account)
- Account number
- ABA number (It is listed on your checks, but not clearly labeled. Ask the bank doing the wire transfer. They will know the ABA number)
When the wire transfer has been completed, make sure you obtain a receipt documenting the transaction.
There are several banking institutions in the local area and all are within walking distance from campus.
- Associated Bank 715/682-9371 www.associatedbank.com
- M & I Bank 715/682-3422 www.mibank.com
- Northern State Bank 715/682-2772 www.nsbashland.com
- Superior Choice Credit Union 715/685-2725 www.superiorchoice.com
- Northwoods Community Credit Union 715/682-9099 www.northwoodscu.com
Most banks in Ashland are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you cannot do your banking when your bank is open, you may use an "Automated Teller Machine" (ATM). If you wish to use an ATM, you must request an ATM card from your bank. Northland College has an ATM in the Ponzio Campus Center. The Associated Bank in Ashland services this machine, which means you pay no additional fees to use it if you are a member of Associated Bank.
You can expect to experience fatigue and other physical systems due to long-distance travel and time changes. Be well rested at the start of your trip and take care of the details in advance. Eat lightly and drink plenty of water the day before you travel. Prepare for changes in temperature by wearing several layers of clothing that can be removed or added as needed. Keep your Personal File including your passport, travel documents, and money with you at all times. Keep photocopies of your Personal File in your checked-in baggage. Label your baggage inside and out with your name and both your home and Northland addresses and telephone numbers. To prevent inconvenience in the case of lost luggage, keep in your carry-on luggage all of the items you would need for one night's emergency stay in a hotel.
In deciding what to bring, you should try to strike a balance between two goals:
- To keep travel simple, bring as little as possible. You are less likely to lose luggage if you follow the baggage limitations of the international airlines, and it will be easier for you to carry your luggage. Additionally, you will be able to purchase most things that you need here in the local community.
- Bring what you need - both in material terms and psychological terms. To decorate your new living space, you may want to bring photographs and items to remind you of home. It is important to bring bits of home to help you keep in touch with family and friends.
Note: In Ashland, the weather varies greatly. Summers can be hot and humid, winters can be very cold and snowy, and we get most of our rainfall in the fall and spring. The weather here can be unpredictable. As a result, many students prefer to dress in layers of several t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, and other clothing. Because a good (this means warm) winter coat can take up too much space in your luggage, it might be a good idea to buy that once you arrive. You will need a winter coat by late October.
If you wish to ship some of your belongings, do your family or friends a favor: pack everything you wish to send in a box before you leave. Once you've decided how to ship your packages, address your boxes to yourself, c/o Northland College, Ashland, WI 54806. Northland's post office will hold your packages until you arrive.