International Students Tip Sheet

International Students Tip Sheet

As we get closer to the start of the fall 2017 semester, the following tips are presented to help you discuss your Penn State experience with your parents/family.

  1. Talk With Your Family
    1. Agree on how you will share information about your academic progress with your family.
    2. Discuss your mutual expectations for staying in touch with each other. How often will you call each other? It is important to stay connected with family during your time at Penn State Altoona.
    3. Discuss safety and decisions regarding alcohol and drugs. (Please note that the legal age for alcohol consumption in the U.S. is 21. Regardless of the legal drinking age in your home country, you MUST be 21 years of age or older in the U.S. to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages.)
    4. Discuss how you will manage your finances, set up a bank account, and manage credit cards.
  1. Organize Your Healthcare
    1. Submit your health history and immunization information as directed previously. Be sure to include your name and PSU ID number.
    2. Remember: all international students must have health insurance. Contact Health Services (Carla Tiesi: cst11@psu.edu) with questions you may have on this requirement.
    3. If applicable, make arrangements for your current and maintenance prescription medications.
    4. Reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) through the Health Center to arrange for ongoing counseling or psychiatric services if needed.
  2. Complete Your Required Online Modules
    1. PSU SAFE
    2. PSU AWARE
    3. AT RISK
    *All online modules must be completed by August 21.
  3. Prepare for Move-in
    1. If you are living on campus in a University residence hall, you may view your hall and room assignments, as well as the name and information about your roommate(s) on E-Living as of July 17.
    2. If you are living off campus in privately owned, non-University housing, check with your landlord to get the information on your roommate(s).
    3. Introduce yourself to your roommate(s).
    4. Find out what to pack/bring to Penn State Altoona as well as what not to bring. REMEMBER: We will offer a shopping trip to the local WalMart and/or Target store during the International New Student Orientation (INSO) program.
    5. Register your computer or laptop if you are living on campus (suggested to do this at least 3 days prior to arrival)
  4. Prepare For Your First Semester
    1. Add your cell phone number to the PSUAlert system in order to receive emergency text and/or voice updates.
    2. Explore purchasing or renting textbooks; you may order them in advance, bundled and ready for pick up through the Penn State Bookstore.
    3. Make sure all travel reservations are in place, along with any transportation assistance help you might be interested in as provided by Penn State Altoona.
  5. Participate in Welcome Week/New Student Orientation
    1. Attend the International New Student Orientation programming on August 11-17. A final schedule will be sent to you in late July.
    2. Join in with Welcome Week activities as of August 18. 
    3. Attend required events; you will learn A LOT about the college and community.
    4. Locate your classroom buildings and walk your class schedule. Map out the location of your classes if needed.
    5. Visit the Welcome Week webpage to view the schedule.
    6. Watch for the date and time of the Campus Resource Fair as well as the Involvement Fair … discover new opportunities, make friends, learn about campus resources, and more!
    7. Consider joining the International Student Organization (ISO) on campus, or one of the nearly 100 other student organizations.
    8. Make certain that you have uploaded all necessary documents as required by the University.
  6. Start Your Semester Strong
    1. Review your class schedule … go to class … be on time … be prepared for discussions … schedule your study time.
    2. If you do not understand something, ask for help. The earlier, the better!
    3. Schedule to meet with your Academic Adviser to continue making plans to meet your academic goals.
    4. Visit your faculty members/instructors’ office hours
    5. Attend events, lectures, presentations, etc.
    6. Not sure where to go for help? Come to the Student Affairs Office, 103 Slep Student Center. We will do our best to help you in your transition to Penn State Altoona.

QUESTIONS?
Contact Sean Kelly in the Office of Student Affairs.
sck1@psu.edu
814-949-5053