Email #13: Final Steps and Reminders

Email #13: Final Steps and Reminders

Dear New Student,

This is the thirteenth in a series of emails being sent to you from the Office of Student Affairs at Penn State Altoona.

Please review on our website a suggested list for the shopping trips which will be offered to the Walmart and or Target stores in Altoona. The list was compiled by our current international students based on their experiences with what they were able to bring to the U.S. when arriving in August, along with items they found to want or need once they arrived in Altoona. It is merely a suggestion sheet. Once you see your on-campus or off-campus housing, you will have a better picture of what you may wish to purchase when you arrive at Penn State Altoona. In addition to the shopping trips we have scheduled for international students during the INSO time frame, there will also be additional shopping trips scheduled on Sunday, August 20 for all students who are interested.

Please also review a DRAFT version of the International New Student Orientation Schedule. A FINAL version will be sent to you on August 2.

Information regarding the Commuter (students living off campus) Meal Plan available to students is listed below. This meal plan, available for students living in off-campus housing, allows for meals to be eaten in the campus dining hall, Port-Sky Cafe.  

Commuter Meal Plan Option

The Commuter Meal Plan is designed specifically for students who live off campus.

How it Works

  • Two levels to choose from
  • Charge it to your Bursar Account
  • 10 percent discount on Food Services prepared items at on-campus locations
  • Accessed conveniently with your Penn State id+ Card
  • Available for fall and spring semester

For information on the Commuter Meal Plan, visit the Altoona Campus Living website.

The Commuter Meal Plan can be purchased at

Questions regarding this meal option for students living off-campus should be directed to the Housing and Food Services Office at 814-949-5400.

Please note: All students living in on-campus housing (residence halls) must have a meal plan. The on-campus plan is different from the Commuter Meal Plan. Questions on this should also be directed to the Housing and Food Services Office.  

Also, please remember that if you need for our office to verify your attendance at the International New Student Orientation with your OFF-CAMPUS LANDLORD so that you are able to move in by FRIDAY, AUGUST 11, please let me know. You will need to provide me with the name of your landlord and the location where you are planning to live.

Please note the following information:

  • A form for you to complete regarding where you will be living for fall 2017 if you are in off-campus housing is on our website. If you have previously provided this information, you do not need to provide it again. If you can't remember if you have already provided the information, then please take a moment to complete the form.


Please visit the Central Pennsylvania Landlord Association website for information on available rental housing.

In addition, please access the Off Campus Living webpage for information connected to off-campus living.

If you have questions regarding current off-campus housing availability, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 814-949-5053 or email Sean Kelly at

  • REMINDER #1: All international students MUST have student health insurance. Please review the important information regarding mandatory Student Health Insurance and Student Immunization requirements.  Please contact Veronica Barstow ( in Health Services if you have any questions regarding this requirement.
  • REMINDER #2: All students MUST complete the online educational modules (PSU SAFE/PSU AWARE/AT RISK). Please access the training for additional details.
  • REMINDER #3: We are receiving questions asking WHEN you will schedule your classes for fall semester. Please note that you will schedule your classes as part of the August 15 or 16 Academic New Student Orientation (NSO) sessions from 1-5pm on those days. If you are arriving after August 16 and are not registered for one of the two Academic NSO sessions, you will need to contact Kevin Leddy in the Academic Advising Center at . All questions regarding the scheduling of classes should be directed to Mr. Leddy.
  • REMINDER #4: I am also receiving questions regarding paying the tuition/fees for the fall semester. Questions on this should be directed to June Aiken in the Bursar's Office at Ms. Aiken will walk you through the process of how to go about paying your bill. Please include your nine digit PSU ID number in your correspondence to her.

On our web page there is a form to complete / submit for reserving a bus space for the Saturday, August 12 shopping trip to the WalMart Plaza in Altoona. In order to have an accurate count for the number of buses needed that day we are asking those who are interested in attending to sign up via this form to participate. Please note that additional shopping trips will be offered during the INSO program.

Please also complete / submit the International New Student Orientation (INSO) Participation Form on the website.. This is your confirmation form that you will participate in the INSO programming from August 11-17. It will allow for our office to order the supplies and food necessary for our meals during the INSO period. Please complete the form by August 1.

The list of forms which we have requested from you are as follows:

  1. If living off campus: location/address/ landlord name
  2. Shopping trip registration (Walmart trip)
  3.  INSO parent participation (if your parent /family are attending INSO)Transportation Assistance Request form (if requesting help). This form is due by August 4. Please note this is a definite deadline and no additions will be made to the schedule after this date.
  4. INSO participation confirmation (today's request)

Please review all emails sent previously listing below to make certain you have completed all necessary steps in terms of preparing to begin your year at Penn State Altoona. 

In addition, please check the Altoona international student website for additional information and updates. You may also want to review the online orientation video again.

Please continue to check your email on a regular basis for information. This is critical as email is our main communication mode. In addition, please check the Altoona international student website for additional information and updates.   

We look forward to working with you as you transition to Penn State Altoona.


Sean Kelly
Senior Director; Student Affairs