As we get closer to the start of the semester, here is a checklist to keep you organized.
Talk with your family
- Agree on how you will share information about your academic progress with your family.
- 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.
- Discuss safety and decisions regarding alcohol and drugs. Please note that the legal age for alcohol consumption in the US is 21. Regardless of the legal drinking age in your home country, you must be 21 years of age or older in the US to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages.
- Discuss how you will manage your finances, set up a bank account, and manage credit cards.
Review the transportation and arrival information
Please read the information on the Transportation and Arrival Information page, as it contains detailed information on entering U.S. and ground transportation.
Please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for the most up-to-date requirements for entering the U.S. as a foreigner.
Secure housing and prepare for move-in
Select the option that best applies to you:
- I have secured on-campus housing.
- I have secure off-campus housing.
- I have not secured housing for the semester.
Please review the following pages before packing your baggage:
Arrival and Orientation Schedule
Participate in Welcome Week
- Attend the International Student Orientation in late August (for the fall semester) or early January (for the spring semester). We will email you the final fall ISO schedule ahead of your arrival, so be sure to check your email regularly.
- Join in with Welcome Week activities for all students (international and domestic). Visit the Welcome Week website to view the schedule.
- Attend required events; you will learn important information about the college and community.
- Locate your classroom buildings on the campus maps and walk your class schedule. Map out the location of your classes if needed.
- 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!
Prepare for your first semester
- Add your cell phone number to the PSUAlert system to receive emergency texts and/or voice updates.
- Explore purchasing or renting textbooks; you may order them in advance, bundled and ready for pick up through the Penn State Bookstore.
- Complete the training for PSU SAFE, PSU AWARE, and At-Risk by the deadline.
- Review the Global Penn State website for international students.