Newly Admitted

Information for New Students

Nearly two dozen students holding flags from their respective countries of origin.

Important Information for Spring 2019 Admitted Students

Congratulations on your admission to USD. Review the information below to learn about important dates, visa information, traveling tips and the USD international health insurance policy. 

 

Students having a great time.
Students greeting guests for the San Diego Harbor Cruise

Important International Orientation Dates for Spring 2019 Admitted Students

Note: New students may arrive up to 30 days before their program begins (beginning date on the I-20 or DS-2019 document)

All New Students

On-Campus Move-In for International Students
Tuesday, January 22, 10:00am -10:00pm
Location: Missions Crossroads (Housing Office)
International students are able to move into on-campus housing as early as 10:00am on this day without additional fees. Please visit the Missions Crossroads building to pick up your room key. The International Student Orientation Team will meet you there to help you move-in.

Undergraduate Students – First-Year (Freshmen) and Transfer Students 

Mandatory Orientation, Part 1: Overall Campus Orientation
Wednesday, January 23, 8:00am 
Location: Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice
This orientation is specially designed for incoming first-year and transfer students starting in Spring 2019, to help them receive the essential information needed to make a smooth transition to USD. Click here for additional details.

Mandatory Orientation, Part 2: International Student Immigration & Wellness Orientation
Thursday, January 24, 9:30am - 3:30pm
Location: Serra Hall 215
*Light breakfast and lunch will be served
This mandatory session for first-year and transfer students will cover topics including: maintaining your student immigration status, navigating the U.S. healthcare system, and important resources that can support your success at USD. Students must also bring their passport and I-20 to the orientation session.

Exchange (J-1) Students

Mandatory J-1 Undergraduate Exchange Student Welcome Meeting
Wednesday, January 23, 9:30am - 2:00pm
Location: Serra Hall 215
*Light breakfast and lunch will be served
This mandatory session for new undergraduate exchange students will cover need-to-know topics about studying at USD and living in San Diego as well as practical topics like obtaining a USD student card. Students must bring their passport and DS-2019 to this session. Lunch will be provided.

Mission Valley Shopping Trip
Wednesday, January 23, 2:30pm - 5:00pm
Location: Meet at Law Circle (traffic circle in front of Warren Hall)
We invite you to go shopping for dormitory essentials, mobile phones and other necessities. Free transportation will be provided from USD.

Mandatory J-1 Undergraduate & Graduate Exchange Student Immigration & Wellness Orientation
Friday, January 25, 9:30am - 12:00pm
Location: Serra Hall 215
This mandatory session for exchange students will cover topics including: maintaining your student immigration status, navigating the U.S. health care system, and important health insurance reminders. Law exchange students do not need to attend.

Law Students

Mandatory International Law Student Immigration & Wellness Orientation
Friday, January 4, 1:00pm - 4:30pm
Location: Serra Hall 215
*Coffee and light snacks will be served
All incoming international Law students are expected to attend including LLM, JD and J-1 exchange Law students.

F-1 Graduate Students

Mandatory International F-1 Graduate Immigration & Wellness Orientation
Thursday, January 24, 9:30am - 2:30pm
Location: Serra Hall 215
*Light breakfast and lunch will be served
This mandatory session for all non-law graduate students will cover topics including: maintaining your student immigration status, navigating the U.S. healthcare system, and important resources that can support your success at USD. Students must also bring their passport and I-20 to the orientation session.

All New Students – Optional Social Events

New Student Pizza Night
Thursday, January 24, 6:30pm-9:00pm
Location: International Student Lounge (Student Life Pavilion, 3rd Floor)
Come to the International Student Lounge and meet fellow new international students and the International Orientation Team. Pizza and soda will be provided.

San Diego Neighborhood Tour
Saturday, January 26 10:00am - 3:00pm
Location: Meet at Law Circle (traffic circle in front of Warren hall)
Join new international students in touring San Diego on an old-fashioned trolley. Tickets will be available for purchase at the International Center (Serra Hall 201) during orientation week for $15 per person. Lunch is included and space is limited.
 
International Student Welcome Dinner
Tuesday, February 12, 6:30pm-9:00pm
Location: UC Forum C
Celebrate the start of the new semester and meet other new and current international students. This event is free to attend and dinner will be provided.

Entry to the United States:

You may legally enter the United States up to 30 days prior to the program start date (indicated on your Form I-20 or DS-2019). Remember to enter the United States under your student visa and not your tourist visa.

 

Arriving in San Diego/USD:

The closest airport to USD is the San Diego International Airport (airport code SAN). USD does not offer arranged airport pick-up service. Taxi cab fare from the San Diego International Airport to USD should cost only about $30 (including a customary 10% tip). All taxis from the airport are registered and the driver must charge fare based on a standardized electronic meter. Though the driver will prefer cash, you may pay with any major credit card. Ride share programs like Uber and Lyft are also be options but may be difficult to locate and arrange for students new to San Diego. 

If your flight arrives at the Los Angeles International Airport (airport code LAX), there are a few transportation options when traveling from Los Angeles to San Diego. The most convenient option is to book a flight from Los Angeles to San Diego, although this can also be quite costly. Another more economical option is to arrange for a shuttle or other van service prior to your arrival. Finally, you may also take a train from Los Angeles Union Station (there is a bus that connects the LAX airport to Union Station) to San Diego Old Town station and then take a short taxi ride to campus.

Please see the visit San Diego page for additional information about arriving to the USD campus.

 

International Student and Scholar Resource Page:

The OISS website is a great resource for your pre-departure planning.

The Useful Local Information tab covers topics such as finding a place to live in San Diego, purchasing or renting a car, opening a bank account, etc.

Addionally, the First Two Weeks Checklistt offers great reminders of key tasks to think about and take care of shortly after your arrival.

What to Expect Once You are Admitted

Once you have been admitted to the University of San Diego (as confirmed by a letter offering you admission), you will be provided with instructions by the Admissions Office on how to obtain your Form I-20.  Your Form I-20, or Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) student, will be issued by the USD Admissions Office once you have submitted all pertinent requirements.

Getting Your Student Visa

Once you have received your Form I-20, the next step is to apply for an F-1 visa.  You will need to make an appointment for an interview with a Consular Officer at an American Embassy or Consulate in the city where you reside.  Please refer to the checklist below for documents that you would need to prepare before going on your interview.  Please take note that, depending on the specific embassy or consulate you are applying to, you may be required to provide additional documents in support of your application.  For guidance, please refer to information found on your embassy or consulate's website.

Checklist

Getting Your J-1 Visa

Once you have received your Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, the next step is to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa for yourself and your dependents, if applicable. You will need to make an appointment for an interview with a Consular Officer at an American Embassy or Consulate in the city where you reside.

Please refer to the checklist below for documents that you must bring to your interview. Please note that depending on the specific embassy or consulate you apply to, you may be required to provide additional documents in support of your application. For additional guidance, please refer to information found on your embassy or consulate's website.

Items to Bring to Your Interview

For additional information, please refer to the U.S. Department of State.

Arrival and Check-In Information

J-1 Undergraduate Exchange Student Orientation

All undergraduate exchange students at USD are required to attend orientation prior to the start of classes. This orientation will cover mandatory immigration and wellness information and will take place on Wednesday, January 23 and Friday, January 25. You must attend on both of these days. Find additional information here.

Moving In

If you have made arrangements to live on campus, you may move into your dormitory on Tuesday, January 22 between 10:00 am and 10:00 pm. Please check into the Missions Crossroads (housing office) to pick up your room key.

Additional Resources to Prepare for Life in the United States

For a student venturing off to the United States to study, traveling can be a source of both excitement and stress. You are likely eager to find out what documents you need to bring, how much money to bring, what to expect upon arrival here in the United States, etc. To help prepare you for your departure, please consult Education USA's excellent guide on pre-departure planning.

In addition, the OISS website is a great resource for your pre-departure planning. The Useful Local Information tab covers topics such as finding a place to live in San Diego, purchasing or renting a car, opening a bank account, etc.

International students and visiting scholars at the University of San Diego (USD) should familiarize themselves with the Office of International Students and Scholars Health Insurance Policy and select one of the two options below to fulfill the health insurance requirement.

1. Enroll in the USD International Health Insurance Plan

Students and visiting scholars have the option of enrolling in the USD International Health Insurance plan, coordinated through USD’s provider Gallagher Koster. Please refer to the resources below to familiarize yourself with the USD International Health Insurance plan:

*Please Note: U.S. permanent residents and individuals on non-student visas (including the H-1B visa) are not eligible to enroll in the USD International Health Insurance Plan.

Or, 2. Waive the USD Health Insurance Requirement

Spring 2019 Waiver Deadline: Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Students who choose to waive the USD health insurance coverage must do so at the start of each academic year (or their first semester at USD if starting in the spring). Without submitting the online health insurance waiver each year, USD cannot waive the health insurance fee. Therefore, students who fail to submit the waiver by the posted deadline will be automatically enrolled and billed via their USD student account.

*Note that F-2 and J-2 dependent spouses and children are not eligible to enroll in the USD plan. Although USD is not affiliated with the following plans, many students/scholars have used these US-based plans to cover their dependent spouses and children. It is advisable to compare plans closely and to understand both monthly costs and fees when accessing care:

International Student Insurance

PCH Global

ISO

Waiver Requirements

Students and visiting scholars may choose to waive the USD health insurance requirement with a comparable insurance plan only if this plan includes ALL of the following features:

  • Effective throughout the semester and renewable for continuous coverage
  • Maximum dollar coverage of at least $100,000 per illness or injury ( must include the language per incident/injury which is not the same as $100,000 maximum benefit)
  • Include outpatient care (doctor visits, outpatient surgery, etc.)
  • Include hospitalization
  • Repatriation for at least $25,000
  • Medical evacuation for at least $50,000
  • Cost of deductible, if any, does not exceed $500 per accident or illness

Note for J-1 Students and Scholars: J-1 students and visiting scholars who wish to waive must also submit a copy of their health insurance certificate in English, which demonstrates the aforementioned features at least 30 days before the program start date. A letter from the insurance company would also be acceptable (please refer to this sample letter).  Individuals who fail to do so by the required date will be automatically be enrolled in the USD international health insurance plan.  J-1 scholars are not subject to the online waiver form but still must submit a copy of their insurance certificate.

Note for Athletes: Student athletes participating in club or NCAA sports are NOT eligible to waive the USD health insurance requirement and therefore must enroll in the USD International Health Insurance Plan, which includes special provisions for athletes.

Note for Students with Embassy-Sponsored Plans: Students with embassy/cultural mission-sponsored health insurance plans are not required to complete the online waiver but must provide USD Admissions or the OISS a copy of a financial guarantee. 

Foreign Insurance Plans: Please review this list of insurance companies that have been used by former USD international students to waive the USD International Health Insurance plan. Since we are not affiliated with any of these companies, we make no guarantee for their services. This list was assembled solely for the consideration of students who wish to waive the USD International Health Insurance plan.

Online Waiver Instructions

Students will not be able to waive the USD International Health Insurance plan until they have been issued an I-20 or DS-2019 document by USD.

To access the online waiver, please follow the instructions below:

  • Gather all insurance documents - this information is required to fill out the online waiver
  • Visit the Gallagher website to create an account (Note: a USD Student ID number is required to create an account)
  • Click on "Student Waiver Form” on the left side panel and fill out personal information to create an account
  • Click on "Student Waiver Form" again and select “Waiver Form”
  • Answer all questions and click submit to complete the waiver
  • Print Confirmation Page
  • Student accounts are automatically billed for the USD International Health Insurance plan each semester. However, once the online waiver is complete and the USD International Center receives a report documenting this information, the insurance charges on the account will be reversed. Please note that this process may take up to 2 weeks.

Are You Planning To Study Abroad For A Semester Or A Year?

Students who study abroad through a USD program pay for health insurance coverage as part of their study abroad fees. If you are planning to study abroad, please contact internationaloffice@sandiego.edu to connect with the Office of International Students and Scholars to notify the office of your time abroad. Note that students studying abroad in their home country (example: a Korean student studying abroad at a Korean exchange university) are excluded from this and must remain enrolled in the USD International Health Insurance plan or complete the online waiver for their term abroad.