Newly Admitted

Information for New Students

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

Important Information for Spring 2020 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.

Check out the videos to the right for tips from former USD international students!

For information about Admissions requirements, please refer to International Admissions.

International Orientation Dates for Spring 2020 Admitted Students

  • Undergraduate First-Year (Freshmen) Students
  • Undergraduate Transfer Students
  • Exchange (J-1) Students
  • Law Students
  • F-1 Graduate Students
  • New International Student Orientation Events

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.

On-Campus Move-In for International Students

All new international students are able to move into on-campus housing as early as 10:00am on Tuesday, January 21 without additional fees. Please visit the Mata'yuum Crossroads (housing office) building to pick up your room key. The International Team Ambassadors will meet you there to help you move-in between 10am - 10pm.

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 options and pick-up locations for ride-sharing services at the airport are well-marked.

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. 

International Students and Scholars Resource Page:

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

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

Additionally, the Welcome Checklist 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 Thursday, January 23rd.

Moving In

If you have made arrangements to live on campus, you may move into your dormitory on Tuesday, January 21st between 10:00 am and 10:00 pm.

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 Student Life tab covers topics such as finding a place to live in San Diego, purchasing or renting a car, opening a bank account, etc.

All USD full time Undergraduate, Graduate, Law students and visiting scholars are required to have health insurance. At the beginning of every academic year, students need to decide to enroll in or waive the USD International Health Insurance Plan. This requirement ensures that students in need of health and/or mental health care beyond the scope of services provided by USD Student Wellness Services can access the appropriate care and resources in the community. Details can be found on the OISS health insurance webpage.