Newly Admitted

Information for New Students

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

Important Information for Fall 2017 Admitted Students

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

Important International Orientation Dates for Fall 2017 Admitted Students

Early On-Campus Move-In for International Students 
Monday, August 28 or Tuesday, August 29 10:00 am -10:00 pm
Location: Missions Crossroads (Housing Office)

New international students living on campus should move into residence halls on one of the above dates. New international students have special permission to move in on these early dates without extra fees.

International Parent Informational Mixer
Wednesday, August 30, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Degheri Alumni Center Courtyard 

Undergraduate Students – First-Year (Freshmen) 
Mandatory International Student Immigration & Wellness Orientation
Wednesday, August 30, 8:45 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Maher Hall 240 (Salomon Lecture Hall)
International students will also attend OLÉ! Weekend, USD’s overall orientation program, which begins on Friday, September 1.

Transfer Students
Early International Transfer Student Immigration & Wellness Orientation
Thursday, August 10, 8:30 am- 2:00 pm
Location: Serra Hall 215
International transfer students who attend this early orientation will NOT have to attend the longer session on Wednesday, August 30th (see below).

or

Wednesday, August 30, 8:45 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Maher Hall 240 (Salomon Lecture Hall)
International transfer students will also attend Transfer Orientation, USD’s overall orientation program which begins on Saturday, September 2.

Graduate Students
Note that Law students and many graduate students in the School of Business have pre-determined early international orientation dates. Make sure to stay in contact with your academic adviser and Graduate Admissions regarding these early arrival programs. For all other new graduate students, see the schedule below:

Mandatory International Graduate Student Immigration & Wellness Orientation
Thursday, August 24, 8:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: Serra Hall 215

You should plan to arrive before this date to allow for time to settle before classes begin.

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

 


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 $25 (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 may 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 SuperShuttle prior to your arrival. Finally, you may also take a train from Los Angeles Union Station (there is a bus that connects the LAX aiport 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 Handbook:

The International Student and Scholar Handbook is a great resource for your pre-departure planning. This handbook covers topics such as finding a place to live in San Diego, purchasing or renting a car, opening a bank account, etc.

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 & 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, August 31. 

Moving In

If you have made arrangements to live on campus, you may move into your dormitory on Monday, August 28 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 International Student and Scholar Handbook is a great resource for your pre-departure planning. This handbook 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

Fall 2017 Waiver Deadline: Friday, September 15, 2017

Spring 2017 Waiver Deadline: Wednesday, February 7, 2018

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.

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
  • Minimum dollar coverage of $100,000 per illness or injury (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).  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.