Next Steps: New International Students – Perimeter College

Congratulations on your acceptance to Georgia State University’s Perimeter College as a new international student! International Student & Scholar Services, Perimeter College (ISSS-PC) advises you to follow this checklist of tasks to complete both before and after your arrival in the U.S. and Atlanta. We’ve also included a list of items to keep with you (not in checked luggage) during travel.

ISSS-PC is here to help. We look forward to meeting you at the F-1 Visa Information Meeting and check-in!

Click here for a printable PDF version of these checklists


1. Activate your Campus ID at Enter your Panther ID #, which you received in your admissions materials. If you lost, forgot or didn’t receive it, you can look it up here.

  • Follow the directions for students without SSN # (Social Security Number) to receive a temporary password, which you can change at the same site.
  • Memorize or write down your password because you will need it on the first day of international orientation.
  • It will take about 24 hours before you can use your new campus ID to access the student systems.
2. Set up your Georgia State student email account at PantherMail Student Email. You’ll use this email address for all official communications with ISSS-PC and the University. Emails from our office will always start with the subject line “ISSS-PC”.
3. Obtain I-20. After academic admission to Georgia State University, Perimeter College, you will receive an automatic email from International Student and Scholar Services at Perimeter College (ISSS-PC). The email will instruct you to upload required information, including financial documentation via “iStart”, an online, paperless system. When all requested documentation is complete, your record will be reviewed by ISSS-PC. Then, ISSS-PC will create your I-20 and mail it to you. Click here to learn more about iStart.
4. Pay SEVIS fee. Once you have received your I-20 or DS -2019 from Georgia State, pay the required SEVIS I-901 fee at: Print and keep your receipt for future reference. Optional information: More about the Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is at:
5. Make an appointment at the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy for your F1 visa interview. You will need your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt and I-20 from Georgia State University, Perimeter College. Information about the visa application process is available at the ISSS website.
6. Complete Online Orientation. Visit to get started on your online orientation. Learn important information about your next steps as a Georgia State University, Perimeter College student. Students taking only online courses as well as all other new students including online, transfer, transient and re-entry students are required to complete the online New Student Orientation module.
7. Submit Your Intent to Enroll. This form confirms to Admissions your decision to attend Perimeter College for a specified term and helps us prepare for your upcoming registration and enrollment. Note: Students who need to change to a future term should complete the Reactivation process.



8. Log into Panther Access to Web Services (PAWS). PAWS is the Georgia State University wide student online portal with everything you need as an admitted student. Here you can register for classes, view your schedule, your student account balance, and more. Log in to your PAWS account and get familiar with everything it has to offer.
9. AFTER obtaining your visa, plan your travel to the U.S to arrive in time for (required) on-campus New Student Orientation and F-1 Visa Information Meeting & Check-in. You may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the start date on your I-20. You may not skip or miss the F-1 Visa Information Meeting & Check-in.
10. Research housing options. Georgia State University, Perimeter College, is non-residential and does not provide on-campus housing. You are responsible for finding and securing living arrangements. There are many apartments for rent near Perimeter College campuses. If you are moving from out of state or outside of the United States and you have not yet secured housing, we encourage you to arrive one month prior to the start of classes. This will provide you the advantage of finding living accommodations, relaxing and getting acquainted with your new surroundings before orientation and the start of classes. The Off-Campus Housing section of the International Student Handbook contains helpful information about arranging off campus housing. Warning: don’t sign a lease for an off-campus apartment from abroad. Always visit the property in person first, after you arrive. Remember, you can enter the U.S. 30 days before the start of your program for this purpose.
11. Arrange transportation from the Atlanta airport to your local destination at your own expense. Transportation will not be provided for you. However, some assistance may be available through International Student Connection, which offers free airport pick-ups for Georgia State University’s Perimeter College international students as needed. To request their assistance, complete this application in advance. For questions or to confirm your arrangements, contact Michele Coursey at Other options include MARTA, Taxis, and Airport Shuttles


12. Take required English and Math tests, if applicable.  Math and English test scores are required for admission to Perimeter College at Georgia State University. These requirements may be satisfied by various methods, including, but not limited to, SAT, ACT, ACCUPLACER or transferable Math and English college credit. Students who have not met minimum Math and English testing requirements will not be eligible to register for classes.  If applicable, arrange to take required tests upon arrival. For more information about testing requirements for international students, click here.
13. Submit Immunizations. Go to to learn how to submit your immunization records to our Student Health Center. Students who do not have all required immunizations prior to arriving to the US may get immunizations done upon arrival. Immunization requirements must be satisfied prior to class registration. Avoid registration delays by submitting your records as soon as possible. Immunization documents may be faxed to 678-891-3036.
14. Attend On-Campus Orientation. Learn more about your new campus by attending orientation in person. It lasts approximately two hours, and it consists of check in, campus tours, advisement and registration for classes. Transient, postbaccalaureate, and transfer students with more than 30 hours do not have to attend on-campus orientation.
15. Register for courses via PAWS. You may register for classes after you have attended Orientation part II and met with an academic advisor.
16. Pay for or request a waiver of required Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

  • All students are required to maintain adequate health insurance during their stay in the USA. Georgia State University, Perimeter College’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) is underwritten by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, and is administered by UnitedHealthcare Student Resources (UHCSR).
  • Payment for this insurance can be made at the same time you pay your tuition and fees. Do not pay the insurance premium directly to UHCSR.
  • Students with a qualified alternate insurance plan from their home country are eligible to request a waiver of the mandatory plan. If you do not request a waiver, and you don’t pay for the Georgia State plan by the payment deadline, your courses will be dropped automatically.
  • For information about SHIP, please click here. Additional information regarding the insurance process will also be discussed in the F-1 Visa Information Meeting and Check-in.
17. Attend mandatory F-1 Visa Information Meeting and Check-in the week before class. Bring your passport, I-20, and I-94 with you.
18. Obtain your PantherCard, the official Georgia State University, Perimeter College identification card for use as:

  • A library card, facility access, and a debit card
  • Obtain your PantherCard with a state or federally issued photo ID; passport, driver’s license, etc. at the Perimeter PantherCard office.
19. Purchase your text books for classes, but only after advisement by your academic advisor. The Perimeter College Bookstore will have the textbooks you need, or you can order or rent them online. If ordering, allow enough time for the books to arrive before classes start.
20. Prepare to pay all tuition and fees by the payment deadlines. All students with balances after the deadline are automatically dropped from all courses. For more information, please see Paying Your Account Balance.
21. Driver’s License. To obtain a driver’s license in the USA as an international student, you will need to wait for your SEVIS record to be registered within 5 days after the F-1 Visa Information Meeting and check-in. In addition, you have to be present in the USA at least 10 days. ISSS-PC will email all new international students once their I-20 has been registered. The Dept. of Driver Services (DDS) will reject DL applications from international students before this step and 10 days.
22. Review. Your class registration will NOT be complete until you complete the following:

  • Take the proper ESL/English and Math COMPASS Exams, if applicable.
  • Meet with your academic advisor
  • Enter a valid local address, foreign address, email and phone number in PAWS
  • Submit required immigration documents to ISSS at the F-1 Visa Information Meeting and check-in

ITEMS TO KEEP WITH YOU DURING TRAVEL (carry-on, not checked luggage)

  • I-20 or DS-2019 from Georgia State University.
  • Valid passport.
  • U.S. Visa for Georgia State University, Perimeter College, located in your passport.
  • Your admission letter from Georgia State University, Perimeter College.
  • Airplane ticket(s).
  • Cash, credit cards, or any international bank card (ATM or debit card). ISSS advises to carry $1,000-$2,000 cash in U.S. dollars for travel emergencies, unforeseen expenses and settling-in costs.
  • Phone numbers and email addresses of emergency contacts at home and in the United States.
  • Phone numbers and email addresses of relatives, friends, your Georgia State academic department, the ISSS-PC office (678-891-3235 during business hours).
  • An English translation of your medical history and documents.
  • Prescriptions for medications you take and a fresh supply of prescription medicines.
  • Medical records (including vaccination records) for your accompanying spouse/children (if applicable).

*Many questions you might have about housing, courses, and life in Atlanta and the U.S. as an international student are answered in the ISSS International Student Handbook, but please be aware that Georgia State University’s International Student Handbook was written prior to the consolidation with Perimeter College and does not yet contain references specific to Perimeter College. Therefore, some information is not applicable for Perimeter College international students, so please utilize the information with this in mind until the handbook can be updated to reflect the new multi-campus Georgia State University.