The videos below with subtitles and voice-over will help you transition to GSU and life in Atlanta. Please review each video well before arrival.
- Contents (1:00 min): Overview
SEVIS and Student Visas
How To Apply for Your Visa
- Obtain your I-20 or DS-2019 document - To receive your document, you must review the Admissions process for international students and complete the necessary eforms in iStart.
- Pay your SEVIS I-901 Fee - There are three payment options, choose the option best for you.
- Make a Visa Appointment - Locate the nearest United States Embassy and complete the necessary steps to schedule a visa interview. You should receive a DS-160 receipt.
What To Bring to Your Visa Interview
- Form DS-160: Nonimmigrant Visa Application
- I-901 fee receipt. Print a copy here
- Official acceptance letter from Georgia State University
- Your I-20 or DS-2019
- Passport valid for at least 6 months
- Proof of financial support (F-1 students: These documents should match the information in section 8 of your I-20. These documents should not be older than 60 days.)
- Your one page educational plan and/or goals
- A list of your family who live in your home country. List their names, addresses, and places of employment. Also list any property or businesses you and/or your family may own. (The most common reason that student visas are denied is inability to prove non-immigrant intent. Therefore it is recommended that you bring any documents that will prove your intent to return to your home country after you complete your studies.)
Visa Interview Tips and Points
- Be professional in your appearance and responses to questions in English. Maintain a positive attitude during your interview.
- The visa officer at the embassy or consulate in your home country may request specific application materials. We recommend that you contact the embassy or consulate prior to your interview to ensure that you have everything needed for the issuance of your visa.
- If your visa is denied, please contact ISSS as soon as possible.
Arriving at the U.S. Border
You cannot enter the United States more than 30 days before the program start date listed on your SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 form.
- Do not check the following documents in your baggage. Always hand carry these items. (If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will be unable to present the documents at your port of entry and you may not be able to enter the United States):
- your passport (valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected stay)
- your SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019.
- ISSS recommends carrying the following also:
- evidence of financial resources
- acceptance letter from Georgia State University
- paper receipt for the SEVIS fee, Form I-797
- name and contact information for your Georgia State “Designated School Official” as listed on your I-20 or “Alternate Responsible Officer” as listed on your DS-2019.
If you experience problems at the port of entry outside of regular business hours, please contact the Georgia State Police at (404) 413-2100. For comprehensive information on procedures for traveling and arriving in the United States, visit educationUSA.
Complete Your Entry Paperwork
If Arriving By Air: Flight attendants will distribute Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059). These must be completed prior to landing.
If Arriving By Land or Sea: The CBP Officer at the port of entry will provide the necessary Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059) to be filled out upon your arrival. Be sure to write your name clearly and exactly as it appears in your passport!
At the Port of Entry
- Proceed to the terminal area for arriving passengers. Have the following documents available for presentation:
- your passport
- SEVIS Form (I-20 or DS-2019)
- Customs Declaration Form (CF-6059). The Form should reflect the address where you will live, not a GSU address.
All visitors entering the United States must state their reason for wishing to enter the country. You will also be asked to provide information about your final destination. It is important that you tell the CBP Officer that you will be a student. Be prepared to include the name and address of the school program where you will enroll/participate. Once your inspection is successfully completed, the inspecting officer will stamp your SEVIS Form for duration of status (“D/S”).
Housing and Meal Plan
One of the most important steps to arrange before arriving in the U.S. is where you will live: Housing. Georgia State University does not guarantee housing for all students as there is a limited supply of on-campus housing. However, Atlanta has abundant, affordable housing off-campus too!
On-campus housing is ONLY available through University Housing. On-campus housing is convenient, cost effective, safe, and simple to reserve. However, space is very limited.
Apply for housing as soon as possible in order to secure the kind of housing arrangements you desire, i.e. number of rooms, amenities, location, etc. You can find more information about on-campus housing and start the housing application at the University Housing website.
After applying for housing, you will be assigned to the wait-list. This does not guarantee you a room. You must recieve a rooming confirmation for guarantee of a room. All questions about on-campus housing should be emailed to University Housing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for more information about Living On-Campus.
Global Living Learning Community
The Global Living Learning Community (or GLLC) is an on campus living experience especially designed for:
- International Students
- Students with Global Studies or Language Majors
- Participants in the Study Abroad Program
- Students who love to travel and learn about other cultures around the world
The GLLC offers special programs, social activities, and interactions through which residents can make friends with people from all over the world while learning about their cultures. The challenges, joys, and opportunities of becoming a global citizen are explored and celebrated. Join in on the adventure!
The GLLC is currently located on the 9th Floor of the University Commons Building A.
The room types are set up as a 4 Bedroom/2 Bathroom style which means that each student will have their own bedroom.
The cost is priced at only $3,898 per semester!
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, then APPLY TODAY!
On-Campus Meal Plans
The University has a new dining service and has developed a new meal program. For more information visit Meal Plans.
Residents living in Patton Hall and Piedmont North are required to have the meal plan offered through PantherDining. Although required, the meal plan is priced separately from the housing costs. The dining centers located in Patton Hall and Piedmont North are all you care to eat style dining facilities. Residents of Patton Hall and Piedmont North receive unlimited access to the Dining Halls during operational hours.
Dean of Students - Off Campus Living
The Dean of Students Office provides helpful information for Off Campus Living. Consider the location in which you are moving. Will it be:
- in a safe neighborhood?
- near public transportation?
- near campus?
- near a supermarket?
- convenient for other needs you may have?
Georgia State University has partnered with Places4Students.com, which specializes in providing Off Campus Housing solutions for college students.
- This service is free.
- Students can create roommate listings (to attract or find a roommate).
- Landlords can list properties for students at very competitive rates.
More information and items to consider are provided in the International Student Handbook.
There are some dangerous areas in Atlanta, so before you go to a new area (especially at night!), be sure to ask how safe it is. Georgia State has its own police force, in addition to the City of Atlanta police. On the GSU campus there are 55 emergency call boxes with blue flashing lights. If you feel that you are in danger on campus, find the nearest callbox to automatically dial campus police. Whenever you feel in danger or need help on campus, GSU Police officers can escort you to anywhere on campus.
The police are expected to both enforce the law and assist the public. It is always appropriate to ask the police to help with all kinds of matters such as lost or stolen property, noisy neighbors, and emergency situations. Police are legally prohibited from taking "gifts" or money. They may arrest people who attempt to offer such payment.
Here are some tips about how to stay safe on and off campus:
- Do not leave bags unattended anywhere.
- Do not leave valuables or bags in plain view inside your car at any time. If necessary, put them in the trunk.
- Lock your car doors at all times.
- If a police officer stops your car, do not get out of the car unless instructed to do so. Roll down your window to speak to the officer.
- Do not walk by yourself at night.
- When walking, keep your head up and look directly ahead. Look confident, pay attention, and be aware of your surroundings.
- Never get into a stranger’s car. If someone in a car asks for directions, stand away from the car when talking to him or her.
- Get to know your neighbors at home. If you will be away from home for an extended period of time, ask one of your neighbors to collect your mail and newspapers.
- Always dial 911 for true emergencies
- GSU campus police: 404.651.3333
- GSU Police Escort: 404.413.2100
Typically, international students arrive in the United States with concerns about safety. Movies and television, particularly news reports, make the United States appear to be even more violent than it is. If you are careful and take some necessary precautions your stay should be crime free.
Student Health Clinic
Students occasionally need routine, basic health care that does not require use of health insurance, a private doctor, or a hospital. The GSU Student Health Clinic exists for this purpose. Please review the video below to learn more or visit the Student Health Clinic website.
Wellness means more than just physical health. It also includes your overall emotional, psychological, and lifestyle health. By maintaining all aspects of wellness, not just physical health, you will improve your ability to do well in classes and in life. Please review the video below to learn more, or visit the Counseling and Testing Center website.
Georgia State recognizes "sexual misconduct" as a broad term that includes: sexual harassment, exploitation, non-consensual contact, non-consensual intercourse, dating and domestic violence, and stalking, all of which are violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Reporting Sexual Misconduct
See video below, and immediately report any sexual misconduct as described:
- By students: report it to the Dean of Students office, Student Center East, Suite 303, call 404-413-1515 or email Incident Report Form
- By faculty or staff: report it to the Assistant VP of Human Resources and Opportunity Development/Diversity Education Planning (ODDEP), 1 Park Place South, Suite 308, or call 404-413-2567. (See Internal Complaint Process FAQ for more information.)