Congratulations on your acceptance to Georgia State – Atlanta Campus as a new international student! International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) advises you to review this checklist both before and after your arrival in the U.S. and Atlanta. If you are anxious to see what our campus looks like, enjoy our virtual tour! Welcome.
Many questions you might have about housing, courses, and life in Atlanta and the U.S. as an international student are answered in the International Student Handbook. Please review and bookmark this useful resource.
ISSS is here to help. We look forward to meeting you at International orientation and check-in!
If you are starting at Perimeter College, click here to view Next Steps for Admitted Perimeter College students.
- Activate your Campus ID. 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.
- Set up your Georgia State student email account at PantherMail Student Email. You’ll use this email address for all official communications with ISSS and the University. Emails from our office will always start with the subject line “ISSS”.
- Obtain I-20 or DS-2019. After academic admission to Georgia State, ISSS will email you to upload immigration information via an online system called ‘iStart.’ Students requesting F1 or J1 visa status will upload financial documents also as required to process and receive a Form I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1).
- Pay SEVIS fee. Once you have received your I-20 or DS -2019 from Georgia State, pay the required SEVIS I-901 fee. Print and keep your receipt for future reference. Read more about the Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
- Schedule your visa interview. Next, make an appointment at the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy for your F1 or J1 visa interview. You will need your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt and I-20 or DS-2019 from Georgia State. More information about this process will be enclosed with your I-20 or DS-2019. It’s also available on the ISSS website.
- Complete Start@State, which is required of all incoming students at Georgia State.
- Log in to Panther Access to Web Services (PAWS). PAWS is the online portal to access things like student accounts, housing, and more. While you’re in there, check out the New Students tab. View your student record and any holds on your account under the Enrollment tab. Click the Campus Resources tab for housing information.
- After obtaining your visa, plan your travel to the U.S to arrive before the program start date on your I-20 or DS-2019. You may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the start day on your I-20 or DS-2019.
- Complete the online International Student Orientation course on the Homebase platform. ISSS will send information about registering for International Student Orientation after you receive your I-20 or DS-2019.
- Research housing options. First, read the housing section of the International Student Handbook.
- Then check with University Housing for available space in a campus residence hall.
- The Dean of Students also maintains some information about off-campus housing.
- The ISAC group of your choice is also a great resource for roommates or temporary housing.
- Note: Georgia State does not offer temporary housing! If you are planning to live on campus, and you arrive before the move-in date, you will need to find temporary housing beforehand on your own. Find a list of hotels near Georgia State.
- Submit required immunization forms to the Student Health Clinic. Immunizations are required for MMR, Tetanus/Diphtheria, Varicella and Hepatitis B. Call 404-413-1930 with questions.
- Forms can be submitted in advance. Please visit the Student Health Clinic website to learn how.
- You may also deliver them in person after you arrive on campus and receive your Panther ID card.
- If you have not yet received your immunizations, you can get them at the Student Health Clinic after you arrive at Georgia State.
- If you will live on campus, you must also obtain the meningitis vaccine or sign an optional waiver with your housing application.
- Pay for, or request a waiver of the required Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
- All students are required to maintain adequate health insurance during their stay in the USA.
- Payment for this insurance can be paid at the same time you pay your tuition and fees.
- Students with a qualified alternate insurance plan from their home country are eligible to request a waiver of the Georgia State 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.
- Read more about Student Health Insurance.
- Contact your Academic Advisor before registering for courses.
- Undergraduate students, see Academic Advising to locate your academic advisor.
- Graduate students, contact your academic department to contact your academic advisor.
- Register for courses via PAWS. You can register before meeting with your academic advisor, but you may have to change your course schedule after meeting with your advisor.
- All undergraduate transfer students must complete Transfer Student Online Pre-orientation before class registration is possible.
- Arrange transport from the Atlanta airport to your local destination. Help is available if needed.
- Contact one of the student groups that are a part of ISAC (International Student Associations Council). Several ISAC groups provide airport pickup and housing assistance. Go to the ISAC website, and under the “Get Involved,” there is a list of ISAC organizations.
- Georgia Culture Connection is a volunteer network that offers free airport pickups for Georgia State international students in the fall and summer as their availability allows. ISSS will post the sign-up for Georgia Culture Connection pick-ups when it is available here.
- Complete mandatory online International Student Orientation and submit your Arrival Confirmation eForm. Read more about International Student Orientation requirements.
- Graduate Students only: Be prepared to take the Georgia State Test of English Proficiency (GSTEP), if required. Results could require you to alter your initial class schedule if you are required to add an English language course. View more details.
- Obtain your PantherCard, the official Georgia State identification card for use as:
- A library card, facility access and a debit card (Panther Cash and Panther Meals meal plans).
- Pick up your Panther Card at Auxiliary & Support Services in the Student Center. Just bring another valid photo ID. Ex: passport or Driver's License.
- Purchase your textbooks for classes, but only after advisement by your academic advisor.
- The Georgia State University 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.
- Prepare to pay all tuition and fees by the payment deadlines. All students owing tuition and fees after the payment deadline may be automatically dropped from all courses, which can jeopardize your immigration status. For more information, please see How to Pay.
- Send any needed final transcripts and/or test scores to the Admissions Office.
- Undergraduate students: Submit AP or IB scores (if applicable) and transcripts with final credits and date of graduation to: The Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 4009, Atlanta, GA 30302.
- Explore campus, especially the buildings where you’ll have classes with this online interactive map.
- 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 after submission of your Arrival Confirmation. In addition, you have to be present in the USA for at least 10 days. For detailed information about this topic, please read the Driver’s License section of the International Student Handbook.
- Review. Your class registration will not be complete until you complete the following:
Atlanta Campus Location:
Sparks Hall - Room 252
ISSS, Georgia State University
33 Gilmer St. SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Atlanta Mailing Address (please use our
physical address above for express mail):
International Student and Scholar Services
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3987
Atlanta, GA 30302-3987
Perimeter College Location
and Mailing Address:
Building CN 2230 (Student Center)
ISSS, Perimeter College, Clarkston Campus
555 N. Indian Creek Dr.
Clarkson, GA 30021