Office of Global Citizenship
Arrival and Orientation
Below is information that will help new students prepare for arriving at Sewanee in fall 2017. Please click on the headings below for additional information.
- Read the F-1 Visa Website or the J-1 Visa Website, depending on your Visa type. These are excellent resources published by the State Department.
- Check for errors on your DS-2019 or I-20. Upon admission into the university, you will receive your DS-2019 (J-1) or I-20 (F-1). Please review these documents for errors. The names on these documents should be the same as the name on your passport. You should also use that name on your visa application.
- Pay the SEVIS 901 fee. The SEVIS 901 fee funds SEVIS, the U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. This fee is paid on-line at www.fmjfee.com. You will use the SEVIS number above the barcode on the DS-2019 to pay this fee. Sewanee’s J Program number is P-1-04651. Once you pay the fee, you can make an appointment for a J-1 visa interview. The visa appointment date must set be for at least three days after paying the 901 fee.
- Complete Form DS-160, the online nonimmigrant visa application. You can apply for your visa no more than 90 days before your program begins at Sewanee.
- Schedule a Visa Interview. Take the following documents to the visa appointment with you:
1. Admission letter;
2. DS-2019 or I-20 with all signatures
3. Passport valid for at least six months after you enter the U.S.;
4. Original financial documents: Any emails/letters from Sewanee stating your funding amount, as well as a bank letter or statement of personal funds;
5. Sewanee's Group Insurance Plan Brochure;
6. A copy of the 901 SEVIS fee payment confirmation;
7. A copy of your DS-160 confirmation;
8. J-1 students only: Letter of agreement or exchange from your university, or the letter nominating you for the exchange -- If you are a Language House Director, you will need the Sewanee faculty letter offering you the Language House position;
9. Other documents may be required -- Please visit https://www.usembassy.gov/ to review all materials that may be required by your local embassy.
(You must also travel to the U.S. with these documents.)
You may enter the U.S. in initial F-1 or J-1 status (meaning you are a new international student, not a SEVIS transfer student) up to 30 days before the program start date on your I-20 or DS-2019. If you find it necessary to visit the U.S. between now and your earliest possible F-1 or J-1 entry date, you may do so with a tourist visa or under the Visa Waiver Program, depending on your home country. This allows you to visit, then return home, and re-enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status within the proper time frame. Please note that if you plan to enter under the Visa Waiver Program, you will be required to register and obtain travel clearance through the online Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before boarding a carrier bound for the United States.
To comply with federal immigration regulations, you must be in a status that legally allows study before your program begins.
The next step in the visa-related process will be entering the U.S. which involves an inspection at the port of entry. Most often, this is the airport where you first land in the U.S., but it could also be a sea port or a land port of entry, depending on your mode of travel. We recommend you allow plenty of time between your arrival flight into the U.S. and connecting flight(s) to Tennessee, as you have to go through immigration and customs inspection at the first point of entry into the country.
If you are detained at a P.O.E. (Port of Entry) for secondary inspection, entering could take longer than planned. Secondary inspection, once rare, is becoming more common for F and J visa-holders and could cause a delay in your arrival. If you have any changes in your flight schedules and arrival times, please call or email Andrea Del Balso as soon as possible.
When traveling to the U.S., you should bring the following documents with you, in your carry-on. Be prepared to provide the following documents at the port of entry to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the Port of Entry.
- Admission letter
- I-20 (F students) or DS-2019 (J students)
- Passport valid for at least six months after you enter the U.S.
- Original financial documents: Any emails/letters from Sewanee stating your funding amount, as well as a bank letter or statement of personal funds
- Copy of the SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment Confirmation
- Copy of your DS-160 Confirmation
- Sewanee's Health Insurance Brochure
- J Students Only: Letter of agreement or exchange from your university, or the letter nominating you for the exchange. If you are a Language House Director, you will need the Sewanee faculty letter offering you the Language House position.
When you are at the port of entry the officer will place an admission stamp in your passport and then write the visa status you are being given (F-1 or J-1) and the expiration date. For students in F-1 or J-1 status the expiration is noted with "D/S" which stands for 'duration of status'. This means that there is not a specific date that your entry will expire. Rather, you are allowed to stay in the U.S. until your F-1/J-1 status ends. Check your entry stamp before walking away from the window. If your stamp shows the incorrect status or has a specific expiry date instead of D/S, return to the inspection area and request your stamp be corrected. In the event this is not possible, please contact the Office of Global Citizenship the next business day.
When you enter the country, an electronic record of your admission, known as the I-94, will also be created. You can retrieve a copy of your I-94 by visiting the CBP website.
We also recommend you review the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) travel FAQs before coming into the U.S.
Students arriving in the U.S. from abroad or transferring their SEVIS record from another school must submit an online check in form within three business days of arriving in Sewanee. Checking in with the Office of Global Citizenship is required by law for you to maintain your immigration status. While you do not need to physically come to the office to submit this form or complete your check-in requirement, we encourage new J-1 and F-1 students to visit the office in Carnegie 110 in order to meet the staff and become familiar with its location.
To complete the online form, you must log into Gmail using your Sewanee ID. You will need to provide your current phone number and physical address in the U.S., as well as upload images of your immigration documents to the online form. The uploaded images can be scans or high quality digital photos from your camera, smart phone, computer's internal webcam, or tablet. If you don't have a way to create scans of your documents, the Office of Global Citizenship has a computer/scanner in our office that you can use during office hours.
The climate in Sewanee ranges from -7 Celsius to 32+ Celsius. Please pack accordingly. There are also many places near Sewanee where you can purchase affordable clothing.
Sewanee offers many outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and rock climbing. If you enjoy those kinds of activities, please bring proper equipment. Because electrical outlets differ among countries, we recommend bringing an adapter with you. Many students also purchase electronics upon arrival.
For additional information on what to bring, review the Sewanee packing list: http://www.sewanee.edu/student-life/residential-life/incoming-students/what-to-bring/. In addition to items on this list, students may also want to consider bringing items to that represent their home country and culture, such as:
- Small, inexpensive souvenirs (paper flags or lapel pins; postcards, pictures, or tourist booklets).
- Maps or books (especially books with lots of pictures). Many people are interested in food; an illustrated cookbook is always popular! (Of course, you can also show digital pictures of your town, country, museums or your family from your computer.)
- Music CDs.
- Sunday, August 13th: F-1 student arrival
- Monday - Tuesday, August 14th - 15th: F-1 Orientation
- Wednesday, August 16th: Sewanee's FYP Program begins
- Wednesday, August 23rd: J-1 student arrival
- Thursday - Friday, August 24th - 25th: J-1 Orientation
- Saturday - Tuesday, August 26th - 30th: New Student Orientation
New students must submit their arrival plans (airline, flight number, date, time, place of arrival, etc.) through the International Arrival Form by July 1.
F-1 students are expected to arrive in Sewanee on Sunday, August 13th.
J-1 students are expected to arrive in Sewanee on Wednesday, August 23rd.
The university offers a free van to Sewanee from the airport in Nashville, TN, on the following days:
- Sunday, August 13, 4pm
- Sunday, August 13, 8pm
- Wednesday, August 23, 8pm
If students are unable to take that van, or if they arrive at a different airport (Chattanooga or Atlanta) or at an earlier time, they can reserve a Groome shuttle at www.groometransportation.com. The shuttle will take students to Monteagle, and the university can help coordinate transportation for you to Sewanee.
If students experience flight delays or changes, please email or call Andrea Del Balso as soon as possible. If calling after business hours, call +1 931.313.1669.
All new international students at the University of the South are required to attend international student orientation. Orientation introduces students to campus, facilitates relationships among new and current students, reviews important governmental regulations, educates students on U.S. processes, such as medical care and insurance, and provides students the opportunity to get immunizations, apply for social security cards, and buy necessary personal items (e.g. clothes, toiletries, electronics, household, linens, etc).
New students will be divided into smaller groups at international student orientation, and these groups are led by a current international or domestic student, who is called an International Orientation Leader. Information on the International Orientation Leader program, as well as an application, may be found here.
- Required F-1 International Student Orientation is Monday and Tuesday, August 14th and 15th. Sewanee's FYP program begins August 16th.
- Required J-1 International Student Orientation is Thursday and Friday, August 24th and 25th.
- New student orientation for all new students at Sewanee is Saturday - Tuesday, August 26th - 29th.
Once students arrive on campus, we will help them settle into their room in their residence hall.
The residence halls and language houses are of various ages and in various states of refurbishing. Some residence halls offer suite-style living, while others have more traditional arrangements. Please visit Res Life's Website to learn more about a specific residence hall.
Students may bring their own linens and towels, or they may purchase linens and towels in advance so they are in their room upon arrival. We recommend twin XL bedding as there are a mix of both regular twin and twin XL beds present in all residence halls. To purchase linens and towels in advance, please complete the Linen Purchase Form.
Meals will be provided for new students, starting the first morning of their respective international student orientations.