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International Student Affairs

International Student Pre-arrival Checklist

Graduate Pre-arrival Checklist    Undergraduate Pre-arrival Checklist

Immigration Documents

  • Ensure your passport is valid in order to enter the U.S.
  • Apply to Hofstra and receive an I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students). With the I-20 or DS-2019 from Hofstra University, apply for your student visa.
  • Make copies of your I-20 or DS-2019, visa and passport prior to departure.
  • Hand-carry all original immigration documents with you on the flight (not in your checked luggage), and put copies in a separate secure place.
  • Read through the helpful immigration information regarding traveling to the U.S. on a F-1 or J-1 visa.


  • Schedule your travel plans in order to attend the International Student Orientation, which is the week before classes begin. We recommend that you arrive the Sunday before International Student Orientation.
  • Make the appropriate arrangements for transportation from the airport when you arrive in the United States. If you are taking a bus or train from the airport, be sure that you have directions to Hofstra.
  • Pack a small bag with enough clothes for the week of orientation. In addition, if you are staying on campus, bring sheets and a blanket. During International Student Orientation you will be taken to local stores and have the chance to purchase items for your room or any additional clothing that you might need.
  • Bring music, art, videos, photo albums, recipes and clothing from your home country to share with others!


  • Determine whether you would like to live on campus or off campus. International students who live on campus acclimate faster to the U.S. and overall have a smoother transition into Hofstra student life. There are many benefits that come from living on campus.
  • If you would like to live on campus, apply for a space in the residence halls and pay the housing deposit. 
  • If you would like to live off campus, read through these helpful tips.
  • Sign up for a dining plan. All undergraduate students living on campus must sign up for a dining plan.


  • Pay for your tuition and fees by the designated deadlines. Hofstra offers multiple ways for you to pay your bill.  
  • Budget at least $500 per semester for textbooks.
  • Obtain a debit/credit card for immediate expenses while in the U.S. It is not advisable to carry or display large amounts of cash in public places.

Health Care

  • Complete your Student Medical Record. All students are required to submit a Medical Record Form before they begin classes.  Documentation of your vaccinations for measles, mumps, and rubella are mandatory, in addition to a response to the Meningitis information request (number 10 on the front of the form). Please have the form completed by your medical provider.  If you have any additional health-related questions, please email wellnesscenter{at}hofstra.edu.
  • Visit your eye doctor and get an extra pair of glasses; visit your dentist and medical doctor for a check-up before traveling to the U.S.
  • Obtain prescription medication for chronic medical conditions.
  • Read over the Hofstra University Health Insurance Policy.


  • Register for classes. Your academic advisor will contact you to register for classes.
  • All official copies of transcripts and documents associated with transfer credit should be sent to the appropriate admissions office. 
  • Fully admitted undergraduate international students may be required to take the mathematics placement test 'ALEKS' prior to orientation. The mathematics test should be competed in one sitting. Most students complete the test in one to one and a half hours, but the test is untimed. You should have a paper and pencil at your computer with you when you sit down to take the test. ALEKS will provide an on-screen calculator if you need one to complete a particular problem. Otherwise, you may not use a calculator. To take the placement test, log in to the Hofstra Portal, my.hofstra.edu, with your Hofstra username and password. After you log in, you will see a few icons along the top right navigation bar. Hover over the icons at the top right and select the one that says 'My Apps'. (It is the one that looks like a 'waffle' or a 'keyboard'.) Click on the icon and select ALEKS. If you have problems or need help, you may email EdTech at scs@hofstra.edu. If you have a question about the mathematics test please contact the Mathematics Department at mathplacement@hofstra.edu. More information on the mathematics placement exam can be found in the Summer Math Academy course on Blackboard. 
  • Fully-admitted graduate international students should contact their departments for information about their pre-arrival academic needs.

We are looking forward to your arrival! If you have any additional questions, please email us at international{at}hofstra.edu.