In terms of planning your trip to campus, you should schedule your flight so that you are on campus in time for our first International Student Orientation session at 8:30am on Friday, August 22, 2014. We can provide housing for you before that date, though no earlier than August 13th if you are limited with flights. Keep in mind that there will not be any structured activities and limited meals available from the College before August 22nd.

When to Arrive

When making travel plans, please be aware that F-1 holders entering the U.S. for a NEW program, may not enter the U.S. earlier than 30 days before the start date of their I-20 (F-1) documents.

Students who are either continuing an on-going program or transferring from another U.S. school to Gettysburg College are not subject to the 30-day arrival limit.

When you travel, carry your documents with you; do not check them in your baggage! If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will not be able to show the documents and, as a result, may not be able to enter the United States.

Required Documents

Be prepared to present the following documents to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer:

  • Passport with nonimmigrant visa
  • Form I-20
  • Receipt Notice or Internet Receipt verifying SEVIS Fee payment
  • Evidence of financial resources.

If you are traveling by aircraft, the flight attendants on board will distribute CF-6059 Customs Declaration Forms and Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record for immigration, before you land at your initial point-of-entry in the U.S. Complete these forms while you are on the aircraft and submit them to the appropriate Customs and Border Protection Officer upon your arrival. If you do not understand a form, ask the flight attendant for assistance.

I-94 Arrival/Departure Document

When completing this form, write your name and other information exactly the same as it appears on your passport. Inconsistency in your name and information can cause serious problems and delays after your arrival.

The officer will stamp your I-94 and make a notation of the type of status you are being given as well as the expiration date. For F-1 students, you will be given an expiration notation called "D/S" (duration of status). Keep the I-94 stapled in your passport or in a safe location. It is proof of your legal entry into the U.S.