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International students and First Friends posing for group picture in Memphis TN

Before You Leave for the United States

  1. Renew your passport for an expiration date no earlier than your program end date at APSU. This will ensure that you are able to enter and depart the country during your program of study.
  2. After receiving your DS-2019 form (for the J-1 student) or I-20 (for the F-1 student), schedule an appointment with the American Embassy to complete your visa interview. Be sure to bring the appropriate documentation with you including your visa application, I-20 or DS-2019 form, your letter of acceptance at APSU, financial statements and any other requirements. Information about student visas, how to apply, required documentation and preparing for the interview is available from the U.S. Deptartment of State.
  3. Before scheduling your flight to the U.S., contact the Housing Office or Office of International Education to verify your room assignment and earliest possible check-in date at APSU. As an F-1 or J-1 student, you must plan to arrive no earlier than 30 days prior to your program start date. Do not book your airline ticket before confirming that your room will be available for check in on the date that you plan to arrive at APSU. The Housing Office requires students to check in to their rooms on certain dates and during certain time periods. Ensure that you will arrive to check in to your room on these dates and within these hours. If your flight is delayed and you are unable to arrive within these hours, please have a back-up plan including a local hotel option. You may also contact the Office of Public Safety at (931) 221-7786 to request special assistance in the event that you arrive at a late hour.
  4. Make copies of your immigration documents including your DS-2019 form (for J-1 students), I-20 (for F-1 students), student visa, passport, financial statement, and acceptance letter to APSU. Leave one copy of the documents in a safe place with a family member.
  5. Update your immunization records. An international student is required to submit proof of two immunizations against measles, mumps, and rubella during his/her lifetime. International students are also required to submit proof of a negative tuberculosis test dated within 30 days or a letter from physician confirming that the student is TB free.  A student who has not submitted this proof of immunizations and TB-free statement will not be able to register for classes. See International Student Forms for copies of health forms.
  6. Notify your banking institution in your home country that you will be studying in the U.S.A. and for what time period you will be abroad. Discuss using your debit/credit card in the U.S. and whether it will function. Do not rely solely on your debit/credit card from your home country bank as sometimes these cards do not function in the U.S. Plan to also bring a small amount of U.S. dollars that will provide enough funds to sustain you until you are able to meet with a U.S. banking official to open up an account in the U.S.
  7. Make travel arrangements from the BNA-Nashville International Airport to Clarksville, Tennessee. The average travel time from BNA to APSU is 45 minutes to one hour. Use the Airport Pickup Form and the Office of International Education will try to arrange transportation for you. Other options include the following:
    1. 24-Hour Airport Shuttle; cost: US$75-$95 (the price is subject to change); (931) 237-2699; www.myshuttlelimo.com
    2. APSU Volunteer Pick-Up; APSU community members often volunteer to pick-up international students at the airport.  Please book your arrival time between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and request this option at least three weeks in advance of your arrival date.  You  may request volunteer pick up by submiting the Airport Pickup Form or contacting the Office of International Education by email. 
  8. Send your travel itinerary to the Office of International Education with your arrival date. If you experience a delay at Customs and Immigration, this information will allow us to support you through the entry process. Also, you should schedule an appointment to confirm your arrival for visa purposes with the Office of Admissions and the Office of International Education.
  9. Double-check the suggested packing list to ensure you have included all necessary items in your carry-on bags and checked luggaged before you depart.