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Prepare For Your Arrival

Congratulations on your acceptance to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville! We look forward to welcoming you when you arrive in Edwardsville. International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) has put together the following checklist to help you prepare for your journey to the United States and your education at SIUE.

Obtaining a Student Visa

After you receive your I-20 form and Letter of Admission from SIUE, pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and make a visa appointment at the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy. For general information about the student visa application process, please visit the U.S. State Department website. Additional VISA information is also available on the ISS website.

Airport and Transport to SIUE

Lambert International Airport is St. Louis’ primary airport and all major airline provide service to St. Louis. Lambert International Airport is located 45 minutes from SIUE.

Students are responsible for their own transportation from Lambert St. Louis Airport; SIUE does not offer airport pick-up services to new international students from the airport. However, there are a number of options to get to SIUE from the Lambert St. Louis Airport. Please refer to Airport and Transport to SIUE.


Research your housing options: First, read the housing section of the International Student website. Then check with University Housing for available on-campus space or contact international student groups to help arrange off campus housing. The international student groups can be great resource in finding roommates and temporary housing.

*Please note that SIUE doesn't offer any temporary housing! If you are planning to use off campus housing and you arrive in Edwardsville prior to Ideal move in dates, you will need to find an alternative place to stay. Residents living on-campus are eligible for an early arrival (additional charges apply) and requests can be made by emailing

Spring move-in date for on-campus housing is January 8, 2017. In order to participate in the required International Student Orientation program, early on campus move in is provided to international students beginning January 1, 2017 at a cost of $20-$23 per day (depending on type of space). These charges will be billed to your SIUE student bill. Students requesting an early move-in should email with their request.

International Student Orientation

Orientation is designed to provide you with valuable information and facilitate your transition to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. By participating in the International Student Orientation, you will gain essential information about:

  • Immigration rules and regulations that affect your visa status
  • Student health services and health insurance requirement at SIUE
  • Academic life at SIUE and how to register for classes
  • Employment options
  • Opportunities to meet other new international and domestic student at SIUE

This Orientation program is mandatory for all incoming students. For a complete schedule, please see the ISSS web page. Remember to bring your passport, I-20 form and I-94 card with you the first day.

Class Registration

Undergraduate Academic Advising

Academic Advising for undergraduate student will be provided at international orientation . Only after you have spoken with an advisor should you register for courses.

Graduate Academic Advising

Please contact your Department Chair or Graduate Program director regarding program requirements and class registration. Here is a list of Graduate Program Directors. As a student, you should become familiar with the online Graduate Catalog. It describes many University polices that govern your academic career. After reviewing the catalog, you should contact your Graduate Program Director to begin planning your program of study. Academic Advising for graduate students will be provided at international orientation. Only after you have spoken with an advisor should you register for courses.

Graduate Assistantships

International graduate students that have been admitted to the Graduate School are eligible to apply for graduate assistantships which are awarded by individual departments on a competitive basis. Application must be made directly to the student's academic department.

A 50% assistantship provides a semester tuition wavier and a monthly stipend of $790 to $930. Appointees are required to work for the department for 20 hours per week. Assignments may be teaching, research or general duties. Most appointments are for nine months; some are for 12 month. A 25% assistantship also provides a semester tuition wavier. The monthly stipend is between $395 and $465 for 10 hours of work per week.

Prospective graduate student assistants should allow to at least eight weeks between the signing of an assistantship contact and the issuance of the first stipend check. The first stipend check usually will not be received until the sixth week of school. Graduate assistants still must bring a minimum of $2,000 to pay for housing, food, books, fees, etc., prior to receiving the first stipend.

You can find more information about the cost of graduate education, graduate fellowships, and assistantships including currently available assistantships at Graduate Admissions - Affording Graduate Education.

Competitive Graduate Award

This award offer highly qualified incoming graduate students a tuition waiver and stipend for their first year at SIUE. There are approximately 19 CGA awards for the nine-month academic year. They will include a monthly stipend, as well as wavier of tuition. The amount of stipend is $8,370 ($930 per month). Application for the CGA including the application to the graduate program have to be received by January 15 of each year. You can find more information about the Competitive Graduate Award on the website of the Graduate School.

Health Insurance and Immunization

Health insurance is a program that helps cover many medical expenses that can occur while you are in United States. International students and their dependents are required by law to purchase SIUE approved health insurance during the entire length of enrollment at SIUE. Health insurance for the semester should be purchased in the United States after your arrival; Information about health insurance enrollment can be obtained from SIUE Health Services.

Immunizations are required for all international students enrolled at SIUE. All immunization records not in English must be accompanied by a certifies translation. The Office of International Program strongly recommends that you complete your immunization requirement before you arrive at SIUE. Immunization cost in the United States can range anywhere from $75 to $200. Detailed Information about the required immunizations can be found on the Immunization Requirement section of SIUE Health Services website.

Tuition and Fees

Be prepared to pay your first payment of tuition and fees online or at the Office of Bursar by 4.30pm on Friday, the last day of orientation week to avoid having your classes dropped for non- payment. Please note that Southern Illinois University Edwardsville does not accept Visa Card as a method of payment. To see the acceptable payment methods go to this link.

Item to Carry with You on the Airplane (Including in Your carry-on):

  • I-20 from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Valid passport
  • Valid U.S Visa
  • Your admission letter from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Airplane tickets
  • Cash, traveler's checks or any international bank card (ATM or debit card); $800-$1,000 in U.S currency for travel emergencies and setting-in expenses. (Problem with flight connections could make it necessary for you to spend the night in a hotel, which could cost $100 or more. Try to prepare for all unexpected expenses associated with international travel.)
  • Phone numbers and email addresses of emergency contacts at home and in United States
  • Phone numbers and email addresses of relative, friends, the ISSS office (618-650-3785 open during business hours M-F 8.00am to 4.30pm) and a representative of your nationality group at the University
  • An English translation of your medical history and documents
  • Medical records (including vaccination records) for your accompanying spouse/children (if applicable)

Detailed information on Most of these topics is available in the International Student Handbook. Please read the handbook very thoroughly as your prepare for your transition to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Many question that you might have about housing, registration and life in Edwardsville are answered in the handbook. Please contact the ISSS office if you have any question. We are here to help you, and look forward to seeing you in Edwardsville!

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