Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Getting to F&M

Obtaining an F-1 Student Visa

All international students must enter the United States with an F-1 student visa, with the exception of Canadian citizens. * A visa is a stamp that is placed inside of your passport by the United States Consulate or Embassy in your home country, which enables you to request entry into the U.S.  Procedures for applying for an F-1 student visa differ in every country so it is advisable that you contact the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your country for details.  You should start with the website for your consulate or embassy.  Information about the closest U.S. Consulate can be found at http://usembassy.state.gov/

* Canadian citizens must enter the US with the receipt from the $200 SEVIS fee in place of the visa.

General information about the student visa process can be found at http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html


When applying and being interviewed for a student visa, be prepared to show:

  • Your Official SEVIS Form I-20
  • Proof of Payment for the $200 SEVIS Form I-20 fee (see SEVIS information)
  • A completed non-immigrant visa application
  • The appropriate visa application fee (consult the consulate)
  • A valid passport
  • Acceptance, scholarship, and/or fellowship letters from Franklin & Marshall College
  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous schools
  • TOEFL, SAT Scores
  • Original evidence of financial ability (bank statements, affidavits, proof of income - not photocopies)
  • Evidence of social and economic ties to home country

F-1 STUDENTS ALREADY IN U.S. TRANSFERRING FROM ANOTHER SCHOOL and CANADIAN CITIZENS please contact the Office of International Programs for assistance and instructions.




Planning Your Arrival at the Airport

Do not pack the following documents inside your luggage. You will need to present them when you enter the United States:

  • Passport
  • SEVIS Form I-20
  • SEVIS Fee Receipt
  • Original evidence of financial ability (bank statements, sponsorship letter, proof of income - not photocopies)
  • Name and contact information for your "Designated School Official" (DSO), Jessica Haile: (717) 291-3855, and your 24-hour emergency contact number for F&M: (717) 291-3939 

The Office of International Programs at Franklin & Marshall will be notified electronically about your arrival in the U.S. Students are required to report to our office within ten days of arriving in the United States. You may do so electronically by emailing us should you arrive before the official arrival date:  Tuesday, August 26, 2014.




How and When to Arrive at Franklin & Marshall College

Students should plan to arrive on campus on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 between 8:30 AM and 3:00 PM. This is the earliest date and time that international students may move-in. Should you arrive earlier, you will need to secure accommodations in Lancaster or the city into which you fly.  Please note that F-1 students are permitted to enter the US 30 days before the Program Start Date (August 26, 2014). Many students choose to spend a few days in Philadelphia before coming to campus, or visit friends or relatives in other US cities.

Students should report to the Joseph International Center upon arrival, located at 701 College Avenue. Light refreshments will be available for you there. From there, you will be escorted to your House for check-in.

For student arrivals into Philadelphia Airport on August 26: Student volunteers will be available at the 30th St. (train) Station in Philadelphia on Wednesday, August 26 in the morning and early afternoon to meet you. Specifically groups will depart the train station on the 10:00 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. trains to return to campus. The meeting place will be the large arrival/departure board in the center of the station. This train station is ten miles from the Philadelphia International Airport. To get from Philadelphia International Airport to the 30th St. Station, you may either take a cab for about $30, or the R1 public transportation train for roughly $6.

From the 30th St. Station, it will take an hour and fifteen minutes by train to get to Lancaster. One way tickets cost between $15 to $20. IN ORDER TO MEET UP WITH THE GROUP, YOU WILL NEED TO LAND AT PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL NO LATER THAN 11:30 a.m. ON AUGUST 26, 2014.

For students arriving into other airports and/or on other dates: So that we may know when to expect you on campus, please send your airline name, flight number, departure city, and expected arrival time to the International Orientation Intern by August 1, 2014. Should you be flying into another airport and you have access to an Amtrak train station, you are welcome to meet up with new F&M students and student volunteers at the 30th St. Station in Philadelphia on August 26, 2014 in the morning or early afternoon.

Campus Address: 415 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, PA, 17603

Campus Emergency Contact Number (24 hours per day): (717) 291-3939.

Office of International Programs Contact Number (open between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm): (717) 358-7187.

You should not travel with large sums of money, but keep about $200 USD for traveling costs and food. At the airport, you may wish to purchase an international calling card so that you can contact family members about your safe arrival.




Dining, Lodging, and Attractions for Visiting Relatives/Friends

http://www.fandm.edu/visit/dining-staying-in-lancaster


 

Visa & Travel Checklist

SEVIS FORM I-20:

____ I have signed Section 11 on the first page of my Form I-20

____ I have paid the SEVIS fee and printed my receipt for payment of the SEVIS fee


F-1 VISA APPLICATION DOCUMENTS (needed for F-1 visa application at U.S. Consulate):

____ Official SEVIS Form I-20

____ Proof of payment/receipt for the SEVIS Form fee

____ Completed non-immigrant visa application

____ Visa application fee (consult the U.S. Consulate)

____ Passport, valid for at least six months into the future

____ Acceptance, scholarship, and/or fellowship letters from Franklin & Marshall College

____ Transcripts and diplomas from previous schools

____ TOEFL, SAT Scores

____ Original evidence of financial ability (bank statements, affidavits, proof of income - not photocopies)

____ Evidence of social and economic ties to home country

TRAVELING FROM YOUR COUNTRY TO THE UNITED STATES:

____ I have remembered not to pack the following documents in my luggage: passport, I-20, SEVIS fee receipt, evidence of financial ability, and contact information for Franklin & Marshall College.

TRAVELING FROM THE AIRPORT TO FRANKLIN & MARSHALL COLLEGE:

____ If my flight is scheduled to arrive at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) on August 26, 2014, I will meet up with F&M volunteers at the 30th St. Station and travel to campus by train.  This means that my flight must land by 11:30 a.m.  If I will already be in Philadelphia on August 26, 2014, I will communicate my airline name, flight number, departure city, and expected arrival time to International Programs by August 1 as well as how I intend to get to campus.  I am aware that I am welcome to meet up with F&M volunteers at the 30th St. Station during the morning or early afternoon of August 26, 2014.  Specifically groups will leave the station on the 10:00 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. trains to return to campus.  The meeting place will be the large arrival/departure board in the center of the station. 

_____ If I will be arriving on a different date and time, or at another airport, or I have made other plans not already addressed, I have made arrangements for ground transportation to F&M and have sent my airline name, flight number, departure city, and expected arrival time to International Programs by August 1.  If I will be arriving to Lancaster early, I have secured my own accommodations and I understand that I can not move into my room on campus until August 26, 2014.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THE ABOVE, PLEASE CONTACT THE OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS.  WE WANT YOUR ENTRY TO THE UNITED STATES AND YOUR ARRIVAL TO FRANKLIN & MARSHALL COLLEGE TO BE AS SMOOTH AS POSSIBLE!