Pre-Arrival Frequently Asked Questions

suitcaseWhat do I pack?

There are four distinct seasons: fall, winter, spring, and summer. This means that temperatures will vary between freezing (30˚F/0˚C) and hot and humid (90˚F/32˚C). You will definitely need a heavy coat and boots for winter (October-March), but if you don’t have them now, wait until you get here to purchase them.  There are inexpensive places near campus to shop. Students dress very informally on campus and jeans are common. It’s not necessary to dress up for classes, but you may want to bring one or two dressier outfits (a skirt or nice trousers and blazer) for special occasions. Don’t bring electrical appliances, as you can purchase them in the US.

How many suitcases should I bring?

Most students say two, certainly not more than three, but remember to check with the airline to check the baggage limit. You may pay extra if you exceed the limit.

What general items should I bring?

Students will need to provide their own sheets (extra-long), pillows and blankets for their bed as well as towels, soap, shampoo and other personal items if you will stay in a residence hall. You may bring your own or buy them when you arrive during orientation. It’s a good idea to bring a few favorite things from home such as photos of your family and items that are familiar to you. These will help you settle in and make your room seem like home. Remember that you will be sharing your room with at least one other individual and American students often come with their own television, microwave, sound system, computer and small refrigerator, so you may be able to share these items with your roommate(s).  We suggest that you bring from home some of the following items:

  • Favorite music
  • Pictures of your country, your home and your family
  • A book or movie of your country to share with friends and faculty
  • Special musical instruments, clothing, crafts and games that represent your country

All these items will be meaningful for you when you’re far from home, but there will also be several opportunities to showcase your culture, such as the annual Celebrating Cultures Festival.

How should I bring my money?

Bringing travelers checks in U.S. dollars is the safest way to bring money to the U.S. You should bring some cash with you for the first few days, but not more than $200 to purchase a few supplies, meals and other unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. It is not safe to carry a lot of cash because if it is stolen or lost, there is no compensation. You will be able to open a bank account during the first week, but it may take a few weeks for a foreign bank check to clear. So again, traveler’s checks are your best way for immediate access to cash. The first month is likely to be the most expensive; keep in mind that other months will not be nearly as costly.

Should I obtain medical insurance before I arrive in the United States?

Yes. Medical insurance is mandatory for all Arcadia University international students. The recommended US company is HTH Worldwide Insurance. Sign up using Arcadia’s Group Access Code: DTE-7299. HTH Worldwide Insurance is an insurance company that has provided medical insurance for international students for many years. Your health insurance policy should begin the day you arrive in the US. You may obtain appropriate medical insurance from your home country, but be sure that it is comprehensive health and accident insurance for at least $250,000 worth of coverage. You must also be covered for at least $25,000 for medical evacuation and repatriation. All students will be asked to provide proof of insurance (in English) on the first day of orientation. Students should also bring their health and immunization certificates.

How do I pay for tuition?

All payments should be made to the One Stop Shop located on the Ground Floor of Taylor Hall. The One Stop Shop telephone number is 215-572-2339. When you first arrive you have a few options: 1) bring a bank draft written on a US bank, 2) charge your tuition on a credit card, or 3) have your payment wired to Arcadia University’s Bank Account # 4249179444 and Routing # 036001808 (Swift Code: NRTHUS33 ) at TD Bank, N. A., 200 N. Radnor Chester Road, Radnor, PA 19087 USA.

Where should I report on campus if I am not met at the airport?

If you are not met at the airport, you should report to the Castle on campus and the receptionist will provide further instructions. Undergraduate students will live with a family until moving into the residence hall on Friday, August 27.  It’s anticipated that graduate students will have made arrangements before arrival for temporary or long-term accommodation. Arcadia may place graduate students with a host family and/or on-campus while finding more permanent housing but arrangements must be requested from OIA in advance.  It is very important that you inform the Office of International Affairs that you have arrived safely.

What will I do before classes start?

Orientation for new international students entering the Arcadia University for the Fall 2011 semester will begin on Monday, August 22. Undergraduate orientation will be on Friday, August 26. There is no formal orientation program for graduate students but all international graduate students are welcome to visit the Office of International Affairs in Easton Hall 244. New students need time to get adjusted to their different surroundings, recover from jet lag and start to make friends before they feel ready to start classes. The orientation can help you do all of these things. In the past, students who have attended the orientation felt positive about their new friends and surroundings. Orientation is informative and it's a great way to meet people who are also starting out at Arcadia. All new international students will meet I-PALs, a small group of students who are international students themselves or students who have recently studied overseas. Your I-PAL will show you around campus and answer any questions that you have.

What classes are available?

Access the Registrar’s Office on the Arcadia web site ( to see the range of classes, timetables, credits and professors. The number of credits generally corresponds to the number of hours per week in the classroom/lab/studio. Registration does not take place until you arrive for orientation. All undergraduate students take the English and mathematics placement examinations before the registration process begins. After meeting with an Academic Advisor you will be placed in the classes appropriate to your placement examinations and major. You should also take a look at the University Catalogue to find out about the graduation requirements for your major of study.  This will help you in planning out your courses throughout your time at Arcadia.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Kate Bryant ( at 215-572-2867. See you soon!

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The English Language Institute

International Affairs

Easton Hall, Room 244

Phone: 215-572-2867

Fax: 215-517-2399

Mailing Address:
Arcadia University
Office of International Affairs
450 S. Easton Road
Glenside, PA 19038