After arriving at SJSU, you will need to complete the following.
1. Find Housing
Housing in the San Jose area can sometimes be a challenge to find but we have compiled resources for your search. For information about living on campus, please contact University Housing Services or consider the SJSU International House.
SJSU maintains a Facebook Group to connect incoming international students with each other and to share housing resources. Please fill out this Google form to participate with the group. If you are unable to view Facebook or Google, please complete this alternate survey to receive housing information via email. For additional information visit our housing webpage. A breakdown of local neighborhoods can be seen here.
2. Attend the Orientation
You signed up for your Transfer or FROSH (freshman) orientation through Next Steps. Punctual attendance at this orientation is mandatory. If you miss, or are late to the orientation, your admission to SJSU will be cancelled. In addition to attending orientation, international students in F-1 status are required to report to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office to complete the required U.S. immigration check-in procedure. Continue reading for more details on how to meet this requirement.
To have a successful academic career at SJSU, your attendance at the Graduate Student Orientation is highly encouraged. During orientation, immigration requirements for maintaining your legal status and international student health insurance information will be presented. In addition to attending orientation, international students in F-1 status are required to report to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office to complete the required U.S. immigration check-in procedure. Continue reading for more details on how to meet this requirement.
3. Check-in with International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS)
As a new F-1 international student, you are required to report to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) upon arrival at SJSU. In order to meet this U.S. government requirement, you must attend an ISSS Immigration Check-In session. During this mandatory session you will receive information on how to maintain your F-1 status. You will also meet the ISSS staff and other students, and learn about SJSU programs and events.
Please follow these steps to register and prepare for your arrival to SJSU:
The password to enter the registration page is: sjsu
To register, select one of the available date/time options*. Space is limited, please register for ONE session only. After you select the date, you will be directed to the Registration page. Under quantity, select “1.” You will receive an e-mail confirming your registration.
*Undergraduate freshman students should NOT register for a session on August 16th as they are required to attend the FROSH orientation program that day. The Immigration Check-in session is NOT the same as Orientation.
2) View the International Student Pre-arrival PowerPoint
After registering for a session, please take a few moments to view the International Student Pre-Arrival PowerPoint HERE to help you prepare for your arrival in the U.S. and answer some of the most common questions new international students have prior to arriving in the U.S.
3) *VERY IMPORTANT: Please bring originals AND photocopies of the following documents to the ISSS check-in immigration session. ISSS staff will collect your documents when you check-in for the immigration session.
- Completed ISSS Check-in Form
- Form I-20 issued by SJSU. Be sure to sign and date your I-20 before making a photocopy.
- I-20 forms issued by any previous institution you have attended previously (if applicable).
- Passport Bio Page (must include your biographical information, photo, and passport expiration date)
- Passport Visa Page with F-1 or J-1 visa (issued by U.S. Consulate abroad)
- Passport CBP Stamp Page with F-1 or J-1 admission stamp (done by Customs & Border Protection officer at U.S. Port of Entry so you MUST copy this page AFTER arrival in the U.S.)
4. Clear All Account Holds
Before you are cleared to register for classes, you may encounter holds on your account. You will be able to view online, any holds that may have been placed on your MySJSU account. Below are some common holds students have encountered:
- International Student Health Insurance
SJSU requires all inbound international students to purchase the SJSU health insurance coverage prior to registering for classes. You can register for the mandatory SJSU health insurance online.
International Students will not be able to register for classes without first purchasing SJSU health insurance. The comprehensive insurance program includes coverage for accidental injury/sickness, medical evacuation, and repatriation and is also valid when traveling outside the United States. You can view the insurance fees and purchase your insurance online before your arrival.
F-1 students with dependents are recommended to also purchase health insurance for their F-2 dependents.
You may purchase coverage in three different ways:
- Annually, covering you from August 1 to July 31, or
- Fall semester only, with coverage from August 1 to January 1, or
- Spring/summer semester only, with coverage from January 1 to July 31.
For additional information on how the medical system in the US works, please view this Healthcare in the USA Introduction video or review Aetna's informational chart.
A hold will be placed on students' MySJSU record before registration for the semester begins. Before you try registering for classes be sure to purchase your health insurance plan so the hold can be lifted. Insurance holds will be removed within 36 hours after purchase.
Instructions to Purchase SJSU Health Insurance Plan:
Purchase your health insurance from Wells Fargo Insurance Services website (here). Follow these steps to purchase the correct plan:
- Go to studentinsurance.wellsfargo.com (click here)
- Select "Find Your School's Plan"
- Type in "San Jose State"
- Select "2017-2018 San Jose State Univ.-International"
- Select "Fall" or "Annual" plan
- Input your information and payment information as instructed.
- Insurance hold will be removed within 36 hours after purchase.
*Students can also access their insurance plan information via Aetna's Mobile App.
Exemptions from the requirement to purchase the insurance are the following:
- Students on a government-sponsored scholarship which provides compatible insurance coverage as a part of the sponsorship. To clear hold: Submit the request for exemption forms in the ISSS office.
- Students receiving insurance coverage through an employer-sponsored plan in the United States (i.e. receipt of insurance is a part of the U.S. employment compensation through your spouse). Supplemental Medical Evacuation and Repatriation must be purchased. To clear hold: Submit the request for exemption forms in the ISSS office.
- J-1 participants in the ISEP, International Student Exchange Program.
If you have questions about purchasing your insurance, contact the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at 408-924-5920 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will have a testing hold until you have taken your ELM/EPT placement tests, and they have been scored and recorded. Contact the testing office for more information.
You will need to provide proof of Measles and Hepatitis B immunization before you can register for your second semester of classes. If you do not have documentation, visit the SJSU Health Center to get your shots and proof of immunizations. These forms must be submitted to the Student Services Center in person or via fax to 408.924.2050.
- Academic Advising
Some students are required to meet an Academic Advisor prior to registration. If you have an Academic Advising Hold, contact your major department to make an advising appointment.
You may be required to submit a final transcript or verification to the AARS department (for undergraduates) or to GAPE (for graduate students). Failure to submit transcripts before your deadline can result in loss of admission. Check your MySJSU account for your personal requirements.
All F-1 students must register for a full-time course load every semester. Full time is considered 9 units per semester for graduate students and 12 units per semester for undergraduates. There are very limited instances when a student could be approved to enroll in less than a full-course load. Only the International Student Advising (ISA) department can grant approval for a student to be under-enrolled and the request must be made in advance of the start of the semester. For more information, come to the International Student Advising (ISA) office for advising before you finalize your class schedule and view online the Reduced Course Load form (pdf).
Course registration is processed online through your MySJSU account. More information regarding registration is available at Registration FAQs. For help with logging on to MySJSU and registering for courses, see the Student Enrollment Guide.
If you are having trouble registering full-time, please come to the International Student Advising (ISA) department for advising before the end of the add deadline.
Please note that:
Students who wish to bring their F-2 dependents (such as a spouse or children) with them to the U.S. will need to complete and submit the I-20 Request for Dependent form. This can be done at anytime during the student's academic program. The following rules and regulations will apply to the F-2 visa holder:
- F-2 dependents may enroll part-time at degree seeking programs at SEVP approved schools (Note: If an F-2 dependent plans to begin full-time study, her/she must apply to change their status to F-1 and may only study part-time status until the change of status is approved).
- F-2 spouses may enroll in avocational or recreational course of study full-time or part-time.
- F-2 dependents may not work.
- F-2 dependent children may be enrolled full-time in elementary and secondary school.
- Report to an International Student and Scholar Services any change in F-2 dependent’s status/personal information within 10 days after the change occurs.
6. Pay Tuition
The due date for your tuition and fees will be based on the day you register. All fees and payment deadlines are posted on your MySJSU account. Please check your MySJSU account for this information. You will not receive payment requests in the mail. If you do not consult your account and pay your fees by the deadline you will be dropped from your classes.
For details about registration fees, see the Bursar’s Office website. SJSU has partnered with flywire (previously known as peerTransfer) to streamline the tuition payment process for our international students.
7. Get your Tower ID Card
Once you register for classes, you can obtain your SJSU ID card, known as the Tower Card. Tower Cards are available at the Cashier's Office located in the Student Services Center. You will be required to show one form of photo ID, such as your passport or driver’s license. For more information, see the Bursar's Office Tower Card page and the Tower Card list of frequently asked questions.
8. Adjust and Enjoy Life in San Jose
Please browse SJSU’s Welcome to California site. The Local Resources FAQ is also a helpful guide to living in San Jose. We are here to welcome you, don’t hesitate to contact us with questions you may have.