Lycoming College values the contributions international students make to the academic and social experience on our campus and works to create an intellectually and culturally supportive environment for students from both within and outside the U.S. Lycoming College prides itself in our supportive and opportunity rich community. From chatting with professors over coffee, to participating in volleyball on the quad or to attending a fireside chat, Lycoming students are actively engaged in and out of the classroom. College faculty, staff and students work to integrate international students into all aspects of college life, providing an atmosphere for participation in and contribution to Lycoming's high quality liberal arts education.
The decision to study in a foreign country is a significant one. Adjusting to a new educational environment in another country presents many challenges to students as well as to their parents. As the Coordinator of International Student Services, it is my pleasure to assist international students in their transition to life at Lycoming and in the United States. My office helps international students integrate into all aspects of college life, acts as liaison and advocate with both college and governmental offices, and provides direction to international students to ensure their time at Lycoming is enriching and memorable.
I would be very glad to answer any questions you and your family might have about Lycoming College, please feel free to contact me at Millerda@lycoming.edu. I hope you will consider joining our growing international family at Lycoming College! I look forward to meeting you on campus!
The city of Williamsport is located in beautiful rural Pennsylvania. Williamsport is a small, uncongested, relaxed city of 35,000 situated in the Susquehanna Valley of the Bald Eagle Mountains. While the Pennsylvania tourist guide refers to the area as the region of "woods, water and wildlife," Williamsport is a bustling center for business, manufacturing, government and finance. Lycoming students are welcomed here. The campus is located within walking distance of downtown Williamsport where quaint shops and restaurants and the Community Arts Center and downtown cinema are readily available to our students. Bus transportation through River Valley Transit is free to Lycoming Students. For routes, visit the River Valley Transit website.
Pennsylvania has four seasons: fall, winter, spring and summer. Temperatures will vary between freezing (30˚F/0˚C) and hot and humid (90˚F/32˚C). You will need a warm coat and boots for winter (October-March), which can be purchased when you get here. You will have time before the cold weather arrives. 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.
Reasons to Choose Lycoming
Lycoming College international students receive a warm welcome to the U.S.! New students are picked up their port of entry and transported to campus and we provide a complete orientation program when you arrive. We understand that coming to a new country with a different culture can be a little stressful. That is why we do our best to help you transition into your new environment. We assist with things such as:
- Picking you up at the airport
- Moving into your residence hall
- Opening a bank account
- Obtaining a campus mailbox
- Getting your Lycoming ID card
- Giving you a tour of downtown
- Going shopping for food, clothes and personal items
- Navigating the bus system
- Recommending good restaurants and fun activities
- Assisting with storage during the summer break
Lycoming offers a variety of on-campus jobs. Working on campus is a great opportunity to earn extra money, get work experience, as well as enrich your personal skills. Students in F-1 status are permitted to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week during spring and fall semesters, and up to 40 hours during summer.
During vacation breaks when classes are not in session F-1 students are eligible to work on campus for 40 hours per week. This is considered full-time employment in the United States. The work must be on-campus.
The Lycoming College Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences Office assists students with internships, externships, choice of majors, career and industry interests, and graduate/professional school searches. Contact Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences for more information. Information on Optional Practical Training and Curricular Practical Training can be obtained in the International Student Services (ISS) office, 570-321-4111. Note: Employment (either paid or unpaid) off campus is not allowed unless it is approved OPT or CPT.
Mobile Phone Opportunity
Lycoming offers a special mobile phone plan for our international students through Verizon Wireless. A student may stay on the plan as long as the student is attending Lycoming College. View plan details and costs on the IT Services website.
Should you desire to use a carrier other than Verizon, there are a number of companies in this area, including AT&T and Sprint. Be sure to compare prices and read the small print carefully. Typically, students will need a social security number and a deposit will be required. Another option would be to pay as you go. There are numerous companies that offer this option, including Verizon, AT &T, and Tracphone. There are also many Internet-based telephone services available. Yahoo and Skype are two companies and they both allow free calls between computers with downloaded software. Students can also use international calling cards.
You may want to consider applying for a Pennsylvania Photo ID card (cost $9). The photo ID can be used for cashing checks showing proof of age, etc. thus making it unnecessary to carry your passport. It is a good idea to always keep your passport and I-20 in a safe place. You can apply for a Pennsylvania Photo ID at the Photo License Center in the TJ Maxx Plaza on East Third Street, about 1 mile east of the College.
You will need to take:
- A completed Form DL-54A, “Application for Initial Photo Identification Card”
- Acceptable Proof of Identification
- Your Social Security Card
- A check or money order payable to PennDOT for the appropriate fee (cash is not accepted).
- If you are 18 or older, two acceptable forms of address verification are required, e.g. bank statement, college tuition invoice.
Directions: The Photo License Center is located in the TJ Maxx Shopping Plaza, on East Third Street (next to McDonalds). The ISS office can assist you with transportation to the photo license center.
- Monday - Closed
- Tuesday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
- Wednesday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
- Thursday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
- Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
- Saturday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
- Sunday - Closed
Social Security Number
A social security number is automatically assigned to American citizens at birth. It is a number that will later be used for financial and employment reasons. The social security number has become a form of identification.
It is necessary to have a social security number to be employed on campus. To obtain a driver's license you will also need a social security number and most banks will require it as well.
The closest Social Security Office is located at 240 West Third Street, Williamsport. Hours are Hours: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m, Wednesday 9 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. The Office of International Student Services will assist you in obtaining the documentation need to apply. You must bring your passport and form I-20 or DS-2019, there is no charge. If you are in or F-1 status you must provide a letter from the Coordinator of International Student Services that authorizes you for on-campus employment at Lycoming as well as a letter of employment from the department in which you are working.
Filing U.S. Taxes
If you work in the U.S., you will have to file a tax return. Contact the ISS Office for appropriate forms. Please remember that employees of Lycoming College are not tax professionals. If you need specialized services, please seek out a licensed professional.
Campus Break Information
If you plan to remain on campus during breaks, it is imperative you sign up in advance with the Campus Housing. Watch your campus email for information regarding upcoming breaks.
International Student Orientation
International Student Acclimation and Orientation for new students entering Lycoming College for the Fall 2016 semester will begin on Monday, Aug. 22. 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. Orientation can help you do all of these things. A small group of international students will be on campus and assisting with the international student orientation. These students will show you around campus and answer any questions that you have. 1st Weekend will begin on Friday, Aug. 26. 1st Weekend is informative and it's a great way to meet people who are also starting out at Lycoming.
Paying Tuition and Fees
All payments should be made to the Lycoming College Business Office, 1st Floor, Long Hall Administration Building. The Business Office telephone number is 570-321-4032.
When you first arrive you have a few options:
- Bring a bank draft written on a U.S. bank
- Charge your tuition on a credit card
- Wire your payment to Lycoming (call our business office for the bank information)
Medical History Record/Examination
International students are required to have a completed Comprehensive Student Health Record on file at the Lycoming College Health Center. You will receive the health record form in your admissions packet. It is important that you get your physical as well as copy of your immunization records before departing for the United States. The health record includes: (page 1) Biographical data, Emergency Notification, Signatures for the Consent for Treatment and Authorization to Release Medical Information sections; (page 2) a signature at the bottom of the Mental Health History section; (page 3) a head-to-toe physical and TB Risk Assessment to be filled out by a health care provider; and (page 4) a completed immunization record.
Immunizations include MMR (2 doses), Tetanus (within the last 10 years), Hepatitis B (3 doses), Meningococcal/meningitis (2 doses if 1st dose given before age 16) and Varicella/chicken pox (2 doses).
It is the responsibility of each student to know and understand the type(s) of insurance(s) he/she holds. It is also the students responsibility to fill out and submit their own insurance claims. However, due to the complicated nature of medical insurance in the United States, our Health Services office offers assistance to international students in filing claims. Contact Dawn Burch, email@example.com or 570.321.4052 with any questions.
Lycoming College is pleased to offer an Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan underwritten by United Healthcare Insurance Company. Eligibility Statement: All full-time International students who are registered for 12 or more credit hours and all Fullbright Language Teaching Assistants are required to purchase this insurance plan. Eligible Dependents of students enrolled in the plan may participate in the plan on a voluntary basis. For more information, please see our United Healthcare Brochure. Claim forms and online services with United Healthcare can be found on the First Student website.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: All students that carry the school insurance plan must set up an account on the First Student website in order to obtain an insurance ID card, view claims, check for network providers, and many other services.
The Lycoming College Student Health Center staff is available to assist you with your insurance questions, however, United Healthcare offers a free Health Advocate service by calling 1-866-799-2670 FREE.
Attention international students on the college health plan: United Healthcare offers a language helpline to assist you with your insurance questions at 1-800-505-4160.
What to Bring
Most students say two suitcases, 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.
Students provide their own sheets (extra-long), pillows and blankets for their bed as well as towels, soap, shampoo and other personal items. You may bring these with you or buy them when you arrive. There will be time during orientation week to do some personal shopping. It's a good idea to bring a few personal items from home such as photos of your family. These will help you settle in and make your room seem like home. Remember that you will be sharing your room with one other student. 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 some of the following items with you:
- 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. (There will be several opportunities during the academic year to showcase your culture, e.g. International Expo and International Dinner.)
- Don't bring electrical appliances, as you can purchase them in the U.S.
- Most students bring two suitcases, 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.
- Don't bring electrical appliances, as you can purchase them in the U.S.
Transportation to Lycoming College
It is suggested that students make their port of entry JFK International (JFK) or Baltimore/Washington International (BWI). Both are approximately 4 hours from Williamsport. Philadelphia International (PHL) is also an option. We try to meet our new students at the airport when they arrive in the U.S. Admissions staff will be in contact with you to obtain your flight information prior to your departure to the U.S. Should you come to campus on your own, you should report to the Safety and Security Office and you will be provided with further instructions. It is very important that you inform the Office of International Student Services that you have arrived safely and to complete immigration paperwork.
Your arrival as an F-1 student in the U.S. will be smoother if you know what to expect. The Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has prepared the following guide to ensure the quality of your experience. Through its “Student and Exchange Visitor Program” (SEVP), the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is committed to facilitating your stay in the U.S. as you enjoy our nation's academic, educational and cultural offerings.
To enhance security without slowing legitimate travel, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has instituted some changes in U.S. entry and exit procedures. Careful planning and preparation by international students can ensure that any delay based on these procedures is minimal.
Plan Your Arrival
You may be refused entry into the U.S. if you attempt to arrive more than 30 days before the academic program start date listed on your SEVIS I-20 form.
Always Hand-Carry Your Documents
There are documents you will need to keep with you when you arrive. Please do not check these documents with your baggage. If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will be unable to present the documents at your port of entry. As a result, you may not be able to enter the United States.
- Your passport, valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected stay
- Sealed nonimmigrant documents (When you receive your nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, the Consular Officer will seal your immigration documents in an envelope and attach it to your passport. Do not open this envelope! The Customs and Border Protection Officer at the U.S. Port of Entry will open the envelope.)
- Your SEVIS Form I-20
We strongly recommended that you also hand-carry the following additional documentation:
- Evidence of financial resources
- Evidence of student status, such as recent tuition receipts and transcripts
- A paper receipt for the SEVIS fee, Form I-797
- Name and contact information for your “Designated School Official”, including a 24-hour emergency contact number at the school
For comprehensive information on procedures for traveling and arriving in the U.S., visit the EducationUSA website.
Complete Your Entry Paperwork
If you arrive by Air, flight attendants will distribute Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059) and Arrival Departure Record Forms (I-94). These must be completed prior to landing. If you arrive by land or sea, the CBP Officer at the port of entry will provide the necessary Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059) and Arrival-Departure Record Forms (I-94) to be filled out upon your arrival.
When You Arrive At Your Port of Entry
Go directly to the terminal area for arriving passengers. Have the following documents available for presentation: your passport; SEVIS Form (I-20); Arrival-Departure Record Form (I-94); and Customs Declaration Form (CF-6059). The Form I-94 should reflect the address where you will reside, not the address of your University or academic department.
You will be asked to state your reason for entering the U.S. You will also be asked to provide information about your final destination. It is important that you tell the CBP Officer that you will be a student, along with the name and address of the University in which you will enroll.
When Your Inspection is Complete
Once your inspection is successfully completed, the inspecting officer will do the following:
- Stamp your SEVIS Form for duration of status (“D/S”) for F visa holders.
- Stamp your SEVIS Form for 30 days beyond program end date for M visa holders.
Following Your Admission Into the U.S.
You should report to Lycoming College to register for your courses within 30 days of the date that appears on your SEVIS I-20 form. Failure to do so may result in serious consequences.
Secondary Inspection Requirement
If the CBP officer at your port of entry cannot initially verify your information, or you lack some required documentation, you may be directed to an interview area known as “Secondary Inspection.” This allows inspectors to conduct extra research to verify your information – without causing delays for other arriving passengers. First the inspector will attempt to verify your status by using the Student and Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
Sometimes a CBP Officer needs to verify information with a student's university or program. You should keep on hand the name and telephone number of your admissions counselor or the Coordinator of International Student Services at Lycoming College. In case you arrive during non-business hours (evening, weekends, holidays), have an emergency or non-business hour phone number available for the CBP officer.
Failure to comply with U.S. government entry-exit procedures may result in your being denied entry to the U.S. Under certain circumstances, the CBP officer may issue a “Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor” Form (I-515A), which authorizes temporary admission. Work with your school to submit the proper documentation without delay.
Every nonimmigrant visitor holding a Visa - regardless of race, national origin or religion - participates in the U.S.-VISIT program, a comprehensive registration system tracking entries to and exits from the United States.
National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS)
Some nonimmigrant visitors with a Visa may be asked to give additional information under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). At your port of entry you can obtain a packet of information explaining the registration procedure.
*U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.
After you have been cleared for entry, staff members from Lycoming College will be on hand to transport you to campus.
When you arrive at Lycoming, the first thing that will happen is that you will be taken to your assigned residence hall room. For those of you who will be arriving late at night, we will have new bed sheets for you. Get a good night's sleep and someone from the College will be around in the morning to pick you up for some breakfast and a tour of campus. We will also assist you in getting your Lycoming ID and take you shopping for any personal items you may need so that you are all set and comfortable to begin international student orientation bright and early on Monday morning.
Be sure you have the following documents with you as you will need them during the orientation:
- Passport identification pages
- F-1 and all other U.S. Visas
- Lycoming College's I-20 Form (if it was sent to you).
- I-20s from all schools you have attended in the U.S.
- A “Request for Transfer Information” Form (if it was sent to you rather than to Lycoming).
Note: Be sure to protect your legal documents. Make extra photocopies. Never destroy your I-20 Forms; keep them in a safe place.
For more information about International Student Orientation and what to do upon arriving at Lycoming, contact :
Office of International Student Services
Lycoming ID Card
Students are issued a Lycoming College identification card when they arrive on campus. Students must have their ID card in their possession at all times and must present the card to any official of the college upon request. Because the identification card verifies board status, students must not loan ID cards to anyone. To do so constitutes misuse of college property and their card will be confiscated. In addition to the Dining Room, you will need your ID card to enter the Academic Center, Heim Building, Fine Arts Building, Wertz Student Center, Communications Building and Clarke Chapel as well as the Keiper Recreation Center, Library, and many college events. Please report lost ID cards to Safety and Security. A lost ID will be replaced for a charge of $20.
Lycoming College Dining Services strives to make dining on campus more than just a meal. Whether you visit Wertz Dining Hall, Jack's Corner, Café 1812 or attend one of our expertly catered events, you will find a friendly, courteous staff serving delicious dishes made from the freshest ingredients. We feature foods from around the country and around the world, and serve them up in a relaxed, welcoming setting so that our guests can enjoy good food and good friends while here at Lycoming!
Storage is available on campus for international students to store belongings during the summer break. This storage will be coordinated through the ISS Office. You will be responsible for marking your belongings carefully so they are easily identifiable when you return. Please contact the ISS office for more information regarding storage.
International Student Resources
The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students works closely with other departments and offices on campus to ensure that international students receive support services needed to succeed at Lycoming College. Some of the resources important to international students are listed below.
Activities, Clubs and Organizations
Community Service Center
Keiper Recreation Center
Outdoor Leadership and Education
Safety and Security
English Language Assistance
International students sometimes need a little boost with their English language skills. If you wish to improve your skills there are a number of ways to do so:
- Speak English as much as possible; do not revert to your first language when speaking with students from your country.
- The college works with an ESL (English as a Second Language) Instructor to assist international students with their speaking skills. Students will be evaluated by the ESL at the International Student Acclimation and Orientation session In August. The College also offers anInternational Student Lab for help with English for any class. It is a "drop-in" lab where you can obtain help with planning, practicing, writing, or editing/revising. Our goal is to help our international students present their best work and learn skills that will help with future assignments and professional communication. Contact the ISS Office or Jody Lantz, ESL, firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
- Another free option is available here on campus with student tutors. Student tutors are always FREE. You will need to contact the Academic Resource Center for information concerning student tutors.
- Writing assistance is also available at the Writing Center in the Academic Resource Center. Contact Shanna Wheeler, Assistant Director of the Academic Resource Center for further information.
For more information about any of the above, contact the ISS Office, 570-321-4111.