Pre-Arrival Guide

Pre-Arrival Guide

Accepting your offer, paying your deposit, and paying your tuition

Log in to MyPennState, the same place that you applied for admission to Penn State. Click on the link “Accept my offer.” At that point, you can pay your deposit. Your tuition will be due on August 31.

Sending your diploma and transcript

To help us efficiently evaluate your application for admission, we need some additional information:

Help Us Help You

The name on your application must match the name on your passport. If the name on your transcript is different, please notify us.

Provide an email address that we can use as the primary way to communicate with you. Be sure that we have a current email address at all times. Add to your contacts so important emails will not go into a spam/junk box.

Please see this additional information about Academic Records, English Language Proficiency, Standardized Tests, and Special Program Requirements

If your high school does not send proof of graduation to Penn State prior to your arrival, please bring your graduation certificate/diploma to orientation.

Requesting your I-20

Specific instructions for securing your I-20

Begin this process as soon as you have accepted your offer of admission. This process can take up to five weeks, so please be patient as we work through all of the files. Also, be sure to check your junk mail folder, as messages from Penn State sometimes are directed there.

Checking your I-20

When you receive your I-20, look at it carefully to be sure all information is correct. Please note that for one of the following reasons, the major listed might not be what you intend to study:

  1. Incoming undergraduate students are not actually accepted into a specific major. They are first accepted into a college. When the student approaches their junior year, they will work with their academic adviser to be placed into a specific major.
  2. Majors on a SEVIS I-20 must be selected from programs of study as listed in the federal government’s Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP), each of which has a numeric code. These are incorporated into a “drop-down” menu of majors, which are our only options from which to select.
  3. Penn State programs of study are carefully evaluated for content, duration, and so on, and coded to match as closely as possible to the majors in the CIP. So, majors shown on I-20s sometimes reflect a difference in name between what the University calls a program and what the CIP codebook calls it.

Documentation required for travel to the United States

The following documents should be obtained prior to traveling to the United States. Additional documents may be requested but these are essential.

  • Passport and passports of any accompanying family members
  • I-94
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • Documents from your sponsor if you are a government/corporate sponsored student
  • Medical history (optional) and immunization records (required)

If your luggage is delayed, please tell the airline to send it to:

Sheri Yoder
Student Affairs
Penn State York
1031 Edgecomb Avenue
York, PA 17403
Cell Phone: 717-471-6834

Carry Sheri Yoder’s contact information with you so you will have it while you travel.

Traveling to campus from the airport

We will provide transportation on Thursday, August 9, 2018 and Friday, August 10, 2018 from Dulles International Airport and Baltimore Washington International Airport to York, Pennsylvania, on these dates only. If you will arrive on one of these two days and you would like transportation to York, please send an email to Sheri Yoder at Pick up times will be sent by email.

Note: If you arrive before August 9 or at another airport, you must make your own arrangements to travel from the airport to York, Pennsylvania. Below is a list of transportation services in our area. You can find other options online.

Make arrangements for housing before you arrive. Consult the Off-Campus Housing page for more information about local apartment facilities. We will transport students from the airport to York Hills, York Apartments, and The Lofts, in York, Pennsylvania. If you plan to ride with us, please make sure that the property manager will be available to let you into your apartment when you arrive. If we arrive after the leasing office closes, we will take you to one of the hotels below.

If you do not lease an apartment before you arrive, please make arrangements to stay in a hotel. Find hotels in York

We are able to transport students from the airport to the hotels in York listed below. Please notice the addresses below. The companies have other hotels in the area but we will only go to the specific locations listed. 

Hampton Inn & Suites York South
2159 South Queen Street
York, Pennsylvania 17402
USA TEL:+1-717-741-0900

Homewood Suites
200 Masonic Drive
York, Pennsylvania 17406
USA TEL:+1-717-434-1800

You must make the arrangements yourself.

Finding housing and moving in

It is important to lease an apartment before coming to the U.S.

Consult the Off-Campus Housing page for more information about housing.

If you need assistance finding a roommate, send an email to Cynthia Jones, in Student Affairs ( Ask her to add you to the list and give her permission to send your information to other students who are requesting a roommate. Provide the following information:

  • Full name (first name, last name)
  • Email address
  • Phone number (if you have one already)
  • The name of the apartment complex you would like to live in (if you know it)
  • Do you prefer to stay up late or get up early?
  • Do you need quiet time to study or would you like an environment with noise?
  • Do you generally keep your room clean or messy?
  • Do you smoke or are you a non-smoker?

Attending International New Student Orientation (INSO)

  • Mandatory orientation for all international students takes place August 13–17.
  • You will not be registered in SEVIS unless you attend all orientation sessions.
  • Activities will include obtaining a Penn State ID, registering documents, touring campus, meeting with an academic adviser, selecting courses, and establishing a bank account. Discussions will include many topics such as transition to life in the United States and studying in an American university.
  • You will receive a detailed schedule when you arrive.
  • We will provide transportation to orientation each morning and to apartments or hotel in the afternoon. We will pick-up and drop-off at these locations: York Hills Apartments, York Apartments, The Lofts, Hampton Inn (Queen St.), and Homewood Suites (Masonic Drive).
  • You will receive information from The Advising Office and from the office of Student Affairs about individual parts of orientation. This can be confusing but do not worry. If you attend all sessions Monday through Friday, you will be ready for your first semester at Penn State York.
  • PNC Bank, AT&T phone company, and Rabbit Transit will be on campus Monday, August 13 to assist you in opening a bank account, buying phones and/or phone service and buying bus tickets. These businesses work with our students who do not have a Social Security Number.

Purchasing health insurance

Mandatory Health Insurance Requirements

Health insurance is mandatory at Penn State for international students and their accompanying dependents (spouse and/or children). Penn State requires health insurance for several reasons:

  • Health care can be very costly in the United States.
  • The United States does not have a national health care plan.
  • Health services may be restricted if you do not have health insurance.

Fulfilling the Health Insurance Requirement

You may purchase the Penn State Student Health Insurance Plan. For more information, please visit the following websites: Penn State Student Health Insurance or  First Student Health. You can contact the office at if you have any questions.

Submitting immunization records

All incoming undergraduate and graduate students must submit proof of immunizations prior to their arrival on campus. Using the two-step process outlined below, submit your information to myUHS prior to arriving on campus.

  • Step 1: PRINT and TAKE a copy of the Penn State Immunization Verification Form to your health care provider for completion.

    The Penn State Immunization Verification Form MUST contain the required immunization information along with the provider's signature, title, date, address AND ORGANIZATIONAL STAMP. Immunizations listed under the recommended section are not required; however, if you have had any of the immunizations, provide the dates on the form as requested.

  • Step 2: Log in to myUHS using your Penn State access credentials, and upload images of the completed Penn State Immunization Verification Form.

    Penn State Immunization Verification Forms can be uploaded by selecting the Immunization Upload menu option at the bottom of the myUHS Home page. The following image files are accepted through myUHS: PNG, JPG, JPEG, and GIF (note: PDF files are not accepted). Please keep all original documents for your records. All information must be uploaded in English.

    For the protection of your health information, please DO NOT email the Penn State Immunization Verification Form.

Immunization requirements are applicable to all incoming students at University Park and Commonwealth Campuses. For additional information, please visit our Required and Recommended Immunizations Overview and Frequently Asked Questions pages.

Establishing a bank account

A PNC bank representative will be on campus during International New Student Orientation (INSO) so that you can open an account. You will only need to have your passport and your Penn State student ID card. You will obtain your student ID card during the first day of orientation.

You will need to have a bank account to conduct financial transactions while attending Penn State York. To make this easier, some banking terminology is explained below:

Checking Account

It is relatively easy to open a checking account, where you can keep money to be spent by writing checks or using a debit card.

Savings Account

This account also allows you to keep money, but you will have to maintain a minimum balance, and the funds are accessible only at the bank. Savings accounts earn a small amount of interest.

Debit Card

This card works with your checking account. You can use this card at ATMs to withdraw money, or at many stores to make purchases. The money is directly deducted from your checking account.


You will receive checks when you open a PNC acount. You may make a purchase by writing a check. Learn how to write a check to avoid fraud.

Foreign Currency

Many banks exchange foreign currency, if you have an account with them. They often charge a fee. If you are exchanging U.S. dollars for other currency, it may take a few business days to receive the money.

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

  • Report a lost or stolen ID card, license, credit card, or personal information immediately.
  • Never share your personal identification number (PIN) with others.
  • Use online banking when possible – the most common source of identity theft is paper documents.
  • Change your online passwords regularly.
  • Monitor your account information on a regular basis.

Academic calendar

View the Academic Calendars

Bus service and taxis

Rabbit Transit is the name of the local bus service. During International New Student Orientation you will be able to purchase bus tickets at a discounted price.

Rabbit Transit (York bus service)

Peace Cab Company
1435 Guildford Ln, York, PA 17404

Harrisburg City Cab
475 W Market St, York, PA 17401

You can find many options online and other students can give you advice concerning the reputation of various transportation companies.


The Penn State York campus has a variety of recreational activities available for all students. The campus features a gymnasium in the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center. That building also contains a large game room and a fitness center. There are tennis courts, soccer fields, and lots of open green space! There are also local recreational options including golf, skiing, bowling, ice skating, camping, and movie theaters.

Penn State York Office of Student Affairs contact information

Everyone in the Office of Student Affairs is here to help you have a good experience while studying at Penn State York. Please contact us with questions.

Address: 1031 Edgecomb Avenue
York, PA 17403

Phone: 1-717-771-4045

Scott Simonds
Director of Student Affairs

Dan Puccio
Associate Director of Student Affairs

Sheri Yoder
Global Engagement Coordinator​

Heidi Decker
International Student Adviser

Cynthia Jones
Administrative Support Assistant

Penn State York campus map

View the campus map and directions

Global Penn State

More information for international students at Penn State can be found at