Confirm your attendance
Pathway and Academic English students, pay your deposit and confirm your offer.
Degree seeking students, complete the Intent to Enroll Form. You will not receive any additional pre-arrival communication until you have confirmed your attendance.
Receive your immigration documents from Illinois State
Students seeking F-1 and J-1 student visas will need to submit the Declaration of Finances form before their Immigration Documents can be issued.
Pay the SEVIS fee
All F-1 and J-1 students and scholars are required to pay the one-time SEVIS fee.
Important: Print and retain the receipt. You will need to show this receipt when you attend your visa interview.
Obtain your visa
Schedule your visa interview at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Be prepared to take the following documents to your visa appointment:
- Original I-20 or DS-2019
- Official acceptance letter
- Receipt for payment of the SEVIS I-901 fee
- Proof of financial support
Additional visa assistance
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Study in the States
- Your Education Counselor
Make housing arrangements
Students who have completed high school less than two years ago must live on-campus. Be sure to look at the residence halls on-campus and learn about the International House themed living learning community. Submitting your housing application will reserve your space on-campus.
If you have completed high school more than two years ago, you are free to choose your own off campus housing. The Dean of Students Office has resources to assist in choosing off-campus housing.
Make travel arrangements
Plan to arrive 1-3 days before Orientation. Most students arrive at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, IL. A bus is available for convenient travel from the airport to within walking distance of campus.
Preparing for your arrival
Illinois State University offers arrival assistance at Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, IL. leading up to Orientation. See your pre-arrival emails for more details.
If you have arrived without housing or before housing is open, you will need to secure temporary housing in a hotel or with a local organization.
- There are hotels within walking distance to campus.
- You can view a full listing of area hotels on the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau website.
The following organizations offer a variety of services to students:
- International Students Inc. (ISI) offers temporary housing options, host families, furniture, transportation help upon arrival, conversational English groups, bible study, and other special events. Request information about ISI.
- International Friends of ISU provides temporary housing, options, household goods, transportation help upon arrival, welcome dinners, long-term host family matching, and other special events for students each semester. Request assistance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or request a host family.
Illinois State University is not affiliated with nor does it sponsor these organizations.
Submit your immunization records
All university students in Illinois are required by law to submit their immunization records in English. International students are also required to have a Tuberculosis Screening within 10 days of their arrival on campus. Tuberculosis testing administered outside of the United States is not valid. Additionally, all international students will be enrolled in university health insurance. This will be included in your university fees.
Pay your student bill
You will receive communication regarding your student bill. Pay close attention to payment due dates.
Orientation activities generally begin the week before classes. You will receive a schedule leading up to Orientation. It is important to arrive 1-3 days before Orientation. Orientation is mandatory for international students.