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Admitted Students

Congratulations on your admission to Georgia Southern University!  After being admitted, the next steps are just as important as for ensuring you are prepared to arrive to Statesboro and enroll at Georgia Southern.  Consult our Accepted International Student Checklist, and use the tabs below to review instructions for these critical items and their deadlines in more detail.

Visa Information

One of the most important steps you need to complete prior to arriving at Georgia Southern is obtaining your student visa.  Georgia Southern does not issue the visa, but it does issue the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 – which are “Certificates of Eligibility” for F or J status.  This form shows the U.S. government that based on your documented funds and academic record, you are considered eligible to apply for a F-1 Student visa or J-1 Exchange Visitor visa and make an appointment for interview at your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

The Office of International Programs & Services is here to help you understand the student visa application process.  Please read this section thoroughly and carefully to make sure you understand your requirements.  A new I-20 or DS-2019 is required for initial study in the U.S., changing level of study, or transferring schools within the U.S.  Remember! This process takes time to complete, so you should begin as soon as possible!

Deadlines for Requesting an I-20/DS-2019:
Students beginning at GSU in the Spring (January): December 1.
Students beginning at GSU in the Summer (May): April 15.

Students beginning at GSU in the Fall (August): July 15.

IMPORTANT: If it is near the deadline and you are still pending admission or pending a Graduate Assistantship offer, you should still submit all your documentation before the deadline.

Determining Your Visa Category
F-1 Visa

Students who wish to pursue a full degree and formally graduate from Georgia Southern University should apply for an F-1 (student) visa. Students who apply for an F-1 visa will need to be regularly admitted to Georgia Southern and will need to obtain a Form I-20 from the university. Students who plan to complete bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees or study in the English Language Program should apply for an F-1 visa.

J-1 Visa

Students who would like to study at Georgia Southern University from a school that has an approved exchange agreement with GSOU, or you have a government scholarship to study in the U.S. under an approved exchange or scholarship program, should apply for a J-1 (exchange visitor) visa. Exchange students and scholars who plan to study and/or conduct research at Georgia Southern for one semester or one academic year should apply for a J-1 visa and will need to obtain a DS-2019 from the university.

Students attending Georgia Southern on exchange are encouraged to visit the Exchange Student Information page for complete information on their application process.

How to Apply for an I-20/DS-2019

Regardless of the type of visa you wish to obtain, you need to send GSU the following items:

1.) A copy of your passport photo identification page

2.) SEVIS Data Form

  • Please save this form to your computer.  You can then fill it out and print or email it.
  • If you already have F-1/J-1 visa status, you will also need to fill out the SEVIS Transfer Form.
  • If you are requesting a change of academic level here at GSOU, please complete SEVIS Data Form for Change of Level.

3.) Bank Statement

  • Here is a SEVIS Sample Financial Statement that you can show your bank.
  • SEVIS Financial Documentation Requirements (pdf): This document states exactly how much funds are required.
  • We cannot accept electronic copies of financial documents, unless it is sent directly from the bank.  Otherwise, we must have the physical, original document before an I-20/DS-2019 can be issued.

4.) SEVIS Financial Source Form

  • Use this form to indicate where you expect to receive funds to cover your educational and living expenses. If any of the bank accounts are NOT in the student’s name, the Affidavit of Support included in the form must be signed by the guarantor.

5.) SEVIS Dependent Information Form

    • This form is optional.  You’ll only need to complete it if you have a spouse or child who will be accompanying you in F-2 or J-2 status.
Where to Mail your Documents

If you are requesting an I-20 (for an F-1 visa), you can mail all documents to Ms. Patricia Beavan (pbeavan@georgiasouthern.edu):

For USPS, first class, and air mail: For express mail (UPS, DHL, FedEx, etc):
Patricia Beavan
P.O. Box 8106
Statesboro, GA 30460
Patricia Beavan
5539 Forest Drive
Forest Dr. Bldg., Room #1323
Statesboro, GA 30458

 

If you are requesting a DS-2019 (for a J-1 visa), you can mail all documents to Ms. Danielle Smith (daniellesmith@georgiasouthern.edu):

For USPS, first class, and air mail: For express mail (UPS, DHL, FedEx, etc):
Ms. Danielle Smith
P.O. Box 8106
Statesboro, GA 30460
Ms. Danielle Smith
5539 Forest Drive
Forest Dr. Bldg., Room #1313C
Statesboro, GA 30458
After Requesting an I-20/DS-2019
  • Once you have been accepted and have submitted all of the SEVIS/visa documents, it will normally take 3-5 business days to prepare your I-20 or DS-2019.  Once prepared, you will receive an e-mail with the next steps.  Please refer to the Study in the States website as a primary reference.
  • Please review all the information in the email to ensure that everything is correct.  When you’ve verified that it is correct, you will respond to the email with your choice of shipping method for the document.  You can choose airmail for free (which could take 6 weeks or longer in some rural areas), but we recommend using the express service.  Your document will reach you in a much shorter amount of time and will include a tracking number.  You’ll find details on both these options in the email.
  • Your e-mail message will also contain the information you need to pay the I-901 fee. This fee must be paid at least three days before your F-1/J-1 visa appointment or entry to the U.S. if a visa is not required.  When paying the fee online, print at least two receipts.  Take the receipt (Form I-797) with you to your visa appointment and keep it permanently with your I-20/DS-2019 forms.
  • You will need to make a visa appointment at the appropriate U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or Diplomatic Mission.  Consult the U.S. Department of State for valuable information on what you will need for your visa appointment.  Among other things, remember to take your I-20/DS-2019, letter of acceptance, I-901 payment receipt, and financial documentation with you.   An F-1/J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning that you will need to demonstrate that you intend to return to your home country after your studies are complete.

See more Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about obtaining a visa.

The Visa Appointment

After applying for an I-20 or DS-2019, students will also need to complete the visa application. It is highly recommended that you do not schedule a visa appointment until you are notified that your I-20 or DS-2019 form have been shipped.  In addition to gathering the necessary documents, completing the visa application, and paying the SEVIS (I-901) fee, it is important that you understand the interview process and prepare to interact with the consular officer.  As there is no single explanation, document, or answer that can guarantee your visa will be issued, here are some tips:

  • Provide clear evidence of continuing ties (such as family, career, or property) to your home country. Visa applicants are presumed to be “intending immigrants.” Your visa will be denied unless you satisfy the consular officer that you will return home.
  • Consular officers conduct quick interviews! Their initial impression of you is critical to your success. Keep your answers concise. Be honest in everything you write on your visa application and say during the interview. Be prepared to converse in English. Don’t bring other people to speak on your behalf.
  • Be able to explain the reasons you want to study in the U.S. and remember that your main reason for coming to the United States is to study, not to work!
  • If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your home country, be prepared to explain how they will support themselves in your absence. If they are accompanying you to the U.S., be prepared to show proof of adequate funding.
  • If you are denied the visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring the next time you apply, and try to get the reason you were denied in writing. The OIPS cannot inquire about this for you, or make an argument on your behalf.  Maintain a positive attitude! Do not engage the consular officer in an argument.

Securing Housing

Students are highly encouraged to secure their housing prior to arriving in Statesboro.

First year students/freshmen are required to live on campus in Centennial Place or Southern Courtyard.  Exchange student housing will be in University Villas.  All other students may select from a wide variety of residence halls on campus or privately managed off-campus apartment complexes located near the campus.

Apply early for on-campus housing to receive the best options!  You are able to log into the Housing Application three days after you are accepted for admission.  To log in, you will need your Eagle ID number, which you will receive via email when you apply to Georgia Southern.  Your password is your date of birth  – mmddyyyy. You will need to pay a $100 non-refundable application fee at the time of completing the application.

If you plan to live off-campus, you should arrive early as finding an apartment can be time-consuming.  Keep in mind that you may need to stay in a hotel while you are apartment hunting.  To learn more about housing leases in the U.S., students can use the Off-Campus Housing resource page.

For a list of apartment complexes in Statesboro, please visit:

Carefully read all information listed in the lease, including deposits, utilities, length of lease, etc.  Always consider how far the apartment is located from campus, as Statesboro does not have public transportation.

Register for International SOAR

All students are required to attend Southern’s Orientation, Advisement, and Registration (SOAR) prior to beginning their first term of enrollment at Georgia Southern.  A special International SOAR session held before the beginning of each term offers important information about maintaining your visa status, adjusting to U.S. classroom culture, and how to navigate life at Georgia Southern.

  • Undergraduate SOAR will take place August 9-11, 2017.  Online registration will open in February.
  • Graduate SOAR will take place August 11, 2017.  You do not need to register.

Exceptions will not be made and students should plan to arrive on campus during the advertised dates, prior to the start of SOAR.

Certificate of Immunization

All new students to Georgia Southern University are required to complete and submit the required immunization forms to Health Services.   You will need to visit a physician or medical professional in order to complete these forms.  Submit them at least one month prior to your arrival and orientation session.

To access the full list of required forms, visit the Health Services page for Immunization Requirements.

Health Insurance

The University System of Georgia requires all international students to purchase health insurance. You will be automatically billed after you register for classes every semester. The health insurance fee, paid in August, covers August through December. The fee paid in January covers January through July. During orientation, we will discuss how the health care system works in the United States and how to use this health insurance plan in the event that you require medical attention. Please bring any questions you may have to orientation!

All students are required to purchase the University System of Georgia Student Health Insurance Program (USG SHIP) unless they have insurance on a pre-approved waiver list and submit policy information to receive a waiver.

Please direct any questions to the Office of International Student Programs & Services by either emailing Tanya Brakhage (tbrakhage@georgiasouthern.edu) or calling (912)478-7435.

Paying Your Tuition & Fees

Timely payment of tuition and fees every term is an important part of committing to enrolling at Georgia Southern.  Several options are available, and students may pay in person with cash, or online with a valid credit card.  Additionally, international students may pay their tuition and fees via wire transfer by using Flywire.  This is highly encouraged as it is efficient and secure.  During orientation, students will attend a session that provides further detail on the payment process.

Students should note that invoices are not mailed.  All invoices are posted directly to your student account in WINGS and students are responsible for checking this invoice in a timely manner for accuracy and understanding the balance due.

All tuition and fee charges must be paid in full by the posted deadline for the term in order to avoid cancellation of classes.  Read the information page on the Bursar’s website for further instructions about making tuition and fee payments.

Preparing for Arrival

Arrival Dates for Fall 2017
Undergraduate Students: August 7-8, 2017
Graduate Students: August 9-10, 2017

These are the dates students should plan to arrive in Statesboro and settle in prior to beginning orientation.

Flying
The Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is the closest airport to Georgia Southern University.  This airport is about 45 minutes from the campus.  The Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport should be your final flight destination, since transportation from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is costly and limited.

Airport Shuttle Service
At this time, we are not able to offer a shuttle from the airport to campus.  A taxi will cost approximately $100 USD, but we also recommend Uber or Lyft.  See the additional list of ground transportation options.

When possible, students are encouraged to arrive to campus during business hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday).  Depending on when your flight arrives, you may need to spend the night at an airport hotel.  A list of Savannah/Hilton Head Airport hotels can be found here.

Driving
For driving directions to Lewis Hall, home of Georgia Southern’s Welcome Center, click here.  For a map service or GPS, use 100 Southern Drive, Statesboro, GA 30460.  Please note the Welcome Center is open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.  The Welcome Center can provide local maps and direct you to locations on campus and in Statesboro.

Statesboro Hotels
If you or your family will need to stay in a local hotel, visit here.  We highly recommend making hotel reservations in advance of your arrival.

Last updated: 3/29/2017