Pre-Arrival Information

Once you have been accepted to Purchase college for a degree program or a short-term exchange program and have submitted the necessary paperwork for visa documentation, you will be mailed an acceptance packet. This packet contains information on how to obtain a U.S. visa and what you much complete prior to your arrival at Purchase. These requirements include:

  • Mandatory Immunization Requirement
  • Housing Deposit Information
  • Registering your travel and arrival information for Mandatory International Student Orientation

Arriving in the U.S. and at Purchase College

Students are expected to move-in and arrive during schedule times listed in the arrival packet and on the New International Student Orientation website. Purchase College and the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) cannot accommodate students who arrive early to campus; there are no housing options or meals available. A F-1 student visa allows students to enter the U.S. 30 days prior to the start of program, but if you arrive to the U.S. earlier than the listed move-in date, you are responsible for any hotel and/or meal costs.

Students are rarely granted an exception to arriving after orientation. Classes begin immediately following orientation, and the U.S. educational system highly values attendance. An orientation covering visa status and maintenance is required by the F-1 visa status, and make-up orientations are a burdensome on the OIPS staff. Under no circumstances, including difficulty obtaining a student visa, can a student arrive after the state of classes; they must delay their enrollment until the beginning of the next semester.

Mandatory Orientation & SEVIS Check-In

New International Student Orientation

A few days prior to Welcome Week for all new students, the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) has international students come to the U.S. to attend New International Student Orientation. Here we will review topics specific to international students like maintaining your visa status, American academic expectations, and fun events to get to know other international students. This mandatory orientation is for all First-Year, Transfer, or Graduate students on a SUNY sponsored F-1 or J-1 Visa. First-Year and Transfer students should not attend orientations held in July; all topics will be covered during New International Student Orientation.

Specific information about upcoming Orientation can be found at the New International Student Orientation Page.


Each semester the Office of International Programs and Services is required to verify your continued enrollment at Purchase College for the Student and Exchange Visitor  Information System (SEVIS). We hold specific days where students can drop in to meet with an International Student Advisor to do this. For new students, this will be during New International Student Orientation. For returning international students, this will be the two days after the add/drop period ends.

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