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Pre-Arrival Information for International Students


Have these items with you while you're traveling:

Phone Numbers: Write down all the phone numbers you will need when you arrive. Keep them with you. Make sure you include your home number (with country code); your international student advisor's number; and your country's embassy or consulate located nearest your port of entry.

Southwestern Oregon Community College:  1.800.962.2838
International Student Program: 541.888.7185 (Maya Tsai)
Contact Information: Bring the exact address of your school, including the city and state.

Southwestern Oregon Community College
1988 Newmark Avenue
Coos Bay , Or 97420

Student Address in U.S.:  This will be sent to you soon.

Travel Instructions: Know exactly where you need to travel. Will you need to change planes after you arrive? Figure out all these travel arrangements before you leave.  Always pay attention to your belongings while you are traveling. Don't leave your luggage unattended. Keep an eye on your purse or carry-on bags during your trip. It's easy to get distracted in a new country, and you don't want to make yourself vulnerable to a pickpocket or thief.

Cash: You'll need money when you first arrive in the United States, so you'll want to bring over a couple hundred dollars in cash, as well as traveler's checks. Don't carry large bills. Instead bring small denominations such as 1-, 5-, 10- and 20-dollar bills. Also carry a roll of quarters (25 cents). You'll need these quarters for making telephone calls or for getting a luggage cart at the airport. Be careful with your money. For increased security, carry your money in two or three different places on you, such as in an inside pocket or zippered wallet.

On the Plane: The flight attendant will give you two different forms shortly before your plane lands. These forms are:

  • I-94 (See details below)
  • Customs Declaration (See details below)

In the Airport Terminal: When you arrive at the terminal, you will enter the passport control area:

Passport Control: Get into the line for non-US residents. You will need your passport, your I-94 form and your customs declaration form. When you get up to the immigration inspection desk, give all these forms to the officer. Your passport will be stamped upon entry and your information entered into the Immigration & Naturalization Services database (I-20/Visa).

Baggage Claim: After this step, you'll move along into the baggage claim area to pick up your luggage. At this point, you may want to use a few of those quarters for a luggage cart. Look for the area marked with your flight number. Collect your luggage. Then move along to the customs clearance area.

Customs: The customs inspection area is located outside of baggage claims. You'll present your customs declaration form to the officer, and once approved you may move on to the arrivals area.

Arrivals: From customs, follow the signs to the international arrivals area. You'll find rest rooms, ground transportation and connecting flights. (If you need to take another US flight, you won't have to clear immigration and customs again.)

Along your trip you can always ask people for assistance. Americans tend to be very friendly and willing to help. For safety reasons, you may want to direct your questions to personnel at the Traveler's Aid Desk, Information Desk or Ground Transportation Desk, or officials in uniform.

I-94 Form:Immediately before you cross the border into the United States, a flight attendant will give you the I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) for you to complete in the airplane before you land. Take your passport, student visa, I-20 and I-94 forms to the immigration inspector when you land. The inspector will stamp the I-94 form with "D/S" (duration of status). This means that you may stay in the USA until you complete your studies.

The I-94 form is only a small piece paper, usually stapled to your passport. However this form is very important -- so don't lose it! Other than your passport, this form is the most critical one you'll receive. Keep the I-94 form and copies of your valid I-20 or IAP-66 with your passport at all times.

The I-94 will have a number written in the top left corner, which the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) will use to keep track of your records. This number is known as the Arrival Number, Departure Number, and Admission Number, and it will remain with you throughout your studies or temporary employment in the United States.



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