Pre-Arrival Information

WELCOME TO EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY

SPRING TERM 2014

VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION – MUST READ!!!

IMMIGRATION

You will be entering the United States under the F-1 or J-1 (student) status. It is very important that if you are coming to study at East Tennessee State University you enter the country with a SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019 issued by East Tennessee State University. If you enter the country with an I-20 from another institution and do not attend that school, you may be considered out-of-status or you must follow through with appropriate transfer procedures. Students entering the U.S. under the J-1 status should please refer especially to the U.S. Department of State information enclosed.

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SEVIS I-901 FEE

New students and exchange visitors with a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 issued on or after September 1, 2004 are subject to the fee. Please visit the payment website at http://www.fmjfee.com for more information. Continuing students and exchange visitors are not required to pay the fee except under certain circumstances; complete information on who needs to pay the fee, and questions and answers can be found at the SEVP website. Additional information is included in your packet. This fee is currently $200 and MUST be paid a minimum of 3 business days prior to petitioning for a student visa as you must have this receipt for your visa appointment. You must save this receipt for future visa applications.

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ARRIVAL

Johnson City is served by the Tri-Cities Airport (TRI), located approximately 18 miles from the university. Information about the airport, including a list of airlines serving the area is available at www.triflight.com. Greyhound Bus Lines also services Johnson City http://www.greyhound.com, but not to or from the airport. If you notify us at least two weeks in advance of your precise time of arrival, we will try to arrange to pick you up only at this airport or bus station. Due to limited resources, last minute airport pick-up requests cannot be honored. If arriving after 4:30 pm, International Programs Office staff may not be able to pick you up. Limousines and taxicabs are available from the airport to Johnson City for approximately $40. A taxi from the bus station to ETSU is available for approximately $8-10. Students requesting airport pick-up must complete and submit the request form to our office at least two weeks before arrival. To avoid confusion, please ask only one person to pick you up. If you have applied for the International Friendship program, please don't email the airport pick-up request form to International Programs, as your host from the program will pick you up.

IMPORTANT:  YOU CANNOT ENTER THE U.S. MORE THAN 30 DAYS BEFORE THE REPORTING DATE NOTED IN ITEM 5 ON YOUR I-20 OR ITEM 3 ON YOUR DS-2019.

It is very important that you arrive no later than Monday, January 13, 2014 in order to report to check-in. If you arrive between Monday and Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., please call or come to our office so we can assist you. If arriving on weekends or after hours and if staying on campus you MUST inform the Housing Office at ETSU, PO Box 70723, Johnson City, TN  37614, USA, telephone 423-439-4446 or before arriving. We encourage you to arrive during weekdays when we can better assist you in settling in.

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CHECK-IN

Please plan to arrive a few days before classes so you can have time to rest and to take care of paperwork. You must see the International Student Advisor in International Programs and Services in order to check-in.  Important information about orientation, registration, and life in Johnson City will be provided, and your registration hold will be removed at that time. Bring all of your immigration documents (Form I-20 or DS-2019, passport, visa, and I-94) to check-in. For information about the specific dates and times, please see the Check-In and Orientation Schedule .

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INTERNATIONAL FRIENDSHIP PROGRAM (IFP)

ETSU proudly offers the International Friendship Program (IFP) to assist you in making a smooth transition to  living in Johnson City. If you apply for the IFP, a faculty or staff volunteer will contact you by e-mail prior to your arrival, arrange to pick you up at the airport, provide a place for you to stay for a couple of days (if needed), help you move in to your assigned housing, take you shopping, show you around ETSU and the city, and try to help make your transition here a little less stressful. If you would like to apply for a friendship host, please complete the application and return it to Dr. Brent Morrow, Director, by e-mail: or fax: 423-439-7790. Please note that you MUST have confirmed housing arranged before you can be assigned a friendship host, and also, please be advised that hosts are NOT financial sponsors, only volunteers who wish to help international students make a positive transition to their new lives.

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ORIENTATION

A special orientation session for all international students entering ETSU for the first time has been scheduled on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. in the D.P. Culp Center, Upper Level (3rd floor) Dining Room #2. This has been arranged to convey information to you regarding important immigration issues and to generally assist you in making a smooth transition into the academic, cultural, and social life of the university and the community. Orientation is mandatory. Please be prepared to stay, beginning at 9:00 a.m.; breakfast and lunch will be provided.

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HOUSING

In general, lack of housing arrangements on the part of new students proves to be the most stressful situation related to their arrival. It is i mperative that you make housing arrangements before arriving to avoid adding stress and frustration to your initial days in the United States.

On-campus: All the housing facilities available to you on campus are described in detail at the following website: http://www.etsu.edu/students/housing/. It is very important that you send in an application and deposit ($100.00), which is refundable if you do not enroll at ETSU; otherwise, it is not refundable. Submit your deposit to the Housing Office well in advance of your arrival. If you arrive on campus without having made housing arrangements, it is likely that you will not be able to live on-campus. In this instance, you will need to arrange for a hotel room until you find a place to live, and hotel reservations should be made early.  Information on some hotels available in Johnson City is included at the end of this document.

Residence halls officially open on Tuesday, January  14, 2014; however, if you wish for an early arrival, you must make arrangements directly with the  and cannot move-in before Thursday, January 9, 2014. The request for early move-in form can be found on the Housing website. Early move-in is not guaranteed, and due to limited resources, last minute requests for temporary housing cannot be honored.

Off-campus: Off-campus housing may prove difficult to secure before you arrive; we strongly recommend that you stay on campus for the first year. However, if you wish to live off- campus, please make plans to arrive in Johnson City at least 2 weeks before classes start so that you will have plenty of time to arrange for accommodations.

Unfortunately, the East Tennessee State University Housing Office does not provide individual assistance for off-campus placements, but a list of rental/lease units is available at http://www.etsu.edu/students/acts/students/offcampushousing.aspx.

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CLASSES

Day and evening classes will begin Thursday, January 16, 2014.

UNDERGRADUATE ONLINE ORIENTATION - THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ORIENTATION TAKING PLACE ON JANUARY 14!
 

All new undergraduate degree seeking students are required to either come to the ETSU campus to take part in a new student orientation or take the online version of the same.  Since you are obviously too far to come to the on site orientation, you must register to take the online version.   The online orientation is called LAUNCH. Once you are admitted to ETSU, you will receive an email in your Goldmail account from the Orientation office "inviting you to complete LAUNCH". Please follow the provided link and instructions to complete LAUNCH. The orientation fee is $30 and can be paid by credit card.  You will not be able to register full-time until you complete this online orientation.

REGISTRATION FOR CLASSES

Undergraduate Students - you will be directed to an academic advisor at the end of the online orientation. The earlier you register, the better your chances of getting a seat in courses that you need. Please contact your academic advisor directly in order to register for classes.

Graduate Students
- you should contact your graduate coordinator whose name is listed on your admission letter and request assistance regarding registration.

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HEALTH INSURANCE

In accordance with the TBR Policy on Admission (2:03:00:00), ETSU must require that all international, nonimmigrant students and scholars under the F and J status maintain accident, illness, medical evacuation, and repatriation insurance on themselves, as a condition to their admission, enrollment, research duties, and employment at the University. Applicants under any of the J status categories must also carry accident, illness, medical evacuation, and repatriation insurance for spouses and dependents. The policy and procedures that have been established are enclosed. Please note that you will be required to purchase health insurance coverage through the University. No private health insurance policy will be accepted.

The cost for insurance coverage per semester is approximately $800

The health insurance coverage that you will purchase at ETSU will not provide you with dental and eye coverage. We strongly recommend that you have a dental and eye examination before departing for the United States. You may also want to purchase travel insurance, as your ETSU insurance will not be effective until January 1, 2014.

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TUBERCULOSIS (TB) SCREENING/MEASLES, MUMPS AND RUBELLA (MMR) SHOTS/
MENINGITIS/HEPATITIS POLICY

TUBERCULOSIS (TB) SCREENING

All international students are required to undergo a tuberculosis screening test when you arrive at the University. This is a mandatory test. Based on availability, you may choose to have a skin test or a blood test. Citizens of certain high-risk countries will be required to take two TB skin tests (if choosing the skin test option).

MEASLES, MUMPS, AND RUBELLA (MMR) FOR ALL ENTERING STUDENTS

East Tennessee State University requires documentation of immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) for all entering students. New students are required to provide proof they received 2 doses of Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine. For your convenience, we will include a Certificate of Immunization that you may take to your physician to confirm that you have received these immunizations. Please keep in mind that your physician will need to cite the dates of the doses, then sign and stamp the certificate; without such information, the certificate will not be accepted. This documentation may be faxed to 423-439-4560 or e-mailed to Pam Williams at . If you cannot provide proof of the 2 immunizations, you may take the MMR immunizations at ETSU Student Health Services. The estimated cost is $99 per dose (2 doses required). However, this price is subject to change.

VARICELLA (CHICKEN POX) VACCINE

Effective July 1, 2011, students born on or after January 1, 1980 must show proof that they have received two doses of the Varicella vaccine or have a history of the disease as documented by a health care professional. The vaccination is available at Student Health Services at an estimated cost of approximately $150 per dose and must be pre-ordered. Again, this price is subject to change. 

MENINGITIS/HEPATITIS POLICY

ETSU'S Important Immunization Waiver Requirement requires all entering students to complete a Hepatitis B/Meningococcal History Waiver form prior to registering for classes.

The State of Tennessee mandates that all students be informed about Hepatitis B infection. Those students who will be living in on-campus housing must also provide proof of adequate immunization against Meningococcal disease within the last 5 years. You will NOT be allowed to move into your housing assignment until you have submitted Meningitis vaccination documentation; no exceptions!

You will be prompted to sign a waiver when you log in to your Goldlink account for registration. Alternatively, the waiver may be obtained from Student Health Services on the Student Health Services website.

The waiver should be turned in to Student Health Services (160 Roy Nicks Hall, fax: (423) 439-4560, e-mail: )  All documentation must be translated into English by an official translator and include the translator's name and contact information.

For additional information about any health issues, you may contact Student Health Services at 423-439-4225.

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Persons on F-1 visas are allowed to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week during the Spring and Fall terms. Off-campus employment authorization is very limited and normally authorized for a maximum of one year. You will receive more information on both off and on-campus employment during orientation. Graduate students who have a graduate assistantship will need to contact their department upon their arrival so that paperwork can be processed for payroll purposes. Graduate assistantships are considered on-campus employment.

PLEASE NOTE:   DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOU CAN SUPPORT YOURSELF SOLELY BY WORKING EITHER ON OR OFF-CAMPUS AS THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE.

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GRADUATE STUDENTS

Students who have a graduate assistantship will normally be granted a waiver of tuition but not fees. It is very important, therefore, to have money available to cover activity fees, insurance, books, rent and rent deposits, incidentals, etc. (stipend checks will not be available until approximately one month after classes begin) - bring money to pay for immediate expenses!!! Please note that students must have a social security number (SSN) before they can be paid. Students in F-1 or J-1 visa status are not eligible for a SSN without a paying job offer. You cannot apply for a SSN until you have registered full-time for classes, have been in the USA for at least ten days, have provided a physical address to International Programs and Services, have had your record registered in SEVIS by the International Student Advisor, and have received a job offer letter.

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ORAL PROFICIENCY TEST – BEST PLUS

All graduate international students who have a graduate assistantship or a tuition scholarship are required to take the BEST PLUS Oral English Proficiency exam within two week after classes begin. Please contact (phone: 423-439-5992; office: 310 Burleson Hall) to schedule an appointment for the exam before or after arrival at ETSU.

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FINANCIAL MATTERS

Upon your arrival, you will need to meet many immediate financial obligations. We highly recommend that you bring the following:

1. Traveler’s checks or a bank draft made payable to East Tennessee State University for the appropriate amount owed for the Fall semester. You will be refunded any extra amount, which usually takes a couple of days.

2.  Travelers checks in US dollars for at least $4,000 to cover expenses such as the cost of renting and setting up an apartment, books, health insurance, food, incidentals, etc. You can use this to open a bank account in Johnson City. If you have a graduate assistantship, you still must bring money/traveler's checks because you may not receive your stipend until the second pay period of the semester (approximately one month after classes begin). For safety purposes it is recommended that you do not carry large quantities of cash. Traveler's checks and credit/debit cards are safe and acceptable forms of payment.

3.  Semester fees for the minimum credit hours (12 undergraduate, 9 graduate) are estimated to be approximately:

  • $11,745 for undergraduate and $10,959 for graduate tuition and fees. All international students must carry a full time course load (12 credit hours for undergraduates and 9 credit hours for graduates)
  • $2,390 for housing
  • $800 for health insurance premium
  • $4,022 for other mandatory fees (including meals and textbooks)

YOU CANNOT ATTEND CLASSES UNTIL FEES ARE PAID. YOU MUST BRING MONEY.
(ALL THE ABOVE FIGURES ARE ESTIMATES ONLY)

4. ETSU and many Johnson City establishments will accept major credit cards (Visa and MasterCard).

5. Wiring Money to ETSU: The SWIFT Code for wire transfers to First Tennessee Bank is FTBMUS44. The bank routing number is ABA#084000026. The account number is 0500038. The mailing address is First Tennessee Bank, PO Box 1596, Johnson City, TN 37605 USA.

Please ensure to include your name and E number; we need to know whose money it is!

Wiring money may take several days to a week to process. If you have waited for more than one week, you may contact the ETSU Bursar's office to verify whether ETSU has received an incoming transfer. When contacting the Bursar's office, please provide your first name, last name, student identification (E number), dollar amount of the transfer, and a tracking number from your home bank.

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WHAT TO BRING

You will be able to purchase anything you may need in Johnson City. For purposes of immediate settling down, however, we suggest you bring with you: a pillow, bed linens/sheets, towels, blankets, toiletries, an Ethernet cable (category 5) for internet access, and some food that is either pre-prepared or that can be prepared quickly in case you arrive on campus after business hours and all the food facilities are closed.

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OUTREACH ACTIVITIES

Many international students who come to Johnson City are interested in sharing their heritage with the campus and the surrounding community. International Programs and Services receives frequent requests from schools, civic groups, churches, etc. who want to meet international students and learn about their countries and culture. We would encourage you to get involved in exchange activities by bringing national costumes, photographs, power point or slide shows, music, CDs, DVDs, flags, artifacts, etc., which can prove very helpful if you go out to talk to those groups or during International Education Week ( ETSU IEW) in November.

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WEATHER

In the Johnson City area, we have four distinct seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. The winter season usually lasts from late November to early April with periodic snowfalls, sleet, and generally very cold weather. We recommend you include warm clothing in your luggage. Spring and fall usually bring mild weather, and although summer days can be hot, the evenings are usually pleasantly cool. We experience some rainfall throughout the year.

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MAILING ADDRESS

IMPORTANT:  REQUEST A POST OFFICE BOX WHEN YOU FIRST REGISTER FOR CLASSES. THE COST IS $10 PER SEMESTER AND IS INCLUDED IN YOUR STUDENT FEES.

You may use the address of International Programs and Services as your temporary U.S. address. You should be able to have a post office box within a week of your registration at ETSU if you live on-campus. The post office is located on the lower level of the D.P. Culp University Center and is open Monday through Friday from 8:25 a.m. to 3:55 p.m.

(Your Name)
East Tennessee State University
c/o International Programs and Services
PO Box 70668 (use “325 Treasure Lane” if sending boxes or mail through a courier service such as FedEX, UPS, or DHL)
Johnson City, TN  37614  USA

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INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS AND SERVICES OFFICE

Location: 122 Yoakley Hall (First Floor, West Wing)

Staff:  Dr. Maria Costa, Director
           Mr.  RJ Powell, International Student Advisor
           Ms. Kelly Hill, Study Abroad Advisor
           Ms. Janice Howell, Executive Aide
           Ms. Erin Garner, Secretary

Address:  East Tennessee State University
                  International Programs and Services
                  PO Box 70668
                  Johnson City, TN  37614-1701 USA

Telephone: (423) 439-7737

Fax: (423) 439-7131

Email:

Web Page: http://www.etsu.edu/international

Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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BANKS NEAR ETSU

Bank of America, 1616 W. Market St., 423-461-8100

Bank of Tennessee, 1328 W. State of Franklin Rd., 423-462-9500

Eastman Credit Union, 113 Broyles Dr., 423-979-8101

First Tennessee Bank
, 1500 W. State of Franklin Rd. 423-461-1200

People's Community Bank, 202 East Main St., 423- 975-5600

Regions Bank, 1408 W. State of Franklin Rd., 423-282-7664

State of Franklin Savings Bank, 612 West Walnut St. 423-926-3300

SunTrust Bank, 207 Mockingbird Ln., 423-461-1000

Tennessee Teachers Credit Union, D.P. Culp University Center, ETSU Campus, 423-929-4423

Washington County Bank, 503 N. State of Franklin Rd., 423-975-5900

Note:  Eastman Credit Union has an ATM located on the first floor of the D.P. Culp University Center on campus. Bank of America has an ATM located on the second floor of Burgin Dossett Hall on campus.

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HOTELS/MOTELS

Best Western, 2406 N. Roan Street, $75, 423-282-2161

Carnegie Hotel*, 1216 W. State of Franklin Rd., $139, 423-979-6400

Comfort Inn*, 1900 S. Roan Street,  $60, 423-928-9600

Comfort Suites, 3118 Browns Mill Rd. $75, 423-610-0010

Days Inn, 2312 Brown Mill Rd. $49, 423-282-2211

Double Tree, 211 Mockingbird Ln., $85, 423-929-2000

Fox, 3406 W. Market St. $40, 423-928-0267

Hampton Inn*, 508 N. State of Franklin Rd. $135, 423-929-8000

Holiday Inn, 101 Springbrook Dr., $72, 423-282-4611

Johnson Inn, 2700 W. Market St., $55, 423-926-8145

Quality Inn, 207 E. Mountcastle, $48, 423-282-3335

Red Roof Inn, 210 Broyles Dr. $55, 423-282-3040

Sleep Inn, 925 W. Oakland Ave., $65, 423-915-0081

*Closest to ETSU

NOTE TO STUDENTS:

Be sure to mention you are a student at ETSU to get the discount rate, if applicable.

Note: All prices are for a basic room for one occupant. Room prices for more than one occupant will be more. Also, these prices do not include any taxes and are subject to change, especially during special events.

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