Arriving in the U.S.

Pre-Arrival Information


Undergraduate students are required to live on campus, provided that enough housing is available. You must complete an online housing application, which can be found on CampusCruiser:

  • Go to Webadviser, then click on "Student Services".
  • Scroll down to locate the "New Students" section on the left side panel. 
  • Click on the "Housing Application" under "New Students".
  • Complete the application as soon as you are sure of your intention to come to Widener
  • If you have technical difficulties or do not know your CampusCruiser login, please contact ITS.

Graduate students will need to find housing in the local area. International Student Services (ISS) can put you in contact with local landlords to help you secure a place to live. Contact ISS at iss@mail.widener.edu with the subject line "Off-Campus Housing".

Residence Hall Supplies

ISS has partnered with DormCo to provide you with a way to purchase in advance your bedding, towels, lamps, and any other supplies you may need for you room. Your items can be shipped directly to International Student Services and will be waiting for you when you arrive on campus! Best of all shipping is only $2.95 for your entire order. In order to ensure timely delivery, please purchase your items by July 31st. Use the address below as the ship to address:
International Student Services
Widener University
1 University Place, UC 2nd Floor
Chester, PA 19013

Medical Information

As a Widener University student, you are required to purchase the university health insurance policy. Your university account will be invoiced for the insurance fee schedule. Because you will be automatically enrolled in the university plan, it is not necessary to purchase health insurance prior to arriving in the United States.

You must complete the Health History Form and the Pre-Matriculation Certification of Immunizations Form from Student Health Services before you begin your studies at Widener University.  Please complete the forms thoroughly, including the tuberculosis (PPD) test administration and reading and all dates of immunizations. If you choose blood tests (titers) to document your immunization status, include a copy of each of the laboratory results.

The university prefers that immunizations be administered prior to your arrival in the United States. However, if you are unable to do that, Widener University requires immunizations be administered at the Student Health Services office within the first month of school. Note that Health Services charges a flat fee for any immunization.

All completed documents should be sent to the following address:

Widener University Student Health Services
One University Place
Chester, PA 19013
(610) 499-1183 (phone number required if you are using FedEx, UPS, or DHL)


In addition to the estimated cost of tuition, fees, books/supplies, medical insurance and living expenses noted on your I-20, you will want to bring money for the following expenses that you may incur upon your arrival:

  • Bedding, bath supplies, kitchen supplies, personal items, etc. for your residence hall or apartment, if you do not choose to order these supplies in advance.
  • First and last month's rent and security deposit are typically required for students renting an apartment,. The cost for this can vary but plan on $1,200 USD minimum.
  • Emergency cash for unexpected expenses, minimum $300 USD.

If you are planning to pay your tuition by wire transfer, we recommend you do so in advance as your registration will be placed on hold if your payment has not been completed at the time of registration. The amount for the wire transfer should be approximately half the amount listed on the I-20. For students living off campus: do not include the amount for living expenses.  Note that the amount on your I-20 is for the whole year, includes living expenses and other fees which may not be due directly to the university, and is a best guess of the fees you will incur.

The Office of the Bursar can assist with wire transfers.

Entering the U.S.

Do not book your plane ticket until you have received your visa. Keep in mind that you can legally arrive in the U.S. up to 30 days before the start date on your I-20; however, we do not recommend that you arrive early unless you have made prior arrangements. Widener cannot provide housing or airport pick-ups prior to orientation.

Carry your passport, visa, I-20 and I-901 receipt with you when you board the plane. Do no place these items in checked baggage. You will not be allowed to board the plane if you do not have all required immigration documentation with you.

At the port of entry, you will speak with a Customs and Border Protection Officer who will examine your documents and stamp your passport. Keep all your immigration documents available, because you will need to present them to ISS at orientation.


International Orientation is required for all new international students at the Chester campus; undergraduate students who come in the Fall are also required to attend the New Student Orientation for all students. Orientation at the Chester Campus begins August 15, 2014.  Students at the Delaware School of Law should contact the Law School for orientation information.

If you would like to be picked up from the airport, please complete the airport pick up survey. Transportation will only be available from the Philadelphia airport to the Chester campus on August 15, 2014.  We will be unable to pick students up on any other day or from any other airport. We are also unable to provide transportation to any other location.

During International Student Orientation you will:

  • Get your Campus1Card, which is your student ID card.
  • Learn about Campus Cruiser and open your email account, if you have not done so already.
  • Check-in to your residence hall (on-campus students only).
  • Take your English placement test.
  • If required, take your math placement online. You will be notified if you must take the math placement test.
  • Meet your academic adviser.
  • Learn about academic policies.
  • Register for classes.
  • Learn about immigration regulations.
  • Get a campus tour.
  • Learn about Health Services and the required Health Insurance.
  • Learn about American culture and culture shock.
  • Have the opportunity to get a cell phone and open a bank account.
  • Have the opportunity to go shopping.
  • Meet new friends!
  • And much, much more!