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Pre-Arrival Information

Checklist for New or Transfer Students

We are pleased that you've chosen Florida State University for your academic degree!

Make travel arrangements to Tallahassee after you have obtained your visa. Plan to arrive in the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019 (per federal regulations). Plan to arrive in time to attend all required orientations.

After you have been admitted to FSU, there's a lot to do. Review this checklist to find out what to do next!

Step 1: Activate your FSUID/FSU email account

  • Go to:
  • Click on the red link for "Activate your FSUID" (located below the "Login" section).
  • Enter your EMPLID, a nine-digit number which was sent to you in an automated email at the beginning of the Admissions process. Enter your first and last name and birth date. Enter the last 5 digits of your FSU-assigned temporary ID number (listed at the top of your Center for Global Engagement Welcome Letter) or US Social Security Number, if you have one.
  • This creates your FSU email account and allows you to login to the student information website (also called "myFSU") at As a student, you will use the site often for class registration, fee payment, viewing grades, email, and more.

Note: Your FSU temporary ID (999 number) is NOT a U.S. social security number and can only be used for university purposes.

Step 2: Complete the CFR

Each admitted student must complete the online Certification of Financial Responsibility (CFR) to demonstrate proof of adequate funding. You can show funding from a personal account or use a relative or family friend as a sponsor. You may use more than one sponsor, if needed. Please review the Certification of Financial Responsibility page before submission.

Students will be provided with a link to complete the CFR shortly after admission. Students must upload supporting financial documentation and a copy of their passport as part of this process.

Step 3: Read the Pre-Arrival Brochure

The Pre-Arrival Brochure provides detailed information about the F-1 visa process and helpful information to help with your transition to FSU. CLICK HERE to download a PDF copy of the Pre-Arrival Brochure.

Step 4: Complete the CGE Pre-Arrival Online Immigration Session (OIS)

Before you come to the U.S., we require that you view a one-hour online presentation about how to maintain your F-1 immigration status. (Make sure to use the Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome web browser.)

At the end of the presentation, you will be tested on the content with a short online quiz and then you need to enter your name and FSUID into a survey. You will not be able to register for classes until you complete the final quiz and survey.

Step 5: Prepare to Attend International Student Check-In & CGE International In-Person Orientation

Once you have arrived at FSU, it is mandatory that you come to the Center for Global Engagement to check-in and take part in orientation. Graduate students starting at FSU in the fall semester must register in advance for their orientation date. Please visit our F-1 Orientation & Check-In page for information and registration.

Step 6: Make Travel Plans and Research Housing Options

  • Make travel arrangements to Tallahassee after you have obtained your visa. Plan to arrive in the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019 (per federal regulations). Plan to arrive in time to attend all required orientations.
  • Research Housing Options: For on-campus housing, apply as early as possible at
    • See our Housing Options webpage and your Pre-Arrival Brochure to begin comparing other housing options.
    • Arrange for housing before you arrive in Tallahassee. Make temporary housing arrangements, if necessary (e.g., if your apartment complex will be closed when you arrive and you cannot check in, or if you arrive before your apartment's move-in date)
      • If your apartment requires you to turn on utilities, please follow the instructions in the Pre-Arrival Brochure under Utilities.
      • Contact your apartment complex in advance if you will be arriving after-hours (usually after 5pm or 6pm) or on weekends. You may have to stay at a hotel overnight if your apartment complex is not open.

Step 7: Submit Health Compliance Forms to University Health Services

  • All students must meet immunization requirements and complete the required compliance forms before registering for classes. You should complete these required forms BEFORE you leave your home country.
  • The Student Immunization Record form must be signed by a medical professional in English.
  • Check the status of your Health Compliance forms approval online using the Admissions Online Status Check.

Step 8: Complete Mandatory Insurance Requirement

The State of Florida requires all students(domestic and international) to have adequate health and accident insurance which meets university requirements. The Federal government also requires that all students in J-1 visa status and their dependents have health and accident insurance which meets or exceeds certain minimum requirements listed on page 2 of the DS-2019 form.

  • You will not be allowed to register for classes until you have purchased insurance at
  • You may purchase the university-approved plan online before your arrival.
  • Charges for the insurance premium will be added to your student account. You can either pay those charges immediately or pay them at the same time you pay your tuition and/or fee charges.
  • Government-funded students whose financial sponsor pays FSU directly for insurance may leave the charges on their account for the sponsor to pay. Government-funded students must remember to submit Third Party billing forms to Student Financial Services by the third day of each semester.
Get connected:

FSU Student Organizations:

To view the complete list of International Student Organizations in FSU and their details, Please visit

Social Media at Florida State gives a complete list of Facebook, Twitter, youtube and LinkedIn pages from many of Florida State's colleges, departments and organizations.

Take a virtual tour of FSU! Before you arrive, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the FSU campus and surrounding area.

Find out about U.S. Culture:
  • EducationUSA - Department of State web site dedicated to the needs of international students. Lots of videos and online chat sessions offered about preparing for U.S study, visa questions, and more! Locate an EducationUSA center near you and ask them questions before you go!
  • EduPass site about U.S. social customs and cultural differences
  • International Student Guide - site discusses cultural adjustment and transitioning to U.S.
  • Pre-Departure Information for Chinese Students - Created by the NAFSA: Association of International Educators, this website provides general information about what to expect in the US and can be helpful to new students from any country.