Getting Ready for Wilson


Greetings and welcome to Wilson College! We are excited that you have chosen to become a part of our community and we are confident that you will help us to continue our long-standing tradition of excellence.  The next few weeks will certainly be exciting as you plan your voyage to the United States.  Perhaps you are a seasoned traveler, or maybe this is your first time to journey so far from your home.  Regardless of your level of travel experience, we’re sure that you’re a bit nervous, and hopefully very excited!

After you have submitted your $400 enrollment deposit, you will receive orientation information and housing forms which will help to determine your roommate.

An orientation program is held just before the beginning of each semester to acquaint you with Wilson College.  During this program you will receive an introduction to your peers and to Wilson College life.  You will learn what to expect from Wilson, and what Wilson will expect from you.  Attendance is helpful and mandatory.  You must plan to attend this week-long orientation session; exact dates will be provided to you.

Academic registration takes place the day before classes begin.  This process will be further explained during orientation.  You must have a valid F-1 visa in order to register for classes.  (See “Visa Information and Forms”)

Entry into the United States

  • Once you have your I-20, you should sign it.  If you are under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must also sign.
  • On the airplane, the flight attendant will pass out an I-94.  This is a small white card with spaces for your name, birthday, and country of citizenship.  It is also called an Arrival/Departure Record.  The I-94 indicates the date and when your permission to remain in the U.S. expires.
  • When you arrive at a port of entry in the U.S., you are required to present the Form I-20 and I-94 to the Officer.
  • The USCIS (Immigration) Officer will stamp your I-20 and return it to you.  Keep it in a safe place; it is very important.
  • Some international students may have an I-94 card stapled in your passport. This I-94, along with your I-20, show that you entered the country legally. Beginning 7/1/13 the I-94 was no longer issued to you to be stapled in your passport, but it is now electronic. You can obtain a copy of your I-94 at this web site:
  • We recommend carrying your financial support documents (bank statements, etc.) with you.  The Officer might ask for these.
Customs Declaration
  • You will be presented with a “Customs Declaration Form” aboard your plane before you arrive in the USA.
  • List on this form all of the items in your possession which may require the payment of a duty. There is no duty on articles of modest value brought into the country as gifts or on travel items, which you will take with you when you depart the United States (You may want to double check with your travel agent to be certain which items to claim). 
  • At the port you will present this form to the Customs Officer who will inspect your baggage. After your baggage has been inspected and any necessary duties have been paid, it will be approved and released to you.
US Visit

There is a program in place at many major U.S. airports called “US Visit.”  You may need to go to a US Visit machine or it may be at the Officer’s desk.  You will insert your visa and have fingerprints and a photo taken.  At some airports, you will automatically have this done when you go through immigration.  At other airports, you will need to do it yourself.  Follow the signs in the airport for US Visit.


  • If you travel by plane, most airlines will allow you to send two suitcases on the same flight as checked luggage, plus one extra bag as cabin luggage or “carry-on.”  Weight limits vary from airline to airline.
  • Check with your travel agent or the airline for specific policies.  Some countries also have different regulations.
  • You may consider packing a one-day supply of clothing and other necessary items in your “carry-on” bag in case your luggage is delayed or misplaced during your trip.
  • Make certain you carry your valuables with you or in your carry on luggage.  Never put money, jewelry or important papers (such as immigration documents) in luggage that you check.  Always carry these items with you while traveling!
Labeling your luggage
  • Place tags on all luggage!  Be sure to include your name and your address:

Your Name
Wilson College
1015 Philadelphia Ave.
Chambersburg, PA 17201

This way your luggage can be identified more easily and traced if it misses a change in planes on your journey here.

  • Place some type of identification inside each bag.
  • Again, NEVER put money, important papers, or valuables in luggage that you check.  Carry these items with you at all times when you are traveling!