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.

Important Documents You Must Have Before You Leave Home

Passport:  Before you leave your country contact your government’s passport office to clarify any questions you may have about your passport. It must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into the United States.

Visa:  You should apply for a non-immigrant Student Visa (F-1) as early as possible, but you can apply only 120 days before the “start date” on your I-20. You must first complete the Visa Application (this is called the DS-160) online and pay the fee before scheduling the appointment. You can usually schedule the visa appointment online. Then, you can go to the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate, taking your passport, the receipt for your paid SEVIS fee, the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20, issued by Wilson College) your completed visa application including a second visa size photo, and all other documentation needed. It is best to take too much documentation, to prove that you are going to study in the United State. But have all your documentation in an orderly fashion so that you can locate such quickly if the visa officer requests a particular document. provides a list of embassies and consulates. Check the following site for additional information on obtaining your U.S. visa, including what documentation you must take with you upon your visa appointment:

The visa official will ask about your educational experiences and your college choices. Be prepared to answer questions about your field of study and how likely you are to remain at your college until graduation. Take with you school transcripts, national examination results, and SAT or TOEFL/IELTS scores along with anything else which demonstrates your academic achievement and commitment.

You should also be prepared to show that your sponsor (whoever is paying for your education) is able to finance your education. You should also take with you the verification of any personal funds that are listed as a contribution from you or your family. This includes signed letters or documents from a bank or other financial institution verifying that you have the personal funds indicated on the I-20 form. Those funds that are covered by Wilson College are adequately indicated on the I-20 form and you need no further documentation of these funds.

You will also need to prove that you do not intend to remain in the United States after graduation. It is important to convey to the official that you are coming to the United States as a student, and that you plan to return to your home country after your schooling is completed. Be prepared to demonstrate solid economic, family and social ties to your home country.

In the event that your request for a visa is denied, the visa official must give you the reason for denial in writing. You must get this paper from the visa official before leaving your appointment. Also, before leaving this official, make certain your full name on the visa matches the spelling on your passport.

New International Students Traveling to the U.S.


What Should I Bring?


Weather:  Chambersburg has seasonal variations in weather. Temperatures range from an average of -7 C (20 F) in winter to an average of 30 C (88 F) in the summer, although temperatures can be much hotter or colder.  Please keep the weather in mind when you are preparing your clothing!  The dress code is casual, but you may wish to bring a few dressy outfits for evening outings and for formal dances such as White Dinner and Spring Fling. 

  • Summer – June to mid-September. Temperatures range from 70–90 degrees F with high humidity.
  • Fall – Mid-September to mid-December. Temperatures range from 32-60 degrees F with high humidity.
  • Winter – Mid-December to Mid-March. Continuous cold weather. Temperatures usually range from 10-50 F and are often accompanied by rain, snowfall and strong winds.
  • Spring – Mid-March to June. Temperatures range from 50 – 75 degrees F. Occasional rain with high humidity.

Check for more information on Chambersburg weather. 

Toiletries Some personal items such as shampoo, toothpaste and soap (we will visit a store early upon your arrival; however, you may choose to plan to bring a few days supply.)

Clothing:   You may need a raincoat, waterproof shoes or boots for snow, an umbrella and heavy overcoat for winter. In the fall and winter women usually wear coats and dress clothes equivalent to the weight and warmth of wool.  For casual occasions (such as attending class) jeans and sweaters are acceptable.  In the spring and summer light-weight clothing such as cotton or linen is appropriate.  At Wilson, informal wear such as blouses, t-shirts, jeans, and shorts are acceptable for women. Besides being comfortable, they are practical for year round weather changes! You may choose to wait until arrival here to purchase winter clothing and accessories.

Items from home:   Many Wilson students choose to bring a native costume. The Muhibbah club organizes activities where you may display items from your country and teach others about your special traditions. Books, recipes, musical instruments, photographs, and music from your country are also welcomed, and they may also help you to feel more at home! You will find that some people will be interested in learning about your culture.

You may want to wait until you get to the United States to purchase these items instead of packing them:

  -  Pillow, sheets and blanket (we will supply your first set if you desire) 
  -  Towels and washcloths (we will supply your first set if you desire)
  -  Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush etc.) 
  -  Shower shoes 
  -  A basket for carrying toiletries 
  -  Clothing hangers 
  -  Hair Dryer and/or curling iron
  -  Alarm clock 
  -  Stationary, post cards and stamps 
  -  Mugs, drinking glasses, plates and utensils (for snacks in your room) 
  -  “Munchies” such as crackers, microwave popcorn etc…

During orientation week, you will have opportunity to go shopping so that you can purchase needed items.

Each residence hall has laundry facilities, computers for student use, a full sized refrigerator, full sized oven, microwave oven, & TV for student use.  Students may also rent their own small refrigerator for use in their room.  All campus has wi-fi access. You may choose to bring your personal laptop.

Electric Current: Electricity in the United States is: 120 volts, 60 cycle. If you bring an electric appliance (such as a curling iron) be sure that it will operate on American current. You will probably need to purchase an adapter plug for use with American electrical outlets.


What Do I Need to Know About Money?

Have you budgeted for:


Carrying money to the USA

Be cautious about carrying large sums of cash. You may choose to wire money from home, or use a major credit card and immediately pay off the balance to avoid accrual of interest. You may wire money from your home account to Wilson’s bank account in order to pay your deposit and your balance for tuition, and room and board. Wilson’s Bank Account information is:

F & M Trust

20 South Main Street
P.O. Box 6010
Chambersburg, PA 17201

Bank Routing # 1071890

Wilson’s Acct. # 031304306

* Please remember that there is a fee to wire money.  Ask your bank what you can expect to pay for this service. 


Money upon arrival:


Opening a Bank Account
During Orientation Week there will be opportunity to learn about local financial institutions where you may choose to open a bank account.