Wilkes University

International Students

Arriving to the United States 

When you receive an acceptance letter to Wilkes...

you will also receive an I-20 form and a housing contract. You must take these forms to the US Embassy or Consulate in your country in order to apply for an F-1 (Student) visa. It is best to take copies of all the documentation that you sent to Wilkes as a part of your application packet. Those documents might not be requested, but the consular officer may ask for them. 

Processing time for a visa depends upon the country in which you live.

It may take place immediately or require a number of return visits. If you have received acceptances from several institutions, you must decide which school you will attend before you go to the embassy because the name of the school will be included on the visa in your passport. It is difficult, once you have entered the United States, to change schools immediately. Usually a one-semester stay is required. 

When you get to the United States, the INS officer at the port-of-entry...

will take the top copy of your I-20 and stamp the bottom copy. You will be issued an I-94 (small white card) that should be kept with your passport at all times. Be sure it has been stamped "D/S." If it has not, bring it to the attention of the officer.

Students may arrive in the United States 60 days prior to the date indicated on Line #5 of the I-20. This allows you time to visit friends or relatives or travel throughout the country. 

If you will live in an on-campus residence hall, arrive on campus three days...

before the start of school. Keep in mind that Residence Halls and food services at the University are not open until that time because of vacations and breaks preceding the start of each semester. Undergraduates are best served by living in campus residence halls, but if you plan to look for an apartment when you arrive in Wilkes-Barre, or plan to arrive more than three days before the start of the semester, you should plan to stay in a local hotel until the residence halls are open. 

Wilkes-Barre is served by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AVP) International Airport.

Connecting flights are available from many major ports of entry. Try to schedule your arrival at Wilkes University on a weekday (Monday through Friday), before 4:00pm by writing to the International Student Advisor in advance of arrival, arrangements can be made to meet students at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport. It is impossible to meet students in Philadelphia, New York, Washington, or other major east coast airports; they are a minimum of two hours, by car, from the University.

If you arrive unexpectedly at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, limousine service is available for approximately $30.00. Ask to be taken to the Wilkes University Residence Life Office in Passan Hall on South Franklin Street. Once you arrive at Passan Hall please visit the International Student Sevice Coordinator located on the 2nd floor.

If you arrive in New York and do not have a connecting flight...

you must get to the Bus Terminal at Port Authority. The bus ride to Wilkes-Barre is approximately 3 hours. Buses to Port Authority are available at the airport. Go to the information desk for directions. At Port Authority find the Adirondack Trailways sign (near the 8th Avenue doors) and ask for service to Wilkes-Barre.

Ask for information ONLY from the desk personnel or the uniformed Port Authority police. Do not leave your baggage unattended at any time. Do not accept any offers of a "special deal" or a "special price." You will be safe as long as you exercise caution.

It is best to arrange for a connecting flight to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton from your port-of-entry.