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Pre-Arrival Checklist

Graduate Students Coming From a U.S. College or University

PLEASE NOTE: This checklist is for immigration purposes only. Remember to check with your department for program specific requirements and to see if they are holding a department orientation for you. 


Step 1: Accept your Admission to CSUSM by Requesting your I-20

You may request your transfer I-20 by clicking on the link included in the email sent from International Admissions and the Office of Global Education. Please request your transfer I-20 as soon as possible.


Step 2: Request a transfer of your SEVIS record from your current International Student Advisor

You will need to show your CSU San Marcos Admission’s Letter to your current school. Keep in mind that your I-20 can only be transfered after you finish your current program of study. 


Step 3: Review Pre-Arrival Information Document sent to your Email

The Office of Global Education has sent you an E-mail with an attachment document called “Pre-Arrival Info Packet”. Please read this document carefully for detailed information on pre-arrival requirements.



Step 4: Prepare your Finances

You must bring enough money to pay for your tuition, homestay or housing fees, health insurance, books, and personal expenses. Click on Tuition and Fees to view the estimated expenses per academic year for International Students.

Students will receive an email with detailed information regarding the Tuition Payment Plan.


Step 5: Sign-Up for International Student Orientation

California State University San Marcos offers a MANDATORY orientation for new international students on the week before classes start. Students will receive important campus information, as well as essential details to maintain legal status in the USA as F-1 Students. 

Fall 2016 International Student Orientation Dates: August 23, 24, & 25

Sign up Here for FALL 2016 International Student Orientation


Step 6: Plan Housing Arrangements Before You Arrive

You must make housing arrangements before you leave your home country. You must confirm your on campus housing, homestay with a local family, or other off-campus housing before you arrive in San Marcos.The Office of Global Education cannot reserve housing for you. Please read the student housing options below.

Homestay with Local Families

Living with an American family in homestay is one of the best ways to learn about American culture and customs. Many students choose homestay for their first semester. You may contact the following homestay agency directly to apply for homestay.

Homestay Services International
Coordinator: Jenny Cole
Phone: 760-740-9244

Homestay also offers short term stays.  We recommend homestay if you are unsure where you want to live and need time to search when you arrive to the US.  You can request a one month stay and the host family will help you become acclimated to the San Marcos area.

Campus Housing

CSUSM offers two options for on-campus housing: The UVA (University Village Apartments) and the QUAD. Please apply early. Campus Housing fills up many months before each semester. 

For Spring semester, there is only one option: The Quad. 

University Village Apartments (Fall and Spring lease only)

The QUAD (Fall and Spring lease only)


Step 7: Meet the Immunization and Health Insurance Requirements

You must complete the Office of Global Education Immunization Form BEFORE arrival, and maintain adequate health insurance all year round.


There are three immunizations that you will need to show proof of: MMR, TB and Hepatitis B.

IF students cannot provide proof of immunization, they must arrange these during their first semester of school. The CSU San Marcos Student Health and Counseling Services provides the immunizations.

Health Insurance:

You may meet the health insurance requirement in one of two ways:

  1. Purchase CSU-sponsored health insurance from Aetna Student Insurance (offered through Wells Fargo). You are encouraged to purchase your health insurance before you arrive. Purchase CSU-sponsored health insurance. 
  2. If you wish to purchase a health insurance from your home country you must receive prior approval from the Office of Global Education. Please send details of the health insurance coverage before purchasing it to the Office of Global Education for evaluation. Please note that if the outside health insurance does not conform to CSU requirements, the Office of Global Education will require you to purchase the CSU-sponsored health insurance. 


Step 8: Traveling Between Programs

You are allowed to travel and re-enter the U.S. between school programs. However, you must re-enter the U.S. with the CSU San Marcos I-20. Please make sure  you have received your I-20 from the Office of Global Education before your travels. Remember that you must have a valid Visa to re-enter the U.S.


Step 9:  Attend International Student Orientation

Attendance for our International Student Orientation is MANDATORY. If you haven’t already done so, please remember to sign-up for orientation.

  • Spring 2016 Orientation Dates: August 23, 24, & 25
  • Check in: August 23, 2016 at 8:30am
  • Location: TBD
  • Parking: Lot C
    • You will need to purchase a parking permit each day – permit booth located in the upper back corner

    • Daily Rate: $9.00

See CAMPUS MAP with Orientation Location


We look forward to meeting you! 

If you have any questions email: