Preparing For Your Arrival


Now that you've been admitted to NYU, learn how to get the right visa, plan your trip, and get further resources to help get you settled into life in New York. 

Before you arrive in New York City and join NYU GPH, there is a lot of information that you need to know. Being proactive will definitely help you have a smooth transition to your new home!

Before you arrive

Plan for your arrival in New York City

Getting a Visa to Study at NYU

Obtaining a visa is a crucial aspect of the preparations international students must make before arriving in New York. The application process involves several tasks, so students are advised to take special care in filling out the required forms and to allow plenty of time for processing.

If you have any specific visa related questions while reading the following sections, do not hesitate to reach out to NYU Office of Global Services (OGS) at and include your NYU ID number, your NYU School, and your country of citizenship in your email message. 

☛ IMPORTANT NOTE | Do not forget to review and complete all the steps listed on the Incoming Students Page as well (Getting Started, Pay Your Tuition, Orientation Activities & Moving to the U.S.).

1 - Visa Information

International students will need approval from the United States government in the form of a student visa in order to study full time in the USA. The F-1 visa is the most frequently-used classification of visa for students. The J-1 visa status is offered to students who plan to enter the U.S. as part of an educational exchange program pursuant to co-operative agreements with universities abroad, or whose education is primarily funded by the government or institutional resources.

2 - Certificate of Eligibility (I-20/DS-2019)

The Certificate of Eligibility is issued to an international applicant for the purpose of the visa application.  The I-20 is issued to students who are applying for the F-1 visa, and the DS-2019 is issued to students who are applying for the J-1 visa.

To who is the Certificate of Eligibility issued?

NYU Office of Global Services (OGS) will issue Certificates of Eligibility to admitted applicants who have paid the graduate tuition deposit and completed the I-20/DS-2019 application (including all required supporting documentation).

3 - Get an NYU I-20 or DS-2019 for your student visa

Note: Verify Your Passport Expiration Date! To obtain a visa you will need a passport with a valid date extending at least six months beyond your intended arrival in the U.S. 

4 - Understand and review the fees that apply to international students at NYU

As an international student at NYU, there are a few fees you'll be charged specific to your legal status. Learn what they are and how you pay them.

5 - Plan your trip

Make sure your transition to New York goes smoothly by reviewing these tips:

➪ Tip 1 | Entry Date: Enter the United States no more than 30 days in advance.

Enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before and no later than the beginning date indicated on your I-20/DS-2019. This is very important. While you may want to arrive sooner to find an apartment and prepare for school, US law prohibits you from doing so. The only exception is for students who have transferred their SEVIS record from another school to NYU.

➪ Tip 2 | Have Your Document: Have your needed documents when arriving into the US.

You must present:

  • a passport valid at least six months into the future,
  • your F-1 or J-1 visa (if you are Canadian you do not need an F-1 or J-1 visa),
  • your I-20 or DS-2019,
  • copies of your admission letter and financial documents, 
  • and evidence that you have paid the SEVIS fee.

➪ Tip 3 | Know Where To Go: Know how to get from the airport to your NYC destination.

There are three airports in the New York area:

Before you arrive in NY, it is best to have a plan for ground transportation from the airport to your final destination. Options include taxis, car services, shuttle buses, subways, and trains. Once cheap and convenient option is to take NYU's shuttle service if you're landing at JFK or LaGuardia. Another convenient option would be by car, and yellow taxis that are usually less expensive than car services. You can check the airports' websites for more information. You can also read more on getting to NYUMoney

➪ TIP 4 | Money Suggestion: We suggest that you bring traveler’s checks, a credit card, and/or a small amount of U.S., dollars when you travel from your home country. This will allow you to have cash for food, transportation, hotel, and other services.

➪ TIP 5 | Medical Consideration: Be sure to bring prescriptions and medical or dental records. Put these documents in your carry-on bag. The student health center on campus is open to all students. The university health insurance does not cover dental care–be sure to have dental care done before you leave home.

6 - Find a place to stay in New York (or New Jersey)

Find a Place to Stay

NYU has plenty of services and resources to simplify the housing process in the city (Factors in Selecting a Neighborhood Within NYC, Tools to Search for Housing, Prepare Documents for the Apartment, etc...). If you’re thinking about living on campus, we trust you’ll find all you need through NYU On Campus Living. If you’re planning to live off campus, your first source is Off-Campus Living at NYU, but we’ve also compiled some tips here from former and current students as you begin the search for your new home. Planning to live off campus can be overwhelming--New York has so many neighborhoods to choose from. So what are some of the things you should consider when trying to find your new place? Keep in mind that because apartments and rooms move quickly it’s best for you to start researching as soon as you know you’re coming to NYU so that once you arrive in New York you can find the right place sooner.

Form more information visit Moving to the U.S. & Exploring The Big Apple page

7 - Pack for New York 

Packing Tips

Wondering what to bring with you to New York? See our packing tips! New York is hot and humid in the summer and below freezing in the winter. June, July and August are the hottest months and December, January and February are the coldest months. New York is also one of the rainiest cities in the US. Here you’ll find a list of basics you’ll need so you can be prepared.

8 - Understand Healthcare in the US

Understand Healthcare in the US

Healthcare in the US can be confusing. While you’re a student at NYU, you should consider the NYU Student Health Center to be your first source for health information. The Student Health Center is at 726 Broadway in Manhattan and 6 Metrotech in Brooklyn to help you feel your best so you can do your best. They provide medical, counseling, pharmacy, disability, and health promotion services to all matriculated students. In addition to scheduling same-day appointments, you can speak with a mental or medical health professional 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling the Wellness Exchange at 212-443-9999.

When you go to the NYU Student Health Center for care, you’ll find doctors, nurses, counselors, psychiatrists, nutritionists, physical therapists, disability specialists, and others, who address your health concerns holistically, and provide you with respectful, responsive, competent care.

NYU’s student body is diverse in race, ethnicity, country of origin, language, faith, socioeconomic background, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and course of study, and they are inclusive of the many cultures, experiences, practices, and values represented among our students. They are here to address your specific health care needs!

9  - Translated Documents

Additional information for new international students can be found here

Please note that “Next  Stop NYU (pdf)” has translated versions (Simplified Chinese, Korean and Spanish) for both the students and the parents. 

This document has information on important dates, helpful points of contacts and immigration preparation documents. 

When you arrive: Prepare to live in New York City

Now that you have your visa and planned your trip, all international students at NYU must make sure to take care of all these things once you arrive. 

We hope you have a fantastic start at NYU!

1 - Complete Your Immigration Requirements

Complete the Arrival Form and submit your immigration information to OGS Online.

To complete the arrival form, make sure you have the following  documents scanned:

  • Passport
  • Student Visa (either F-1 or J-1)
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • I-94 record
  • Your dependent's documents (if you have a spouse or children here with you as F-2 or J-2 dependents).

For detailed information visit this page.

2 - Add your US address and US Phone number to Albert

Update your US address in Albert . For detailed instructions, go to the Update Your Local US Address page. If you fail to update your US address, you are at risk of losing your lawful status in the US. Even if you are staying in a hotel, enter that address, then update your address again once you move to your new apartment or residence hall.

3 - Add Your US Phone Number to Albert, Accessible Through NYU Albert

For detailed instructions, go to the Update Your US Phone Number page. All international students are required to update their US phone number.

4 - Attend International Student Orientation at NYU GPH

As a new international student, it is mandatory to attend one international student orientation session. 

The session you attend should correspond with the school that you are in that in your case is NYU School of Global Public Health (see Orientation activities).

During the session you will learn the basics of keeping legal in the US as an F-1 or J-1 international student, employment in the US, cultural adjustment and coping skills, US classroom culture, safety and security, and more. 

5 - Open a Bank Account (If You Don’t Have Easy Access to Your Bank Account Abroad)

It is not advisable to walk around New York with a large amount of cash. You may wish to open a bank account when entering the United States. Check with a bank in your home country about the easiest way to transfer sums of money in U.S. dollars from home. There are several banks in the NYU area. 

The items needed for an international student to open a bank account are:

  • Passport
  • I-20 form [F-1 students] or DS-2019 [J-1 students & scholars]
  • I-94 Record
  • NYU ID card
  • Proof of Enrollment and Proof of US residential address
  • NYU enrollment verification
  • Stern Graduate, Law, and Dental students should go to their own school's Registrar Office.

➪ Please note that a Social Security Number [SSN] is not required to open a bank account. 

➪ Notify the OGS if you are having problems opening an account.

6 - Get a Driver License or Photo ID Card

You may want to apply for a A) New York State photo ID card or/and B) New York City ID card

You don’t need a social security number to apply. It is free and it has many benefits such as free one-year membership to NYC’s top museums, zoos, and botanical gardens.

A valid driver license is required to drive a car anywhere in the US. New York State honors all valid foreign licenses. 

If living in New Jersey, you should carry an International Driving Permit along with the valid foreign driver license. To learn more about applying for a New Jersey driver license, please visit the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission or for applying for a New Jersey non-driver identification card, visit here.

7 - Photocopy and Safeguard Your Documents

Photocopy your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, visa page, and I-94 information, AND photocopy all identity and other important documents you brought with you, or obtain while in the US. Store the copies in a separate location from the originals.

8 - Understand Your Health Insurance Requirement

Every international student studying at NYU is required to have health insurance plans. 

If you have questions regarding health insurance, contact the Student Health Insurance Services at the NYU Student Health Center at 212-443-1020 or

9 - Arrival Checklist

Use this Arrival Checklist to make sure you are ready for the semester to start!

Resources in one click: International Student Arrival Checklist

10 - Get tips and resources for living in New York

Tips for Students Living Off-Campus

Consider it a great accomplishment once you find off-campus housing in the New York metro area. Once you find housing, you can get to the fun stuff of getting your place to feel a bit more like home. Here are some basics to know about once you find your place and move in. PLEASE NOTE: The websites outside of NYU that we link to on this page are provided to assist you. NYU doesn’t have any relationship with these companies. Inclusion on this list does not mean we are recommending or endorsing these companies.

➪ Get Internet

Many students choose to have internet in their apartment in addition to the internet/data provided by your mobile phone company, to then use a wireless router for wifi. Popular companies include Verizon, Time Warner Spectrum, and more. You can search out the type of internet provider you prefer--whether it be through cable, DSL, or fiber by doing a search online. Note: Some buildings have a standard provider; not all services are available in all areas. Check with your landlord or ask your new neighbors.

➪ Have Utilities Set Up

What are we talking about when we say utilities? Electricity and gas. Depending on the company and where you specifically live in the city, the companies providing these services may differ. In New York, Consolidated Edison, better known as Con Ed, is who will set up and bill you for electricity. They have a set up new service page on their website that walks you through the process.

➪ Furniture

If the apartment isn’t furnished, determine what would be most important for you to have. If you’re living with a roommate, figure out how you would like to divide the purchase of household necessities. You can buy new things fairly cheaply at stores like Ikea, but there is also plenty of used furniture and other housewares you can find within the NYU community. Check out some of the Facebook groups for some leads on finding solid used furniture.

Some popular places students shop from for needed housewares, bedding, storage, and more include:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a new student with lots of questions? You're not alone. Read our most frequently asked questions on what to do before or after you arrive, academic information, health information, working in the US, and finances

Journey to NYU Email Series

NYU OGS has created a series of emails just for our new and transfer international students. These emails contain very important immigration information and various resources to help you acclimate to NYU and the US.

They are compiled in a list and will be added to this page as they send them.

International Students Facebook Group

In order to join the NYU International Students group, you must first join the NYU Community group on Facebook. When joining the group, you will be prompted to enter your NYU email address through which you will soon receive a confirmation email. You will need to open and approve the confirmation email to be granted access to the International Students group and any other NYU community groups you wish to join.

For Troubleshooting visit this page.