International Student Services

International Student Pre-Departure Guide

The International Programs team is here to help you as you prepare to depart for your academic adventure in the United States. We understand that it is a big decision and a huge process to pack up and move to another country. The International Programs team will do our best to make sure that we provide you with information to prepare you and your family for departure, arrival, orientation and adjustment. It will be an amazing process and we are here to assist!

Before You Leave

  1. Make your visa appointment and obtain visa
  2. Bring all original immunization records
  3. Pay your deposit and 50% of your first semester bill online
  4. Before you leave for the US, be sure to provide your travel details to the International Programs team through the online Arrival and Housing Information form
  5. Pack all original documents (I-20, passport, acceptance letter, bank statements) in your carry-on NOT in your suitcase. Make sure to leave a copy with family or friends in your home country too! An electronic copy of all documents is also a great idea.

Packing list

In your carry-on:

  1. Original documents, including: (if you do not have your originals please get in touch with the IPO as soon as possible)
    1. Passport with visa
    2. I-20
    3. Acceptance letter from Goodwin college
    4. Bank statements
    5. Address of Goodwin College and the DSO's name and phone number
  2. Small amount of US Dollars ($100
  3. Credit card or Bank/ATM Card. Be sure to leave a copy of the front and back of your card with family or friends in your home country.
  4. Medicine and prescriptions
  5. Have the Goodwin College International Programs Office and 24-hour security phone number available. +1.860.528.4111

In your suitcase:

  1. Copy of your passport
  2. Your original transcripts and Student Health History form and any supporting health documents
  3. Raincoat/small umbrella
  4. Seasonal clothes (if you are arriving in summer, bring light clothing you can layer. If you are arriving in the winter, you will want a heavy coat with hat and gloves)
  5. Small reminders of home (pictures, flag, etc.)

What to expect at the border:
When you arrive at the U.S. Airport, be prepared to present the following documents to a customs officer:

  1. Passport
  2. I-20
  3. Original acceptance letter from Goodwin College
  4. Bank statement/letter proving you have enough funds to study in the U.S.

Customs and Border Patrol officers sometimes ask students further questions. This is perfectly normal. Just answer the questions as directly as you answered them for your visa appointment and please make sure to have all of your documents with you. You should be prepared to answer questions like the following:

  1. Why are you coming to the United States?
  2. Where and what are you going to be studying?
  3. Do you have an acceptance letter from Goodwin College?
  4. Where are you going to be living?
  5. Do you have enough money to study in the United States?
  6. What is the Goodwin College address?