Planning Your Trip to the United States
Before You Leave
1. Form I-20
Email official, scanned copies of the following to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- A copy of the identification page(s) of your passport
- Proof of funding
- Affidavit of Financial Resources
- Sponsor’s official bank statement or letter from the bank proving sufficient funds to cover your first year at Hendrix (as outlined in your Cost of Attendance letter)
2. I-901 SEVIS Fee
Once your receive your I-20 via email, print in color, sign and date the first page in blue ink, and pay the I-901 SEVIS fee online. Print and keep your receipt (I-901) for your visa application interview.
3. Visa Application
Next, apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States. Before following the below instructions, visit this website and thoroughly read the instructions.
- Complete the online application for a non-immigrant visa,
- Pay the visa application fee following the instructions on the website of the
U.S. embassy or consulate nearest you.
- Schedule an interview at the
U.S. embassy or consulate nearest you following instructions on the embassy/consulate website.
- Gather your documents:
- Passport (must be valid for at least 6 months after your period of stay in the U.S.)
- DS-160 application confirmation page
- Visa application fee receipt
- Photo (bring an extra copy in case the upload failed)
- Form I-20 issued by a Hendrix Designated School Official (DSO) and yourself
- Proof of Finances (same document you gave Admissions upon acceptance)
- Proof of Academic Status (a copy of the electronic letter of acceptance to Hendrix that you received via email)
- Any additional documentation as listed on the
U.S. embassy or consulate website
- At your interview, prepare to briefly explain the following in clear English:
- Why you chose Hendrix College. For example: small class sizes, strong Biology program, etc.
- Describe your future career plans after you return home and explain how studying at Hendrix will contribute to those goals.
Remember to emphasize in the interview that you will be returning home after the completion of your studies!
- Important information
- You will be applying for a nonimmigrant visa.
- The type of visa is an F-1 Student Visa
- You will use the number on your I-20 to apply for the visa.
- Helpful websites:
4. Book Flight to Little Rock, Arkansas (LIT)
Email your complete flight itinerary to email@example.com at least 1 week before you depart. If you decide to come early, remember that you cannot legally arrive more than 30 days prior to your program start date. Hendrix cannot provide on-campus housing or dining until the program start date: August 10, 2023.
- Official Arrival Date: Thursday, August 10, 2023
- International & Exchange Student Orientation: August 11-14, 2023
- New Student Orientation: August 15-21, 2023
- Fall Classes Begin: August 22, 2023
5. Required Vaccinations and Health Forms
Required Vaccinations must be completed within the first 30 days of student’s arrival to Hendrix, but we strongly recommend you complete these requirements before departing your home country, as they can be expensive in the U.S. and are not typically covered by health insurance.
MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) Vaccination: All students are required to have 2 doses of MMR, and there is a minimum interval of 28 days between the 2 doses.
Meningococcal (MenB) Vaccination: Hendrix College requires students to be immunized against meningitis. This is highly recommended. If the student chooses not to be immunized, a waiver must be completed. The waiver is available through Student Health Services.
Tuberculosis (TB) Test: Arkansas law requires students with increased risk of Tuberculosis (TB) to be tested. The TB blood test will need to be conducted in the U.S. when you arrive, and the cost of approximately $60. We will assist you through this process at the Hendrix Medical Clinic during orientation. You must provide health insurance information at the time of the appointment. Not all insurance policies cover the test; you may receive a bill in the mail.
Required Documents (upload to CampusWeb as part of your new student checklist):
- Student Health Information Questionnaire
- Tuberculosis Risk Assessment
- Certificate of Immunization (or copy of your Official Immunization Record)
Notification of payment due will be sent to your Hendrix email account when your billing statement is ready to be viewed. All billing statements are retrieved online via CampusWeb (paper copies are not mailed). Please complete your payment or establish a payment plan by the stated due date and contact Mr. Nathan Van Son at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Your bill includes:
- Tuition, Fees, Room and Board
- Scholarship tax (if applicable)
- Auto decal fee, tuition reimbursement insurance, and health insurance (waivers available)
7. Health Insurance
All Hendrix students, including degree-seeking international students, will automatically be enrolled in and charged for the 2023-24 Hendrix Student Health Plan unless you submit your waiver information and proof of coverage through CampusWeb by the waiver deadline: July 31, 2023. The rate is $2,181 for coverage ranging from August 15, 2023 to August 14, 2024. If you want to enroll in the Hendrix Student Health Plan, no action is required. Once you are enrolled in the plan, there are no refunds or cancellations after the deadline. Please take note of any further instructions emailed to you by the Business Office. If you have questions about this coverage or the waiver process, please contact Mr. Nathan Van Son at email@example.com before the waiver deadline.
If you intend to waive this coverage, the Office of International Programs has identified another health insurance provider, ISO Student Health Insurance, that offers affordable coverage options for F-1 international students. Eligible medical expenses for the recommended ISO Platinum plan include most injuries and illnesses, and there is an annual deductible of $250. The plan includes an immunization benefit that provides a maximum of $200 for immunizations required by Hendrix College, MMR and Meningococcal, as well as Tuberculosis testing. The plan does not cover pre-existing conditions or preventative care, e.g. annual wellness exams or routine dental/eye exams. Athletic practices/events are not covered, so student athletes may be required to purchase supplemental insurance. Please see the plan brochure at the link above for more eligible medical expenses and exclusions.
First Health is the “preferred provider organization” (PPO). While you may seek treatment from any health care provider, visiting health care providers within the First Health network lowers your out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Some nearby “in-network” facilities include MedExpress and Sherwood Urgent Care (urgent care centers), and Baptist Health Medical Center and Conway Behavorial Health (hospitals). There are several in-network primary care physicians in Conway, who can be identified in the database linked above.
If the Hendrix Student Health Plan or ISO plans do not meet your needs, you are welcome to seek out alternative coverage that meets, and ideally exceeds, the following minimum standards outlined by the U.S. Department of State:
- at least $100,000 per accident or illness
- repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
- expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000
- a deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
Further, coverage must be continuous through the end of your studies and F-1 grace period, meaning you cannot "pause" coverage during school breaks. Please ensure you have no uninsured gaps between your current coverage end date and new coverage start date.
To aid in your search, ISO has created a useful resource of health insurance terminology all international students should know.
8. What to Pack
- Weather in Central Arkansas
- Summer – hot and humid
- Winter – can get cold
- Please visit our Climate page for more information.
- Specific Items
| Clothing and Outerwear
|| Medicine, Toiletries
and Other Essentials |
- Socks, underwear, bras
- Shorts, pants, skirts
- Long and short sleeve shirts
- Sweaters, sweatshirts
- Workout clothes
- Bathing suit
- Sleepwear: pajamas, bathrobe, slippers
- Prescription medicines
*You may be unable to get prescriptions written
by your home doctor filled in the United States. Typically, you will
need to be examined by a physician in the United States and issued a new
prescription. If you have a chronic medical condition requiring regular
medication, please contact Student Health Services before arrival to make arrangements.
- Official Immunization Record
- 1 pair of work out shoes (gym facilities, walking & hiking trails available)
- 1 alternate pair of shoes
- 1 pair flip-flops or shower shoes
- Pair of waterproof boots or shoes
- Eyeglasses and/or contact lenses (& supplies)
- Laptop computer
- Phone, iPad or other electronic items
- Adapter (if necessary)
- Toiletries (optional – easy to buy in U.S.)
| Jackets/Outer gear:
- Lightweight jacket
- Medium-weight jacket
- Winter hat, gloves/mittens, scarf
| Optional (Easy to buy in U.S.)
- Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, moisturizers, cosmetics, sanitary products, soap
Day of Travel to the u.s.
It is important that you keep your most valuable items with you on the plane. We recommend cash, credit cards and travelers checks be carried in a discreet money belt.
Important Documents & Carry-on Items:
- Airline ticket(s) for your flight to Little Rock
- Money (US dollars & traveler’s checks)
- Credit or debit card(s)
- Passport, valid for at least six months into the future, with valid F-1 stamp inside
- Form I-20
- Your Hendrix admissions letter and proof of financial support
- Receipt for paying I-901 SEVIS fee
- Name and contact information of your Designated School Official (DSO)
- Any prescription medications that you need to bring, with the written
prescriptions from your doctor
- One complete change of clothing and toiletries, in the event that your checked luggage is delayed
- Your driver's license and a translation, or "international driver's license," if you intend to drive
Port of Entry
When you first arrive in the United States (at your port of entry – usually the first airport that is on U.S. soil), you will need to provide the following documents:
- Visa stamp (if applicable, located in your passport)
- SEVIS form I-20 (F-1) [original signed document we sent to you – NOT a copy]
- SEVIS fee receipt (Form I-901)
- Supporting financial documentation
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will place an admission stamp in your passport and will then write the visa status you were given (F-1 or J-1) and the expiration date. For students with F-1 or J-1 status, the expiration is noted with “D/S” which stands for duration of status. Please check to make sure the CBP officer puts the correct status and expiration date down. When you enter the country, an electronic record of your admission, known as the I-94, will also be created. You can find a copy of this record by visiting:
https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/. In case you have any problems during this inspection, have the number of your DSO available.
Little Rock International Airport
Please send your itinerary (or other arrival information) to Rebekah Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org, as soon as it is arranged. The Office of International Programs will arrange an airport pick-up for you and bring you directly to campus on the official arrival date.