Pre-Arrival Information

Pre-Arrival Information

Welcome to NC State University! The Office of International Services (OIS) provides many services for the University’s international students, scholars, and their families, including advice on immigration related matters and English and cross-cultural programs.

Our Pre-Arrival Information is designed to provide important information in one place to help new international students prepare to come to NC State. We understand that preparations this summer are particularly challenging due to the uncertainties caused by COVID-19.  Please check your NC State email regularly for updates about the Fall semester, and expect updates here by early July. Additionally, the OIS COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions may prove useful for you as well.

Immunizations & TB Compliance

Prior to your arrival at NC State, you need to submit information about your health history and an immunization record to NC State’s Student Health Services via the HealthyPack Portal. NC State requires all students to meet the North Carolina General Statute requirements for immunizations prior to studying at NC State.

Immunization and TB Compliance

Medical History & Immunizations

Health Insurance

All international students on F-1 and J-1 visas are required to maintain health insurance throughout the duration of their status.  A more detailed explanation of required coverage levels and health insurance plan options are included on our health insurance webpage.  Please note: Students on Teaching and Research Assistantships will be provided NC State health insurance through the Graduate Student Support Plan (GSSP) which satisfies the health insurance requirement.

Health Insurance

UNC System Student Health Insurance Plan

Register for Classes

Registration for classes takes place in MyPack Portal. Note that you may see an “advising hold” when you attempt to register for class if your academic department or academic program requires you to consult with your academic advisor before registering.  If you are not sure who your advisor is, graduate students can locate contact information for the Director of Graduate Programs (DGP) here and undergraduate students can identify who their academic advisor is here.    

Please note: New students may be unable to register for classes until July 2020 as adjustments are being made to Fall 2020 classes in accordance with the university’s plan for the Fall semester.

Registering for Classes

Off-Campus Housing

Off-campus housing options include: (a) rooms in private residences, (b) apartments which can be rented by oneself or (c) apartments shared by 2 to 4 students depending on the leasing options of the apartment complex. It is reasonable to expect off-campus housing to cost between $250 to $800 per month, depending on the number of people sharing the expenses which include monthly rent and utilities (water, sewer, electricity, gas, internet, etc.). 

A signed lease (contract) and a security deposit, usually one month’s rent, are also required for most off-campus housing. In addition, utility companies may require an advance deposit to activate their services. Please note that a lease is a legally binding document. Lawyers at NC State’s Student Legal Services can review your lease for free before you sign it to make sure everything is in proper order. More information about your rights as a tenant leasing an apartment can be found on Student Legal Services website. If you have questions, email

NC State University now also provides information about off-campus housing options, including a roommate search portal and suggested resources when considering an off-campus apartment.


Housing & Utilities

On-Campus Housing

NC State University Housing is owned and managed by the university. The cost of on-campus housing is usually comparable to off-campus housing and comes with several benefits. NC State offers several apartment-style buildings on campus which are generally better suited for graduate students than the residence halls, where living space is shared. To explore your on-campus housing options, visit University Housing’s website.

Please note: NC State has a requirement that first-year undergraduate students live in on-campus housing.  This requirement will remain in place for the 2020-2021 academic year but an appeals process exists and has been adapted for the unique circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  You can learn more about the appeals process here.

Travel to the US

The Port of Entry is the first city in which you arrive in the United States. You will be asked to show your immigration documents to be given permission to enter the country.

You will need to carry the following documents with you in your carry-on bag, NOT in your checked bags:

  •  Your valid passport with your F-1 or J-1 visa.
  •  I-20 or DS-2019 form.
  • The supporting documentation you showed to the United States Embassy to obtain your visa.

You Have Arrived is a short video produced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that explains what to expect at the Port of Entry. NOTE: International students are not eligible to use the Global Entry system.

Traveling while on a visa

Airport Arrival & Travel from the RDU Airport

If you need assistance locating your baggage or transportation when you arrive at the Raleigh Durham (RDU) airport, please visit the information desk located in the baggage claim area of both terminals. The RDU information desks are staffed daily and their staff will be happy to assist you.

Ample transportation is available from RDU International Airport, and NC State is approximately 15 miles (24 km) from the airport.  Available shared transportation services are listed on the RDU Airport website as well as shared ride services like Uber and Lyft.

Guest Services

Airport Arrival & Hospitality

Tuition & Fees

OIS does not handle student accounts. Students are billed for tuition and fees by the University Cashier’s Office. Please visit the Cashier’s Office website for information on payment options. If you have a question about your account or payment, please contact the Cashier’s Office directly at

All new international students are charged a one time International Orientation Fee, which will be automatically added to your  Student Account.  This mandatory fee covers the costs of developing and facilitating International Orientation, as well as programs and events for international students throughout the year.

Bills, Payments and Refunds


It is necessary to open a bank account upon arrival in Raleigh. With a bank account, you will receive an ATM (debit) card, which allows you to withdraw cash from your account 24-hours a day. Services and fees vary, but most banks in the area offer special accounts with low monthly charges for students, so be sure to ask about student accounts when you are comparing options. You will need your passport and I-20 or DS-2019 form when you open a bank account. If you plan to bring a large amount of money with you, you may also wish to open a savings account as they earn interest. Banks also offer additional services such as checks, loans, credit cards, and safe-deposit boxes at lower cost to students.

NC State has an official relationship with PNC Bank and a PNC branch is located in the Talley Student Union, however, students are able to bank with whichever bank best fits their needs.

On-Campus Employment

There are many types of on-campus employment at NC State. However opportunities are competitive and you have to contact each department individually after you arrive to learn about their job opportunities. Students often find employment at the NC State Libraries, University Dining, NC State Bookstores, ARTS NC State, Wellness & Recreation, the Talley Student Union, among others.  Please note that limitations exist for on-campus employment for students on F-1 or J-1 visas.  The relevant regulations are explained on the OIS website.

On-Campus Employment

Campus Life

There are so many ways to get involved on campus as a NC State student!

  • Check out OIS Programs for unique opportunities designed for international students to participate on campus, meet new friends, and learn from each other.
  • Wellness & Recreation keeps the Wolfpack physically healthy by offering physical fitness classes, intramural sports, outdoor excursions, and state of the art gym facilities.
  • Student Involvement supports over 600 different student organizations that represent a variety of identities, interests, and causes.
  • Campus Community Centers provide support to underrepresented populations at NC State and serve as an educational resource for the broader campus community through their programming, workshops, and annual events. 
  • Arts NC State is NC State’s hub for the arts and includes NC State’s art museum, on campus musical performances, theatre, dance, as well as the NC State Crafts Center.
  • NC State Athletics is home to NC State’s official sports teams.  NC State students receive free entry at NC State home sporting events.