International Students : Newly Admitted AU International Students

Welcome to Alfred University! As you start the process of applying for visas, booking plane tickets, and packing, we expect that you will have a lot of questions. If you are unable to find the answer to your question in the information below, please contact the Office of International Programs (OIP)

Pre-Arrival

Now that you have been accepted, there are many things to do to prepare for your studies at AU:

  1. If you are coming to AU as a degree-seeking student (not exchange), make sure you have paid your deposit to ensure your place at AU. Instructions were provided by the Office of Admissions.

  2. Review your acceptance packet (this was mailed or e-mailed to you by either AU's OIP or the Office of Admissions - and you may have one from your sponsoring organization, too).

  3. Apply for the appropriate U.S. entry visa - exchange students apply for a J-1 visa, and degree-seeking students apply for an F-1 visa.

  4. Plan your travel to Alfred, New York

  5. Submit your required health information to AU's Wellness Center.

  6. Request your classes at AU. Using the AU course schedule, write a list of 6-8 courses you are interested in taking, and e-mail them to the International Program Coordinator.

  7. Arrange for housing and a meal plan with AU's Office of Residence Life and our dining services provider. Housing is not available until the weekend before the International Student Orientation. If you arrive earlier, you will need to stay in a hotel at your own expense. The Saxon Inn is on campus. You can reserve online or by phone (https://www.alfred.edu/saxoninn/reservations.cfm).

  8. Pack your bag!

  9. Attend the mandatory International Student Orientation (dates in your acceptance letter) and general AU student orientation.

Planning your travel to Alfred, New York

  • Option 1: Fly into Rochester, New York (there are many Rochester’s in the U.S.; make sure you book into New York)

Airport shuttle service can be reserved ahead of time from Rochester, New York (the closest airport to Alfred): https://www.luxurylimosonline.com/.

  • Option 2: Fly into New York City

From New York City, Take the Short Line bus from the Port Authority bus station to Alfred, New York.  It is approximately a 7 to 8 hour ride, but it will bring you directly to Alfred. 

For information regarding schedules and tickets, go to http://www.coachusa.com/shortline/ss.tickets.asp . To ensure that you get a seat on the bus, you should reserve ahead of time. 

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Packing for Alfred's Four Seasons

Clothing: Alfred has four distinct seasons: fall/autumn (September-November), winter (November-March), spring (March-June), and summer (June-September). Even if you are here for just one semester, you will need winter clothes. The spring and fall (autumn) weather in Alfred can be unpredictable, with it snowing one day and in the 50s (10 C) the next. Students usually wear jeans and a hooded sweatshirt during these months with a jacket as needed. With all the variety in the weather it is important to plan accordingly when packing for your trip. However, if the weather catches you by surprise, there are local places where you can purchase new or used clothing.

Bedroom: Linens for on-campus housing are not provided at Alfred University. AU beds are extra-long twin-sized (80 inches or 203 cm). Bedding can take up a lot of room in a suitcase so we suggest buying it once you arrive. During International Orientation we will provide you with time to take the HAT bus to Walmart to buy any bedding or additional supplies you may need and the AU bookstore carries some room supplies as well. Halogen lamps are a fire hazard and are not permitted in the residence halls. Students are not allowed to paint the residence halls, but can personalize their rooms with posters, pictures, and artwork.

Electricity: The United States' electrical system uses 115-117 volts, 60 cycles (hertz). If you are bringing appliances from home, they may have been designed for a different voltage electrical system. You will need to purchase a converter and plug adapter that can handle the wattage of the particular appliance that you bring with you. You may also be able to purchase adaptors and converter online or at a store near Alfred.

Cell Phones: Many students wish to have a cell phone once they arrive to Alfred. The major provider in the area is Verizon Wireless, though others (AT&T, T-Mobile) can be used with varying success. To get a phone, there are two main options: 1) a two-year contract or 2) a pay-as-you-go plan. Contract plans are the most common plans in the United States. Contract plans require a two-year commitment as well as a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) for identity and credit check purposes. Please note that in order to obtain a SSN, you must be employed. If you are not employed, and therefore do not have an SSN, the provider will ask for a large deposit ($150 -$500). Further, students who are in Alfred for less than two years will not want to start a contract plan as breaking the contract will result in heavy penalty fees.

The second popular option is the pay-as-you-go plan. While these plans may have slightly higher rates on outgoing calls, messaging, etc., they are usually more convenient for international students; prepaid plans offer the same services and network capabilities as contract plans, but do not require a SSN, a hefty deposit, or a two-year commitment.  To use these phones you buy “minutes” at stores or online to add to your account.  These “minutes,” along with the phone packages, can be found at many stores near Alfred.

International students can also talk to their home providers about international SIM cards to be placed on their existing phones.  These can often be costly, especially if you use data (web browsing, email, etc.) so it is best to check with your provider about what is included before signing up.

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