International Parents and Family
Welcome, parents and family of Rutgers University international students! Rutgers Global is proud to be your student’s home away from home and support them through their journey at Rutgers. We understand that you might have many questions regarding your student’s stay at Rutgers, so we hope to provide you with information and resources that may guide you through their time with us.
International Parent and Family Orientation +
Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services understands that parents and family are a big part of student success. We also recognize there are many challenges international parents may face given the long distance, cultural, and language barriers. Traditionally, during the International Student Orientation (ISO) for new students in the fall semester, we offer a corresponding one-day International Parent & Family Orientation Program for parents and family members. Due to the impact of COVID-19, we are unable to offer the in-person International Parent & Family Program this year. However, we will provide virtual resources and experiences that we hope will address your questions and give you an insight into the Rutger's experience your student is about to embark upon.
Please look out for more information about parent resources that will be made available on this website in the coming weeks, covering a range of topics including:
- Student Health Insurance
- Paying Student Bills
- Health and Wellness on campus
- Safety on Campus
- Staying in Legal Status
- Vendor Fairs
- And more…
Fall 2020 Parent and Family Orientation - Session Presentations and Resources
Accommodation for Parents and Families who may visit the Rutgers campus in the future:
Families needing housing accommodations when visiting campus may wish to contact the Rutgers University Inn & Conference Center, a Rutgers owned inn located on the Douglass campus of Rutgers- New Brunswick, or any of the New Brunswick are hotels. The Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick is within walking distance of the campus. We encourage you to make your hotel reservations as soon as possible as they tend to be very busy in late August.
Monthly Reminders for International Parents and Families +
Together with our partners at Parents and Family Programs, we have prepared some monthly reminders that may be helpful to you and your students:
Always remember - any academic of personal information changes, will probably entail an update on your student's legal SEVIS record. Please encourage students to read important information sent out by the ISSS office, visit our website regularly, and contact an international student advisor with any questions.
- New international students may move into their on-campus residence hall the Sunday before the international student orientation program begins. Continuing students may move into their on-campus residence hall the weekend before the start of semester. Students who wish to live off-campus may consult with Off Campus Living and Community Partnerships for tips on finding an off-campus residence
- For undergraduate students, the international student orientation is followed by Welcome Week - an exciting array or events and activities held prior to the start of classes to help new and transfer students transition to Rutgers.
- Term bills for the Fall semester are typically due at the end of August to early September
- The Fall Involvement Fair takes place within the first two weeks of the start of the semester. There are over 500 student organizations that your students can learn about and join
- The Fall Career Mega Fair hosted by the office of Career Exploration and Success is a great way to meet potential employers for internships
- Encourage your student to sign up for a free writing tutor if they are taking any English writing classes
- Its midterm exam season. Check in with your students about study habits and resources. Encourage your students to seek out academic resources including visiting the Learning Centers and visit their professors or teaching assistants during their office hours
- Homesickness can start to set in for many students, they may also need to see a doctor for health concerns. Remind them about Counseling Services and Health Centers on campus. Counseling Services (CAPS) also offers a program called "Let's Talk" where students can drop in to meet with a counselor at a number of locations across campus. Our office (180 College Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901) is one of the Let's Talk locations.
- Encourage your student to meet with an academic advisor to help with course selection for the Spring semester
- The American Thanksgiving holiday is the fourth Thursday of November. School is off between Thursday to Sunday during Thanksgiving week. Residence halls remain open during this time.
- It’s final exams month! Encourage your students to seek out academic resources and speak to them about their study plan for their exams
- If your student is traveling home or anywhere outside of the U.S. over winter break, they need to request a travel signature on their I-20/DS-2019 with Rutgers Global- International Student and Scholar Services before their travel.
- Term bills for the Spring semester are due early to mid-January
- The Housing lottery process for on-campus residences will open this month
- It’s midterm exams season. Check in with your students about study habits and resources. Encourage your students to seek out academic resources including visiting the Learning Centers and visit their professors or teaching assistants during their office hours
- Spring Break is here. If your student is traveling outside of the U.S., they must have a valid travel signature on their I-20/DS-2019 before their travel
- Remind your student to meet with an academic advisor to help with course selection for the Fall semester
- Final exams will soon be under way. Students should use academic resources like the Learning Centers and visit their professors or teaching assistants during their office hours to seek additional help
- Taking summer classes? Pursuing an internship? Speak to your students about their plans for the summer
- It’s final exam time! Speak to your students about their study plan for the finals
- Find some time to celebrate the end of the academic year and all the success that comes with it!
- If your student is traveling home or anywhere outside of the U.S. over winter break, they need to request a travel signature on their I-20/DS-2019 at Rutgers Global- International Student and Scholar Services before their travel
In addition, the University’s Academic Calendar contains specific dates including start/end of each semester, holidays, and breaks.
International Parent and Family FAQ +
1. How do I make international payments for my student’s term bill?
Your student can access their student account online at studentabc.rutgers.edu. For international payments, Rutgers has partnered with FlyWire for making payments from international banking institutions easier. For details and instructions, please visit the International Payments website.
2. What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a U.S. federal law that ensures that after a student turns 18, their educational records remain private and cannot be shared with anyone without written consent. Under FERPA, Rutgers cannot share with you or any family member information about your student without their consent. Students can fill out a FERPA consent form at compliance.rutgers.edu/ferpa, which allows but does not compel the university to communicate with you about your student’s records.
The best way to know how your student is doing is to talk to them. Keep in touch with them and ask them about their classes, life in the U.S., etc. If you have an emergency or other threatening concern about your student, do not hesitate to contact the Dean of Students Office.
3. How does my student get a social security number?
Social Security numbers (SSN) are assigned to those who are authorized to work in the U.S. for the purpose of reporting wages to the government and to determine eligibility for Social Security benefits. If your student obtains a job on-campus, they would then be eligible to apply for an SSN. Students must first attend an On-Campus Employment workshop for information about regulations of on-campus employment as well as SSN and taxes.
4. How does my student obtain health insurance?
Medical care in the United States is expensive. All international students at Rutgers are required to have at least a minimum level of health insurance coverage. The University’s Student Health Insurance Plan Premium is automatically added to a student’s term bill each semester and must be waived if a student has comparable coverage. We encourage that students use the University Health Insurance Plan during their first year, and can opt for alternate coverage after they are more familiar with the healthcare and insurance system in the U.S.
For more on health insurance requirements, costs, and waivers, please our Health Insurance page.
5. What should my student do if they get sick while on campus?
If a student is not feeling well and needs to visit a doctor, they can make an appointment at an on-campus health center. Appointments are usually available within 24 hours by calling 732-932-7402. For any urgent medical emergency that cannot wait, student should go to the emergency room of a local hospital.
6. I am concerned about my student’s safety while at the university. What advice can I give my student regarding staying safe on campus?
Rutgers University has a police department that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and officers continually patrol the campus. Students can take precaution by remaining aware of their surroundings at all times, safeguarding their valuable items and traveling in groups. Family members can also sign up to receive emergency alerts about the Rutgers campus and the New Brunswick area via nixle.com.
7. How can my student improve English skills?
Encourage your student to sign up for a writing tutor at the beginning of the semester to help them with their English composition courses. In addition, encourage your student to get involved with student organizations and interact with domestic students in class and in their residence halls.
Global Programs provides programs and events across campus and offers students and scholars opportunities to get involved at Rutgers. Be sure to visit their website to learn of upcoming events.
There are so many ways to get involved, to make friends, pursue your interests, and enjoy your time at Rutgers. Learn more about the high quality programs, facilities and services offered by the Division of Student Affairs.
Rutgers Parent and Family Programs +
Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services works closely with our partners at Rutgers Parents and Family Programs to provide resources and information to international parents.
The Rutgers Parents and Family Programs works with the Parents and Family Association, coordinates the Parent and Family Weekend, sends periodic Parent and Family Newsletters, and so much more. Visit parents.rutgers.edu to get involved and to learn more.
Visiting Rutgers/Graduation Invitation +
If you wish to come to the United States to visit your student on a B-2 visitor visa, please follow the steps below. Please keep in mind the suggested procedure is for visitor applicants only.
1. Ask your student to write a letter (see template below) to the nonimmigrant visa officer in which the student should:
- Indicate the expected length of the visitor’s stay and a preferred arrival date
- Indicate pertinent biographical information of the visitors [e.g., name, relationship to the student, place (city and country) and date of birth]
- If the student wishes to add information regarding their income as evidence of their ability to support the visitor during his or her stay in the U.S., give all appropriate information in the "Additional information/comments" section. It is a good idea to provide supporting documentation for anything indicated in the application (letter from your department indicating that you have an assistantship, bank statement, etc.)
- Date and sign the form
2. Request a Certification of Enrollment or obtain other certification of full-time enrollment at Rutgers from the Registrar’s Office:
3. If your are attending your student's graduation: Your student can request a graduation invitation from the Rutgers registrar:
- Go to the University Registrar website and complete the Commencement Invite Request Form
- Submit the form online (graduate students: email@example.com; undergraduate students: firstname.lastname@example.org), by fax, or in person at Records Hall- 620 George Street, Room 140
The following template in combination with proof of the student’s enrollment at Rutgers serves the same purpose as an individually typed letter. The applicant(s) should include all relevant documents in their visa application, and/or take the documents with them for the visa interview.
Students should type this letter separately and send to their family member(s).
I wish to invite the following family member/s to visit me in the United States for a period of ______months beginning __________.
Name Date of Birth City & Country of Birth Relationship
Thank you very much for your consideration.
Signature of Rutgers student or scholar
Printed name of Rutgers student or scholar