Life at Rutgers

You've gotten admitted, taken placement and language exams, packed your suitcase, and planned your flight. What happens when you get to campus?  How do you open a bank account? Where do you apply for a driver's license or get a car? Where will you go in case of a medical or health emergency? And if you're bringing your children, where will they go to school? See below for answers to these questions and more. 

Additional Information

Opening a U.S. Bank Account +

Once you arrive to campus, you can go to a local bank to open a bank account. There are two types of bank accounts in the U.S:

Checking Account
A checking account allows you to frequently deposit and withdraw money. You can use your checking account for living expenses, paying tuition and other bills, and more. Please note that checking accounts may come with minimum monthly balances and service fees.

Savings Account
You may not need a savings account but you can open one if you want to save money and accrue interest. Typically, a savings account requires a minimum deposit and is generally for money you do not intend to use for daily expenses.

Every U.S. bank offers different services and deals to international students. Be sure to read through the fine print to understand the bank's requirements before signing up.

Applying for a Driver's License +

You can apply for a driver’s license after at least 10 days after arriving in the United States. Your SEVIS record must have been activated by Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services before you go to the Motor Vehicle Commission office. To learn more about the driver’s license application process and required documentations needed for application, please visit here.

Getting a Car +

Please note that you must have automobile insurance in order to own and/or drive a car. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has helpful information on purchasing a vehicle. If you are looking to buy a car, be sure to do extensive research about what kind of car would best fit your needs and your budget. We also recommend that you bring a friend or family member who is knowledgeable about buying a car in the United States with you when you make the purchase.

There are three nearby Motor Vehicle Commission locations that can assist you with vehicle titles, registration, etc. They can be found here.

Nearby Health Centers and Hospitals +

It is important to stay healthy during your stay at Rutgers. If you are feeling sick, there are three health centers on campus where you can make an appointment to meet with a physician. For hours and locations of the health centers and pharmacies, please visit here. If you need urgent medical attention or have an actual emergency, call Rutgers Police at 732-932-7211 or 911.

There are also two large hospitals blocks away from the Rutgers campus, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and St. Peter’s University Hospital in case of emergencies.

Schooling for Children on F-2 or J-2 Visas +

Education in the United States is required for children up to the age of 16. Public education is free of charge. Schools start in early September and go through mid-June. Children must be five years old by December 1 to be enrolled in kindergarten in the same school year.

Bring your children’s birth certificates, school, and immunization records—all in English. Children must have the following immunizations to attend school: three or more diphtheria toxoid series (DPT or DT); three or more trivalent oral polio series or four salk polio vaccine series, measles, mumps, and rubella live vaccines, given on or after the first birthday; or a statement from a physician that the child has had measles or mumps, or a certified serological blood test if the child has had rubella.