NEW STUDENT FAQ
We look forward to welcoming We understand that due to COVID-19, many of our students may not be attending the fall 2021 semester in-person in the U.S. In that case some of these FAQs will not apply to you until you arrive at Rutgers. Please check our COVID related Incoming International Student FAQ for more information.
Also visit the University's central Covid related website for the latest updates, announcements, and information: https://coronavirus.rutgers.edu/
VIRTUAL LEARNING AND RESOURCES
For New Brunswick Students: The R-connection webpage provides answers to frequently asked questions about virtual learning, student life, as well as other resources to help ensure your success this coming semester.
How do I register for the courses online?
Go to https://sis.rutgers.edu/oldsoc/
Select courses according to school/program/department and sign in via your net id to view schedule.
How do I get access to online classes?
Refer to your emails from professors for specific instructions. Typically, WebEx, or Zoom, or the conference app on Canvas or Blackboard is utilized for lectures. Learn about the various learning management systems at Rutgers here.
How/where can I get the free software provided by Rutgers (MS Office, MATLAB, etc.)
Go to the software portal at https://it.rutgers.edu/software-portal/ and log in with your netid and password.
How/where can I go to get help with my device & troubleshooting?
Go to https://oit-nb.rutgers.edu/ and navigate through the sites.
ARRIVING AT RUTGERS AND GETTING TO CAMPUS
How do I prepare to come to Rutgers?
We have a Pre-Arrival Guide to help you prepare for your arrival to campus, including information on applying for a visa, paying the SEVIS fee, getting to New Brunswick, and more. We encourage you to please take some time to review this webpage.
When can I arrive in the U.S.?
The earliest date you can enter the U.S. on an initial I-20 is listed on your form I-20 on page 1, under the “Earliest Admission Date” heading. This is 30 days before the program start date on your I-20. Transfer-pending I-20s are not restricted to this rule. If you have an on-campus housing assignment, please check the date on which you can move-into that space while planning your arrival in the U.S. If you are residing on-campus, please refer to information through the Office of Residence Life to confirm move-in dates and additional information.
Do I need to alert Rutgers when I arrive on campus?
YES! This is a MANDATORY step for all international students on an F-1 visa. You must check-in with our office as soon as possible via your RGlobal portal. If you do not check-in, you may lose you legal right to study in the United States! Detailed check-in instructions can be found on this link.
Does Rutgers offer an airport pick-up service?
Rutgers partners with a local ground transportation company to offer airport pick-ups for students who have applied for university housing. You can pay and sign up for this service as part of their housing application to arrange transportation from from your arrival airport (Newark, JFK, LaGuardia or Philadelphia) to our New Brunswick Campus. Although we provide transportation from all four of these airports, we strongly encourage you to choose Newark International (EWR) as your arrival airport being that it is much closer to campus and in turn more affordable.
The transportation company will provide town car service, which can accommodate two students, two large pieces of luggage, and two carry-ons. In addition, vans with group pricing rates will also be available if multiple students arrive at the same airport around the same time. Typically, vans can accommodate seven to eight people with luggage. All students must provide at least 72 hours notice to the Rutgers Residence Life office to ensure curbside pick-up on designated day and time of arrival.
You can apply for this service through your housing application. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 848-932-4371. Please note you will NOT be allowed to move-in to on-campus housing until the Sunday prior to the beginning of the international student orientation program.
What other ways can I get to campus?
You can read about local public transportation and arriving on campus here.
What does campus look like?
You can explore the Rutgers campuses through our websites here.
What happens during the mandatory International Student Orientation (ISO)?
The mandatory ISO provides you with important and valuable information about legally studying in the U.S. and resources at Rutgers. It is also really fun! Students are invited to meet peers at social events, movie nights, shopping trips, and more.
Note: For Fall 2021 the program will be offered virtually through the university's learning management system, Canvas as well as Zoom. Learn more about orientation and how to access it here.
HOUSING AND RESIDENCE LIFE
The Residence Life office has a FAQ for international students that includes information on move-in dates, what is provided in dormitory rooms, choosing a roommate, how to send packages, and more. You can read about this here.
Rutgers does not directly manage the off-campus residential locations. However, the Office of Off-Campus Living and Community Partnerships offer many resources and connections to students who are looking to live outside of campus residence halls.
TERM BILLS AND BANKING
How do I pay my term bill? Do I need to pay for the entire year at once?
Term bills are paid online through the Student Accounting, Billing, and Cashiering website. You only need to pay for 1 semester at a time. The due date of your specific payment is shown on the term bill itself. Please use your netID to login to your term bill and view the amount you owe and the date when it is due. Payment options (wire transfer, credit card, e-check) can be found here.
How do I open a bank account?
We will provide information about opening a U.S. bank account as part of the ISO. Opening a bank account will need to be done in person, and there are many different companies in the area to choose from. To open an account, you will most likely need to provide:
- proof of funding to deposit into a US bank account
- funding for a minimum deposit in US dollars (between $100 - $1,500 USD)
- proof of identification (i.e. passport)
- proof of address
WORKING AND CAREER SERVICES
Can I work on-campus? Where can I work?
Yes! ISSS offers a workshop that helps you understand on-campus employment related procedures and paperwork. You can read about this here.
To learn about on-campus job opportunities, visit the website of the Student Employment Office, or check within your your academic department and other administrative units on-campus. Please note that international students are not eligible for Federally funded work study positions.
How can I learn more about internship and job opportunities?
University Career Services assists students in choosing a major based on their interests, develop professional skills, explore career paths, and match with internship and work opportunities. Their website can be explored here. Please note F-1 and J-1 students need additional employment authorization in order to work off-campus so be sure to check in with our office before taking on any off-campus work.
Do I need permission to work in the United States?
As an international student in F-1 or J-1 status, you will need authorization to work both on and off campus. Our office offers many workshops and learning opportunities on how to legally pursue these opportunities. Please always ask our office first if you have questions about employment.
INSURANCE, HEALTH, AND IMMUNIZATIONS
Do I need health insurance?
At Rutgers, it is required for all students to have at least a minimum level of health insurance coverage. All students are automatically billed health insurance fee on their term bill every semester.
Note: the Health Insurance Fee for students who are outside the U.S. for the fall 2021 semester will be waived. The fee will be automatically removed for new students but continuing students will need to apply for a fee waiver. For details on waiving the fee, please visit our website.
Can I use my own insurance?
Yes, you may elect to have alternate insurance coverage other than the Student Health Insurance Plan. If this is the case, you must request to waive the health insurance fee. For details on waiving the fee, please visit our website.
What happens if I get sick?
Rutgers students can access medical and pharmacy services at any of the three Health Centers located throughout the New Brunswick campus. Each of the health centers have experienced doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. Clinical services include preventative, routine, injury, and illness care as well as prescription services. To make an appointment, please select this link.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 911 or call RUPD at 848-932-7211.
If you need a medical service that is not available through Rutgers Health Centers, there are two large hospitals within ten minutes of the campus: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick and St. Peter’s University Hospital. Before you go, be sure to check with your insurance provider for physicians in your insurance network to minimize medical cost.
Is there someone I can talk to if I feel sad, lonely, homesick, or stressed?
Rutgers also has counseling services for students. If you are feeling sad, lonely, homesick, stressed, or simply need someone to talk to, please make an appointment at our counseling center (CAPS).
Another program that is a great resource is Let’s Talk, offered by CAPS at various locations on-campus. Students can drop in and talk with a counselor without an appointment. In addition, there are drop-in hours called Let’s Talk available throughout campus.
All immunization and vaccination information can be found on your Student Health Portal, located here. If there is a Rutgers vaccination that is not available in your home country, you can take it when you arrive on campus by making an appointment at one of our health centers. Please direct all vaccine questions to email@example.com, or visit an on-campus facility after arriving for assistance. You can read more about immunizations here.
How do I choose my classes for the fall semester?
If you are an undergraduate student, your academic advisors will help you pick your classes, either virtually or in-person. Each specific school at Rutgers has a different process for picking classes, so please contact your specific school (SAS, SEBS, RBS, SOE, Pharmacy, etc.) for more information. They can also help you choose a major to work towards.
For questions about classes, academic advising, your schedule, or course registration, contact your academic school.
For graduate students, please contact your academic program directly for course registration for your first semester.
Is the Rutgers campus safe?
University Public Safety is committed to ensuring a safe environment for everyone at Rutgers. The Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) operates multiple fully staffed police headquarters—24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
What can I do for fun as a Rutgers student?
Rutgers has over 600 student organizations you can get involved in. Getting involved on campus through clubs and organizations and participating in Rutgers programs are great ways to keep your academic life balanced, develop leadership and professional skills, and make new friends.
How can I meet other Rutgers students? International students?
Getting involved on campus is a good way to meet other Rutgers students whom you may share interests with. During the International Student Orientation, you will get to meet all other new international students from all over the world. Whether it’s at orientation, student clubs, or someone you meet in class, don’t be shy - strike a conversation and stay in touch with your new friends!
What is the role of the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office?
The Rutgers Global–ISSS office coordinates the international student orientation program and supports the journey of our international students from arrival to completion and beyond. Our core services include providing advice and counsel on US immigration regulations and compliance, immigration application processing, advocacy, and outreach.
We have two locations, one in New Brunswick on the College Avenue Campus, and the other in Newark on the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Campus. Learn more about our office locations and services: https://global.rutgers.edu/advising