NEW STUDENT FAQs
We look forward to welcoming you to Rutgers! We understand that due to COVID-19, some 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?
You can view available courses here - https://sis.rutgers.edu/oldsoc/
Students register for courses here - https://webreg.rutgers.edu/
Select courses according to school/program/department and sign in via your netID to view schedule. Undergraduate students will receive assistance from their individual schools in registering for classes in their first semester at Rutgers.
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 to join the Wifi on campus?
Go to https://ruwireless.rutgers.edu/ and click on “How do I connect?”
You can access Rutgers libraries if you are not connected to RUWireless if you sign 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.
Rutgers also has a tech store located on campus named Kite+Key - https://kiteandkey.rutgers.edu/
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 (page 1). 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 your legal right to study in the United States! Detailed check-in instructions can be found on this link.
How 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.
Students are encouraged to use mobile map applications to help navigate campus, such as Apple or Google Maps. Rutgers also has its own application called "Rutgers University" in the App Store.
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.
How do I complete the mandatory New Student Online Modules?
All first-year and transfer students who start in Fall 2021 are required to complete two online learning modules by September 1, 2021. Students who fail to complete the two modules by the deadline will be unable to register for Spring 2022 classes. This registration hold will remain on the student’s account until both modules are completed. For all new students (first-year and transfer) starting in Spring 2021, these modules will be sent to you via your Rutgers email account and guidelines for completion will be similar to those outlined above.
Students who have concerns about completing a module or wish to request an exemption are asked to contact email@example.com.
HOUSING, PARKING, AND RESIDENCE LIFE
Please view the latest updates about living on-campus at our Alerts page.
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.
Housing for RBHS- Newark students
RBHS students located in Newark can find additional information regarding on-campus housing here.
Can I park my car on campus?
Yes, but you need a Rutgers parking permit. Also, only certain parking lots may be available to you. It depends if you live on-campus or off-campus, and how long you need to park for. Please visit the Department of Transportation Services (DOTS) for parking permit information. Visitor permits are also required for non-RU people. Parking without a permit can lead to you getting a parking citation/parking ticket, which you will need to pay.
For a list of student parking lots, click here.
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:
- funding for a minimum deposit in US dollars (between $100 - $1,500 USD)
- proof of identification (i.e. passport)
- proof of address
- Off-campus students may consider using a lease to apartment, or a utility bill
- On-campus students may request instant enrollment verification
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 academic department and other administrative units on-campus. Please note that international students are not eligible for Federally funded work study positions.
Some graduate students may have a GA or TA opportunity. Please work directly with your department regarding onboarding. Our office will help you obtain the necessary forms to be added as an on-campus employee, including instructions on how to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).
How can I learn more about internship and job opportunities?
The Office of Career Exploration and Success assists students in choosing a major based on their interests, developing professional skills, exploring career paths, and matching 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. This becomes available in early August.
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit an on-campus facility after arriving for assistance. You can read more about immunizations here.
Students can also schedule other tests and vaccines at Rutgers health facilities, such as routine bloodwork and flu shots.
For questions about COVID vaccine requirements, please view the Universitywide COVID-19 Information website here. Students planning to be on-campus for fall 2021 must follow the University policy regarding COVID vaccinations. The portal to upload proof of vaccination can be found here. To view the latest updates on international student vaccine requirements, approved vaccines, and accommodations, please see our Alerts page.
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.
What if I need accommodation for my disability?
Rutgers Access and Disability Resources helps provide reasonable accommodations and services for students with disabilities. Common examples of assistance includes exam accommodations, note taking.
What if I have a food allergy, or a religious dietary restriction?
Rutgers Dining Services will work with students to get pre-made meals that meet their dietary needs. These concerns are further explained on their webpage here, along with next steps.
Is the Rutgers campus safe? What if I have an emergency?
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.
Please call or text 911 if you are having an emergency. The non-emergency number for RUPD is (732) 932-7211. More emergency contact information is here.
Students are encouraged to sign up for RU-Alerts, which is an emergency notification system (ENS) that sends texts and emails to you during urgent situations on/around campus.
Please also view our page on common scams to be aware of how to protect yourself against fraud.
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.
The local area is also full of fun activities to explore. Check them out here!
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
Helpful Links +
For a list of Rutgers-specific Campus Resources, please see here - https://global.rutgers.edu/international-scholars-students/intl-student-info-hub
- COVID-19 updates: https://coronavirus.rutgers.edu/
- Canvas: https://canvas.rutgers.edu/
- Sakai: https://sakai.rutgers.edu/portal
- Net ID login: https://netid.rutgers.edu/loginView.htm
- MyRutgers Portal: https://my.rutgers.edu/portal/render.userLayoutRootNode.uP
- Health Insurance plans: https://global.rutgers.edu/international-scholars-students/health-insurance
- Rutgers Accounting office (Student ABC): https://studentabc.rutgers.edu/
- Rutgers Vaccination and Immunization requirements: http://health.rutgers.edu/medical-counseling-services/medical/immunization-requirements-allergy-shots/
- WIFI: https://ruwireless.rutgers.edu/
- Free softwares: https://software.rutgers.edu/info/login/
- Counseling services (CAPS): http://health.rutgers.edu/medical-counseling-services/counseling/
- Library: https://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/
- Dining Hall: http://food.rutgers.edu/
- Information facilities: https://oss.rutgers.edu/mobile/
- Handshake App (not available to RBHS): https://app.joinhandshake.com/
- Recreation (i.e. gyms ad sports): http://recreation.rutgers.edu/
- Tutoring: https://rlc.rutgers.edu/online_services
- Learning Centers: https://rlc.rutgers.edu/
- Grades/Unofficial transcripts: https://sis.rutgers.edu/tags/
- Students activities: http://involvement.rutgers.edu/
- Online Course registration: https://sis.rutgers.edu/oldsoc/
- Zoom Account creation: https://it.rutgers.edu/zoom/knowledgebase/how-to-create-your-rutgers-zoom-account/
- Device Support: https://oit-nb.rutgers.edu/
- Rutgers Police (RUPD) - https://www.rutgers.edu/about/campus-safety
- Department of Transportation for parking and permits - https://ipo.rutgers.edu/dots