International Students Pre-Arrival Information
Before You Arrive
Before You Arrive
We have prepared information to help you organize and facilitate your trip to Bradley University. That information is available as a downloadable pdf file containing a wide variety of reminders, checklists and other helpful information to ensure that you don't forget necessary items and to help your transition to America and to Bradley University go more smoothly. A Pre-Arrival Information Sheet (I), and a Supplemental Information Sheet (II) include information on the following subjects:
- Document Checklist
- I-20 (3-pages)
- Acceptance letter
- Attested marksheets, transcripts and degree certificates
- Financial certification
- Health Insurance policy
- Bradley University Student Health Form
- Money, credit card, travelers check, medicine, jewelry and other valuables
- Travel Arrangements and Process
- Tuition, Fees and other expenses
Health Insurance is mandatory for all F-1 International Students. This notice explains the options available to you for meeting this requirement. We recommend that you purchase health insurance before traveling to the US, which is Option 1 below.
You are required to have health insurance coverage at a level described as “major medical”. Note: a “basic” level of coverage, sometimes referred to as “silver” vs. “gold” or “platinum”, is NOT sufficient. You may purchase coverage through any insurance company that will issue you a major medical policy that is valid during your stay in the US. If you do not obtain health insurance on your own, you may purchase health insurance offered by Bradley, the Maksin Plan described as Option 2 below.
As a requirement for course enrollment (registration) at Bradley, after you arrive, you will need to provide written documentation that you have health insurance coverage. A copy of your policy and your paid receipt showing dates of coverage will suffice.
Option 1: (Your choice) Obtain health insurance on your own prior to leaving your country. In this case, you must present proof of your insurance coverage when you report to the Graduate School. For example, those from India might consider the policy offered by ICICI Lombard General Insurance, or Insurance Corp of India, among others. Reminder: the coverage must include “major medical” and should be for not less than one year, renewable.
Option 1: (Your own) Obtain health insurance on your own prior to leaving your country. In this case, you must present proof of your insurance coverage when you report to the Graduate School. For example, those from India might consider the policy offered by ICICI Lombard General Insurance, or Insurance Corp of India, among others. Reminder: the coverage must include “major medical” and should be for not less than one year, renewable.
Option 2: (the Maksin Plan available through Bradley) Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan for students at Bradley is underwritten by the National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA., and administered by Maksin Management.
- Policy information and enrollment procedures are provided at www.maksin.com. Carefully review the policy “plan”. International students are required to purchase the “enriched” Plan II in order to meet the major medical level of coverage required by Bradley. The “basic” Plan I level is not sufficient. Note: the policy effective date is August 15, 2012 which may or may not provide coverage while you are in transit to Bradley.
- At the website, complete or download the application form and arrange for payment. See Logon instructions below **.
Payment Method 1 (By Credit Card): If you apply online, you will need a Master Card or Visa Card to pay for the policy. The cost is $524 US Dollars. You must print a copy of the payment verification and present it to the Graduate School upon arrival.
Payment Method 2 (By Demand Draft): You can mail the application form and demand draft payable to National Union Fire Insurance Company, but proof of payment will not be available until your application and payment of $524 USD have been received and processed. Depending upon when and how you mail it, your Bradley course registration may be delayed until verification is presented.
Cost: $524 for a policy effective from August 15, 2012 through August 15, 2013. Students who start in the Spring Semester (January), will have a prorated policy effective from January 15 through August 15 at a cost of $304. Rates are subject to change without notice.
**Maksin logon instructions: Go to www.maksin.com ; Click on “Find your College”; enter school name: Bradley University. Click “Submit”; Go to Bradley University, hover and click: Click on “International Students Click Here”. You can select “Enroll Online” and view the “2011-12 (or most current) Plan Brochure” here.
Schedule your student visa appointment after you receive your I-20.
To apply for a visa, you first must receive a Form I-20 from a US university. The academic institutions that admit you will send a Form I-20 to apply for an F-1 (student) visa after you have been admitted and have provided evidence that you can meet all the costs and expenses of studying in the US.
After you have received your I-20, you can start the process of applying for your Student Visa. Carefully read and follow ALL of the instructions on the US government website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html
- Pay the SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) I-901 fee.
You must pay a SEVIS fee (currently $200 for F visas) and complete the relevant forms before you can make an appointment for a visa interview. The SEVIS Fee payment form is the I-901. Follow the instructions carefully and retain the receipt of payment. Proof of paying the I-901 fee (receipt) is required before you can schedule an appointment for a visa interview. For more information, you may also visit the U.S. government’s Study in the States Web site for students.
- Schedule your visa interview appointment.
Once you receive the required documentation (I-20 and your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt) for the school you wish to attend, you can make an appointment with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for a student visa. Your visa can be issued up to 120 days before your arrival in the United States, so it is best to apply for your appointment as early as possible. Visa interview scheduling is done online or by phone at most U.S. embassies and consulates. In India, the appointments are made through V.F.S. Global.
- Go online to complete the U.S. Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160), print the confirmation receipt and pay the $160 US DS-160 visa application fee.
Be prepared on the day of your student visa appointment:
Before you go to the U.S. consulate or embassy for your visa appointment, be sure to complete this quick checklist, as any inconsistencies in your information or missing documentation may delay the issuance of your visa:
- Passport – Bring your passport and be sure it is valid for at least six months beyond the end of your study in the United States. Be sure your name is spelled correctly and appears the same on all documents.
- Be sure to have your Form I-20, your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt, your DS-160 confirmation receipt, and current 2x2 photo.
- Confirm the date and time of your visa interview and that you have followed the instructions on the Web site of your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
- During the interview, be prepared to answer questions regarding ties to your home country, your English language skills, your academic background, the program and university you intend to attend in the United States, and proof of your financial ability.
A vice consul at the one of the U.S. Consulates offered the following advice to student visa applicants that sums up what the interviewing officers are looking for in visa applicants: “Because interviews are short, do your best to explain why you want to study in the United States, how you plan to support yourself while in school, and what your plans are for when your studies are finished.”
Others recommend having an answer to the question: Why do you want to study at Bradley University, where is Bradley University and Peoria, Illinois? It is helpful to read and explore the Graduate School homepage (www.bradley.edu/grad/), the Bradley University website (www.bradley.edu) and the academic department information linked to your academic program.
We wish you good luck! If you would like to speak with someone in person about the process, contact one of our EducationUSA Advising Centers, which host visa information sessions for students.
AND REMEMBER…let us know when your visa has been approved or if it was denied!
Adapted from an article in the India Times by Martin Bennett, the EducationUSA Outreach Coordinator for the Institute of International Education, New York.
Please be sure to submit the RSVP Response Form to let us know if you intend to register at Bradley, when your visa appointment is scheduled, whether or not your visa has been approved and finally, when you know your travel plans. This form can be sent to us multiple times to let us know where you are in the process.