International Student Programs and Services

Pre-arrival Information

We are delighted that you have decided to study at Bradley University. In order to assist you as you make preparations for your departure from your country, we have provided some advise we hope you find helpful. We also welcome your input after you arrive so that we can pass it on to other newly arriving students!

For information and application materials for admission to Bradley University, please visit

Obtaining a Student Visa

Once you have received your I-20A-B admission letter, your first task is to go to the nearest American Embassy/ Consulate and apply for a student visa. When you go to the American Embassy/Consulate, make sure you have the following documents with you:

  • Your SEVIS I-20
  • Admissions letter
  • Passport (must be valid for at least 6 months)
  • Financial support documents

If your spouse, or dependent child, is accompanying you to the United States, he/she must also apply for a dependent visa. Therefore, you should provide the following:

  • Spouses/dependents passport
  • Additional financial support documents
  • Marriage/Birth Certificate

You should also check to see if an exit Permit and/or a Health Clearance Certificate is required by your country.

By law, you must attend the university whose I-20 you use to obtain an F-1visa and present at the border for enter into the United States for at least one semester before transferring to another school. You will be considered out of status and required to submit an application for reinstatement to status with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) if you initially attend a different school than the school, which issued the I-20, used for entry to the U.S. You will also be considered ineligible for on-campus employment unless and until the INS approves your request for reinstatement of status (ROS). Therefore, if you receive an I-20 from more than one university, you should carefully read all the information on the back page of your I-20 and decide which school you wish to attend before you present that I-20 for visa application and entry to the United States.

What to bring

Bradley University is fortunate to be located in an area of the United States where we experience all four seasons (fall, winter, spring, and summer) each year. Students should keep this in mind when planning what to bring.

Bradley University students dress casually for classes. Attire worn to class can range from long slacks and a shirt with a thick coat, hat, gloves, and scarf during the winter, to shorts and a tee shirt during the summer. There are likely to be special occasions when formal attire should be worn, such as when you may be asked to make classroom presentations, for special social functions, interviews, departmental events, and the like. We also suggest that you bring at least one outfit of your national dress, as there may be several opportunities to wear it during the year.

The following are some suggested items that you may wish to bring with you.

Clothing: casual trousers, blue jeans trousers, casual shorts, formal suit/dress, sweater, rain poncho or rain coat, winter coat, short sleeved shirts, long sleeved shirts, gloves/hat/scarf, sports/tennis shoes, casual shoes, dress shoes, snow boots, hiking/walking shoes, dress/casual/sweat socks, cotton underwear.

  • Personal Care
  • Toiletries
  • Medicines
  • Sports equipment (including foils for fencing)
  • Umbrella
  • Book bag such as a back pack or day pack
  • Towels
  • Sheet set

Reference and other materials

Comprehensive dictionary which translates from English to your language and the reverse personal address book including emergency numbers at Bradley University passport including visa stamp from the US Consulate/Embassy (except Canadians) Immigration documents: I-20 or letter of acceptance to Bradley University evidence of financial support including letter of offer if you will be employed as a (Graduate Research or Teaching Assistant) GRA or GTA. A copy of your transcripts/diploma legalized/certified by the issuing authority, Driver's License particularly international drivers license.

  • Small appliances
  • Calculator
  • Tape recorder
  • Radio

Note: If you must take medicines on a regular basis, it is strongly recommended that you bring the doctors prescription, and a medical history including diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Also, please note that the University's medical insurance plan will not provide benefits for preexisting conditions as defined, except where mandated by law. Consequently, if you need regular treatment for a medical condition, it is recommended that you obtain supplemental coverage to cover preexisting conditions as travel insurance prior to leaving your home country. This will be in addition to the International Health Insurance Program mandated by the University for all international students and exchange visitors.

Money and Banking

We recommend that you bring at least $3000-$4000 US Dollars in Travelers Checks to pay for your initial tuition and living expenses. We recommend travelers checks for initial expenses because (1) it is not wise to travel with so much cash, and (2) it usually takes 2-4 weeks for a bank draft from overseas to be cashed by a bank. During your travel, however, you will need some U.S. currency -not over $500, to pay for taxi fares, phone calls, meals, and possible hotel expenses. We also strongly advise you to keep your money on your person and not in your baggage.

There are a number of banks near the University campus. The closest one is the Heritage Bank. You are encouraged to open an account as soon as possible. When opening an account, you must present your passport for identification purposes and you must state that you will apply for a Social Security number, which is used in the U.S. as the primary means of personal identification.

Checking In at the Multicultural Student Services Office

All international students, including Canadians, are required to check in at the Multicultural Student Services Office, which is located in the Garrett Center Room 203, upon their arrival to campus. It is recommended that you do so upon the first business day following your arrival to the United States. We can help with adjustment, and those procedures required before a student is allowed to register at Bradley University (such as the registering of immigration documents and completion of the data sheet).  When you come to the ISSO, we will ask you to complete a personal data sheet (yellow form). This data sheet must be completed and submitted to the ISSO along with your passport, Form I-94 (Record of Arrival/Departure), and pages 3 & 4 of your I-20 A-B. All matters related to you are always kept confidential, except for that information we are required to provide to the U.S. government or the University administration. No one outside the ISSO staff will have access to your file. If you have a problem getting to the ISSO upon your arrival in the United States, please call and we will do all we can to try to help you.

The Office of Multicultural Student Services holds a one-day "International Student Orientation" program to address the specific needs of international students. All new and transfer, undergraduate and graduate international students are required to attend. The International Student Orientation will provide information on campus resources, immigration requirements, health care and insurance in the US, on and off campus housing, academic advising and registration procedures, obtaining a social security card, and information on some practical matters concerning life in Peoria and the US in general. You will also meet other students from your own countries or other countries. A reception will conclude the program. Dress comfortably and casually; feel free to ask questions and plan to be on campus all day.

Housing - Short-term Accommodations

We recommend that you plan to arrive during a weekday and preferably during the day. This would give you greater accessibility to the Multicultural Student Services Office and fellow students in case help is needed. However, if you arrive at night or during the weekend and have made no prior arrangements, then we suggest that you stay at a hotel until the next day. The following is a brief list of hotels that are in close proximity to Bradley University.

Hotels at Grand Prairie
Newest Peoria hotels
Near Shoppes at Grand Prairie (outdoor mall)
Complimentary Shuttle Service
Complimentary Hot Expanded Breakfast Buffet
10 Minutes from Bradley University

  • Hampton Inn & Suites - $99
    (309) 589-0001
    7806 N Route 91
  • Wingate by Wyndham - $99
    (309) 589-0033
    7708 N Route 91
  • Country Inn & Suites - $99
    (309) 589-0044
    5309 W Landens Way

Housing - Long-term Accommodations

Arrival Assistance

International Student Organizations can and often do assist students in many different ways. There are numerous student organizations at Bradley University, however, the following three are highly active in assisting arriving students:

  • ISA (Indian Student Association)

Student Activities

One of the most crucial and vital services these organizations provide to new students is arrival assistance. If you need arrival assistance, be sure to write to your representative organization and give your name, the exact day, date, airline, flight number, and scheduled time of arrival. If there is not an association from your country, you may write asking that we forward your letter to a Bradley University student from your country or region, to your academic department, or a PAFIS member who has volunteered to pick international students up from the airport.

If for any reason, however, you arrive to Peoria and have no transportation to Bradley University, we recommend that you take a cab directly from the airport (distance to BU is 8 miles). If you do not have short-term housing prearranged and arrive in the evening, we recommend that you find accommodations at the Radisson of Peoria, located 1 mile from BU. In case of emergency, please call the BU Police Office by calling from the airport at 309-677-2000.

Health Insurance

Bradley University has always been vitally concerned with the promotion of good health for its students. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that a Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan specifically designed for international students, underwritten by Reliance Insurance Company, will be available through the Controllers' office.

Social Security Card

The US Government issues a unique identification number to all Americans, permanent residents, refugees and asylees, as well as those non-immigrants who have authorization to work in the United States. That number is called a Social Security number. You must obtain a social security number by making an application to the US Department of Health and Human Service, Social Security Administration, in order to be paid, although a temporary number can be created for you if you have already applied for a social security number and one has not yet been issued to you. Banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions may ask you for your social security number as part of their security system when you are opening an account or requesting account information.

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