International Student FAQs

We understand that you might have a lot of questions before coming to Elon! Look through some frequently asked questions about Orientation and Arrival, Academics and Course Registration, and Student Life and see if your question can be answered. If you need more information, please call Orientation at (336)-278-7777 or email at compass@elon.edu.

Orientation and Arrival Day

Q: Is there a separate Orientation for International Students?
A: You will first attend New International Student Orientation from August 23 - 26, 2016. This orientation will go over visa issues, cultural and academic adjustments which are very important. Orientation will familiarize you with academic and social life at Elon University and in the United States. You will also be required to attend the first year New Student Orientation starting Friday, August 26th in the evening. It is very important you attend both orientations.

Q: What are the dates of the program?
A: International students are expected to arrive on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. The Isabella Cannon Global Education Center facilitates an International Orientation August 23 - 26, 2016. They will help with your transition in the first few days before the rest of the new students arrive on August 26, 2016. You will then participate in New Student Orientation from August 26th - August 29th, 2016. Classes begin August 30th, 2016.

Q: Do you have a shuttle service to and from the airport?
A: When preparing to buy your airline ticket, remember to select one of the two airports located near Elon University: Raleigh-Durham International (RDU) and Greensboro (GSO). We are happy to pick you up from the airport upon your arrival, but you MUST send us your COMPLETE TRAVEL information to the Global Education Center four weeks before your arrival to allow us enough time to coordinate the logistics.

Remember this service is only offered during Orientation arrival. Transportation is available to nearby airports for breaks and holidays. The service costs $35 to GSO and $45 to RDU regardless of whether the student needs a one-way or round-trip ticket. Tickets are non-refundable. Students must sign up at least fourteen days before the first departure of each break to be guaranteed a seat. After this reservation period, seats will be on a first-come, first-serve basis until the designated spots are filled. To reserve your seat, you must pay the non-refundable fee at the Bursar's Office, and bring the receipt with ALL airline flight information to the Moseley Center Information Desk.

Academics & Course Registration

Q: When can I register for classes?
A: There are two ways to register for classes. You can register online June 1. If you miss that date, you can also register at Orientation. All exchange students should contact Paul Geis for questions related to registration at pgeis@elon.edu

Q: How do credits work?
A: Elon operates on a 4-1-4 system, meaning students take 4 courses in the Fall Term, 1 during Winter Term, and 4 in the Spring Term. Most courses offered at Elon University are 4 credit-hours. Normally, students will take four of these courses at a time, giving them a total of 16 credit-hours per semester. F-1 and J-1 visa holders are required to maintain their legal status by taking at least 12 credit-hours each term for undergraduate students and 9 semester hour for graduate students.

Q: How does the grading system work?
A: In the United States and at Elon University, alphabet letters (A, B, C, D, and F) are used to grade papers and tests. At Elon University, you will be expected to produce a quality as well as quantity work to fulfill graduation requirements. Beyond papers and tests, participation and attendence are often factored into final course grades at Elon. A passing grade is generally considered to be a D or higher, although some courses at Elon require at least a C- to pass. Find the letter grades and their conversion in quality points for each hour of credit below:

Grade Quality Points
A ………………………………………………………………..4.0
A- ……………………………………………………………....3.7
B+……………………………………………………………….3.3
B ………………………………………………………………..3.0
B- ...…………………………………………………………….2.7
C+……………………………………………………………....2.3
C ...……………………………………………………………..2.0
C- ……………………………………………………………...1.7
D+………………………………………………………………1.3
D ……………………………………………………………….1.0
D- ………………………………………………………………0.7
F………………………………………………………………...0.0
I Incomplete…………………………………………………...0.0
P Passing (not counted in cumulative average)………..0.0
S Satisfactory (not counted in cumulative average)…..0.0
U Unsatisfactory (not counted in cumulative average) 0.0
WD Medical Withdrawal ……………………………………..0.0
Withdrawal …………………………………………….……...0.0
Report …………………………………………………...........0.0

Each international student should familiarize her/himself with this new system of grading and realize that each grade is final unless there is an error. Each student must maintain a GPA of at last 2.0 (C average), although some academic programs require you to maintain a higher GPA. There are also GPA requirements tied to student organizations like Fraternity & Sorority Life, Club Sports, and leadershp positions. Organizations run GPA and conduct checks for students' involvement.
Consult the university catalog for more details.

Student Life

Q: How do I find out my campus box number?
A: You can find this information on OnTrack. After you login, click on 'My Profile' and then 'Information.'

Q: Can I send my belongings to Elon? Is there storage for trunks?
A: You can have your belongings sent before you arrive on campus just send them to your campus box at Moseley Center. If you don’t know your campus box, you can find it by logging into OnTrack. You can pick them up once you get here. Elon does not provide storage for trunks. Please do not mail valuable items, such as electronics, family heirlooms, etc.

Example: John Smith “NEW STUDENT"
XXXX Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244

Q: What does Elon offer specifically to international students?
A: We have the International Pavilion, the Intercultural Relations Club, International Week Festivals, a host family program, special advising and counseling services on immigration, tax and personal matters, special trips and excursions, as well as other services. Visit the Global Education Center's website for more information about international student services.

Q: How hard is it for international students to get involved on campus?
A: With over 200 different clubs and organizations offered at Elon, it is very easy for all students to get involved. Students may choose to be involved with leadership, service, student union board, SGA, Greek life, intramural sports, performing groups and much more! All international students are advised to go to the Organization Fair on the first Friday of September. All clubs and organizations will be present at this fair to offer information for interested students. For more information on how to get involved at Elon, visit the Office of Student Activities website.

Q: Can I work and study?
A: Generally speaking, you can work on campus for twenty hours or less per week when school is in session. Off campus employment is illegal for international students on an F-1 or J-1 without legal authorization. There are different rules for different visas. If you would like to work on campus, please check with the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center before accepting a job offer. You need to notify the advisor and obtain a Social Security card.

Q: What can I bring to the Elon community?
A: Bring your enthusiasm! Get involved in the IRC and/or the International Week Festival. Be ready to share your culture with other students and your professors. Your national/traditional clothes will come in handy for the international programs and events on campus.

Q: What is a Phoenix card?
A: In order to eat in the campus dining halls, borrow library materials and use other university facilities, you will need a Phoenix card. This is a student identification card with your name and a number that is used like a debit card. 

Q: What if I get sick or have an emergency?
A: In an emergency always call 911. For non emergency situations you can call Campus Security at (336) 278-5555. If you need to be seen by a doctor, visit or call the R. N. Ellington Center for Health & Wellness on campus at (336) 278-7230. There is always a staff administrator on call to assist students who get sick or injured after hours or on weekends. The administrator will be there to help you negotiate the medical system, contact families, etc.

Q: What if I do not know to whom to address the questions or concerns I have?
A: Consult Francois Masuka, the Director of International Student and Faculty Scholar Services. He will direct you to the right person that can answer your questions.

Q: How do I get information about international events?
A: Check both your email account, E-Net, Elon Global Village blackboard and the Schedule of Events for each semester. Attend the IRC meetings, or create an event of your own. If you decide to create your own program, the Isabella Canon Global Education Center will help you organize it.

Q: How do I get around Elon?
A: Because many students have cars on campus, it is likely you will live with roommates or have friends who can give you a ride. You can also purchase a bicycle or rent one from Campus Recreation. Elon also runs the BioBus and other transportation services that can help you get around campus and the town of Burlington. If you are considering buying a car, ask for help. You should realize that if you are buying a car, you will also need to purchase car insurance and pass an examination for a driver’s license.

Q: Can I drive with an international license?
A: No. Since you are going to live here for a certain period of time while you go to school, you are required to have the North Carolina driver’s license. Your international student advisors will have information available during orientation about the regulations for a driver’s license.

Q: What is the weather like?
A: North Carolina has a mild climate. In the summer and fall, it can be hot and humid, while in winter, the weather can be a little bit cold and windy with below freezing temperatures. Snow is rare. We have some occasional rain and thunderstorms. Spring and Fall offer mild seasons.

Q: What type of clothing should I bring?
A: Although the dress code on campus is very informal, it is a good idea to pack few clothes for formal occasions. Also, consider bringing any specific clothes which might not be easily available in the U.S. Please consider bringing national clothes to celebrate your country and your culture on special occasions at Elon such as International Week, Multicultural Gala, International Education Week and other school events.