Airlines have requirements for size, weight, and number of bags. Please check with your specific airline for those details. Put a name tag on your luggage which includes your campus address. The GEC will assist you in shopping as soon as you arrive, so you might find it easier to purchase some things in the U.S. such as bed linens and small electrical appliances. Make sure you do not pack in your suitcase your passport, money, or documents relating to your admission – have all of these items in your carry-on bag or purse.


Although the typical dress on campus is very informal, it is a good idea to pack few clothes for more formal occasions. Also, consider bringing any specific clothes which might not be available in the U.S. We hope you will consider bringing national clothes to celebrate your country and your culture on special occasions.

Some things to bring:

  • Some personal items such as family pictures to decorate your room
  • A bilingual dictionary if you are not a native speaker of English
  • An extra pair of glasses and/or contact lenses along with a copy of your prescription

Some items to consider leaving behind:

  • Electrical appliances, as they might not work with the plugs and electricity in the U.S.
  • Prescription medications without a doctor’s prescription in your name
  • Fresh agricultural goods, weapons, or drugs

Before You Depart

Please make sure you have done the following well ahead of departure:
  • Notified the GEC of your arrival details, including date, time, flight number, arrival airport, and airline
  • Requested transportation from the airport to campus if required (see Arrival & Orientation section below)
  • Sent your family’s phone number and e-mail address to the GEC
  • Re-confirmed your flight information 72 hours before departure
  • Had a health, dental, and vision check-up
Please make sure the following items are easily accessible during travel and your first few days in the U.S.:
  • Valid passport and visa
  • Original I-20 or DS-2019, signed by you
  • Receipt for payment of SEVIS I-901 fee, if applicable
  • Elon University acceptance letter
  • Proof of financial support
  • Elon University’s address (in order to fill out the I-94 landing card)
  • Health insurance policy, written in English
  • Travel or luggage insurance policy if you have one
  • Copy of immunizations and health forms with English translations
  • Cash in U.S. dollars
  • Campus map

Immigration & Customs

You will be required to go through Immigration and Customs when you first arrive in the U.S. Present the Immigration Officer with your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, Elon’s acceptance letter, and evidence of financial support. The officer usually will ask you about the purpose of your visit and then take your photo and fingerprints.

Clearing Customs

Pick up your baggage and go through customs. The officer may ask to look inside your baggage. Don’t worry, this is a normal procedure.

If you have any questions about immigration or customs, please refer to the Transportation Security Agency or the Customs & Border Patrol websites.


If the U.S. embassy or consulate returned your I-20 or DS-2019 in a sealed envelope with instruction DO NOT OPEN, leave it in the envelope and the immigration officer will open it after you land in the U.S.

Arrival & Orientation


Fall 2023: New international students should aim to arrive by Wednesday, Aug. 16 for new student orientation. To request airport pick-up, send your flight details to

Airport pick-up is available from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) or Piedmont-Triad International Airport (GSO).

Students who do not request airport pick-up will be able to pick up their room keys from the Early Arrival Desk in Moseley.

If your arrival is delayed, please inform the GEC. During office hours (8:00 AM-5:00 PM EST) we can be reached by calling (336) 278-6700. After hours, please call Elon Campus Security at (336) 278-5555. Students calling from outside the U.S. will be required to dial their international access code and the U.S. country code (1).

When calling campus security, please leave a detailed message including the following:

  • Your name
  • Your flight number
  • Your previous arrival time
  • Your new arrival time
  • The best way to reach you

Visa holding students are required to attend both New International Student Orientation and New Student Orientation. Orientation will familiarize students with academic and social life at Elon University, campus resources, and U.S. immigration law.

Setting Up Your Room

During International Student Orientation, the GEC will provide transportation to local stores so students can purchase dorm room necessities such as bed linens, pillows, and alarm clocks.

Students may also purchase some of these items in advance and have them delivered to campus, which should be delivered to their campus mailbox. For questions about this, please contact Residence Life.


A campus mailbox is assigned to every student at Elon. Your Campus box number and lock combination are available at the “My Profile” link in the “OnTrack for Students” section of OnTrack. For more information visit the Campus Mail webpage or call the Elon Mail Room at (336) 278-5433.

Make sure you give your friends and relatives the correct address:

Your Name

100 Campus Drive
#### Campus Box
Elon, North Carolina 27244

Personal Banking

New Student Orientation gives students the opportunity to set up a bank account. The bank representative can set up a checking and/or savings account with an ATM card. There is no requirement that students set up a bank account or do so with the representatives available during orientation.

Phoenix Card

Your Phoenix Card is your student identification card used to enter residence halls, eat at campus dining halls, borrow books from the library, and use university facilities. Students will be issued Phoenix Cards during New International Student Orientation.

Mobile Phones

Most U.S. phone companies require a deposit, U.S. Social Security number, or both to open an account. The easiest way for international students to get a mobile phone is to purchase a “pay as you go” phone which does not require a contract. Phones may be purchased at locations such as Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart. Students will have the opportunity to purchase these pay-as-you-go phones during orientation.

International Student Handbook

Make sure to review the the International Student Handbook. The handbook provides important information on everything from visa application to what to pack. If you have any additional questions contact the GEC at