International Student Handbook

Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (GEC)

Campus Box 2375, Elon, NC 27244

Phone: 336-278-6700 | Fax: 336-278-6692

Welcome to Elon University!

All of us in the Global Education Center (GEC) look forward to greeting you to Elon’s beautiful campus. The GEC will be your home away from home the entire time that you are part of the Elon community. Especially during the initial transition, you should always feel comfortable coming to the GEC for help. This handbook is our first of many efforts to help you learn about the campus, culture, and resources available to you at Elon University. We hope that it will answer some questions for you, but we know you’ll have many more. From the time we meet you at the airport until the day you graduate from Elon, the GEC will help to make your experience here successful, rewarding, and enjoyable. We hope you stop by the GEC often!

Global Education Center Staff

The entire GEC staff is available to support you, but the following staff work specifically on the International Student Support Team:

Ways to contact the GEC

Schedule an appointment with GEC staff

Available virtual or in-person, depending on the nature of the appointment.

Pre-Departure Checklist

Have you done the tasks below?

  • Notify the Global Education Center (GEC) of your travel itinerary — date, time, flight numbers (including connecting flights), arrival airport, airline
  • Send your emergency contact’s phone number and personal email address to the GEC
  • Have a health, dental and vision checkup

Please read this entire page for information on each of these items!

Do you have the following items?

  • Valid Passport, VISA, Original I-20 or DS-2019 Form (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigration Student Status)
  • Receipt for the payment of SEVIS I-901 fee, if applicable
  • Acceptance letter from Elon University
  • Proof of Financial Support
  • Airplane Ticket
  • Travel/ Luggage Insurance Policy, if you have one
  • Copy of Immunizations/Health Forms with English Translation
  • Health insurance card and policy

Pre-Arrival in the USA

Don’t forget to apply for your visa!

  • Airlines have requirements for size, weight and number of luggage. Please check with your airline for those details.
  • Put a name tag on your luggage which includes Elon Moseley Front Desk’s address: 100 Campus Drive, Elon, NC 27244.
  • The GEC will assist you in shopping as soon as you arrive, so you might find it easier to purchase some things in the United States, such as linens.
  • Make sure you have your passport, money, and documents relating to your admission WITH YOU in your carry-on bag or purse.


  • North Carolina has a mild climate, as you can see from the average monthly temperatures below.
Average low/high January February March April May June July August September October November December
Fahrenheit 33/55 33/56 38/61 48/74 56/81 64/88 67/90 66/88 60/83 49/73 38/62 31/53
Centigrade 0/11 0/13 3/16 8/23 13/27 17/31 19/32 18/31 15/28 9/22 3/16 0/11
  • Although the dress code 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 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.
  • If you are on any medications, make sure to bring the English name of the medication, as well as an English copy of the prescription.


  • In the state of North Carolina, all students attending colleges and universities are required to submit a proof of physical examination of wellness and a certificate of immunizations. Please note that several vaccines are required to attend classes.
  • The required forms can be downloaded from the Health Services website.
  • Ask your doctor to provide this statement in ENGLISH.
  • Once you have arrived to Elon, you will have to take this form to the Health Services Center.



Make sure to arrive at the airport early to fulfill the security formalities.

  • The airline agent checking you in at the boarding time will ask for your passport and visa.
  • You will be required to go through Immigration and Customs when you first arrive to the United States. Present the Immigration Officer with your:
    • passport
    • I-20 or DS-2019
    • Elon’s acceptance letter
    • evidence of financial support

NOTE: 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 USA.

  • 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, and please let them do their job.
  • After Customs is cleared you can move ahead to your connecting flight, if you have one.


The GEC looks forward to meeting you and will be in contact with you directly in regards to your airport pickup.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)

Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO)

If you would like to be on the shuttle from one of these airports send your COMPLETE travel itinerary at least two weeks before your arrival to

All students are expected to make their flight arrangements to arrive at either Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) or Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) on that date.


  • There will likely be a TIME CHANGE when you arrive to the United States.

Elon is located in the state of North Carolina which is in the “Eastern” time zone.

Information on time zone differences can be found from Time and Date World Clock.


If you have any delay or change in your planned arrival time, please contact the GEC with your new arrival time.

During office hours, Monday through Friday from 8 AM-5 PM, the phone number is:


After office hours (5 PM):




  • During the International Student Orientation, a representative from Bank of America will do a virtual session to help set up a checking and/or savings account and an ATM card.
  • You do not have to set up an account with this particular bank, but they will offer you a free checking account.
  • Once you set up an account, you can have money transferred to your U.S. bank account from your home country.


  • Each student, faculty, and staff person on campus has a Phoenix Card, which serves as your Elon University ID card. You will get your card on the first day of orientation and will use it during your time at Elon in the campus dining halls, the library, and at other University facilities.
  • This Phoenix card will have your name, your picture, and a unique number. If you lose this card you should notify the Phoenix Card office to get a replacement card for a fee.



Elon University undergraduate courses are in session for Fall, Winter (one course), Spring and Summer (two sessions). Learn more from the Academic Calendar.

  • For your first semester at Elon, the Office of Academic Advising will help you select your courses. You will generally be contacted via email before you arrive to plan your schedule.
  • In the following semesters, you will work with your academic advisor to select the courses based on your major. It will be important to consult with your academic advisor throughout your time at Elon to make sure you are taking the required courses for your program and major.
  • International students are required to be full-time students in the Fall and Spring semesters. The other terms are optional. Most students study in Fall, Winter, and Spring, and only a few studies during the summer.
  • Most courses at Elon are four credits, which means the class will meet for four hours each week. This could vary from two hours a day twice a week, or one hour and 10 minutes a day three times a week.
  • It is normal for an undergraduate (Bachelor’s degree) students to take four or five courses and have 16 to 18 credits per semester.
  • Graduate (Master’s/Doctoral degree) international students are required to take nine credit hours per semester.
  • If you are a transfer student or are transferring in advanced credit through IB programs or Advanced Placement exams, please make sure you have provided that information to the Office of Admissions, which will share it with the Office of the Registrar to make sure you are getting the appropriate advanced credit. If you have any questions regarding your registration in advance of your arrival, please contact the Office of Academic Advising.
  • If you are a semester exchange student and have any questions regarding your registration in advance of your arrival, please contact Kristen Aquilino at


  • The culture of the United States university classroom is probably different than university classrooms in your home country.
  • Each class will provide you with a syllabus, which will describe the expectations of the professor, your assignments, and your homework.
  • You will be expected to attend EVERY class, and professors track attendance. If you cannot attend a class because you are sick, or for another reason, you should contact your professor in advance by email and bring proof from Health Services if necessary. The professor’s email address will be on the syllabus.
  • Most professors will expect the students to participate in the class. Very few classes are simply lecture and note-taking. So, be ready to speak in class. You may also be asked to work in a group of classmates on a project.
  • Professors will also have specific office hours indicated on the syllabus, and they expect you to come and see them if you have any questions.

Faculty are very happy to meet with students and help them, so do not hesitate to contact your professors at their offices.



  • All students are required to pay their tuition, room, board and insurance costs prior to the beginning of each semester.
  • Payments are made through the Bursar’s Office, which is available for questions at or 336-278-5300.
  • We recommend that you pay before you arrive to avoid traveling with a check or other forms of payment.
  • General cost information can be found at the Bursar’s website.
  • To pay your tuition and other expenses using your student ID number and PIN, go to your E-Bill.

There are four methods of payment you can choose from:

Please include the student’s account number and name in all transactions.

  1. Pay through flywire.
  2. Mail a check drawn on a U.S. bank with the student’s name clearly written on the check to:Bursar’s Office
    Campus Box 2050
    Elon University, Elon, NC 27244
  3. Pay with MasterCard, Discover, or American Express Card from your E-Bill. You will be charged a 2.75 percent convenience fee when using a credit card. Note that Visa cards are not accepted for tuition payments.
  4. Send a wire transfer. Please contact the Bursar’s Office directly if you would like to complete a wire transfer.



  • Unlike many countries where medical costs are mostly covered by the government, health care in the United States is “privatized,” meaning that each individual must pay for medical visits, treatment, and medications. This can be very expensive. As a result, most people in the United States have health insurance.
  • Elon requires all students to have health insurance from a company licensed to do business in the United States. You have two options for health insurance:
  1. Purchase a policy through Elon University. This is the recommended option. Elon purchases policies through Lewermark — visit their page written for Elon to learn more. The cost of insurance will be directly charged to your student account. Local health providers recognize and accept the health insurance purchased through Elon. This will be helpful if you need health care throughout your time at Elon.
  2. Rely on an existing insurance policy. Existing policies must be reviewed and approved to ensure they meet minimum U.S. insurance standards. Exemptions are generally provided only in the following three scenarios:
    1. A parent or spouse is living or working in the U.S. and has medical insurance coverage for you
    2. You have medical insurance coverage from a sponsoring agency or home government
    3. You have insurance coverage from your home countryUpon your arrival your policy will be reviewed to waive purchase of the Lewermark policy. Required documentation includes a copy of your policy in English with USD equivalents for coverage. Your waiver needs to be reviewed at the beginning of each academic year.

We cannot guarantee that local health providers will accept your policy; you may have to pay for treatment and other services and later seek reimbursement from your insurance.

  • If you are planning on paying your tuition before your arrival and then bringing your policy, the fees charged to your account for the health insurance will be refunded to you.
  • Dental and vision care are NOT covered by most health insurance policies, including the one provided by Elon University. You will need to buy these types of insurance separately if you wish to be covered for dental and vision care. We encourage you to visit your dentist and eye doctor before coming to the USA; you may find it less expensive in your country than in the U.S.
  • Please contact Kevin Winpisinger at with any questions that you may have regarding health insurance.


  • Once you have arrived, you need to take the required medical forms and your doctor’s statement directly to the Health Services:




ELON, NC 27244



  • Before you can get a refill, you must take the English copy of your prescription to the Health Services to have it rewritten. You may then get your medication at any pharmacy.