Congratulations on your acceptance into the Master of International Service (MIS) Program: International Studies Track! We look forward to having you join us. Before you begin your studies, there are a few items that need to be taken care of. Please read all the information below to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running when you arrive in Washington, DC!
Financial Documents for Visa Application: ASAP
Immunization Form: July 15
Health Insurance Waiver (if needed): September 5
The My AU Portal is the student gateway to a number of essential resources at AU including the e-mail system, AU library, Student Accounts, and Course Registration.
You will need three pieces of information to activate your my.american.edu account:
- your date of birth
- the last four digits of your home telephone number as specified on your application form
- your seven-digit AU identification number (AUID), which was included in your welcome e-mail message
Please set up your account as follows:
- Go to http://myau.american.edu
- At the front page, scroll to the bottom and select ‘CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT’, Select ‘I am a Student’,
- Follow the instructions on the screen
If you have any difficulties setting up your my.american.edu account, please contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk (OIT help). You can e-mail email@example.com or telephone +1 (202) 885-2550.
If you will need an F1 or J1 to study at AU, you are required to submit additional documentation to your academic advisor to request an I-20.
CFIS Form and Financial Documents: All admitted students are required to demonstrate financial ability to pay at least one year of academic and living expenses before AU can issue an I-20. Please visit the link below, follow the steps 1 through 3, and download the required forms. Please either email or mail the required information to Amy Newell as soon as possible.
School of International Service
4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016-8041, USA
Phone: (202) 885-6522
All international dual degree students studying at American University will be on the F-1 Visa. You will be sent a form called an I-20, which is what you will use to obtain your visa. This form will be sent to your home institution’s international relations office to be received by the administrators responsible for your exchange program.
Once your I-20 is received, you will then make an appointment with the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your area. You will need to bring to your appointment:
- your I-20 form
- a valid passport
- financial documents
- an application (provided by the Embassy)
- the application fee
Each Embassy/Consulate is different so be sure to confirm in advance what other documents will be required for submission.
Health insurance is mandatory for all full-time degree, resident, and international students unless the student has comparable coverage under another health insurance plan.
You will automatically be billed for university health insurance unless a waiver is submitted. Students who have comparable coverage under another insurance plan must waive the AU plan by September 5, 2017, through their myau.american.edu portal.
Be aware that with most overseas medical insurance, you will need to pay the hospital bill at the time of the visit and then submit your claim to your medical insurance for a refund. Please be sure that you understand how your insurance works before arriving in the U.S.
If you choose to purchase the American University student health insurance plan, please contact the Student Health Center with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
The District of Columbia (D.C.) Immunization Law requires that all students under the age of 26 at the time of enrollment provide proof of certain immunizations.
You must provide the completed Immunization Information form to the AU Student Health Center by July 15, 2017. Please follow all directions on this form.
Contact email@example.com with any questions.
With an F-1 visa, you can enter the U.S. up to 30 days before August 29 (the start date on your immigration documents).
There are three airports located in the Metro D.C. area. Please be aware that upon arrival in the United States you will go through U.S. Customs and Immigration. The Customs and Immigration Official will check your travel documents as well as take your fingerprints and photo.
Washington Dulles International (IAD) located 20 miles from Washington, D.C. Dulles offers:
- Traveler’s Aid Society – (703) 572-8296, located on the lower level at the west end of the main terminal
- Foreign Visitors Greeting Service – (703) 572-2536, located on the east end of the terminal opposite claim area #2. Multilingual volunteers assist with hotel accommodations, connecting flights and other types of travelers’ needs
- Foreign Currency Exchange, located at the east end of the terminal.
Baltimore-Washington International/Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) located in Maryland, 33 miles from Washington, D.C. BWI offers:
- Two Information Desks, both are on the upper level. One is at the entrance of Pier C and the other is located near the entrance to Pier D;
- Foreign Currency Exchange Offices, located on the upper and lower level – open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Travelers Aid (PATH) – 410-859-7207.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) handles only domestic flights, but it is the closest and most convenient airport to AU. It is the only airport on a Metro subway line. DCA offers:
- Customer Services Centers – (703) 417-3200/ (703) 417-3201, located in Terminals A, B, and C
- Foreign Currency Exchange, located at all Customer Services Centers. Open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.
For information about how to travel around DC, including how to get to American University from the Airport, see: Transportation
Be sure to mark your calendars with mandatory program meetings
When considering what to pack in your suitcase, keep in mind that Washington, D.C. has relatively mild temperatures in the spring (March to May) and fall (September to November). In the summer it can be very hot and humid, especially in July and August. The winter is cold and wet and usually brings a couple of heavy snow storms to the area. Please be sure to bring clothes suitable for a wide range of climatic conditions.