International Students, Scholars, & Visitors

The Center for International Education (CIE) is excited to welcome you to the United States and to Nazareth University! We are very happy that you have chosen to make "Naz" your home away from home.

Our mission at the CIE is to support, celebrate, and inspire you to find your direction. We will work with you to ensure that your time in the United States is educational, culturally expansive, and enjoyable.


Current Students



We are pleased to welcome you to Nazareth University, a gateway to an outstanding educational experience in the United States.

When you arrive on campus, we will provide you with a comprehensive orientation program that will prepare you for your time spent here.

At Nazareth, you will be immersed in a learning environment that is strong on advisement, highly collaborative, and offers abundant hands-on experiential learning. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself fully engaged in something you love.

We hope you will take advantage of all the amenities and opportunities Nazareth has to offer. As an international student or scholar, your role in providing our campus community with knowledge, cultural understanding, and global awareness is very important.

Step by Step Visa Instructions
  1. Make sure your passport is valid. Your passport must be valid for the entirety of your stay and at least six months after your planned date of departure.
  2. Check your I-20 or DS-2019 form for accuracy and completeness. Make sure all information is correct and your expected completion date matches the one on your document. If you have dependents (spouse or children under 21) who will come with you to the U.S., each of them will receive their own dependent I-20 or DS-2019 that they will need to apply for their respective F-2 or J-2 visa. As the student, you will need to sign all forms (not the dependent).
  3. Pay the SEVIS fee and print the receipt. To pay online via credit/debit, visit the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) SEVIS I-901 Fee website. After you submit your payment, make sure you print at least two copies of the confirmation receipt.
  4. Complete the online non-immigrant visa application. All F-1 student & J-1 scholar visa applicants should complete the DS-160 online New Non-immigrant Visa Application. Remember to print the form upon completion.
  5. Pay any visa fees required in advance of your appointment. Procedures may vary depending on location. 
  6. Make a visa application appointment at a U.S. Consulate in your home country. Do NOT make an appointment until you have received your I-20 or DS-2019. The U.S. consulate will not issue a student visa until 120 days before the start of your intended program.
  7. Obtain a passport-sized photo less than six months old. This photo must fulfill the following requirements: 2”x2” square dimensions against a light background showing your full face (no head coverings). 
  8. Prepare for your interview appointment. Read NAFSA’s “10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Student Visa” for some tips.
  9. Arrive at the U.S. consulate or embassy on time and well-prepared. 
    • Dress appropriately. Women: dress, skirt or slacks. Men: shirt, tie, dress pants.
    • Be polite. Greet the official appropriately (“Good morning, sir/ma'am”) and SMILE!
    • Organize your papers. Have all of your required documents in a folder so you do not waste time looking for things.
    • Answer only when asked. Give answers only to the questions asked and do NOT provide any additional information unless requested.
What to Bring to Your Visa Interview
  • Passport. Original and valid for the intended period of study in the United States plus an additional six (6) months.
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019. This is your Certificate of Eligibility form issued by Nazareth University. Be sure you sign the first page!
  • SEVIS fee receipt. Please visit for details.
  • Acceptance letter. Shows the official that you have met the academic requirements of the university and have been accepted based on those qualifications.
  • Bank statement. Original and signed by bank official, marked with official bank stamp.
  • Affidavit of support. Original and signed by sponsor. Shows the official that you have the finances necessary to support you for the first year of your studies.
  • Nazareth University brochure. Shows the official the validity of the university.
  • TOEFL scores. If you have been accepted into a degree program, you must provide proof of your English language proficiency to the official.
  • Proof of non-migratory status. It is crucial that you prove to the official that you are planning to return to your home country upon completion of your studies. Examples include: family commitments, ownership of property, employment, proof of acceptance/attendance at another university.
  • Two (2) passport size photos. 2” x 2” square color photos with a white background showing your full face (no head coverings). Go to for more details.
  • Completed visa application. Fill out the visa application upon your arrival at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for your visa interview.
  • Application fee. Upon the completion of your visa interview, you will be charged a non-refundable application fee (varies according to location).

Your application for your F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor visa is made at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over your place of legal permanent residence. Without any unusual circumstances, your visa will be issued within a few hours to a few days of application. A visa is not a guarantee of entrance into the United States. The Immigration and Naturalization Service has the authority to deny admission at the Port of Entry.

Visa Denials

If your visa application is denied, you should request a written explanation from the Consulate or Embassy that details the reason(s) for the denial. You may reapply for a visa; however, you should NOT resubmit your original application. Your second application should have updated information that addresses the issue(s) behind the previous denial.

How to Maintain Your Visa Status

While studying in the United States, it is important to maintain your student visa status. Your visa states that you are coming to the United States to study. You should not consider any action that detracts from that purpose. 

Arrival Information

New international students are required to attend an orientation session that is held one or two days before the start of every semester. This mandatory orientation will prepare you for your time spent at Nazareth and the United States.

For students living on campus, Nazareth provides free transportation to and from Rochester’s airport, train, and bus stations during arrival week (during select hours). If you will need a ride to campus, you must fill out the arrival form at least two weeks before your date of arrival. Be sure to schedule your arrival to Rochester, New York (ROC) as University transportation is not available from New York City, Syracuse, or Buffalo.


Undergraduate exchange students, freshman, and sophomores are required to live on campus in one of our ten dormitories. Nazareth has a wide variety of residence hall choices, from bright modern to cozy traditional. We also have Shared-Interest Communities where students may apply for housing options based on common interests, goals, and tastes in order to make connections and new friendships with classmates.

A specialty housing option available is Global Commons where international students live side by side with students from the U.S. to learn more about each other and allow greater opportunities for cross-cultural exchange.

Additional information for incoming students may be found on the Residential Life website. Please note: The CIE does not make housing selections for international students nor can we guarantee your selections will be granted; housing is assigned by Residential Life staff.

Graduate students, are you looking for roommates for off-campus housing? You can connect with other Nazareth graduate students through the Graduate Students & Alumni Community page on Nazareth’s FlyerConnect networking website.

Meal Plan

Resident Students: Meal plans are required for students living on-campus (excluding the apartments). International students living on-campus are automatically enrolled in "Freedom Naz" meal plans - this may only be reduced to a minimum of 15 meals per week (Naz 225 meal plan).

Commuters, Graduate Students, and Resident Students Living in Campus Apartments: Have the option of choosing a meal plan on a voluntary basis.

Each meal plan also comes with "bonus dollars" that can be used in the retail locations and/or the dining halls. Bonus dollars carry over from fall semester to spring semester; however, they must be redeemed by the end of the academic school year or they are forfeited.

Central Mail Services

Students can pick up mail and packages, purchase stamps, or ship packages in Central Mail Services, Shults 23.

How do I address mail/packages to a student?

Student name
Central Mail Services
Nazareth University
4245 East Ave
Rochester NY 14618

Campus Facilities

Nazareth has many services and facilities available to students. Our entire campus has free WiFi and cable TV access. Free printing is also available in our computer labs. Nazareth’s Lorette Wilmot Library is affiliated with the national Inter-Library Loan program (ILLiad) which allows current students to access periodicals, textbooks, etc. from across the United States. We have twenty-four intercollegiate sports teams that compete at the Division III level. Our athletic facilities, including a pool and a fitness center, are available to all students.

Cell Phones

Two-Year cell phone contracts are the most common contracts in the United States and are great options for long-term, matriculated students. Contract plans offer lower monthly rates and very low prices on new phones compared to pay-as-you-go and prepaid plans. While the rates are lower, ending a contract early requires you to pay a large penalty fee. These plans also require a credit history review and/or a Social Security number.

Pay-As-You-Go or Prepaid Plans are the easiest cell phone plans for short-term international students to obtain. These plans use the same cell phone networks and offer the same services that contract plans do but at higher rates. However, there are no long-term contracts, security deposits, or penalties for cancellation. If you are here with family members or close friends, a Family Plan can reduce your monthly costs.

If needed and if available, the CIE will provide one free SIM card per semester. 


Public Transportation (RTS)

RTS bus rides to/from campus (Arts Center) are free for students, faculty, and staff with your Nazareth ID from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. It's $1 at all other times. RTS schedule and routes are updated annually. Visit downtown Rochester, shop at Wegmans grocery store or Eastview Mall!


Taxis provide quick access to shopping malls and areas not reachable by bus. Most taxis are available 24/7 but it is wise to schedule early morning/late night pick-ups ahead of time. Keep in mind that taxis are generally more expensive compared to international cities. Most commonly used providers are Uber and Lyft.


Bikes are available to rent for free from Bikes@Naz with a valid Nazareth ID. Snow shoes and cross country skis are also available during the winter. Rochester is a very bike-friendly city with miles of beautiful, easy access trails.

On-Campus Parking

If you plan to drive to/from campus or expect visitor's, please adhere to Campus Safety's Parking and Transportation guidelines and refer to the campus maps provided for designated parking areas.

New York State Driver’s License

If you have a current International Driver’s License and your home country driver’s license in your possession, you can legally drive in New York State. However, if you will be driving regularly for an extended period of time, it is advisable to obtain a New York State driver’s license even if your international license is still valid.

To get a New York State driver’s license, you should go to a local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. 

Travel In & Outside of U.S.

Inform the CIE every time you travel outside of the Rochester area by filling out the online Travel Form. We need to know where you are at all times in case of an emergency and for your own safety. Please provide the CIE with your travel details - when you will leave and return, where you will stay, and how we may contact you there. Be sure to keep your documents (passport, I-20/DS-2019) in a safe place and do not put them in your checked baggage.

When traveling outside of the United States, you will need to have the proper documents to return. If you are thinking of leaving the United States for any reason (even to go to Canada), you must consult CIE staff so that we can check to make sure you have all the proper documents. Be sure to check with the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa to visit that country. In order to reenter the U.S., you will need a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 from a Designated School Official or Responsible Officer in the CIE. This signature will be valid for six months (J visas) or one year (F visas) after the signed date.

Social Security

If you plan to work in the United States, you must have a social security number for tax purposes. Your social security number is used to keep track of your payroll earnings, income taxes, interest earned, etc. DO NOT share this number with anyone other than Payroll and CIE.

To get a social security number, you must:

  • Be a full-time student at Nazareth University
  • Be in legal F-1 or J-1 status
  • Be offered a part-time job on campus
  • Obtain a letter from the CIE and your employer
  • Complete the application for a social security card
  • Bring the following documents with you to the Social Security Administration Office:
    • Passport;
    • I-20/DS-2019;
    • Most recent I-94;
    • Letter from the CIE;
    • Letter from employer; and,
    • Completed social security application

The CIE will provide transportation to the Social Security Administration Office at the beginning of each semester for those students who need to apply, if available.

Banking & Tax Information

The basic unit of currency in the United States is the dollar (USD). All paper currency is the same size and generally the same color(s), but are of different value: $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, etc. Coins make up values smaller than the dollar: penny (1 cent), nickel (5 cents), dime (10 cents), quarter (25 cents), etc. 

It is neither practical nor safe to carry large amounts of cash with you. Thus, upon your arrival in the United States, you should consider opening a bank account if you will be at Nazareth for more than one semester. There are two different account types that most U.S. banks offer: Checking or Savings.


Automated Teller Machines (or ATMs) allow you to make withdrawals and deposits, as well as check your current account balance. The bank will issue you a plastic card with a personal identification number (or PIN) that you choose. Do NOT share this number with anyone else. Usually banks will not charge extra fees when you are using your bank’s ATM. However, when you use an ATM in a store or at another bank, you may be charged an extra transaction fee. For your convenience, there is an M&T Bank ATM located on campus.

Tax Information

All international students and scholars in the United States are required to file Form 8843 with U.S. Income Revenue Service (IRS) regardless of income, duration of stay, or participant program. 

If you have U.S. income other than bank interest, you may be required to file a federal income tax return. There will be a one-time free tax workshop offered during the spring semester to guide you through the filing process. You may also use an online service to file your tax return for a fee or for free - see what options are available to you. 

Failure to file tax forms can result in future immigration consequences. For example, applicants for permanent residency “green cards” and work visas are frequently asked to show proof of previous tax filing in the U.S.

Plan ahead to identify your tax withholding using a Withholding Calculator to make sure you have the right amount of tax withheld from your paycheck at work.

Please Note: The CIE and University personnel cannot advise you on completing new hire and/or tax documents; it is best to consult a tax professional. 

Paying Tuition

Option 1: Online Payment by Credit or Debit Card, or by Bank Transfer

Nazareth University has partnered with Flywire to offer an innovative and streamlined way to make international tuition payments. Flywire’s mission is to save international students and their families money that would otherwise be lost on bank fees and unfavorable foreign exchange rates. With Flywire, you are offered excellent foreign exchange rates, allowing you to pay in your home currency (in most cases). You will need your Nazareth ID Number to complete your payment.

Option 2: Payment In-Person

Tuition, Room and Board, and Student Activity fees can be paid in cash or traveler’s checks at the Student Accounts Office (Smyth 44) during the first week of class.

*Note: a late fee will be applied to your account if payment is not received prior to the end of the first week of class without a prior promissory note.

Health Insurance

Nazareth University and the U.S. Department of State require all F-1 international students and J-1 exchange visitors (as well as any accompanying dependents) to obtain health insurance recognized in the United States for the duration of their stay.

When looking for a health insurance plan, ensure that it has the following minimum coverage:

  1. Major medical benefits must be at least $100,000 for each accidental illness
  2. Repatriation benefits must be at least $25,000
  3. Medical evacuation must be covered for at least $50,000
  4. Deductible for each accident or illness may not exceed $500
  5. Policy may not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program

Possible options to obtain health insurance include, but are not limited to:


*If you find another company, the insurance plan you select must be underwritten by an insurance carrier that is reputable. In addition, if you purchase health insurance in your country of origin, oftentimes you will have to pay all expenses upfront while in the U.S. and may only be reimbursed upon your return. This can be incredibly costly and complicated!

Immunization Records

Prior to arrival, all new students are required to provide their health history, immunization dates, proof of receiving the meningitis vaccine or signed waiver, and health insurance information into Nazareth's Student Health Portal.

If you are unable to access the health portal prior to arrival, please complete the following Immunization Record and send it to the Assistant Director in the CIE via email attachment or bring it with you the day of orientation. 

Campus & Emergency Medical Services

Health & Counseling Services

Nazareth's Health & Counseling Services offers primary care health and counseling services to all students. 

There is no fee at Health Services for undergraduate students. Graduate students will have to pay either $15 per visit or $50 a semester for services. All students are responsible for off-site lab fees incurred in association with care received at Health Services. Services are not available for Scholars, Visitors or dependents.

All contact with Health Services is strictly confidential. Medical information can be released only with students’ written permission.

Urgent Care Centers

If you have a more urgent medical issue for an acute injury or illness, you will need to go to a different medical facility such as an urgent care center. Local options may include, but are not limited to:

*Call ahead to make sure they will accept your insurance.

Hospital Emergency Departments

For immediate and urgent medical care for more severe injuries or illnesses, you will need to go to a hospital. Local options include the following:

  • Strong Memorial Hospital
  • Highland Hospital
  • Rochester General Hospital
  • Unity Hospital

Emergencies On-Campus

If you are on campus and require immediate assistance and/or medical attention, contact Campus Safety (lower level of Shults) at 585-389-2850. The office is open 24/7 and will dispatch the appropriate authorities (ambulance, police, fire department).

Blue light courtesy phones are strategically located throughout campus. These phones dial directly to Campus Safety and indicate the caller’s exact location. Students are encouraged to use these phones to request information, escorts, motorist assistance, or to report suspicious conditions and emergencies.

All students may choose to download Campus Safety's free Safe@Naz app. All students are included in NazAlert - a centralized notification system that will notify you through your cell phone and/or email if an emergency occurs on campus.

Nazareth’s Lost and Found is also located in Campus Safety. If you lose an item on campus, please contact Campus Safety.

Emergencies Off-Campus

If you are off campus and require immediate assistance and/or medical attention, dial 911. This is an emergency number which will immediately connect you with trained professionals who will dispatch the appropriate authorities (ambulance, police, fire department).


International undergraduate and exchange students are welcome and encouraged to participate in any club that interests them. Joining a club is an excellent way to meet American students who share similar interests, and to learn more about campus and the local community. Please visit the Clubs and Organizations page to learn more - and be sure to attend the Engagement Fair at the beginning of the year.

Culture Shock & Sources of Support

One of the most common challenges international students face is dealing with culture shock. This is a feeling of disorientation many people experience when adjusting to an entirely new way of life. People may have different values and new ways of doing things that seem strange to you. Remember that everything you’re feeling is completely normal. We are here to help you deal with culture shock and make the most of your experience abroad.


Make sure you’re familiar with the typical symptoms of culture shock so you can recognize and overcome it early on. These symptoms generally include:

  • Loneliness, homesickness
  • Insomnia or excessive sleep
  • Preoccupation with health & food
  • Loss of identity
  • Lack of confidence
  • Changes in mood, depression, feeling vulnerable
  • Anger, irritability, resentment
  • Feelings of being lost, helplessness

Stages of Culture Shock

  1. Honeymoon: Everything you experience is new, exciting, and positive.
  2. Crisis: The excitement is gone, differences begin to emerge, and you may experience genuine difficulties in coping. You may become critical or negative towards these differences in culture.
  3. Recovery: Things begin to improve and differences start to make sense. You make friends and begin to accept different ways of doing things.
  4. At Home: You overcome your earlier fears and adjust more positively to life abroad while at the same time recognizing its inadequacies; you may not always approve of how things are done but you learn to understand and accept these differences.

Helpful Campus Resources

  • Health and Counseling Services provides confidential counseling for all kinds of emotional adjustment issues, including culture shock.
  • The Center for Student Success provides Success Coaching and Tutoring for students who may need and/or want assistance with time management strategies or additional tutoring of classroom content. 
  • Student Accessibility Services provides accessibility to students with documented disabilities through advocacy, counseling, and connecting them with campus and community resources.
  • CIE staff are happy to speak with you about the difficulties you are experiencing, and to help interpret cultural differences.
  • Your RA (Resident Assistant) on campus is also a good resource and can introduce you to other people in your residence hall, provide ideas for involvement in on-campus activities, assist with roommate conflicts, and be a friend.
  • Conversation Partner Program (CPP): Coordinated by the ELI, the CPP pairs Nazareth international students with native English-speaking volunteers. Gain confidence in conversation English, adjust to life in the U.S., and learn about Nazareth while building cultural and lingual understanding and lasting global friendships. 
  • Campus Safety is available 24/7 to assist in times of need.
Family Resources

Many international students have families that come with them to the United States while they pursue their studies at Nazareth. You are required to report your dependent(s) arrival in the U.S. and their local residential address to the CIE.

Employment for Dependents

F-2 visa holders, or the dependents of an F-1 student, are not permitted to work.

J-2 visa holders, or the dependents of a J-1 exchange visitor, may be allowed to work by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when the earnings will be used for the support of the dependent spouse and children - not for the support of the exchange visitor (J-1). To apply for employment permission, contact the CIE.

Study for Dependents

F-2 spouses are not allowed to engage in full-time study in U.S. However, F-2 children may attend elementary and secondary schools (K-12) during their stay in the U.S. F-2 spouses and children over 18 are only allowed to participate in courses that are part-time.

If your F-2 dependent wants to pursue their full-time studies in the U.S., contact the CIE to learn about the process of a change of visa status to F-1.

All J-2 dependents may pursue a full course of study in any level/program that they gain admission to.

School-Age Children (K-12)

Families with school-age children should bring all previous academic and immunization records. Before your child can be enrolled in school, records of immunization must be shown. Otherwise, your child will be required to receive required immunizations prior to enrollment. Your child will be assigned to a public school according to the location of your local address. 

Returning Home: Grace Periods

Two weeks before the end of every semester, the CIE will send an online departure form to all international students living on campus. You must complete this form prior to the last day of class to inform us of the details of your departure. *We will also send housing break forms for winter and/or summer break plans for students who plan to return to continue their studies.

During select hours, the CIE provides free transportation to the airport/bus/train station the day after residence halls officially close to all on-campus international students who will not be returning to Nazareth. Students who will be returning the following semester may sign up for the Nazareth shuttle or take a taxi to their departure site.

Before you leave the United States, you must close any and all U.S. bank accounts and cell phone plans. Also remember to cancel all auto-charge subscriptions such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. You are responsible for paying any charge that is applied to your account in addition to any remaining academic and/or medical balances, even if you are no longer in the U.S.

To ensure you receive your transcript, remember to pay any outstanding library and/or parking fines.

Grace Period

Every F and J student has a set number of days upon the completion of their program to leave the United States. Please keep the following deadlines in mind when making your departure plans:

  • All F visa holders have 60 days after the completion of the program to leave the United States.
  • All J visa holders have 30 days after the completion of the program to leave the United States.