INCOMING EXCHANGE STUDENT GUIDEBOOK SPRING 2022
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WELCOME Congratulations on your acceptance to Washington University in St. Louis as an exchange student! We are confident you will have a productive and enjoyable semester or year in St. Louis. Adjusting to a new culture while beginning a demanding academic program of study can be very challenging. We encourage you to read this entire guidebook as it is intended to provide you with important and practical information you need to prepare for your time at WashU. Additionally, please read all emails sent to you from WashU so you don’t miss any important information or deadlines. Here are the main offices and contacts available to support you: 1. Academic Divisions: Each academic division has an exchange adviser to support you during your time at WashU. • College of Arts & Sciences: Dr. Amy Suelzer
firstname.lastname@example.org • McKelvey School of Engineering: Melanie Osborn email@example.com • Olin Business School: Sara Stratton firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS): OISS is available to support you with immigration advising, academics, and support as you get to know Washington University, St. Louis and the United States. email@example.com
3. First Year Center (FYC): FYC hosts a Winter Welcome orientation when you arrive on campus, and is available for support related to orientation, as well as your transition in general. firstname.lastname@example.org
South 40 in Umrath House, Lower Level, Suite 0925
CON T E NTS Important Dates ............................................................
Visa and Immigration Documents ..............................
Housing Option Considerations .................................
Registering for Classes .............................................
Preparing to Study at WashU ....................................
Arrival and Orientation ..............................................
Student ID ...............................................................
Health and Well-Being ..............................................
Disability Accommodations ......................................
Getting Involved .......................................................
About St. Louis .........................................................
Packing List ..............................................................
IMPORTANT DATES Spring 2022 Exchange Student Arrival
Spring Meal Plans Begin
Martin Luther King Holiday (no classes)
First Day of Class
Spring Break (no classes)
Last Day of Class
Reading Period and Final Exams Begin
Final Exams End
Spring Meal Plans End
Last Day to Check-Out of On-Campus Housing
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BEFORE YOU ARRIVE VISA AND IMMIGRATION DOCUMENTS We encourage you to begin researching the process to apply for your visa as soon as possible. Below is a brief overview of the process and documents you will need to travel to the U.S. • As an exchange student at WashU, you will need to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa at the nearest U.S. consulate in your home country. It is your responsibility to gather information about the process for seeking a student visa in your home country. • To apply for your J-1 entry visa, you will need a DS-2019 • WashU Overseas Program and OISS will prepare this document and send it to your home school’s exchange program • Typically, this takes 4-6 weeks after you are notified of your acceptance • You will also need to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee before your visa interview
• Helpful Links: • WashU Office of International Students and Scholars- Information from WashU about applying for a visa • U.S. Department of State- Information regarding visa categories, application process, and timelines • U.S. Embassy- Links to all U.S. consulates with specific information based on country
Documents you should carry on your person while traveling to the U.S (Do not pack these in your luggage; you will need to access them before retrieving your luggage): • Valid passport (including attached envelope of immigration documents provided by Embassy or Consulate) with J-1 entry visa stamp • DS-2019 • Receipt Notice or Internet Receipt verifying SEVIS fee payment • Evidence of financial resources • Name and contact information for WashU Overseas Programs
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HOUSING Where you will live while studying at WashU is an important decision. WashU Residential Life (Res Life) offers a variety of housing options for exchange students. Below are the most chosen options. • Traditional residential college communities located on the South 40. Consisting mostly of single and double rooms. • Residential communities on campus on the Northside in the following residence halls: Village, Village East apartments, and Millbrook apartments. • Residential communities in off-campus apartments located in the Lofts, Washington Avenue, Greenway, and Rosedale apartments.
To view more information about housing, visit the Residential Life website. When it’s time, you can apply for WashU housing through WebSTAC. If you have questions about Residential Life housing or the application, please contact their office by email at email@example.com or by phone at (314) 935 –5050.
Sublease a Leased Apartment You also have the option of subleasing a leased apartment through Quadrangle, a company owned by WashU or an independent property owner. To find apartments available for sublease, search through the WashU Apartment Referral Service.
TIP! Some apartments may be completely or partially furnished. Be sure to inquire about furnishing if needed.
Lease an Apartment through Quadrangle Though this option is primarily for graduate students, opportunities may be available for undergraduate students if there are apartments available. To locate Quadrangle apartments available for lease, visit the Quadrangle website.
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TIP! When searching for apartments, be sure to check if the price includes the cost of utilities or not.
Alternative Options Some students have found accommodations owned by other property companies such as Parallel Properties or local property owners.
TIP! Be sure to ask detailed questions about the conditions, financial obligation, and terms of rental. Selecting this type of housing means that Washington University can offer no assistance with any issues that you may encounter.
HOUSING OPTION CONSIDERATIONS The three most commonly chosen housing options are living in university housing, subleasing an off-campus apartment, and leasing an apartment through Quadrangle. Each option has advantages, and things to consider before deciding.
UNIVERSITY HOUSING MANAGED BY THE OFFICE OF RESIDENTIAL LIFE
ADVANTAGES TO LIVING IN RESIDENTIAL LIFE HOUSING ARE: • All-inclusive fee that covers rent, utilities, maintenance, and furniture • Living on or near campus ensures easy access to student facilities and activities • Near main transportation routes for the Metro and the campus shuttle • Housing fees paid through WashU billing service
CONSIDERATIONS FOR LIVING IN RESIDENTIAL LIFE HOUSING ARE: • May not be financially feasible based on individual budget • Residential Life managed housing serves undergraduate students
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SUBLEASING A LEASED APARTMENT OFF-CAMPUS
ADVANTAGES TO SUBLEASING A LEASED APARTMENT ARE: • More economical options may be available • Utilities are already established by leasing tenant
CONSIDERATIONS FOR SUBLEASING A LEASED APARTMENT ARE: • The apartment may or may not be furnished • You may be subleasing someone’s room in a shared apartment • You will want to make sure to discuss compatibility with potential roommates • You may be responsible for utility payments after leaving the U.S. if living by yourself
LEASING AN APARTMENT THROUGH QUADRANGLE LEASING COMPANY ADVANTAGES TO LEASING AN APARTMENT ARE: • Quadrangle apartments are near main transportation routes for the Metro and campus shuttles close to main campus • You will be able to lease an apartment for a shorter term of January to May • Tenants/Occupants will be WashU undergraduate and graduate students • Quadrangle leasing company accepts credit cards
CONSIDERATIONS FOR LEASING AN APARTMENT ARE: • You will need to supply your own furniture for most apartments • If utilities are not included, you will be responsible for establishing utility service. International students may want to give themselves extra time if considering leasing to set up their utility needs due to international student status
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REGISTERING FOR CLASSES • View Courses: You can view Course Listings by selecting your semester of study and academic school. • Course Credits: Most WashU courses are 3 credits, with some exceptions. Most students take between 12-17 credits a semester. Confirm your academic requirements with your home university. A minimum of 12 credits are required. • Course Levels: In many disciplines, 100-and 200-level courses tend to be broad and suitable to students with a range of experience, while 300-and 400-level classes assume background in the topic. Take course levels, your experience, and requirements into consideration when searching for courses. • Registration: If you wish for WashU to register you for classes, send your WashU exchange adviser your course preferences by the deadline they give you. If you wish to register yourself, you will register for classes using WebSTAC. Your WashU exchange adviser will provide you with specific information about registration days and times.
PREPARING TO STUDY AT WASHU • Setup Your WUSTL Key: The University Registrar will send you the “Getting Started at Washington University” email, with instructions on activating your WUSTL Key. Your WUSTL Key will be your login and password to most university systems. • WashU Email Account: Once you set up your WUSTL Key, a WashU email will be automatically created for you through Microsoft Office 365. You will be able to log in to this email using your WUSTL Key. For more information about setting up and accessing your email, visit Information Technology. It is very important to regularly check this email for all important university updates. • WebSTAC: This is WashU’s online student information system. You will use WebSTAC to add and drop classes, check grades, access unofficial transcripts, interact with dining services, and more. Visit WebSTAC.
ARRIVAL AND ORIENTATION ARRIVAL • You must arrive prior to January 13th. Move-in for students living in Residential life housing will be on January 12th. On-campus housing will not be available for students arriving prior to the 12th. If you arrive early, you will need to arrange housing at a nearby hotel. • We strongly encourage students to fly into St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL), which is only a 15-minute drive from campus. • Transportation from the St. Louis-Lambert Airport to Washington University: • Taxi: Taxis are available 24 hours a day. Cost to WashU is about $30-$40, plus a 15-20% tip. • Ride Sharing Apps: The Uber and Lyft mobile apps allow you to request a ride through your phone, provided by drivers using their own cars. You must download the apps in advance. • MetroLink: The MetroLink light rail system has two stations on the Danforth Campus, as well as two stations near campus. If you take MetroLink, be sure to check the most convenient stop for you. Campus maps are available.
WINTER WELCOME: JANUARY 13TH-JANUARY 16TH • You will participate in Winter Welcome upon arriving. This is a four-day orientation program hosted by the First Year Center. • What to expect: During Winter Welcome, you will get to know campus, learn about the resources available to support you, socialize with other exchange students, and more! You will receive a schedule for Winter Welcome closer to your arrival.
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WASHU RESOURCES STUDENT ID You will use your ID to access various buildings, make meal purchases, check out books from the library, and more. You can learn more by visiting Campus Card Services. Below are the steps for receiving your Student ID.
1. Submit Photo: You must submit a picture of yourself against a blank background, with no editing or filters. Upload the picture.
2. Visit Campus Card Services: You will pick up your ID at Campus Card Services, located in the Women’s Building, Room 002.
3. What to Bring: You will need to know your six-digit WashU student number, and bring a government photo ID, such as a passport, with you to pick up your ID.
4. Get Started: Learn more about your student ID. You will need to activate your Bear Bucks account in order to make purchases.
DINING • Meal Plan: All undergraduate students are required to purchase a meal plan. WashU offers a wide variety of dining options. Visit Dining Services’ website to learn about meal plan options. • Meal plans run from January 14th to May 11th. • All dining options on campus are declining balance, meaning you will use your meal points to pay for each item by the price indicated. There are no swipes or all-you-care-to-eat meals on campus. If you run out of meal points at any point during the semester you can add Bear Bucks to continue using your campus card at dining location. • Bear Bucks: Bear Bucks is a cashless system on the WashU ID Card that allows you to make purchases on and off campus, such as meals, laundry, vending, and printing. You can add more Bear Bucks to your card throughout the semester. For more information about the Bear Bucks system, visit the Campus Card Services.
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BILLING • Paperless Billing: WashU uses a paperless billing system, so all statements will be available on WebSTAC. The secure eBilling service will send an email to your WashU email account whenever a new monthly statement is ready. Students are responsible for making sure their accounts are paid in full by the due date to avoid late fees. • Third Party Access: If you would like someone else to be able to view or pay your bill, you will need to give them access by going to the Billing tab of WebSTAC and adding a new contact under “Payers.” • Enrollment Deposit: All undergraduate students, including exhange students, are required to pay a non refundable enrollment deposit upon admission to WashU. The enrollment deposit for exchange students is $500. This enrollment deposit covers costs for Fall/Winter Welcome, the new student orientation program, additional orientation experiences for international students, and programming offered for exchange students throughout the semester such as local excursions and holiday celebrations. • For detailed instructions and more information regarding billing, visit Financial Services.
HEALTH & WELLNESS • Health Insurance: The cost of medical treatment in the U.S. is extremely high. Thus, WashU has a mandatory health insurance program. All students are automatically enrolled in the WashU health insurance plan and billed for the cost of insurance. Even if you have insurance in your home country, you are still required to purchase WashU’s health insurance. Learn more about insurance requirements. • Student Health Fee: You will be charged a Student Health Fee that will allow you access to many resources, including medical and mental health services at Habif, health promotion events, and the Sumers Recreation Center.
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• Mandatory Health History Form and Immunizations: You are required to complete several online forms, submit a medical/health history, immunizations, COVID-19 vaccination, influenza vaccination, and TB test results for students coming from countries with endemic tuberculosis. This information must be uploaded to the Student Portal prior to arrival on campus. Learn more about immunization requirements. • Habif Health & Wellness Center: Located on campus, Habif offers a range of services including medical checkups, mental health services, wellness support, education, and more, at a reasonable cost. Any condition requiring specialized medical services will be referred to an appropriate community specialist. Charges for services will be based on the rates dictated in the health insurance policy. You can make an appointment through your student health portal or by calling 314-935-6666.
DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS • If you receive academic accommodations for any learning, mental health, or physical disabilities from your home university, be sure to talk with your academic contact before you arrive to arrange for accommodations at WashU.
GETTING INVOLVED • Washington University has more than 450 on-campus student groups/chapters catering to a wide range of interests such as performing arts, music, community action, sports, student government, sorority and fraternity life, and more. Getting involved is a great way to explore your interests and make new friends. At the beginning of each semester, the the governing body on campus, Student Union, hosts an Activities Fair to learn more about groups/chapters to join. You can browse on-campus groups.
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ABOUT ST. LOUIS • During your time at WashU, you will get to explore all St. Louis has to offer, such as parks, museums, diverse neighborhoods, and restaurants. You can visit the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to learn more about St. Louis’ culture, transportation, and neighborhoods near campus. • Climate: St. Louis’s climate is temperate, meaning there are four distinct seasons and temperatures can range, on average, from 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius) in the summer and early fall to 20 degrees Farenheit (-6 Celsius) from late fall through winter. You will need clothing for both hot and cold weather. Warm winter clothes, including hats, gloves, and scarves, are essential. St. Louis can be rainy in the spring, so a raincoat, umbrella, and waterproof shoes are also advised. You can purchase any necessary items in St. Louis. • Transportation: St. Louis has a limited metro and bus system to get around town. All WashU students are provided with a free Metro pass. View routes and details on the Metro. To get around campus, you can ride the Danforth Circulator, a bus which runs every twenty minutes in a loop around campus. Some students use bicycles to get around. You can rent a bike on campus or from a bike shop off campus.
PACKING FOR COLLEGE You don’t need to pack your whole room to come to college, but you’ll want to make sure that you have some odds and ends covered. This list isn’t all-inclusive, but there are some things we couldn’t live without once we got here.
YOU SHOULD BRING
YOU SHOULD NOT BRING
Electric Appliances with
Cell Phone and Charger
Gas or Charcoal Grills
Clothes and shoes that can get dirty
(for service projects)
Comforter, Blankets, and Pillows
First Aid Kit
Pets (other than fish)
Hangers, Shoe Rack, and Plastic Hooks
Health Insurance Information Heavy Winter Coat (and a hat and gloves) ID/Driver’s License Iron/Ironing Board Laptop Computer Laundry Bag and Detergent Power Strips and Extension Cords Prescription Medication(s) School Supplies Shampoo and Body Wash Sheets (Twin, Extra Long) Shower Shoes and Shower Caddy Thermometer Towels Trash Can Umbrella
YOU MAY ALSO CONSIDER Bed Raisers Bike and Bike Lock Board Games Cooking Utensils Cups, Plates and Utensils (try using real plates and utensils to reduce paper and plastic waste!) Desk Lamp Dish Soap Dry Erase Board & Markers Extra Shelving Units, Crates, Plastic Containers, Under-bed Storage Bins Microwave Portable Vacuum Postage Stamps Small Fan Small Refrigerator (no larger than 4 cubic feet) Suit and/or Semi-Formal Attire for special events you may attend
In a standard room, you’ll find: XL Twin bed Desk Chair
Dresser Blinds Recycling Bin
TIPS Talk with your roommate(s) prior to packing so you can avoid bringing duplicate items Save the boxes you bring your stuff in for when you have to pack up again in May Memorize your room number and campus box number right away You can do a lot of shopping after you arrive and have seen your room Order items ahead of time from the Bed, Bath & Beyond in your hometown, and pick them up in St. Louis!
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BEFORE YOU ARRIVE CHECKLIST Make sure you complete the following before you arrive at WashU! •
Book your flight to St. Louis, arriving before January 13th
Apply for J-1 entry visa
Pay I-901 SEVIS Fee
Select a meal plan option
Pay enrollment deposit
Activate your WUSTL Key
Enroll in DUO two-factor authentication
Activate your WashU email account
Review and edit your WebSTAC User Profile
Connect with Disability Resources if you require accommodations
Complete the Academic Integrity module
Complete the Title IX module
Send a picture of yourself to Campus Card Services for your Student ID
Register for classes during your assigned registration time
Complete your Habif Health and Wellness Center requirements including health history and vaccination/immunization documentation (including your COVID-19 vaccination)
Transfer your medical records and prescriptions to the Habif Health & Wellness Center and make arrangements for treatment
Check your housing assignment
Sign up for a U-Pass, a free transit card for St. Louis public transportation
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This book was created by THE FIRST YEAR CENTER Campus Box 1136 MSC 1136-332-21 One Brookings Drive St. Louis, MO 63130-4899 newstudents.wustl.edu (314) 935-5040