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Summer Experience

What to Do Before Starting the Summer Experience

  • 1 Apply for Your Visa
  • 2 Submit Your Flight Details
  • 3 Complete Your Required Forms
  • 4 Get Packed!
  • 5 Arrive!
  • After you receive the electronic copy of your I-20, complete the following steps before booking your visa appointment:

    1. Schedule a free visa information and preparation session with a member of our Student Services team. Someone from the team will reach out to you to coordinate this session.
    2. Check that the details on your I-20 are correct (including your date of birth) and make sure your name is the same as it appears on your
    3. Prepare the documents you will need to bring with you to the embassy for your visa interview.

    After you complete the above steps, immediately apply for your visa. The visa application process includes an interview with the U.S. Embassy, which can sometimes take several weeks to schedule.

    1. Complete your Visa Application at state.gov/genniv.
    2. Pay your I-901 (SEVIS)
    3. Visit usembassy.gov to learn more about scheduling your visa appointment, what to expect when you arrive, and the documentation you need to take with you.
    4. Notify your Student Services Advisor of the date and embassy of your visa

    STUDENT VISA CHECKLIST

    Plan to present the following documentation during your visa interview:

    CURRENT, VALID PASSPORT

    Note: Please check the expiration date on your passport. If your passport will expire less than six (6) months from your planned arrival in the United States, is damaged, or you do not have a page for a visa, get a new passport before your interview.

    ONE PHOTOGRAPH

    Supply a two-inch square (51 mm x 51 mm) color photograph, less than six (6) months old, against a white background, with a full front view of your head and shoulders. Please use clear tape to stick your photo to the front cover of your passport.

    DS-160 APPLICATION FORM CONFIRMATION PAGE

    Visit ceac.state.gov/genniv for information and instructions.

    ORIGINAL BANK RECEIPT FOR APPLICATION FEE

    Please glue or tape the application fee receipt onto the bottom of the DS-160 form confirmation page.

    ANY PREVIOUSLY EXPIRED PASSPORTS

    Bring all passports containing all previous U.S. visas, even if expired.

    SEVIS I-901 FEE RECEIPT

    Visit fmjfee.com/i901fee for more information.

    SEVIS FORM I-20

    Bring a properly completed form. It must be signed by both the Designated School Official (DSO) and the

    applicant. The name on the form must match the name in your passport exactly. Visit ice.gov/sevis/students for more information.

    PROOF OF FINANCES

    Supply proof that you can support yourself during your entire stay in the U.S. without working. This is a bank statement and/or letter of support from your sponsor proving the funds that are shown on your form I-20.

    OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS OF RETURNING STUDENTS

    If you have previously studied in the United States, please bring past official transcripts.

    Be prepared to speak about the following during your visa interview:

    ACADEMIC STUDY PLAN

    This includes detailed information about your studies. You may be asked why you chose the university, program and/or major. You may also be asked about your career goals after the program.

    TIES TO HOME COUNTRY

    Prove that you have economic, social, family or other leadership commitments that will help demonstrate your intent to return to your home country after your studies in the United States.

  • When scheduling your travel to Amherst, plan to arrive on or before your scheduled move-in day. You can fly into Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).

    Once you book your flight, visit https://ece.umass.edu/ms/flight/ to enter your flight itinerary and confirm your free airport pickup. You  must submit your flight information  at least two weeks before you depart. This will help the campus team prepare  for your arrival and make your big day go as smoothly as possible.

    Have all immigration documents (please see ‘Important Immigration Documents’ below) readily available during your travel to the United States. Do not pack immigration documents in your checked baggage.

    A friendly greeter will meet you at the airport and bring you to your housing on the UMass Amherst international campus.

    Important Immigration Documents

    Don’t forget to bring all these documents with you when you travel to the U.S.

    • Original and valid passport
    • Original Form(s) I-20
    • F-1 visa (stamped o your passport) / F-2 visa (for dependents)
    • Copies of medical records
    • International driver’s license, if you plan to drive a car as soon as you arrive in the U.S.
    • Original or copy of birth certificate
  • You will need to complete and submit the following form before your arrival:

    Health & Immunization Form: Complete this prior to arrival, as required by law. Visit link to access and complete the form

  • What to Bring 

    Plan to present the following documentation during your visa interview:

    DOCUMENTS

    • Passport
    • Academic transcripts, sealed in an envelope and certified
    • Visa
    • Academic certificates
    • I-20
    • English proficiency test scores
    • Letter of Acceptance
    • Bank Statement
    • SEVIS I-901 Fee Receipt
    • Customs Letter and G-28 Document included in your acceptance packet

    MONEY AND BANKING

    The amount you need to bring will depend on your personal spending habits. We recommend that you bring $250 to $500 USD in cash, plus a Visa or MasterCard issued from a bank in your home country that will work in the United States. A pre-paid credit card will work too.

    WHAT TO WEAR

    Summer at Amherst, Massachusetts can get quite warm with temperatures varying from 63-83˚F (17-28˚C). Consider packing business casual and casual wear appropriate for the summer.

    ELECTRICAL ADAPTER

    U.S. electrical outlets are 120 V with a frequency of 60 Hz.

    PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION

    Keep medication in its original pharmacy packaging in case you are asked questions at customs. Be prepared to present prescriptions from your doctor to immigration officials upon request.

    EMERGENCY INFORMATION

    Please carry your personal emergency contact information and the phone number found in your pre-arrival email from UMass Amherst Global. Store this in your wallet or purse at all times.

    LAPTOP AND CHARGER

    A laptop is required for your study during the summer. Wireless internet service is available on campus.

    REMINDER

    All carry-on liquids and gels must be 3.4 ounces (100 mL) or less by volume in one (1) quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag (tsa.gov/travel/securityscreening/liquids-rule).

    • DO NOT bring any sharp objects, such as scissors or a penknife, as these will be confiscated by TSA airport security.
    • DO NOT pack any food or beverages. You will be able to purchase these items once you pass through security at the airport.

     

  • You must pass through Customs and Border Protection upon arrival in the United States. If you are held up at Customs and Border Protection for any reason upon your arrival, please be sure to give the officer your Customs Letter and G-28 Document that shows support available. If you are also able to call, please contact UMass Amherst Global.

    AIRPORT PICKUP

    We will provide you with a free airport transfer from Boston Logan Airport to the UMass Amherst campus. Your driver will be holding a sign that reads “UMass Amherst Global.”

    If you do not see your greeter within 15 minutes of reaching the Ground Transportation area of Arrivals, please follow these directions:

    Find the nearest public pay phone or use your cell phone and dial the UMass Amherst Global Help Line.

    Once an operator answers, please say “Hello, I’m a UMass Amherst Global student and I can’t find my driver. My name is [say your full name slowly] from [home country name]. I am waiting in Terminal [letter or number] in the Ground Transportation area and wearing [color and description of clothes].” The friendly operator will help find your greeter/driver promptly.

    WHERE TO GO

    Once you arrive on campus, you will be escorted to your residence.

    Reception details and the orientation schedule will be included in your welcome packet upon arrival.

    Housing check-in will be in a pre-arrival email.

Helpful Resources for New Students

This useful brochure is full of information on preparing to begin your studies in the MS Field Degree, including technology requirements, textbook requirements, tuition payments, and program resources.

Check off everything on this list to ensure you are prepared for your first day and know when and where to arrive to campus.

Plan ahead! This calendar tells you when class starts and ends, and when holidays and exams are happening.