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First-Year FAQs

First-Year FAQ

When can I move into my dorm?

As soon as you check in for the early orientation you will receive the key to your room and be on the College meal plan.

Can my parents come to the orientation?

A reception and question-and-answer session will be offered in the late afternoon on the first day of International Orientation. At the all-College orientation, there is also a meeting for parents.

What if I have special health needs?

Casey Anderson, the director of Worth Health Center, will be able to answer health- and insurance-related questions.

How early can I come? What is a nonimmigrant?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will not permit you to enter the U.S. until 30 days before the College start date on your I-20 form. The College has no facilities open for you until the International Orientation date.

A nonimmigrant is someone coming to the U.S. for a temporary stay. Students with an F-1 or J-1 visa are considered nonimmigrants. A permanent resident ("green card" holder) is considered an immigrant.

What kind of clothes should I bring?

Light-weight clothes are usually worn during the early fall days, but heavier clothes and coats or jackets are needed for the late fall and winter months.

How safe is it?

The Department of Public Safety maintains security and safety for the College community. The department is open 24 hours a day and provides uniformed patrol of campus buildings and grounds.

Will there be an opportunity to shop?

We will have a College van available during the international orientation to drive you to some near-by favorite places to shop. The Swarthmore Campus and Community Store provides many items that you may need.

What kind of international students are enrolled?

There are approximately 209 international students with non-immigrant visas. If the permanent residents and dual citizens are included, the number rises to over 403. Among the non-immigrant students alone, there are approximately 53 countries represented.