International student orientation for the fall of 2019 will be August 18-19. If you are planning to participate in orientation and want to be picked up from the airport, plan to arrive on August 17 or 18. The nearest airport is Dulles International Airport (code: IAD).
- Apply for a visa. Once you’ve been admitted to the university, we will send you instructions on how to do this.
- Buy your plane ticket. Do this after you’ve gotten your visa. Plan to arrive in time for orientation. Note: The program end date on your I-20 or DS-2019 is the last day of classes, but your exams might be over sooner; you can also legally stay in the U.S. 30 days past your program end date.
- Make financial arrangements to pay your bills. Your bill for each semester is due two weeks prior to the start of the term.
- Submit your housing application if you are living on campus. (Note: Exchange students don’t have to pay the tuition deposit, but do have to pay the $100 housing deposit.)
- Complete your health form and mail it to the Wilkins Wellness Center. You can find the form here, under “Health & Insurance Requirements.” If you need additional shots or a physical, we recommend getting this done at home, before you depart.
- Purchase health insurance. Degree-seeking students are required to purchase the university plan, unless they have a comparable or better plan.
- Pack a variety of clothing. Summers in Virginia (June-September) can be hot and muggy, winters (December- February) are generally cold, and autumn and spring are mild. It usually rains several days each month. Average high temperatures: Summer: 24-32° Celsius Winter: -1-10° Celsius Spring/autumn: 15-21° Celsius
- Collect and organize your immigration documents. If you are entering the U.S. to start your term, put your documents in your carry-on (hand) luggage. U.S. Customs & Border Protection does not accept electronic versions of immigration paperwork.
Outside of major urban areas, most people in the U.S. rely entirely on private cars, and Winchester is no different.
Getting around campus: Shenandoah University’s campus is very walkable, and shuttles run from the residence halls that are farther away from the main campus.
Getting around Winchester: The city of Winchester is small, and it’s only about three miles from one end to the other. Winchester’s bus system, Win Tran, runs Monday through Saturday and stops once per hour. Some students also choose to bicycle.
Getting in and out of Winchester: There is no public transportation in and out of the city. The university runs shuttles at breaks to Dulles International Airport and the Washington, D.C. metro.
The nearest train station is in Martinsburg, West Virginia, about 35 minutes from campus. You can also arrange for a private driver; local companies include AES Limo Service and Elite Chauffeur Service. Call for estimates.