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Graduate Students/Exchange Students Living Off Campus

  • Secure transitional housing (if necessary).
  • Report to your academic department and complete registration procedures. Your department may have other tasks for you and should also be able to give you your student ID number and email user ID, if ready.
  • Get your student ID card at the Hub on the ground floor of Warner Hall or from your academic department. You will need your student ID number to do this. If you do not know it, your department will be able to provide this information. If you are enrolled for the current semester, your ID should have a small picture of a bus allowing you to ride the public transportation free.
  • Attend Graduate Student Orientation. You will receive essential information and assistance in getting settled. Orientation is a rare opportunity to meet students from across campus and around the world. It’s also an opportunity to meet staff from a variety of Carnegie Mellon offices.
  • Complete mandatory immigration check-in. This should be completed during orientation. Please bring your immigration documents (I-20/DS-2019, passport and I-94 card). If you arrive after the main orientation program, you MUST complete a 1.5 hour mini-orientation in the Office of International Education. Call 412-268-5231 to sign up.
  • Immigration check-in must be completed by the end of the first week of classes or you will lose your legal nonimmigrant status in the U.S.!
  • Find off-campus housing. Review the information here and with the Carnegie Mellon Community Housing Office on finding off-campus housing that meets your specific needs and preferences. If you arrive early, be sure to visit the Community Housing Office on the first floor of Morewood Gardens E-Tower, tel: (412) 268-4990.
  • Open a bank account. When you attend international student orientation you will receive detailed information on the many full service banks close to campus. In the meantime, check out the following web sites:
  • Take into consideration services and fees associated with checking and savings accounts, interest rates, wire transfer fees, ATM machine access, credit and debit card availability, as well as telephone and web banking. You may not want to open an account until you have secured housing as proximity to your residence is also an important consideration.
  • Buy health insurance for yourself and dependents, if you do not already have it. Health insurance is required by the university and is a necessity in the U.S. because the cost of routine and emergency health care is extremely expensive. For more information visit the Health Services web site.
  • Apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) if you will be employed on campus. A Social Security Number is a type of national identification number that is required for employment in US. You must have an offer of employment to be eligible to apply for an SSN. You must apply in person for a permanent Social Security Number at a Social Security Office. Take your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, I-94 card (found in your passport), and OIE status verification letter. You will also need to provide an address where your new card can be sent. The Social Security Administration recommends that international applicants wait at least 10 (ten) days after arrival in the US before submitting an application for an SSN.

Last Updated On:  April 4, 2014