Frequently Asked Questions:

Travel/Transportation/Arrival:

How do I get to Harrisonburg VA?
There are a number of airports within a 2 hour driving distance from Harrisonburg. Those airports include: Dulles International (IAD), Reagan National (DCA), Charlottesville-Albemarle (CHO), and Shenandoah Regional (SHD). If you need transportation from the airport to Harrisonburg, be sure to inform your contact person at EMU, so arrangements can be made for your arrival. Transportation costs are subject to a nominal fee.
How do I get a drivers license?
When should I arrive in the US?
  • Plan to arrive in time for orientation. Your contact person for EMU will provide an orientation schedule.
  • The United State Citizen and Immigration Services allow F-1 and J-1 visa holders to enter the country no more than 30 days before their program start date (found on the immigration document). However, if you arrive before orientation, you will be responsible for lodging and transportation.
My visa in my passport expires after one year but my immigration document (DS-2019 or I-20) is good for my entire time at EMU. Do I have to leave after one year?
The visa allows you to enter the US. The visa does not stipulate the length of your stay. The length of your stay is dictated by your immigration documents (DS-2019 or I-20). However, to reenter the US, a student/exchange visitor needs a valid visa. Please make sure you see the International Student Advisor before leaving the US.
I am interested in returning home during the break. What do I need to do and how do I get back into the US to continue my program of study.
Every student holds a unique situation, therefore its best to hold the conversation with the International Student Advisor (iss@emu.edu).
I wish to travel to Canada , Mexico, or one of the islands (other than Cuba) adjacent to the United States. Can I return if my visa is expired?
See Immigration Customs Enforcement site for students and exchange visitors

Housing/Living:

Where will I live?
Each program has its expectations of where students will live. Traditional undergraduate students are expected to live in on campus resident halls and graduate students often live in on- or off-campus apartments. Most summer programs provide housing. For details, please contact your admissions person.
What will I do on breaks if I can’t go home?
See our page on campus living

Immigration:

What is the $100 SEVIS fee? Do I have to pay it? How do I pay it?
See Immigration Customs Enforcement site for students and exchange visitors
When is the earliest I can arrive/latest I can stay -with reference to dates on visa?
  • The USCIS allow F-1 and J-1 visa holders to enter the country no more than 30 days before their program start date (found on the immigration document). However, if you arrive before orientation, you will be responsible for lodging and transportation.
  • The USCIS allow F-1 visa holders a 60 day grace period upon completing the program of study. F-1 visa holders are NOT permitted employment or reenter to the US during this grace period.
  • The USCIS allows J-1 visa holders a 30 day grace period upon completing the program of study; provided the program of study was at least 30 days. If the program of study was less than 30 days, the grace period will not exceed the length of the program of study.
Can I bring my family?
See our site on dependents
What additional documents do I need to bring to present at customs?
See Immigration Customs Enforcement site for students and exchange visitors
What sort of visa (F-1 or J-1) do I need?
The admissions person working with your application will determine which visa is most appropriate.
What tips can you offer when applying for my visa?
See NAFSA’s 10 tips
Can I be employed/work while at EMU?
See the employment page
What if I need additional time to complete my program of study?
Additional time maybe granted to complete a program of study, provided there are legitimate reasons for the extension. Please contact the International Student Advisor for additional details.

Health Center and Health Insurance:

What if I get sick?
Is health insurance required?
The business office has information on insurance.
Do I have to purchases EMU’s health insurance (Bollinger)?
Students are not limited to using Bollinger Insurance. Student choosing not to use Bollinger will need to sign a waiver form and show proof of current insurance.
What health forms are required before I come to EMU? Where do I find the Student Health Evaluation form? What immunizations are required?
See the health center

Miscellaneous:

Does Eastern Mennonite University offer financial assistance (scholarships, assistantships, grants, employment) to international students?
Each program of study is different; therefore the admissions person for your program will provide information on any possible financial assistance.
How do I get a social security number?
See our page on Social Security
Do I have to pay taxes? How do I file taxes?
See our page on taxes
How can I get a bank account in the U.S.?
See our page on finances
What is the cost of attending EMU?
See tuition and fees