Welcome to Virginia Tech!
This webpage is designed to assist you with your preparations for coming to the United States and help you through the first couple of weeks of adjustment and settling down in Blacksburg. We hope that you will find the information on these pages useful and will not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions after looking at the information presented here.
- Contact us by telephone, fax, or e-mail
- Student Guide: Information about required procedures, policies, and life in Blacksburg for all new graduate students.
- General information about Virginia Tech
- Information about the Blacksburg community, education, people, government, health and other issues
- Department of Homeland Security: Provides information for international students who want to study in the U.S.
- Be accepted into an academic program by the academic department and the Graduate School. You will receive the admission letter from the Graduate School.
- Show proof of having sufficient funds to cover all educational and living expenses for the first year.
- Be in legal status, eligible for transfer, if already in the U.S. Submit transfer information form signed by current international student advisor.
- Complete the Immigration Information Form, and provide a copy of your passport ID page.
- Read about the student visa process at the U.S. Department of State website to learn what to expect from the paperwork and the interview.
- Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee at least three days before your visa appointment. Failure to do so will result in a denial of your visa application. You can pay the fee online. If you do not have a credit card, there are instructions for processing by mail or through Western Union. Review our guidelines.
- New international students cannot enter the US more than 30 days before the Program Start Date on the I-20 or DS-2019 form. Please make your travel plans with this restriction in mind.
Aetna is the company under contract with Virginia Tech to provide insurance coverage for students which meets the minimum university requirements. Students must be enrolled full-time to qualify for this insurance policy. Questions regarding the insurance policy, eligibility and costs may be referred to: Student Medical Insurance,110 New Student Services Building, (540) 231-6226, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students who do not purchase Aetna insurance must complete the Alternative Insurance Compliance Form, have it endorsed by their insurance provider and submit it to the Student Medical Insurance Office. Failure to provide proof of sufficient insurance coverage may result in the blocking of your student records. See Insurance Requirements for International Students for more information.
- Hand carry (do not check) the following documents:
- Your passport;
- Your I-20 or DS-2019 form;
- Evidence of financial resources;
- Evidence of student or exchange visitor status, such as transcripts or letter of acceptance;
- Paper receipt for the SEVIS fee (if applicable);
- The name and contact information of your designated school official or sponsor
- Important Note: If you are a new student or a new exchange visitor participant, remember to carry with you the sealed envelope given to you by the U.S. Department of State's Consular Officer - attached to your passport. It is important that you do not open this envelope.
- Visit the website for U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement to find useful information on what students can expect at a U.S. Port of Entry, as well as information about immigration documents. The link called "I-515A Tool Kit" provides information about what documents you need to carry with you when arriving in the U.S., and anytime you travel outside of the U.S.
- Report to your school or program upon arrival so that your school official can validate your participation in SEVIS.
- Maintain contact with your designated school or sponsor official throughout your stay to ensure your SEVIS data is updated and accurate.
It is Graduate School policy to administer an English placement test (EPT) to international students with TOEFL scores below certain minimums. The VT Language and Culture Institute manages this exam on behalf of the Graduate School. EPT sessions are offered during the orientation period prior to the beginning of classes. Learn more about the requirement and register for a test date online. You can register for a test session here.
For the TEACH Test, each student will give a mini-lecture (10-15 min.) on a topic chosen by the student in his/her academic field at the undergraduate level. The SPEAK test is an institutional version of the Test of Spoken English (TSE), consisting of 12 tape-recorded questions on a variety of topics, with timed responses, ranging from 30 to 90 sec. Students must sign up online for a 30-minute individual appointment.
TEACH/SPEAK Testing Dates: TBA