Important Upcoming Dates
New Student Move-In
- Plan to arrive in Abilene in time for your assigned Move-in day and time.
- Early Move-in time is available for freshmen who have received approval at least 48 hours in advance.
- Students are not permitted to move in prior to the early Move-in date. Please plan accordingly.
- You are not permitted to move into your residence hall until you have completed financial settlement and received your meningitis vaccination.
International Student Check-In
International Student Check-In is required for all new international students and will take place during the New Student Open House or by appointment with OISVS.
INTL 101: Orientation for ACU Global Students
INTL 101 is mandatory for all new international students (F1 and J1). United States citizens who have been living overseas are also welcome to attend, but are not required.
- Complete an arrival form so that we can make necessary arrangements before you arrive on campus.
- Complimentary airport pickups are available from the Abilene Regional Airport (ABI) when you arrive.
Undergraduate students are required to live on campus if they:
- have less than 60 credit hours
- are under 21 years of age
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about available on-campus housing options. In addition, you may find helpful information at the button below.
Undergraduate students may select to live off campus if they:
- have completed at least 60 credit hours
- are 21 years of age or older
If you are eligible to live off campus, you may inquire about available ACU off-campus housing options by contacting Terry Bowman.
Please check with your department to see if they have additional resources or if they can connect you with other students in your cohort who may be looking for a roommate/housemate.
Mandatory Health Insurance Policy
Health Insurance through ACU
Health insurance is very important in the U.S. and costs can accumulate quickly with even a minor medical procedure or office visit. To help, ACU requires all F-1 international students and J-1 exchange visitor students to purchase the ACU group policy through GeoBlue, which meets the U.S. Department of State guidelines. The university enrolls each incoming student in this policy.
You are welcome to have an additional insurance policy. However, you must still purchase a GeoBlue policy through ACU.
- Insurance charges are automatically placed on your ACU account each semester.
- Students are charged the premiums for five months in the Fall semester (August-December) and seven months in the Spring semester (January-July).
- Coverage is continued during the summer months for continuing students who were enrolled full time the previous Spring semester.
- Your insurance charges are included on your I-20 and DS-2019 cost information.
Preventative dental and vision checks are not covered by this policy. Be sure to visit your dentist and optometrist before coming to the U.S.
- Some medications sold over the counter in your country will require a doctor visit and prescription in the U.S.
- Pre-existing conditions are covered at a small amount until you’ve been covered for one year. If you currently have a medical condition of any kind, we recommend you bring extra medication with you and plan to pay the expenses for your condition during your first year in the U.S.
- J-2 dependents are required to have health insurance coverage by the Department of State while in the U.S.
Visa Tips for International Students
Watch our brief video here:
Receiving a “non-immigrant” F-1 student visa can be challenging! Consular officers say more visas are given to students who are confident and proactively present concise information on why the officer should give them the F-1 student visa.
Here are some tips as you prepare for this very brief but consequential appointment!
- Realize that U.S. law considers individuals who apply for nonimmigrant visas to be intending immigrants until they can convince a consular officer otherwise. You must convince the officer you are not intending to immigrate to the U.S.! This can be done by explaining your strong ties to your home country and what you plan to do upon your return home after your studies are complete. Ties can include factors such as family, a job and financial prospects in your home country.
- Be comfortable using English, don’t just memorize what you plan to say. The interview for the visa will be conducted in English, and you will need to give a detailed and appropriate response to any questions the officer asks you. If you are a minor and a family member accompanies you, be sure you speak for yourself.
- Be prepared to explain the program you will be studying and how it relates to your career goals.
- Be prepared to explain your plans to finance your education. Have your bank statements with you, but more importantly, be ready to confidently share the plan you and your family have for paying for your education over the duration of the program (not just the first year).
Highlight any scholarships, grants or other monetary help you are receiving from the school and other sources. (On-campus employment income should not figure into the plan, but instead, be a way to gain real-world experience. You are coming to the U.S. for the purpose of study, not work.)
- Keep the exchanges polite and friendly – do NOT have an argument with the officer. If the officer says they will deny the visa, ask for a list of documents to bring at your next interview to help overcome the denial. Remember that a permanent record of your visit will be made.
- Prepare to explain why you chose to study at Abilene Christian University.
Here are some ideas:
a. ACU offers a supportive community, including a dedicated international student office and an active international students’ association. Both of these can help me adjust to life in the United States, make friends, and be comfortable at ACU.
b. The university has a commitment to integrating faith and learning, which means that I will be able to explore my beliefs and develop my understanding of Christianity while pursuing my academic goals.
c. ACU is big enough to offer a broad range of degrees – (87 undergraduate majors), but small enough to be personal, with a ratio of about 14 students per faculty member. In addition, I’m really excited about participating in research with the faculty as an undergraduate.
d. Many departments have the highest accreditation possible, such as the School of Business, which has ACSB accreditation.
e. There are over 100 clubs at ACU, 4 club sports and many intramurals, which can help me build new connections and develop my leadership and teamwork skills.
f. ACU is located on a beautiful campus full of trees and green space in a thriving city in West Texas (pop. 127,000), a short distance from Dallas. It is a calm and safe place, where people are very friendly and helpful.
Here are a few additional resources:
www.travel.state.gov ~ U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html Student visa link for site listed above
http://educationusa.state.gov/ ~ Education USA; Your Guide to Higher Education in the United States, with helpful information and seminars available in many countries.
Please note that the web pages may not be completely up to date at all times.