Welcome international students!
Knox's International Student Orientation (ISO) will take place from the evening of Sunday, September 7, through the morning of Wednesday, September 10. All new international students are required to attend. U.S. students living abroad are also welcome.
International Student Orientation
During ISO, you'll have a chance to recover from jetlag, go shopping for items you may not have been able to pack, open a bank account, purchase a cell phone, and begin learning about what to expect in a U.S. college classroom. You'll also meet your new classmates and current students, as well as learn more about Knox and Galesburg.
Intensive English Language Program
International students whose first language is not English are also invited to take part in an Intensive English Language Program from August 24 to September 6. Read more about this program, including fees and how to register, here.
Scheduling Your Arrival
Plan to arrive at Knox on either Saturday, September 6, or Sunday, September 7. If it's necessary for you to arrive early, you can arrange accomodations at any of several hotels and restaurants in Galesburg.
Transportation to Campus
Transportation to campus will be provided from area airports (PIA-Peoria International Airport and MLI-Quad City International Airport), the Galesburg Amtrak Station, and Galesburg Bus Station on September 6 or 7 for students attending ISO, and on August 24 for students attending the Intensive English Language Program. The Office of International Student Services will ask for your travel itinerary over the summer.
Driving in the United States
Rental cars are available at most major airports (please note that auto insurance is required to drive a car in Illinois). If you would like to drive while at Knox, you are allowed to do so for one year with your home country driver’s license and an international driver’s permit. You must get the international driver’s permit in your home country. Please note that not all countries offer international driver’s permits.
Arriving in the United States
You are allowed to enter the United Status up to 30 days prior to the program start date listed on your Form I-20 (see secion 5). Some students choose to travel to the U.S. to visit friends or family before traveling to Knox. You must arrive in the United States before the program start date. If you attempt to enter the U.S. after this report date, you may be denied entry. Please notify the Office of International Student Services if your travel plans are delayed.
At the U.S. Port of Entry (Passport Control and Customs)
After you arrive in the U.S., you will need to present the following documents to the inspections officer (pack these items in your carry on bags):
- Passport with F-1 visa (unless you are exempt from the visa requirement)
- Form I-20 issued by Knox College
- Admission letter
- Evidence of financial resources (copy of Certification of Finances form, along with any bank statements, employment letters, tax forms, etc.)
The inspections officer will take a digital photograph of you and scan your fingerprints. The officer will stamp your passport and write “F-1” and “D/S”. “D/S” means "duration of status": you can remain in the U.S. as long as you remain a student in valid immigration status. If the officer does not mark your passport with the proper status or “D/S,” ask the officer about it so it can be corrected immediately.
You'll register all of your immigration documents with the Office of International Student Services during International Orientation.
New Transfer Students (from a High School, College, or University in the U.S.)
If you are a new F-1 transfer student, Knox will issue you a “Transfer Pending” Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 after the transfer release date set by your previous institution. Once you have completed immigration document registration and updated your U.S. address with the Office of Internatioanl Student Services, you will be issued a new I-20 or DS-2019 for “Continued Attendance” after which the transfer process will be complete.
If you will change your status to F-1 or J-1 within the U.S., you must file Form I-539, your original Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, and other required documentation with USCIS. Students are strongly advised to provide a copy of the entire application to the International Student Services Office prior to submitting it to USCIS. View information about Form I-539.