Welcome to the Knox Community
Greetings from Knox College! My name is Alex Pia, and I'm the director of international student services at Knox. I'm very excited to meet you and welcome you to the Knox community this fall.
I oversee the Office of International Student Services, which assists students with the transition to living and learning in the U.S. and student visa-related documents. I'm also here to support you throughout your education at Knox.
I'll help you navigate all of the details surrounding your arrival to campus this fall. Should you have any questions about applying for your visa, traveling to campus, or anything else, please feel free to contact me by email or phone (+1 971-275-6202).
As an international student, you will participate in the International Pre-Orientation Program from September 6-9. Please plan to arrive at Knox on September 6. If you plan to participate in a fall sport, you may need to arrive on campus earlier and should check with your coach.
During the International Pre-Orientation Program, you'll have a chance to recover from jet lag, 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 and how to succeed here. You'll also meet some of your new classmates and learn more about Knox and Galesburg. All students who will enter the U.S. on a visa are required to attend the International Pre-Orientation Program. Permanent residents and U.S. citizens living abroad are also encouraged to attend.
Following the International Pre-Orientation Program, you will join all new students and participate in New Student Orientation from September 9-12. New Student Orientation will welcome you to campus and introduce you to the larger Knox community as a whole. You'll get to know your classmates, meet faculty and staff, learn how to navigate the campus, understand how learning happens at Knox, and explore your new home of Galesburg, Illinois.
Intensive English Language Program
International students are invited to participate in the Intensive English Language Program from August 17 to September 3, prior to the International Pre-Orientation Program. The Intensive English Language Program is an excellent opportunity for you to improve your English language skills, learn about Knox's academic and residential culture, make new friends, and explore Galesburg and surrounding communities before classes begin. Students participating in the program should arrive on campus Tuesday, August 17.
The program will offer instruction to develop all English language skills, with particular emphasis on writing and speaking. The course will be taught by a language specialist and a writing tutor is available to assist students. All students enrolled in the program will take an excursion on the weekend of August 21-22. The registration deadline for the program is Monday, June 28. Learn more about the Intensive English Language Program or contact me for more information.
Arriving on Campus
New international students should arrive on campus Monday, September 6. International students attending the Intensive English Language Program should arrive on Tuesday, August 17. OISS will offer transportation to campus on August 17 and September 6 from Peoria International Airport (PIA), Quad City International Airport (MLI), the Galesburg Amtrak train station, the Galesburg Greyhound bus station, or the Peoria Charter bus stop at CityLink in Peoria. Learn more here about how to get to campus. When you know your travel information, please share it with OISS on your Pre-Arrival Tracker.
Pre-Departure Q&A Session
The Office of International Student Services (OISS) invites new international students and their parents to join us for a virtual Pre-Departure Q&A on Friday, July 9, at 8:00 a.m. U.S. Central Time. OISS will share a brief presentation about getting to campus, setting up a bank account or cell phone, and other important information to know before arriving. Following the presentation, OISS staff will be available to answer any questions you have. More information and a link to the session will be provided prior to the event.
Getting Your Form I-20 and Student Visa
Most U.S. Consulates and Embassies have re-opened. You should consult information from the consulate or embassy in your country for the latest updates and, as soon as feasible, begin your visa application process. If you haven’t already done so, you can request your Form I-20 from Knox College through a form on your Pre-Arrival Tracker. Once you receive your Form I-20, be sure to sign the form and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. After paying the fee, you can proceed with scheduling a visa interview through your local U.S. embassy or consulate. Please note that there is a separate visa fee required. If you attended high school in the U.S. and already have an F-1 visa, you should have your SEVIS record transferred to Knox College. Knox will then issue you an I-20 and mail it to you. Learn more about paying the SEVIS I-901 fee, applying for your visa, or transferring your SEVIS record from another U.S. institution. If you have not received your I-20 or have any questions as you're preparing for your visa interview, please don't hesitate to let me know.
Resources for New International Students
We have a lot of resources and information to help new international students plan for their education at Knox. You can learn about banking, cell phones, healthcare and insurance, and more.
If you have any questions as you're preparing to begin your education at Knox, please let me know. I'm excited to see all that you'll accomplish at Knox—I can't wait to meet you!
Phone: +1 971-275-6202