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Welcome to the Knox Community
Greetings from Knox College! My name is Rebecca Eckart, and I'm the associate director of International Student Services at Knox. I'm very excited to meet you and welcome you to the Knox community this fall.
Joshua Ferchau, director of International Student Services and Admission, and I comprise the Office of International Student Services (OISS). Our office assists students with F-1 related documents, the transition to living and learning in the U.S., and generally supports students throughout their education at Knox. I'll help you navigate all of the details surrounding your arrival to campus this fall, and should you have any questions about applying for your visa, traveling to campus, or anything else, please feel free to contact me by e-mail, phone (+1 309-341-7163), or Skype (knox.rebecca).
As an international student, you will participate in the International Pre-Orientation Program (IPOP), September 5-6. Please plan to arrive to Knox on September 4. During IPOP, you'll have a chance to recover from jetlag, go shopping for items you may not be 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 IPOP. Permanent residents and U.S. citizens living abroad are also invited to attend IPOP, and OISS encourages you to do so!
Following IPOP, you will join all new students and participate in One Community, Knox's new student orientation, from September 7 to 10. One Community 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. Throughout this orientation, students from around the nation and the world—students from varying cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds, students from rural communities and bustling cities—will unite as one community living and learning in the heart of the Illinois prairie.
Arriving on Campus
New international students should arrive on campus Sunday, September 4. International students attending the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) should arrive on Saturday, August 19. OISS will offer transportation to campus on August 19 and September 4 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 Bradley University in Peoria. Learn more here about how to get to campus. When you know your travel information, please share it with OISS on your student portal.
Getting Your Visa
You should begin your visa application process if you have not already done so. 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 here about paying the SEVIS I-901, applying for your visa, or transferring your SEVIS record from another U.S. institution. If you have not you received your I-20 or have any questions as you're preparing for your visa interview, please don't hesitate to let me know.
Intensive English Language Program
International students are invited to participate in the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) from August 20 to September 3, prior to the International Pre-Orientation Program (IPOP). IELP is 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 to campus on Saturday, August 19.
IELP 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 a trip to Chicago on the weekend of August 26 - 27. The registration deadline for the program is Monday, June 19. Learn more about the IELP or contact me for more information.
International Friendship Program
International students are invited to participate in the International Friendship Program, a non-residential cultural exchange program to foster friendship and cultural learning between Knox international students and community members. Families and students will make a commitment to meet for the 2017-18 academic year, but are encouraged to stay in touch beyond the academic year!
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 in September!