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New International Students

Welcome to Denison University! Denison prides itself on offering a culturally diverse environment for its students. Our strong academic reputation attracts talented students from 50 states and nearly as many countries, so our students interact with people of many different faiths and cultural backgrounds. International students (anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States: 16% of our first-year class) are also given the opportunity to work closely with faculty and staff, forming long-lasting and meaningful relationships. Faculty and staff (including our president) recognize the needs of international students and are supportive of their academic and social endeavors.

We provide a pre-arrival orientation program for entering students via our student portal, one-on-one advising on the academic, social, and personal challenges associated with living and learning in an unfamiliar culture, and continuing education on the immigration regulations, requirements, and expectations pertinent to the non-immigrant student visa.

Please work through the sections below. We have put together some important information that will help you apply for a U.S. visa, reserve your housing and dining plans, and learn more about our great community. In addition, you will receive the Supplement for Students Coming from Abroad via email with your admission letter. We hope you will find this information helpful and look forward to meeting you in August!

International student arrival dates for the Fall 2023 semester. Please plan to arrive in Columbus, Ohio at John Glenn International Airport (CMH) on one of the following dates: 
  • Move-In Arrivals: August 21 and August 22, 2023
  • Pre-Orientation Arrivals: August 16 and August 17, 2023
  • EAP (English for Academic Purposes) Arrivals: August 14 and August 15, 2023
**We will have shuttles that will transport you to Denison University from the airport on these dates only. If you will arrive to Columbus, Ohio outside of the check-in hours of 8:30am and 9:00pm EDT, you will need to reserve an airport hotel (airport hotels like the Hampton Inn and Fairfield Inn have free shuttles to and from the airport) and we will pick you up the next morning from your hotel.**
International students coming to the United States for study will need to apply for the appropriate visa before being permitted to enter the country. As a student, you will be applying for an F-1 student visa. U.S. law states that F visas are given to those who intend to remain in the U.S. temporarily, and their primary purpose is for academics. The Denison Admission Office will issue you a form I-20 (certificate of eligibility) after receiving all necessary documents (copy of your passport and proof of finances). You will need this form to complete the next steps in the process: paying the SEVIS I-901 fee and making a visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.

Ten Points to Remember when Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa
All F-1 visa applicants must complete Form I-901 and pay a SEVIS fee, $350 for F Visas, to the Department of Homeland Security before applying for a new visa. You will need to include the receipt in the documents you take to your interview. The purpose of the fee is to cover the costs of administering and maintaining SEVIS, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. Please visit the Student and Exchange Visitor Program fee processing website for more information and to pay your SEVIS I-901 fee. 
The next step will be to complete your online DS-160 Non-Immigrant Visa Application. Please have a passport photo (2 inch x 2 inch) available as you will be asked to upload your photo while completing the form. You will need to complete this step before contacting your local embassy or consulate for a visa interview. For more information on completing the DS-160 and photo requirements, please see the U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs Student Visa webpage. 

Please review your local embassy website for more details and exceptions.
Finally, you can contact your local embassy or consulate to make a visa appointment. To find your nearest U.S. Embassy, go to the list of U.S. Embassies and Consulates on the U.S. Department of State website. Visit your embassy or consulate’s website for specific application procedures. Denison University does not have any power to influence your consular officials. Please use the Denison University letters and Form I-20 in your admissions package when applying.

As a student, you will be applying for an F-1 visa. U.S. law states that F and J visas are given to persons who intend to remain in the U.S. temporarily and their primary purpose is for academics. 

What you will need to obtain a student visa:
  • I-20
  • SEVIS I-901 fee receipt
  • Online Non-Immigrant Visa Application DS-160
    • See your embassy website for more details and exceptions. Electronically submitting your DS-160 online application is only the first step in the visa application process. Once you have electronically submitted your DS-160 online application, you must contact the embassy or consulate at which you wish to apply to confirm whether you need to be interviewed by a consular office and to schedule an interview. 
  • Visa fee (check list of updated fees before your visa appointment)
  • One passport photo (2" x 2")
  • Valid passport
  • Financial support letters and bank statements
  • Denison University acceptance letter
  • Other documents are required by U.S. Embassy or Consulate (TOEFL, IELTS, DET, SAT scores or transcripts from previous institutions)
Please plan to arrive at Denison on one of the dates listed above for the Fall 2023 semester. If you arrive prior to these dates or outside of the scheduled campus check-in times on an arrival day, please plan to secure a hotel room. Your arrival information will be collected in the Arrival & Airport Transportation Form which is available in your Admitted Student Portal. Please complete all required fields on the form. If your flight changes, please update the information on the form. 

Denison staff and student orientation leaders will be at the John Glenn International Airport (CMH) Welcome Center to meet you. 

  • You will be able to move directly into your room upon arrival. 
  • Denison cannot provide accommodations for family members. Family will be able to reserve local inns or hotels on their own. Accommodations are available at area inns, hotels and bed & breakfast establishments.  A list is available in the first year notebook and on our website. Also, please be aware that there is no public transportation in our area. The Granville Inn, Buxton Inn and some of the local Bed & Breakfast and Airbnb establishments are within a 20-25 minute walk. 
  • F-1 visa holders entering on an initial entry I-20 cannot enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start date on the I-20.

Fall Semester Only: We invite you to begin your college experience by participating in one of Denison's Pre-Orientation programs for first-year students. Denison offers a wide variety of pre-orientation programs, prior to August Orientation, which will help you to expand your horizons, deepen your understanding of yourself, and connect with other first-year students who share your interests and passions. Pre-orientations provide students a unique, challenging, and enjoyable transition to life at Denison by forming bonds and friendships with other entering first-years in small group settings. If you choose not to participate in a pre-orientation program, you will arrive on Monday, August 21 or Tuesday, August 22, 2023. Our past experience suggests that our pre-orientation program provides a valuable support network for the students throughout their first year. Applications for Pre-O programs can be found in the Admitted Student Portal.

Spring Semester Only: Upon arrival, a team of Global Ambassadors and Center for Global Programs staff will assist you. We will arrange a welcome meal to introduce you to other spring-start students, meet our Global Ambassador team, and learn about the many resources Denison has available to you. All spring-start students will participate in an off-campus orientation program conducted by the Office of the First-Year Experience. 
Arrival and Transition Days
Denisonians coming from abroad will be able to arrive on campus a number of days before the orientation programming begins. The Center for Global Programs will create an arrival program to help students settle into their residence halls, open bank accounts, apply for mobile phone services, and explore campus. Our Global Ambassadors (student leaders) will meet you at the John Glenn International Airport (CMH) Welcome Center and assist you with making your way to campus.

Global Ambassadors
The Center for Global Programs employs approximately 25 students called Global Ambassadors who serve in a mentorship capacity to assist you in your transition to Denison. Our Global Ambassadors will reach out to you prior to June Orientation and will be at the airport to welcome you when you arrive in August.