We are excited about you coming to OSU-Cascades! This website provides some important information about preparing for your arrival in Bend, Oregon and your first few weeks here. Please read the information carefully.
Once you have been admitted to Oregon State University-Cascades, you should receive a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS2019) issued for your studies at OSU-Cascades. The I-20 allows you to apply for an F-1 visa and the DS-2019 is for a J-1 Visa. In some countries there will be a $200 US SEVIS fee for the visa. More information about SEVIS can be found on the SEVIS webpage. You must also have a valid passport in order to obtain a visa for the United States. At the time of your visa interview, you will need to provide documents certifying the amounts and sources of financial support for your studies at OSU. Keep copies of these documents to present to the U.S. Immigration official at the port of entry. It is advisable to contact the US Embassy or Consulate nearest you (or refer to their website) to find out exactly what documents will be required to apply for the F-1 or J-1 visa. You should be prepared for possible long delays in obtaining a visa. If you are unable to obtain a visa prior to the start of spring term, please contact International Student Services at OSU-Cascades and request to defer your admission to a future term. More information on applying for a student visa can be found here.
Since you are planning to pursue a program of study, you should not enter the US on a tourist visa (B-2). In most cases, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will not approve a change of status from B-2 to F-1 or J-1 within the United States. If you enter the US on a dependent visa (F-2 or J-2), you should meet with an international student advisor to discuss the limitations of your visa type regarding employment and registering for classes. Students who receive a DS-2019 come to the U.S. under the State Department's Exchange Visitor Program, a program designed to promote international understanding and cooperation. If you are an Exchange Visitor you may be subject to the two-year home residency regulation, which requires you to return to your home country for at least two years after completion of your program before changing your visa status. Consult your international student advisor if you have questions about this requirement.
If you were a full-time student at another U.S. college, university, or language school last term on an F-1 or J-1 visa, you must complete an immigration transfer to OSU within the first two weeks of class. Prior to your arrival on-campus, please work with your previous school to complete and return the SEVIS transfer form below. Failure to do so will have serious consequences for your student status.
Tuition and other educational expenses (such as fees, books, and insurance) are to be paid at the beginning of each term. Please note that some departments have additional instructional fees. If you plan to live off campus, bring enough money to cover initial expenses such as rent and utility (gas, electric, and telephone) deposits. These deposits and the first month's rent may range from $1,000 to $1,500. There may also be expenses for household items (furniture, kitchen equipment, etc.).
If you expect funds from your home country for your OSU-Cascades studies, ensure that satisfactory arrangements for payment are made before you depart. You should know your government's regulations on currency exchange and bank procedures for money transfers to the United States. Delays in the transfer of educational funds can create hardship and inconvenience. Financial assistance for international students in the U.S. is extremely limited. Furthermore, U.S. Immigration regulations governing the employment of nonimmigrant students are very strict. Therefore, you should plan to have at least one full month's living expenses in reserve at all times.
1. Clothing. Because of seasonal climate variation, it is important to bring both lightweight and heavyweight clothing, as well as snow apparel. Summer weather is warm and pleasant in Bend. Temperatures usually range from 5 to 30 degrees C. In contrast, the winter season is usually cool (-5 to 5 degrees C) and can be snowy. You may wish to buy at least some basic items before you leave home. Warm clothes (such as sweaters and a coat) and a parka are essential! There is no official or required dress code at OSU-Cascades. Most students wear casual clothing, often jeans or pants. Occasionally you may need more formal clothing such as a sport coat (or suit) for men and a business suit/dress for women. Above all, informal and comfortable clothing is practical for everyday occasions.
2. Special Items. OSU-Cascades student organizations and community organizations arrange special events that highlight the rich cultural diversity of our world. These activities include fashion shows, international dinners, cultural exhibits, talent shows, and discussion groups. You might wish to bring with you items of cultural interest (such as photos, books, slides, musical instruments, traditional clothing, and taped music) if there is room in your luggage. Many spices and food items from other countries can be found or special ordered in Bend. Be sure to bring recipes with you. Most electrical outlets in the U.S. give 110-volt AC current at a frequency of 60 cycles. Appliances brought from some countries will not work on this current. They may work with a special adapter that has blade-like (not rounded) prongs.
3. Linens, Bedding, and Room Furnishings. Students must provide items such as pillows, blankets, towels, and room furnishings for on- or off-campus housing. Bed sizes may vary from one country to another, so it is best to postpone such purchases until you arrive in the United States. These items can be bought inexpensively in Bend.
4. Money. Before coming to the U.S., familiarize yourself with procedures for transferring funds from your home country. Be prepared to pay your initial expenses for tuition, room and board, books, health insurance, and personal items. Banks and savings associations are located near the university campus. Shortly after your arrival, you will want to select a bank and open a checking or savings account. For safety reasons, you should carry any large sums of money ($50 or more in the form of draft checks or traveler's checks. However, plan to have some change for small items and phone calls.
Planning Your Arrival Date
You will receive a letter from International Student Services listing orientation and registration dates. If you plan to live off campus, you should arrive several days before orientation to find housing and settle in. Once you arrive in Bend, you will need temporary housing until you are able to move into a residence hall or off-campus housing. Motel rooms are usually available at a wide range of prices. Refer to the section "Hotel/Motel Accommodations in Bend."
Pre-Arrival Health Matters
You are required to complete a health history form, show proof of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccinations, and return the form to International Student Services. International students from certain countries are required to have a tuberculin skin test and/or chest x-ray upon arrival in the US. This requirement must be met regardless of whether or not students have been screened for tuberculosis in their home country.
Many advising centers throughout the world hold pre-departure orientation programs for students. Among these are many Overseas Educational Advising Centers (through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate), the Institute of International Education, the Fulbright Commission, and AMIDEAST. We hope you will take advantage of the opportunities to prepare yourself for a new living and learning environment. For further details on pre-departure orientation sessions, ask the visa office at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Arrival in the United States
At the Port of Entry you will go through U.S. Immigration and Customs processing. For what to expect, see the U.S. Immigration and Customs website.
Transportation to Bend
If possible, we recommend flying into Portland, Oregon (be sure that you are flying to Oregon and not to Portland, Maine); Seattle, Washington; Salt Lake City, Utah; or San Francisco, California and then catching a connecting flight to Redmond, Oregon (RDM). Bend is a short, 20 minute drive from the Redmond Airport. There are several ground transportaion options from the Redmond Airport that are listed here. The shuttle should cost around $30 and reservations must be made in advance. A taxi will cost around $40.
If you are arriving in Portland, Oregon, it is also possible to catch a bus called the Central Oregon Breeze for about $40 to Bend. The drive is approximately three hours. Please visit their website for schedules and reservations. Seattle is about a 6 hour drive from Bend and San Francisco is approximately 12 hours.
Hotel/Motel Accommodations in Bend
If you need a motel room upon your arrival in Bend, there are a number of choices. If location and cost are important factors, here are three suggestions (costs listed below do not include tax):
Bend Riverside Motel & Suites
Because health care in the United States is very expensive, all international students are required to have health insurance for themselves and their dependents throughout their program of study (including summers). While you are a student, you are expected to enroll in the OSU international student health insurance plan unless you have made other arrangements. Students who have purchased alternative insurance that meets minimum federal and university requirements must show proof of insurance to the appropriate Student Health Services Insurance Office and apply for a waiver. If you do not show adequate proof of insurance or enroll in the school plan, you will not be permitted to register for classes. For more information on the student health insurance plan, or applying for a waiver see the following websites:
OSU International Student Health Insurance
Immunizations and T.B. Skin Tests
All students at OSU-Cascades must provide proof of immunity to Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Beginning September 1, 2007, international students who are attending the institution pursuant to a non-immigrant visa, must provide their documentation of measles vaccination prior to attending classes. If your first dose of measles vaccine was received less than 30 days prior to attendance, you will have until the beginning of the second term to receive and provide documentation of your second dose.
Please mail, email or fax your completed International student health form and immunization documentation (pdf) to enrollment services PRIOR to arriving at OSU-Cascades. (fax: 1-541-383-7501)
All international students (except those exempt as listed below) are required to have TB screening regardless of previous TB screening in their home countries. In order to register for classes, proof of this screening must be submitted to enrollment services.
The following countries are exempt from TB screening: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United States of America.
If you require assistance about where to obtain testing, please contact the Coordinator of International Programs.
If you are pursuing an undergraduate degree at OSU-Cascades, there are several steps that you MUST complete to be able to register for classes. Please note the dates and times to make the necessary reservations and appointments as soon as possible. These appointments and reservations should be made before you arrive in the US. If you do not complete these steps, you will not be able to register for classes.
Step One: Placement Testing
The ALEKs Math Placement Test is required for all students taking math classes (see below for exemptions). The goal of this test is to give students an idea of their current skill levels in math in order to select the most appropriate level of courses. Note that placement testing is online.
Students are exempt from taking the placement test if they:
1. Have completed an associate's or higher degree
2. Have submitted transcripts to OSU-Cascades from another college showing other math courses and are receiving transfer credits for those courses.
Please do this as soon as possible. If you have any questions contact OSU-Cascades Enrollment Services.
Step Two: Meeting with your academic advisor
You must meet with your academic advisor at OSU-Cascades so they may assist you in determining your academic plan. You will receive to schedule an appointment with them.
Step Three: Registration!
Before bringing your family with you to Bend, you should consider the added expenses for medical insurance, medical care, living expenses, and perhaps school-related expenses. Make careful financial plans before you arrive. Support for a dependent (spouse or child) for one year in Bend is estimated to be at least $7,200; for each additional dependent, the minimum support is estimated at $3,200. University housing for families is not available at OSU-Cascades. However, off-campus housing is generally available for families with children, but not necessarily close to the campus. You will probably need a car for shopping and for getting around town.
The average cost of a two-bedroom apartment is $900-$1200 per month. Please note that not all apartments will rent to families with children.
In order to enroll your children in the Bend-LaPine Public Schools, you will need to bring these documents from your home country:
1. Official birth certificate, a signed hospital certificate, or a passport as valid proof of your child's birth date.
2. Documentation of a physical examination for all children beginning school for the first time.
3. Official copies of the child's school records.
4. All immunization records with names and dates of vaccines received.
Required immunizations for all school-aged children are diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, chicken pox, hepatitis B, rubella, and polio. In addition, students from outside the U.S. must be screened for active tuberculosis infection.
Spouses with F-2 visas are prohibited from working in the United States. J-2 visa holders are sometimes allowed to work, but only with permission from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS).
Students on an F-1 and J-1 visa are eligible to work ON-CAMPUS up to 20 hours/ week. If you have a J-1 visa, you will need to first obtain permission from your program sponsor (listed on your DS-2019) before you begin employment. Students who receive an offer for on-campus employment will need to apply for a social security card. Once you receive your on-campus job offer the Office of Human Resources or the International Student Coordinator will provide you with information on how to get your social security number.
OFF-CAMPUS employment requires authorization and is approvable only under very specific conditions. Always consult an international student advisor before accepting any OFF-CAMPUS employment. Students or spouses on an F-2 visa are not eligible for any employment. Students or spouses on a J-2 visa may work only with authorization from the USCIS.