Immunization Forms and Health Questionnaire
Georgia State law requires that all students complete and submit the Immunization Form and the Emergency Contact Information prior to registration. Please have these forms completed, along with the proper proof of immunizations, in your home country where your medical records are kept. Students enrolling at Georgia College must document the following immunizations: two MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubela), Varicella (Chicken Pox), Tetanus, and Hepatitis B (Hepatitis B is required if you are 18 years of age or under and strongly recommended if you are over 18). In addition, students living in University Housing are strongly recommended to receive an immunization for Meningitis and should inform themselves about the risks of the disease at The Center for Disease Control - Meningitis.
While in some countries, only one MMR vaccination dose is given, in the U.S. health care system, a series of two doses is given, and students need to document two MMR vaccinations. It is much easier if you can obtain the necessary immunizations in your home country prior to your arrival in Georgia. Be sure to have the appropriate documentation on the Certificate of Immunization form enclosed in your acceptance package. If you have further medical attention (after you have submitted your forms, but prior to arrival on campus), bring documentation to that effect with you to the International Center. If necessary, you can receive the appropriate immunizations in Milledgeville for a fee.
Because of the high cost of medical care in the U.S., having your teeth and eyes examined before leaving home is advisable. If possible, have dental work done at home, because insurance does not cover the costs for this work in the U.S. Moreover, insurance does not cover vision examinations and eyewear. You may purchase both contact lenses and glasses in the US, at a reasonable cost, to replace lost or broken lenses. If you have a recent (less than one-year old) prescription from your optometrist with you, you will probably not need to have your eyes re-examined should you need to replace broken or lost corrective eye-wear.
Mandatory Medical Insurance for International Students
The University System of Georgia has a mandatory health insurance plan for all international students enrolled at Georgia's public colleges and universities. The insurance fee must be paid each semester along with your tuition. Coverage for students entering in the fall semester will begin August 1, and for those entering in spring semester will be January 1. More information is available at https://www.uhcsr.com/gcsu.
Degree-seeking students should carefully review the course requirements for their major in the online catalog. You can find available course offerings at http://paws.gcsu.edu. After clicking on "Click here to get to PAWS", select "Class Schedule". Then select the specific term and the course subjects for which you are searching (for example, economics or biology). Please note that some students are not able to access this site from abroad due to Internet firewalls. When you arrive on campus, you will meet with your academic adviser who will assist you with registration.
Please note that students with TOEFL scores below 79 (Internet-based), or 550 (paper-based) are required to enroll in ESLG 1001 American Language & Culture during their first semester. Also, students who score a 6 on the IELTS are required to take this course during their first semester.
Paying Tuition & Fees
Students must pay for the entire semester's expenses by the published payment deadline in order to enroll in classes. These include tuition and fees, and if living in on campus, university housing and a meal plan. [Exchange students usually have to pay only for residence hall rooms and meal plans.]
The Business Office will accept checks (including travelers' checks), cash and bank wires for payment of your fees. If you wish to pay by credit card, you must do so online through your PAWS account. Visa, American Express, Discover, and MasterCard are accepted, and a 2.75 percent fee of the transaction total is charged.
Because Milledgeville is small, it usually takes several weeks to exchange foreign currency. Exchange money before your arrive. Once here, you may open a bank account into which funds from home may be deposited. If you wish to pay by bank draft or bank wire, we suggest that you pay at least couple of weeks before your arrival to campus because of the additional processing time involved. To wire money to GC, your home bank can contact Jan Beall, Business Services Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: + 1 (478) 445-6090 to obtain bank routing information. Make certain to include your name and student enrollment number (found on your acceptance letter). Any overpayment can be refunded to you after your arrival.
After you arrive on campus and finalize your registration, you will learn what the required textbooks are for your courses. Textbooks can be purchased at the university bookstore with cash, checks, travelers' checks, and credit cards.
What to Include in Your Hand Luggage
A battery-operated alarm clock. Any prescription medication you are currently using, but be sure to have the medical doctor's prescription in your possession should US Customs ask for it; have an English translation available. A good book to read while waiting for flight, buses, etc., along with these information sheets you are now reading, and a sweater or a light jacket to ward off chills. Carry your passport and other documents, as well as your money, well protected on your person.
Climate, Clothes, and Other Items to Bring
The climate in Georgia is relatively mild. During the summer, it is hot and humid with temperatures ranging from 27C (80F) to 40C (104F), and in winter between 16C (60F) to -3C (28F). Be prepared for both cold and hot weather. Students dress informally on campus. Both men and women often wear slacks, shorts, blue jeans, and t-shirts or shirts. There are times that call for more "formal" clothing, with men wearing suits and ties, and women wearing skirts or dresses.
Bring an outfit representative of your country to wear for special events, such as the International Dinner, which is a highlight of the year at Georgia College and will be held in March/April, and to show to people as you share information about your home. For the International Dinner also bring a recipe from home which you are prepared to cook. Also, bring along brochures and other information to use during International Week (October), and you will be glad you have photos of your family and friends to share with new friends in Georgia. In addition, you should remember that those who receive International Student Scholarships are expected to assist with university and Milledgeville community activities, such as speaking to classes and community organizations about their countries, and assisting with the International Dinner and International Week.
International Club / "Buddy Program"
The International Dinner and International Week are sponsored by the International Club, one of the most active student organizations on campus, which meets regularly and plans activities and excursions around the area. You should plan to join. They're a great group of people! Prior to your campus arrival, you may be receiving an e-mail from a club member as part of a "Buddy" program. Your assigned "buddy" can help answer questions about life in Georgia and at the university.
- I-20 (or DS-2019) form with attached proof of financial support
- A valid passport with F-1 (or J-1) Student Visa (NOTE: Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa requirement but must have proof of paying the SEVIS fee.)
- Proof of SEVIS fee Payment
- Ticket(s) for transportation
- Arrangements to pay your first semester’s expenses
- At least $400-500 in cash for immediate needs, such as travel, food, hotel accommodation, shuttle/bus rides, tips, etc.
- Updated documentation for immunization and emergency contact forms
- Additional documentation for the International Admissions Office or insurance waiver documentation (if required)
- Room reserved in a Residence Hall/The Village Apartments or plan for off-campus housing
- Sheets and towels
In Case of Emergency Before Your Scheduled Arrival
If you have an emergency and cannot reach us by telephone at USA + 478-445-4789, you may call GC Public Safety at USA 478-445-4054. Neither the International Center nor Public Safety can accept collect calls. If you cannot contact the International Center, please explain your problem to Public Safety and indicate an e-mail or telephone where we can reach you. You may also e-mail us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that this office cannot accept collect (or reverse charge) calls nor are we able to allow you to make personal telephone calls or send personal faxes from our office. Under normal circumstances, our limited budget does not even allow us to return long-distance telephone calls. For those purposes, you can use public telephones or fax machines, to which the International Center can refer you.
NOTE: On weekends, holidays and Christmas week, no one will be available to check telephone messages, faxes or e-mails. If you have an emergency during those times, contact Public Safety at + 478-445-4400.