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Visiting International Students: Preparing to Leave

What questions should I ask before signing a lease for an apartment?

​​​​​​Off-Campus Living provides a comprehensive list of questions you may want to ask a landlord before signing a lease. Be sure that you understand what you are and are not responsible for before you sign any agreement.

How do I find an apartment in Ithaca?

​​​​​​Off-Campus Living provides resources for finding an apartment, including an email list and rental listings. There is also a Facebook group where students sublet their apartments.

Where should I live in Ithaca?

We recommend that you stay within three miles of campus so that you have easy access to campus and public transportation. Students who live farther away from campus tend to feel isolated and have limited access to public transportation. Review the neighborhood descriptions carefully to understand the locations and commute to campus.

Can I apply to live on the Ithaca campus?

​​​​​​Visiting and exchange students who are enrolled full time in classes are eligible to apply for on-campus housing. Information on applying to the housing lottery is available on the Living @ Cornell Website. Please note that due to a high demand, Cornell is unable to accommodate all students.

Do I need to submit a physician's report to Cornell?

All full-time enrolled students need to submit a health history form. Log in through your to-do list ( to access the online form. Review the complete instructions, then schedule an appointment with your health care provider. You will fill out the form online – using your immunization records, if you have them – submit, and print. Take the printed form to your health care provider for information/signatures related to a physical exam and immunizations.

What about health insurance while I'm at Cornell?

Cornell University requires all full-time registered students to have health insurance. Exchange students will be automatically enrolled in Cornell's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). Only international students who have insurance provided by their embassy or by a U.S.-based employer insurance plan may be eligible to waive this requirement. Students who are here for one semester will not be required to pay the entire annual amount.

How do I get my visa for the U.S.?

​​​​​​If you are coming to Cornell University to take classes, you will travel on an F-1 or J-1 student visa. After you provide your proof of support, you will receive an I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 students) in the mail. You should then pay the SEVIS fee and schedule your visa interview. More detailed information can be found on the Global Learning International Services website.

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