New Admitted Students Checklist for F1 Students

The checklist should be completed in this order once you have been admitted to CSUN.

Before Your Arrival to the United States

A. Complete Steps 1-5 of the 6-STEPS Mandatory Immigration Session for F-1 Students 

B. Get your CSUN I-20 from the International Admissions and Evaluations office

C. Apply for the F-1 Visa in your home country (if applicable).

A Visa is a stamp or sticker placed in your passport at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside the United States. You must make sure that your visa is valid for your entry or re-entry into the United States. An expired visa must be renewed at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside of the U.S. prior to travel. A visa is only a permit to enter the United States. Information on visa applications and U.S. embassies is available at
Students are responsible for paying all required fees. 

The new SEVIS I-901 fee of $200 for F-1 applicants and $180 for most J-1 exchange visitors went into effect on Oct. 27, 2008. Please verify whether you need to pay this fee when applying for your visa. Information on the SEVIS I-901 fee is available at

I-901 Fee Payment Tutorial provides a step-by-step guide of the required payment process for the I-901 SEVIS Fee, including the information you must submit and what to do once you have completed payment on  

IESC does not require ANY fees for the services it provides to international students. No fees, under any circumstances, shall be submitted to IESC.

D. Sign-Up for the Placement Tests

All selected Incoming students who are required to take the Math Selection Assessment Test (MSA) test and the English Placement Test (EPT) must sign up and take the exam before registering for classes. The test scores will be used to help place students in the appropriate level course. To find out if you are required to take these tests, refer to the admission letter you received from the International Admissions and Evaluations office, or contact your academic advisor. There may be other placement tests required. Please contact your major department for more information.

E. Academic Advisement

As a First time freshmen and first time transfer undergraduate student, you must contact the Undergraduate Studies Department for your initial academic advising. For continuing advising you must contact your academic advisor in your academic advising center. If you are a graduate student, you must contact your academic advisor in your academic department. Visit the Academic Advisement page for your academic advisement center's contact information. Email or call your academic advisor in your major department regarding selection of classes. Be sure to refer to the University Catalog for a description of courses. Be prepared to discuss any questions you might have regarding your academic program with your academic advisor.

F. Clear Any Remaining Registration Holds With Each Department

Visit registration guide for more information on foreign hold.

G. Register for Classes

All new admitted undergraduate F-1 students who fill out the Response Questionnaire will be enrolled by an International Academic Advisor (with the Office of Undergraduate Studies) before the semester begins. This process is done to help new undergraduate F-1 students ensure that they are enrolled in at least 12 units that can be used towards the student’s major and/or general education (GE).  Graduate F-1 students will enroll in classes themselves.  If a graduate F-1 student needs assistance with registration,  she/he will need contact their academic advisor in their Major department.

H. Pay Your Registration and Tuition Fees

Visit the Student Finance page for payment options and fee deadlines. Students who do not meet the payment deadline will be dropped from their classes.
IESC does not require any fees for the services it provides to international students. No fees, under any circumstances, shall be submitted to IESC.

I. Make your Living Arrangements in the U.S.

Housing options:
Students are responsible for making their own living arrangements in the U.S. The following options are available:
On-campus housing:
Campus housing is limited. Please act quickly if you plan to apply for on-campus housing. Information is available on the Student Housing and Conference Services.  When your travel plans are complete, you can request an early check-in date to assure you are here in time for Orientation. Please fill out the online Request for Check-In Extension form when you long into your Student Housing Portal and click on the request form.  If you signed a housing contract, the early move-in date is generally the Friday before classes begin. Should you choose to arrive earlier, contact the housing office at (818) 677-2160. The estimated cost for a local hotel with tax included is $90 to $100. For information regarding off-campus housing call (818) 677-2160. Options include private residences, shared accommodations, apartments and condominiums. If you arrive earlier than the move-in date, there is no guarantee that you will be offered accommodations on campus without prior arrangements. Please call DaVon Henson, Housing Coordinator at (818) 677-2160 to avoid any inconvenience.

For a virtual housing tour and housing videos of CSUN Student Housing, click here

Off-campus housing: The majority of our international students live off-campus. Students are responsible for their living arrangements. Please click on the links below to view some options.
Online: CSUN Student Housing and Conference Services also offer an off-campus housing database.
Several online resources including the campus newspaper The Daily Sundial carries classified advertisements for rooms for rent, or from students seeking roommates.
Hotels or motels: Students who need temporary accommodation may consider the possibility of local hotels or motels.

J. Book your Flight Ticket

  1. The earliest date you can arrive to the U.S. is 30 days prior to the program start date listed in the section titled "Program of Study" on page #1 of your CSUN I-20.
  2. The last date that you can enter the U.S. is on the program start date listed in the section titled "Program of study on page #1 of your CSUN I-20.
  3. Please keep your original immigration documents (i.e. CSUN I-20, valid passport, and valid F1 visa) with you in your carry-on bag so that you can show them to the U.S. Port of Entry Officer at the U.S. airport.

K. Check Transportations to Get to CSUN

Transportation from the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) to CSUN:

Students are responsible for making their own arrangements for transportation to CSUN.
The following options are available:

  1. The best option is the FLYAWAY bus, which can be boarded outside each terminal at LAX. It departs every half-hour (24hrs) and goes non-stop to the Flyway Bus Terminal at Van Nuys, California. Travel time is 50 minutes and costs $6.00 one way. Take a taxi from the Van Nuys Terminal to the CSUN campus. Please visit the LAX FlyAway Bus webpage for more information.
  2. Taxis are available from LAX to CSUN and cost about $35 to $50.
Authorized Taxicab Supervision (ATS) (323) 776-5324
L.A. Taxi/United Checker Cab (213) 627-7000.
You may also visit Los Angeles Yellow Cab for services and other information.
  3. A shuttle van is also available outside each terminal at LAX. These vans carry several passengers and make several stops. Board the San Fernando Valley shuttle. The estimated cost is approximately $15-$45 and the estimated travel time is one to one and one half hours. Advance reservations can be made at the Super Shuttle website.

After Your Arrival to the United States

Arrival Information for International Students

You are required to arrive in the United States and complete Step 6-Mandatory New Student  Check-in with a foreign student advisor at the IESC no later than the start date printed on ITEM #5 of the CSUN I-20. Failure to report to the IESC and provide required documents will result in the automatic termination of your SEVIS record by immigration.

A. Complete the 6-STEPS Immigration Requirements Process

(Step 6 of the Immigration Requirements for F1 Students)
All new admits must report to the IESC with copies of their Step 6 documents. The IESC is located in the University Student Union, Building C.

B.    Attend the International Student Orientation

Visit the New Student Orientation website to register. (Step 5 of the 6-STEPS Immigration Requirements for F1 Students)

Please note that the orientation is separate from the IESC Mandatory New Student Reporting Requirement in Person.

C. Attend your Classes

Check for the official start date of classes on the Academic Calendar.

Please visit our website on a regular basis for the most up-to-date information.