Prepare for RBC GSSP
Congratulations on making the decision to study at Richard Bland College of William & Mary! We’re ready to welcome you on campus. Below you will find important information on what you need to do before arriving to Virginia.
How To Prepare for RBC
U.S. Student Visa
Don’t know where to start to get a U.S. student visa? Follow these step-by-step instructions:
1. Schedule a visa interview preparation Skype call with the RBC GSSP staff, email email@example.com to request a call. We are happy to schedule a Skype call to give you tips for your interview and help you feel more comfortable with the process.
2. Attend the interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. You will need to remember to bring the following documents:
- A current passport (valid for at least six months)
- Your original letter of offer from RBC
- A valid SEVIS I-20 form issued by RBC
- Original copies of all financial documents (such as a bank statement, loan, scholarship, or affidavit of support) showing enough funding for one academic year
- Proof of ties to your home country (such as a job, ownership of a property, or family business)
- Copies of all academic transcripts and certificates
- Copies of TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson Versant English Placement Test or GMAT or GRE results (if any)
- A copy of the SEVIS fee payment receipt
- Photos as required (specifications will be explained on the relevant US Embassy or Consulate website)
Flights and Airport Arrivals
The Richmond International Airport (RIC) is located in Richmond, Va., a 30-minute drive from Richard Bland College.
Please make travel arrangements to arrive at Richmond International Airport one day prior to your orientation date. As soon as you have booked your flights, complete the online arrival form (Google Doc) so we will know your arrival information.
Pre-arrival Checklist: What to Do Before You Leave Home
Congratulations on making the decision to study at Richard Bland College of William & Mary! We’re ready to welcome you on campus. Here’s a quick and easy checklist of what you need to do before you arrive in Virginia.
Pay SEVIS Pay Sevis Fee and Make Appointment With the U.S. Embassy or Consulate
Make an appointment with the U.S. embassy or consulate to obtain your F-1 visa. Please notify the RBC GSSP staff by email as soon as you’ve received your visa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full Payment of Initial Invoice
Payment of your initial invoice is due upon receipt of your F-1 Visa, or within two weeks of arrival, whichever comes first. Please note that you will not be enrolled in classes until your invoice has been paid in full.
Arrival Forms/Airport Pick-up Request
Make travel arrangements to be on campus on the designated date for international students moving into the dorms. The closest international airport
to campus is Richmond International Airport (RIC). As soon as you have booked your flights, please complete the online arrival form (Google Doc) so we will know your arrival information. You may also request for GSSP staff to arrange transportation from the airport to the campus which will be at your own expense and charged on your first invoice.
Submit Your Housing Request Form
On-campus housing is required for RBC GSSP students. Submit the Online Housing Application to secure your spot. The required housing deposit will be included on your first invoice and may be reimbursed after graduation. If there are any issues filling out the application, contact email@example.com.
Submit Immunizations Forms
Make an appointment with your doctor for your health exam and to receive all required immunizations. You must bring your Immunization forms with you to your appointment. Please submit your Certificate of Immunization forms to the Office of Residence Life Richard Bland College:
8311 Halifax Road Petersburg, VA.
Phone: 804- 862-6161
Submit Emergency Medical Consent as Well as Waiver and Release Forms
We look forward to seeing you soon! Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact a Member of Our Team:
Besides your regular packing list, consider packing the following items:
- medicine and prescriptions (certain restrictions might apply, please visit TSA website for more information)
- eyeglasses/contact lenses (if needed)
- address book with family phone numbers and e-mail addresses
- music from your home country
- personal computer software
- photos (family and friends)
Prince George County is located in the mid-Atlantic region on the East Coast. The average temperature in the city is 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer and 5.5 degrees Celsius (42 degrees Fahrenheit) during the winter months. The four distinct seasons require a variety of clothing, including warm clothing for the winter. The dress code on campus is generally informal, and most students wear casual clothing to classes. However, students are advised to have clothing appropriate for any professional and special social functions that may arise.
- comfortable shoes
- lightweight, loose-fitting clothing for warmer months
- winter jacket
- winter accessories (hat, gloves, scarf, etc.)
- snow boots
- traditional/dress outfit
We do recommend that you bring some cash with you until you are able to transfer funds from abroad.
It can be expensive to transport a lot of belongings. It is better to buy what you need in the U.S. If you do decide to send your belongings separately, your best options are by boat or by air. Be aware, shipping items by boat takes longer but is also half the cost of sending them by air. Allow eight weeks for items to arrive by boat or one to two weeks for items shipped by air.
Most international flights allow each student a maximum of two pieces of luggage weighing 50lbs (22kg) each (22kg x 2). Please make sure to write your name and U.S. address on the labels of your luggage and any carry-on items.
Entering the United States
At the U.S. Port of Entry, an ICE department officer will review your documents, including passport, visa stamp, important letters, and the I-20. The visa eligibility document (I-20) will be processed by the ICE, with a page returned to you along with a card directing you on how to print the I-94. The entry date listed in item #5 of the I-20 is the last possible day to use this form for initial entry to the United States. New students may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the indicated start date on the I-20.
You should ensure that you are traveling with the following documents as they will be needed upon entry into the U.S.:
- Your original I-20 document
- Your valid passport with visa
- Admission Letter to RBC
- Any additional documents supporting your education credentials
Additionally, be prepared to answer the following questions:
- What and where will you study?
- Do you have family connections in the U.S.?
- What are your plans for returning to your home country?
- Where will you be staying in Virginia?
RBC Housing Information
Living in the Richard Bland College residence halls is a convenient and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It will be an important and exciting component of your college experience.
Please visit the Accommodation and Dining page for more information.
Healthcare in the U.S. is expensive. When you sign your I-20 and DS-2019 you are verifying that you will not be a financial burden to the U.S. government, to RBC, or to the State of Virginia. Therefore, health insurance is required for all international students and their families. You will be automatically enrolled in RBC’s health insurance plan upon paying your full fees and enrolling in classes.
Immunizations and Medical Records
International students should visit their healthcare provider prior to departure for the completion of the Certificate of Immunization form (PDF)
Please refer here for complete details about immunization requirements.