International Students

Pre-Arrival Checklist


For answers to frequently asked questions, visit International Student FAQ, or email Andrew Meade, Director of International Services.


In mid-May, the Office of Admission emailed instructions for activating your Vassar account. You will need your login credentials to complete many of the tasks listed below.

  • Set up your Vassar email. Your Vassar username and activation code, as well as instructions on activating your Vassar account, are available in your status portal. (NOTE: Students who deferred their entry from last year will not have access to the status portal. Your Vassar username, activation code, and instructions for activating your account are being emailed to you.) Your Vassar email account can be accessed at or from any Google login prompt; log in with your full email address and password. Your email address will be your username followed by (i.e, For more information, please visit the Computing, IDs & Phones FAQ. If you have questions or require assistance, you may email the CIS Service Desk or call (845) 437-7224 during normal business hours.
  • First-year non-citizen international students: Submit at your earliest convenience your I-20 Request Form to the Office of International Services. If you are a matriculating student and have not received access to our online I-20 Request portal, please email Andrew Meade ASAP. (Exchange students and language fellows: You will not be submitting an I-20 Request Form.)  
    Deadline: May 31.
  • Obtain necessary visa and immigration documents, and as necessary make an appointment with the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy. Refer to the International Student FAQs for more details on immigration issues.
  • Schedule an appointment with your physician for a physical examination.


  • Complete the New Student Information Form: Starting May 15, you will be able to begin the New Student Information form. Important note: You must complete this form using your Vassar credentials so if you have not claimed your account as outlined above, please do so before proceeding.

    In this form you will be able to:

    • Provide information that will help us to make a housing assignment
    • Request disability accommodations
    • Share information about other special interests such as Religious and Spiritual Life, Technology, Campus Life and Diversity and more
    • Deadline: June 30
  • Look for Pre-Reg Communication: The Office of the Dean of First-Year Students will provide information about the pre-registration process, pre-major advisors, etc. Information about tuition payments and student finances will also be communicated in June.
  • Submit your ID Card Photo:  
    Important note: You must submit your ID photo using your Vassar credentials so if you have not claimed your account as outlined above, please do so before proceeding. 
  • Complete your Statement of Academic Interests. Your thoughtful answers to these questions will help the dean place you with a pre-major academic advisor with expertise in your areas of interest.  
    Deadline: July 1
  • Submit Final High School Transcripts: must be sent directly from the high school to the Office of Admission. You can email us your transcript, submit it via the Common Application website, or fill out and mail the Final Academic Transcript form. You must confirm with your high school that the guidance office/registrar’s office has forwarded your final transcript to us. You will need it on file at Vassar to finalize registration for first-semester courses.  
    Deadline: July 1
  • Submit Medical Information: Complete your entry medical requirements as soon as possible by registering and logging into the Vassar College Health Service Patient Portal (available early June.) If you are unable to access the portal, please email Health Services.  
    Note: You will not be able to access the Health Service portal until you have your Vassar email address  
    Deadline: July 1
  • Pre-register for classes: (June 17 to July 19). You will receive more information soon regarding this process.


  • Plan to bring enough cash in your currency to exchange at the airport for $100–200 in U.S. dollars.
  • Make travel arrangements to arrive in the United States on international arrival day, Thursday, August 22, 2024.
  • Plan on bringing bedding materials with you upon arrival, or shipping them ahead of time. You will likely not have the opportunity to purchase these items at Vassar on the day you arrive, so you will need to make arrangements ahead of time to be sure you have appropriate linens for your bed.
  • Submit the Travel Information Form to the Office of International Services (form will be emailed to you).
  • Submit the International Friendship Program Form to the Office of International Services (form will be emailed to you).
  • Consider shipping your belongings to Vassar once you receive your Vassar College post office box number. Refer to the International Student FAQs for more information on shipping.
  • Take Required Training: Vassar is committed to supporting a caring, supportive, and safe campus, so we’ve partnered with Get Inclusive, an online education provider, to educate College community members about issues that may impact each one of us. As an incoming student, you must complete an online training course: Get Inclusive: Voices for Change. You will receive a notification through your Vassar email address with detailed course instructions, including the due date for completion.
  • Deposit funds to your VCash Account.


  • Arrive at Vassar for International Orientation on Thursday, August 22, 2024.

Departure Checklist

  • Exchange foreign currency for $100–200 in U.S. currency for use when you first arrive. Include small bills (i.e., $1, $5, $10).
  • Do not carry large sums of currency (i.e., no more than $200 in cash)
  • Give your family a contact address in the U.S. and keep Vassar’s emergency contact information handy. In the event you need to reach someone at Vassar during your trip to campus, call Andrew Meade at 1-(845) 235-9967.
  • Have Vassar’s address/your American address at hand at all times, or memorize it. You will need it to complete immigration forms.
  • Write down the complete telephone numbers of the people you would like to call once you have arrived in New York City. Be sure to include your country code and all applicable area codes.
  • If you are being sponsored by an organization, notify the organization of your plans and complete all of the sponsoring organization’s necessary documents.
  • Pack all identification and important correspondence from Vassar in your hand luggage. These documents include the following: letter of admission, financial-aid award letter, valid passport, Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or DS2019), SEVIS I-901 Fee receipt, financial documentation, driver’s license, copy of birth certificate, etc.
  • If your passport was issued less than one year ago, you will need your birth certificate or another photo ID more than a year old in order to obtain a Social Security Number (necessary for employment).
  • Bring necessary health immunization records. (You will need a copy for Vassar Health Services as well as a copy for your own records.)
  • Pack your carry-on with emergency personal items, such as medication and a change of clothes, in case your luggage is temporarily lost during your journey.
    And finally...bring photographs and other items to remind you of home!

Arrival Information

Arrival Date

The arrival date for all international students is August 22nd, 2024.

Shuttle Service from John F. Kennedy Airport

We plan to schedule free airport shuttles for those of you traveling to Vassar without accompanying family members. We will reach out over the summer to collect arrival information, including requests to be on a shuttle. These shuttles will run from JFK to Vassar on August 22nd.

Directions to Vassar from Other Major Airports

Students who elect to use public transportation should follow the directions below from their arrival airport to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, where they will board a train to Poughkeepsie. Be prepared to spend up to two hours from your flight arrival time in New York waiting to be cleared through U.S. Immigration and Customs.

JFK Airport to Grand Central Train Terminal

Go Airlink provides shuttles from JFK to Grand Central. You can find customer assistance at the Ground Transportation Desk in every terminal and ask about the shuttle and schedules. You can also check the schedules or book tickets online at New York Airport Shuttle. The fare is about $30 one-way for a shared shuttle.

You can also take Uber, Lyft, or a taxi to Grand Central. You can find a taxi 24 hours a day at the taxi stands in front of the terminals by following the signs to “Ground/Land Transportation.”  Taxi, Uber and Lyft fares to Grand Central Station are about $75.

Newark Liberty Airport to Grand Central Terminal

At Newark Airport, follow the Ground Transportation signs to Express Buses. Take the Manhattan shuttle to Grand Central Terminal. They depart every 20–30 minutes between 4:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. and the fare is $18. The bus into Grand Central takes about 50 minutes depending on the time of day (longer during peak hours).

If you arrive any earlier or later than this, you will need to take a taxi, Uber or Lyft to Grand Central. You can find the taxi stand by following the signs to “Ground Transportation.” Taxi, Uber and Lyft fares are around $55, and the ride should take about 40–60 minutes.

LaGuardia Airport to Grand Central Terminal

Find routes for bus routes from LaGuardia Airport.

You can also take a taxi, Uber or Lyft to Grand Central. You can find the taxi stand by following the signs to “Ground Transportation.” Taxi, Uber and Lyft fares are around $45, and the ride should take 20–30 minutes.  Follow rideshare signs for Uber or Lyft.

At Grand Central Terminal

Transportation from Grand Central Terminal to Poughkeepsie is via Metro-North Railroad. In the main lobby of Grand Central, purchase a Metro-North train ticket to Poughkeepsie. (Be sure to purchase a ticket in the terminal, because they are more expensive when purchased on the train.) One-way fare is $20 or $27, depending on the time of day. The trains to Poughkeepsie leave about every hour from approximately 6:30 a.m. to 12:43 a.m. Check the schedules carefully; not all trains are Metro-North trains, and not all northbound trains go to Poughkeepsie. Find the correct Metro-North train schedule by filling in the following information: “From Station” is Grand Central and “To Station” is Poughkeepsie. Poughkeepsie is the last stop on the train, so relax and enjoy the trip!

Transportation from Poughkeepsie Train Station to Vassar

At Poughkeepsie, head into the station and out the front doors. (If you have a lot of luggage, there are elevators from the platform.) Outside of the station building, you will find a row of taxi vans. Tell the driver you are going to Vassar College (there is a hospital called Vassar as well), and they will drive you to your residence hall (have the name of your dorm/residence hall with you at all times). The fare will cost about $7 per person and the ride to Vassar should be no longer than 10 minutes. If you cannot locate a taxi, you can call Allen’s Taxi at 1 (845) 485-2411 or AAA Taxi at 1 (845) 473-7600. Expect to tip (a dollar or two). Uber and Lyft are also now available in Poughkeepsie.

Does Vassar offer a shuttle service?

We plan to offer shuttles for first year international students traveling alone from JFK on Thursday, August 22, 2024.

Pre-Matriculation Credit

Vassar may award a maximum of 6 units of pre-matriculation credit of any type.

Students may not apply for these credits until after they matriculate and are active students at Vassar.

Credit for Pre-Vassar College Work

To apply for credit for a course or courses you completed at another institution, you must present an official transcript sent from the registrar of the institution to the Dean of Studies, Vassar College.

Not all courses are eligible for transfer credit. See the First-Year Handbook section on Pre-Matriculation Credit for eligibility requirements.

Advanced Exam Credit (e.g., AP and IB Credit)

Students who earn scores of 5, 6, or 7 on higher-level International Baccalaureate exams are awarded 1.0 unit of transfer credit, subject to the maximum of 2.0 units of exam-based, pre-matriculation credit. In the same manner, Vassar grants credit for high scores on certain foreign advanced programs of study. Common examples include: GCE/Cambridge A-level exams with a grade of A or B; French Baccalaureate exams with minimum coefficient of 4 and minimum score of 11; German Abitur exams with minimum score of 10; CAPE exams with a grade of I or II. Other college-level, pre-matriculation examination results will be evaluated as they are submitted—provided they are accompanied by appropriate documentation authenticating and supporting their academic integrity and level of proficiency. In some cases, transcription and translation must also be provided. Vassar also accepts AP credits for scores of 4 or 5 on the AP exams. A maximum of 2.0 units of exam-based, pre-matriculation credit may be awarded.

If you wish to request a transcript, please write to:

Advanced Placement Services
Box 6671
Princeton, NJ 08541-6671
(609) 771-7300 or (888) 225-5427
CEEB code: 2956

IB Americas Global Centre
7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 200 West
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 202-3000

For more information on pre-matriculation credits, see the First-Year Handbook section on Pre-Matriculation Credit.

Registration and Advising

Before arriving at Vassar, you will begin to plan your course of study by exploring the Vassar College Catalogue, reading the Academic Information section of the First-Year Handbook, pre-registering for the fall semester, and filling out and returning your Statement of Academic Interests (due July 1).

Statement of Academic Interests

Once you declare your major (usually at the end of sophomore year), you will choose an advisor from the program or department in which you are majoring. Until that time, you will be assigned a pre-major advisor by the dean of first-year students. The only tool the dean has to match you with an appropriate advisor is your Statement of Academic Interests (due July 1). During New Student Orientation, you will meet with your pre-major advisor to finalize your fall schedule.


Pre-registration will begin on June 17 and end on July 19. You will be able to access the registration program beginning June 17 using your Vassar One account login.