Preparing for Departure

Transferring Funds

Paying Your Bill

Travel Arrangements

Notebook Computer

What to Bring

Shipping Things

Textbooks

Changing Cultures

TRANSFERRING FUNDS TO THE U.S.

There are several options and you may choose one method exclusively or combine two or more depending on what is appropriate for your situation. Please plan to arrive with approximately USD$1,000 immediately available to meet book and personal expenses.

Wire Transfer

This is a secure method of moving funds directly from a bank in your home country to Hiram's Student Accounts Office. Wired funds must be in U.S. dollars. Upon our receipt of funds, they are immediately posted to your personal student billing account. Wire transfer instructions are sent to all accepted students. Please allow three business days for transfer of funds in order to meet all payment deadlines.

Credit Card

Hiram College tuition and fees can be paid by MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. If you have a VISA credit card in your name (NOT in the name of another family member), it will be a convenient way to pay for College Bookstore and most off-campus expenses or purchases while living in the U.S. If you bring a credit card to the U.S., before you depart be certain to notify the card company that you will be using the card in the United States to insure that they do not block use of the card outside your home country.

American Express Travelers Cheques

American Express Travelers Cheques are insured, and American Express refunds the money if they are lost or stolen. The cheques must be in U.S. dollars and other currencies cannot be accepted. In some countries, cheques in U.S. dollars may be unavailable or difficult to obtain, so determine early in your planning if this is your preferred option.

Currency/Cash

If you choose to bring currency it must be in U.S. dollars. Exchange your funds prior to arriving in the U.S. There is no currency exchange at Cleveland Hopkins Airport or in the Hiram, Ohio, area.

To prevent theft of funds while traveling, do not put money in a suitcase, flight/travel bag or purse. Wear it on your person. Keep out only what you need for travel and secure the rest in a money belt that can be worn inside clothing around the middle of your body.

IMPORTANT: There is no limit to the amount of money (U.S. or foreign currency), travelers cheques, money orders, or negotiable instruments in bearer form that you may bring into or take out of the United States. However, a report must be filed with U.S. Customs at the time you arrive or depart with an amount that exceeds USD$10,000 (or the equivalent in foreign currency). If you fail to declare amounts that exceed USD$10,000, a Customs Inspector may assume that the funds are illegal and may confiscate them.

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PAYING YOUR BILL

Invoices for student bills are emailed to new international students in the last week of June by our Student Accounts Manager, Ms. Linda Shirey. Please be sure to forward the billing email to parents, guardians, and sponsors so they may arrange payment in a timely manner.

Payment is due by July 23rd. Payment instructions are included with the emailed bill. Following are accepted methods of payment:

  • Bank Check (written on a bank affiliated with a bank in the U.S.)
  • Wire Transfer (A processing fee is assessed by our bank so please increase the amount you send by USD$17 to cover that fee. So that we direct the funds to your individual student account, fax or scan a copy of the transfer remittance form to us.
  • Credit Card (MasterCard, Discover, or American Express only). There is a 2.5% fee added to credit card payments.

Tuition bills for future semesters are available to you through our electronic system as an E-Bill. When you are on campus in August, you will be given your access code which permits year around viewing of your E-bill. A student may allow up to five (5) family members (delegates) to view the electronic bill (e-Bill). The student can create, modify and delete delegates at any time.

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ARRIVAL/TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Air Travel

Arrival Day for all new international students is Monday, August 18.  Arrival on this date is important as your Form I-20 specifies the start date for your program of study at Hiram College.  Students arriving late may be denied entrance into the U.S. at the Port of Entry.

August is a very busy travel season for students coming into the U.S., so you will want to book your tickets as soon as possible.  If your academic or sports program at Hiram requires early arrival, please contact your faculty adviser or athletic coach for the specific date and arrival details.

Following are some additional tips:

  1. Compare ticket prices and baggage regulations before purchasing airline tickets.
  2. Allow sufficient time for connecting flights, especially between your flight entering the U.S. and any subsequent, onward connecting flights.
  3. To avoid travel delays, confirm your ticket at least two weeks before the day you depart for the U.S. and again two or three days prior to the flight, if required by your airline.
  4. Carry sufficient money for unexpected expenses or events, such as a missed flight.
  5. Arrive at the departure airport about three hours prior to the scheduled flight time.

Carry-on Luggage

At the U.S. Port of Entry, you will be inspected by an immigration officer before you are permitted to collect your checked luggage. Therefore, prior to departure for the U.S., pack the following items in your carry-on bag, not in your checked luggage:

  • Passport with visa.
  • SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Evidence of financial resources
  • Evidence of Student/Exchange Visitor status (admission letter, recent tuition receipts, transcripts)
  • Important items such as eyeglasses, medications, bilingual dictionary, and credit card and/or sufficient money in travelers cheques or USD$ for unexpected expenses (such as a missed flight)
  • Contact information for the Hiram College International Student Advisor:

Office of International Student Services
Hiram College
Kennedy Center
11730 Garfield (State Route 700)
Hiram, OH 44234
Telephone: +1-330-569-5388
Fax: +1-330-569-5183
Office hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm

Do not pack or attempt to carry food, plants, or anything that can be interpreted as drug paraphernalia (such as pipes or tobacco papers). These items will be confiscated at the port of entry.

Port of Entry and U.S. Customs

Prior to departure from home, review procedures for entering the U.S. and arriving at Cleveland, Ohio.

Transport from the Airport to the Campus

For new international students and parents/sponsors who have made prior arrangement with us, Hiram College staff provides transport from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to campus on Arrival Day, August 18. To reserve Hiram transport, please send us:

Students unable to arrive on August 18, should make airport limousine service arrangements directly with:

People Express
34208 Aurora Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44139 U.S.A.
(cc:1) 440-248-3007

With advance reservation, parents who accompany you may pick up a rental car from one of several rental agencies located at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Due to orientation activities, Hiram is unable to provide return transport to the airport. We ask that family/relatives/sponsors who accompany you arrange independently with People Express for return transportation to the airport. 

Accommodations

New international students who come to campus on Arrival Day move directly into their residence hall rooms. The College is unable to house students prior to August 18.  Students arriving in the U.S. prior to that date must arrange independently for accommodation at the Hiram Inn or other area hotel. 

Accommodations for family/sponsors accompanying you are available at the Hiram Inn and/or in the surrounding area. You will want to make bookings well in advance as the Inn is popular and rooms are limited. 

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NOTEBOOK COMPUTER

To help you maximize our investment in classroom and laboratory technology and better integrate this technology into your courses, Hiram College has a computer notebook policy which standardizes computer platforms. This allows all students to have comparable hardware and computing ability:

  • New students must have a laptop computer. Hiram's TSS Helpdesk provides hardware and operating system recommendations. If you do not own one or yours does not meet minimum specifications, arrange to upgrade yours or purchase one prior to your arrival on campus.
  • The Computer Center will help all students access Hiram's wireless network and connect to the Internet, no matter what type of laptop they have.
  • Computer Center technicians are trained to provide support for Dell products. While students can bring any other type of notebook computer they would like, the Computer Center cannot guarantee the ability to troubleshoot and service them. Questions or concerns about support for your chosen computer may be directed to the Dray Computer Center's TSS Help Desk in Teachout Price Hall at 330-569-5313 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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WHAT TO BRING

What's in my room and what should I bring?

Because you are traveling a long distance, organizing what to bring, what to leave behind, and what to purchase after arrival takes careful planning. We can help with that. The College provides an extensive list of what is in your room and suggested items to pack. Here are some additional helpful tips:    

  • During Winter Break, all of your belongings may stay in your room while you travel. You may even remain on campus for a low nightly fee (2013 rate was $10 per night).
  • During Summer Break (May-August), students who live more than 500 miles from campus have access to campus storage. However, all storage items must fit into a specific sized box and there is a limit to the number of boxes allowed for each student.
  • The following items are not permitted in storage and therefore should not be purchased for your room (futons or any large furniture items, refrigerators, TV, large rugs, bicycles, etc.). Remember everything must be able to fit into a box for storage, so if it is too large, you will have trouble finding a place for it over the summer. Work out a deal with your roommate – he or she buys the larger items, you buy other stuff.

Linens

Hiram College residence halls provide the bed frame and an extra-long twin mattress. You will need to provide a pillow, bed sheets (TWIN XL) and blanket. You can ship or bring a set of extra-long twin size bed sheets with you or you can pre-order them so they are waiting here at Hiram when you arrive.  There are two options:

  1. It is possible to pre-order and purchase linens online and have them delivered to Hiram College. There are several good, online stores (i.e., http://walmart.com, http://amazon.com , http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com ) that carry twin XL linens. When you choose a blanket or comforter, you may choose twin size (extra-long is not required for blankets). Shipping information is provided further on in this pre-departure list. 
  2. You may arrange the short-term rental of a bedding bundle through the Hiram's International Student Services Office.  This allows you time to purchase linens after your arrival in the U.S. The International Student Advisor will contact you during the summer with details. The bundle contains:
    • Sheet Set
    • Pillow
    • Mattress pad
    • Blanket
    • Towel set (Bath towel, hand towel, and washcloth)

Clothing Styles at U.S. Colleges and Universities

Hiram College students, like those at most colleges/universities in the U.S., wear a wide range of clothing styles blended together to form an interesting array of taste and color. Hiram is in the temperate zone and there are four seasons each year, so you will want clothing in a variety of weather. On a daily basis, students (men and women) tend to dress comfortably and casually for classes - skirts, sweaters, slacks, blue jeans, sweatshirts, T-shirts, caps and sneakers. A backpack is also useful.

During your years at Hiram College, you'll participate in a number of special events - on and off campus - including guest lectures, formal dinners or events, concerts, conferences, senior seminars and graduation. In honor of these occasions, Hiram students dress more formally. Students who are applying to work off-campus through curricular and optional practical training should be prepared to dress in business attire for the interviews.

Traditional Dress from Your Home Country

Each year in February, Intercultural Forum (student organization) hosts an International Dinner and Talent Show. On this evening, 300-400 people enjoy a night of lavish dining with foods from many countries and talent displayed by Hiram College International and U.S. students. As a part of this event, many guests and students wear traditional garments from around the world. Please plan to bring something special from your country to wear for this event.

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SHIPPING THINGS TO HIRAM

To minimize the amount of luggage you must bring with you, you may consider purchasing items on the shopping trip that takes place during the International Orientation or you may pre-order items or ship items from home. If you elect to pre-ship boxes, the International Student Services Office will hold them until you arrive. Please notify the International Student Advisor of your plans prior to shipping items and allow 5-7 weeks for delivery of international shipments.

Shipments should be addressed to the following:

Via Courier

Hiram College
International Student Services
YOUR NAME
11715 Garfield Rd.
Hiram, OH 44234
U.S.A.
Telephone: (cc: 1) 330-569-5388

Via International Post

Hiram College
International Student Services
YOUR NAME
PO Box 67
Hiram, OH 44234
U.S.A.

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BUYING TEXTBOOKS

During the summer, the Associate Dean of Students will assist you in registering for fall semester classes. You will need textbooks very soon after arrival so it is best to plan in advance. You may buy your books at the Hiram College Bookstore immediately after arrival in Hiram or you may buy them online and have them shipped to the College. The international student advisor will be in contact with you after registration to assist you with these arrangements.

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PREPARING FOR A CHANGE IN CULTURE

In the flurry of preparations, it is easy to focus on tangible activities that will help you arrive safely and provide physical comfort in your new home. However, giving some advanced thought to transitioning to a new culture and educational system need to be included on your of pre-departure agenda.

Obviously, we cannot tell you everything to expect or predict all of the new customs and experiences you will encounter. But, we can provide you with some basic tips that may help smooth your adjustment to American Culture and help you successfully begin to navigate life on the Hiram campus.

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