Dear Wheaton Parents,

Congratulations on the admission of your student to Wheaton College!

We have provided some links for you to answer any questions you may have. These include the International Student Orientation handbook, which has information about cultural adjustment, hotels, shopping, banking, cell phones and more. We have also included the visa application process, student financial services and a map of campus.

We also understand that you are excited for them to attend college in the United States. We know that while you are here, you want to spend as much time with them as possible including taking them out to dinner, shopping for necessary items and saying your goodbyes.

However, we must kindly remind you that the International Student Early Arrival Program is REQUIRED and your student must attend every session on the calendar belowWe have had instances where students have missed crucial information due to families taking them out at the start of the day.

We kindly and politely ask that you please refrain from taking them from these activities until AFTER the day’s events are over. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact, and your email will be directed to the appropriate person.

Thank you! We greatly appreciate it! We look forward to seeing you in the Fall!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How do I pay my student’s tuition?

Please click on the Student Account Center page to make payments. Please note that you will need your student’s Wheaton login information in order to complete this process.

Will my student be able to get supplies upon arrival?

Your student has two options. Option A: they can purchase items online and they can have them shipped to the college in early August. Option B: The Center for Global Education provides a shopping trip during International Pre-Orientation and they will be able to purchase supplies at that point. However, we do encourage students to come with some basic necessities. See our College Packing List for more information.

In order to save on extra luggage fees at the airport, students have also sent personal materials to the campus in advance.

Will someone be picking my student up at the airport? 

Yes. The Center for Global Education provides airport pickup during International Pre-Orientation. Your student will be sent a link during the summer to sign up for airport pickup. There are three shuttles from the airport to Wheaton College. It is important to plan flights according to the shuttle schedule. Please be aware that airport pick-up is only for students traveling alone.

When do classes begin?

Classes begin the week after the International Pre-Orientation program. Please see the academic calendar for precise dates.

Why does my student have to come early?

Your student has to come early because the Center for Global Education provides a specially designed International Pre-Orientation program. The program is designed to help your student ease into their new academic environment, get to know the campus, make friends and adjust to the Wheaton community.

Will my student get the opportunity to meet other people?

Yes. Your student will have multiple opportunities to meet other students. There are five other Pre-Orientation programs prior to the start of classes, where your student will be able to connect with many students. Then, a whole new group of students will arrive for New Student orientation and they will be able to meet hundreds of other students.

How does my student get their ID and room key?

Upon arrival, your student will be provided with a packet of information which will include their ID and room key.

Is there a parent program during Pre-Orientation or New Student Orientation?

Yes. The five Pre-Orientations provide a program that allows parents to become better acquainted with the Wheaton campus and and community. A tour is provided, conversations with President Hanno, conversations with various Dean’s and Directors, an opportunity to talk to campus representatives and a parent reception.

Where can I stay near campus?

Many parents have had success with a few AirBnB locations, very close to campus. Please look here for other options (insert link here)

How can I rent a car? 

We recommend reserving a car upon arrival at the airport.

Can students stay in their room during breaks?

Yes, but registration is required. During the school year, there are no additional fees, but if a student chooses to stay during the Winter break, there is a fee. Students are allowed to stay on campus during the summer, but they must meet certain requirements. Please read more about it on the summer housing page.

Can students store their belongings over the summer? 

Yes, students can store their belongings, but they cannot store it on campus due to limited space. There are several storage unit facilities within the area.

When do I get notified of my student’s grades?

You do not have access to your student’s grades unless you have signed a FERPA waiver. FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. If you want access to your students record, your student MUST sign a FERPA waiver at the Registrar’s office. If not, by law, you are not allowed to have access to your student’s records.

How does my student choose what classes to take?

During the summer, a student success advisor will reach out to your student to begin the selection of classes. Prior to this encounter, your student will have the opportunity to peruse the academic course catalogue.

What health services are available on campus?

Wheaton College has a Counseling Center and uses the Norton Medical Center for its medical needs.

Is insurance mandatory? How does insurance work for my student? 

Yes. Insurance is mandatory for all international students. All students are automatically enrolled in the Wheaton Health Insurance Plan. To read more about health insurance, please go here (insert link here, student health services). Please be aware that health care in the United States is very expensive and health insurance will help to defray the cost.

If my student is attending a Pre-Orientation program, do they need to attend the New Student Orientation program?

Yes. Both programs are different and each program is designed to meet each audience.

What is the difference between Pre-Orientation and New Student Orientation?

Pre-Orientation is designed for students that identify with a specific identity group. New Student Orientation is for all new students regardless of how they might identify. For example, international student pre-orientation is for international students and dual citizens who have primarily lived and studied outside of the United States.

How does my student pick their housing? 

Your student will receive a packet of information that will include their housing application. In the housing application, they will be asked lifestyle questions, personality questions and personal preferences in regards to living situations. Students use the housing portal as part of their application process to meet potential roommates. Student have also been known to meet via the Wheaton College Facebook page or Instagram. If your student fails to submit a housing application, they will be assigned housing. For more information on housing, please click here (insert link here).

Does my student need to register for International Pre-Orientation? 

Yes. A link will be sent to all international students during the summer.

My student has never been in school in the United States, so what will their first academic semester be like?

Depending on how your student deals with change, they will need some time to adjust to the new educational environment and expectations. They may experience the following:

  • Writing a lot of papers
  • Higher volume of homework
  • Increased class participation
  • Increased assignments in class or exams/quizzes
  • Difficulty staying current with all classes
  • Amount of critical thinking required and expected

My student received an I-20/DS-2019 in their packet. What is this and what do they have to do next? 

The I-20 or DS-2019 is used to apply for the F-1 or J-1 visa they will use to come to the US. Instructions have been provided on next steps for visa application.

What is the SEVIS fee? 

The SEVIS fee is used to process the I-20. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) charges a $350 SEVIS fee to new F-1 students and a $220 SEVIS Fee to J-1 students.