International Students and the US MBA

There are a number of tasks one has to deal with before enrolling in business school, especially as an international student. I’ll lay out my list here – it’s specific to a UK student and Kellogg, but it should help a few of you out there nonetheless. Some of the links will require you to have a Kellogg ID – I wish they didn’t, as it’s not the kind of information that should be secured. Click on for the blow by blow list.

Exit tasks

  • Quit your job
  • Arrange a replacement in your house if you’re renting
  • Move out of your house
  • Terminate your services (e.g. mobile phone, internet, rent)
  • Sort out a leaving do, if you’re planning one

Kellogg Entrance tasks

  • Decide if you’re going on the pre-school trip, KWEST
    • Select which trip you’d like to go on
    • Submit a deposit
    • Sign & send back the uncomfortably comprehensive waiver form
    • Ensure you have the relevant vaccinations, and proof of these if necessary
    • Get extra medical insurance
    • Send a cheque with the balance
  • Determine whether you want financial aid. This is a loan – scholarships are awarded on entry, and if you didn’t get one, that’s the end of that.
  • Submit a mugshot to the school
  • Select Wingspan assessors. This is similar to getting references – you’ll need to find people you’ve worked for and ask them a bunch of questions about your performance to date.
  • Submit a medical history to the Health service, including proof of immunisations.
    • In the UK, you probably had an MMR jab when you were a munchkin, and a TB jab in your teens – but you might need a booster.
  • Obtain medical insurance. Northwestern has a standard insurance deal with Chickering. This is probably the easiest item to complete – simply log into Northwestern’s Caesar portal, select “Enrollment”, select “Health Coverage Plan”, then review the small print and look forward to a hefty debit on your student account. Easy!
  • Obtain dental insurance. The above plan does not include dental, and we British are apparently notorious for bad teeth.
  • Complete the pre-enrollment classes. More posts about that to follow.

US Entrance tasks

  • Ensure your passport is valid for the duration of the visa.
  • Find a house. In the US, most people use Craigslist for this task.
  • Get a visa request form
    • Select whether you’d like to be an F-1 or a J-1 student. Most people are F-1 students. Usually, you’ll only pick the J-1 if you are government sponsored.
    • Next, you need to apply for the form that let you apply for the visa. (Seriously.) If you’re going for the F-1, that means you’ll be applying for an I-20 form. There are a bunch of things you’ll need to submit when applying – basically to ensure that you can support yourself while studying.
  • Get a US study Visa. There are number of tasks to be completed – lists available here and here. You’ll need to schedule an interview with the US embassy, where you’ll be required to pay the SEVIS visa application fee of $100. This is done by credit card at the time of interview. You’ll also need to take a few items …
    • The main visa application form DS-156
    • The supplementary form DS-157 for males between 16 and 45.
    • The contact & work history form DS-158.
    • The I-20 form you recieved
    • A mugshot that meets state department regulations.
    • Evidence that you have enough cash to pay for your schooling and support yourself over your time at college.
    • Evidence that you have ties to the UK, i.e. family, employment or property here.
    • An undamaged passport. If you’re not a UK citizen, your passport needs to be valid for the study period plus six months.
    • If that’s all a bit daunting, there is help available. Further useful information is available on this forum. There are also lawyers in the UK ready to advise people on these issues – some examples are here, here, here, here, here and here.
  • Ship your gear to the US. A colleague of mine used this company, and they seemed to work well for him. They also provide a handy checklist for what you need to organise for US customs.
  • Book a flight out there.

Arrival Tasks

  • Check in with the International office


2 responses to “International Students and the US MBA”

  1. […] and prepare for student life. Between getting my business plan and dummy prototype in order and crawling through the usual migration tasks, everything else seems to fall in the category of improving my skills. I wonder if I’ll get […]

  2. Some good important information you provided here, some I agree with some not really much with the rest.

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