Pre-Departure & Arrival Information
The International Student Office runs an orientation program for new international students to help you transition to life at Castleton, in Vermont, and in the United States. During this orientation, you will become familiar with the services for international students. This orientation program is required for all incoming international students. We will be sending you more information about it in the summer. You should plan to arrive at Castleton University no later than Monday, August 19 for the new international student orientation and registration, which starts on Tuesday, August 20. The following information should help with preparations for your travel to and arrival at Castleton.
Please read carefully the “Instructions to Students” on page 2 of your I-20 form. Any violation will have serious consequences. An F1 student cannot be admitted to the United States more than 30 days before the program start date listed on your I-20.
In order to enter the United States, you will need your passport with the F1 visa in it and your I-20 form. You should keep these documents along with your financial and academic records with you at all times when travelling. Do not put them in your checked baggage in case they are lost.
Health insurance is required for all full-time students at Castleton, so you should plan for this expense. There are several different options to consider:
- If you already have health insurance in your home country, be sure that it covers you while studying in the U.S.
- If you do not have this coverage, you should explore health insurance companies that sell plans to international students in the U.S. Make sure the plan covers both injury and sickness and that the local hospital, Rutland Regional Medical Center, is listed as "in network" or a "preferred provider."
- Castleton University offers insurance coverage through a third party provider, Consolidated Health Plan, which you may wish to consider.
Health Form and Records
Our Wellness Center (Health Office) asks that you complete and send the Student Health Form before you arrive on campus. Notice that pages 2 and 3 are to be filled out by your “health care provider”, which can be a doctor, physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or nurse.
The following immunizations are all required by the State of Vermont Department of Health, which means you must get them if you have not yet had them. Please ask your health care provider to complete the Immunization Record, page 3 of the Student Health Form. Pay careful attention to the Tuberculosis Screening Risk Factors section on page 2.
- MMR 1 and 2 (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
- TDap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)
- Meningococcal 1 or 2 doses of meningococcal vaccine (required only for first year students living in dormitories who are not older than age 21). If vaccinated before the 16th birthday, a second dose is needed before university entry.
- Varicella 1 and 2 (If you have had history of Chicken Pox, you must complete and submit page 5 - Varicella Form)
- Hepatitis B 1, 2, and 3
- All incoming students- If there is a “YES” answer to any of the Tuberculosis Screening Risk Factors section, then you will need the PPD test done and results recorded on the health form (page 2).
If you have any questions about the form or required immunizations, please contact the Wellness Center.
Castleton arranges transportation from two airports to campus for its new international students. The Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport is small but the closest, just 16 miles (25 km) from Castleton. There are three flights to Rutland from Boston (Logan International Airport) each day. The second option is Albany International Airport, in New York, about 85 miles (136 km) from Castleton. If you fly into one of these two airports, someone will meet and drive you to campus. Please send us your flight details and which of the two airports you are using, so we can make arrangements to meet you that day. We are not able to pick you up from other airports at this time. Please note that this service is for students only and we are not able to transport any family members who may be traveling with you to campus.
Cell Phone Service
At this time, the network providers with the best cell phone coverage in Castleton are Verizon (CDMA networks) and AT&T (GSM networks). Both Verizon and AT&T have stores in Rutland. Other network providers have very limited coverage in the local area, or have roaming charges, or both.
There is an ATM on campus where you can withdraw U.S. dollars. It belongs to Heritage Family Credit Union. You will be charged a withdrawal fee each time you use the ATM, unless you open an account with the Heritage Family Credit Union. You may wish to open an account with the credit union once you arrive. They have an office in Castleton Village near the campus.
Weather/Seasons in Central Vermont
Vermont has a four-season climate, but the academic year has just three seasons with average temperatures as follows:
Fall (September-November): between 27 -- 70 F / -2 – 21 C
Winter (November-March): between 8 – 42 F / -13 – 5 C
Spring (March-June): between 19 – 66 F / -7 – 19 C
Please note these are only averages, so the weather can get much colder or warmer for brief periods of time. All buildings on campus are centrally heated during the winter months. However, warm winter clothing, including outerwear (a heavy coat, boots, hats, mittens, and scarves) are necessary, and you should plan on this expense if you do not have these items. There is no air conditioning in students’ rooms.
There is a bed, mattress, dresser, desk and chair in your room. You are responsible for providing your own bedding. Therefore, you should bring the following items with you: pillow(s), sheets, a blanket and bath towels. Please note the bed is a single or twin size, and the length of the mattress is extra-long, which requires extra-long sheets. You may order these items through the Residence Hall Linens program and have them mailed to you at Castleton. If you need to purchase these items after your arrival, we will make arrangements for you to shop in Rutland City, where the closest stores are located. If this is your situation, the college can loan you some bedding and towels for your temporary use. Please let us know at least one week before you arrive if you need to borrow these items so they can be delivered to your room prior to your arrival.
Other items you may wish to purchase for your room once you arrive at Castleton, can be found in this Suggested Shopping List. This list was created by one of out international students. None of these items are required, but are only suggested to make your life a little more comfortable and easier at Castleton. During international student orientation, we will take students to the stores in Rutland for shopping.
You may mail packages to yourself at Castleton prior to your travel, and they will be kept safely until you arrive. Please keep in mind the time it takes for international mail between your home country and here. You will have your own mailbox in the mailroom on campus. If you wish to mail packages to yourself, please use the following address:
c/o Mail Room
49 University Drive
Castleton, Vermont 05735
You will have your own mailbox in the mailroom on campus. The box number will be assigned to you after you arrive.
If you have questions about this information, or anything else not covered here, please reach out to a member of the International Support Team; we’re here to help! Erica Machia, Bill Silengo , and Adrienne Matunas will help make your preparation for Castleton and your arrival on campus go very well.