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Tips for International Students. Welcome ! International students from all over the world; welcome to the University of South Florida College of Nursing.

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Presentation on theme: "Tips for International Students. Welcome ! International students from all over the world; welcome to the University of South Florida College of Nursing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tips for International Students

2 Welcome ! International students from all over the world; welcome to the University of South Florida College of Nursing. It is important that you become familiar with the college of nursing prior to your arrival to USF and the commencement of your courses. Start your orientation here, You will find video tutorials on how to obtain your USF health email account, Blackboard access, technical support information, and the College of Nursing orientation for both undergraduate and graduate student levels. orientation

3 What To Wear In Tampa, you will experience hot, humid and rainy weather in the summer and cold, dry weather in the winter. You will need appropriate clothing for each season. If you are coming from a country that does not have such a wide range of climatic conditions, you may find it easier to purchase seasonal clothing once you arrive. Reasonably priced clothing can be purchased at locations close to the university.

4 Dress on campus is generally very casual with an emphasis on comfort. USF has a very large and active international community so you are encouraged to bring your national costume with you. There are a number of occasions, especially during International Week in April, when you may wish to wear clothing that reflects your culture and heritage. Remember to bring all personal documents including your driver's license, medical records, and academic records.

5 English Proficiency All the lectures, teacher/student communications, tests, and assignments are in English. You are expected to have good command of the language to be able to succeed in your courses. If English is not your first language, you may find it useful to attend an English Language Institute (ELI) in your hometown or you can apply for admission at the ELI here on USF campus. However, enrollment in the ELI does not guarantee you acceptance to the College of Nursing.

6 What is Blackboard? Blackboard is a web-based course-management system designed to allow students and faculty to participate in classes delivered online or use online materials and activities to complement face-to-face teaching. Blackboard enables instructors to provide students with course materials, discussion boards, virtual chat, online quizzes, an academic resource center, and more. It is used extensively at the College of Nursing.

7 Blackboard Continued.. The degree to which Blackboard is used in a course varies. For example, instructors may supplement an on-campus class by putting their syllabus and handouts on their course sites. In contrast, other courses may be conducted entirely through Blackboard, without any on-campus sessions. If you are enrolled in a course that uses Blackboard, be sure to find out how Blackboard will be used in that course.

8 Blackboard On the first day of classes you are expected to come prepared, review your course syllabus, purchase the required text books, review announcements made by your course instructor or teaching assistant, and you may have assignments already posted on Blackboard. If you do not have Blackboard access, you may fall a little behind; to avoid that, find here how to access your

9 Florida Nursing License Admission to the graduate nursing school at USF requires evidence of current Florida RN license in good standing. You will not be able to enroll in any clinical courses without proof of Florida nursing license. Obtaining a Florida nursing license is a multi-step process which goes like this:

10 Step #1 1.If you were educated in a foreign country, you are required to have a full education course-by- course credentials review by a Florida Department of Health (DOH) approved credentialing agency: follow the hyperlink for more information. You must note that the report may take several months to complete, so apply to the agency of your choice as soon as possible.approved credentialing agency

11 Step #2 2.Apply to the Florida Board of Nursing for RN nursing license. Read the instructions carefully and complete the Application for Nursing Licensure by Examination form at the end of the document, or you may also apply online with a credit card at: Once your nursing licensure application is received by the Florida Board of Nursing, you will receive a notification letter to confirm it, however, your application will not be processed until the application fee, proof of your English proficiency (page 8 of the instructions booklet), and your full education course- by-course credentials review report are received by the Board. Note: all reports must be submitted directly by the issuing agencies.instructions

12 Step #3 3.In addition to applying for licensure with the Board of Nursing, you are required to register for the NCLEX test. Once your license application is complete, the Florida Board of Nursing may take up to 30 days to respond to you. You will then be notified in writing of the status of you application. If a written approval is received from the Board Office, you will then have to register with Pearson VUE for the NCLEX test. Refer to page 11 on the instructions booklet for more information on the NCLEX examination. Read the NCLEX examination candidate bulletin for test related information very carefully. You can find the most recent bulletin on Pearson VUE website at:

13 Step #4 4. Schedule your NCLEX test. Pearson VUE will issue an Authorization to Test (ATT) for you after they confirm the Board approval. The ATT will be mailed to you or sent via e-mail depending on your choice of communication. After you receive your ATT, you can then schedule your NCLEX examination date and time on Pearson VUE website. You must have your ATT document with you the day of your NCLEX exam; without it, you will be turned away and required to schedule a new test date.

14 Step #5 5. After you complete your NCLEX exam, you will be notified of your test results, and if you pass, you will receive your nursing license by mail. Once you receive your Florida RN license, you are required to provide a copy to Admissions at the College of Nursing at USF.

15 Obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN) A Social Security Number is often required to open a bank account, obtain car insurance, etc. If you do not have a United States Social Security Number, you are required to obtain one prior to the issuance of a permanent Florida nursing license. Only certain non-U.S. citizens can obtain a SSN.

16 SSN Instructions are given here for F-1 and J-1 visa holders. If you hold a different visa, you should consult your USF international student advisor at the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) for more details.

17 F-1 visa and J-1 visa holders Social Security Number (SSN) is issued to F-1 and J-1 visa holders only if they actually have an on-campus job, or if they have a firm promise of a job on-campus which will begin soon. The Social Security Office can be found at: 3415 E Frontage Rd Tampa, FL 33607-7009 Tel. (813) 225-7304

18 To obtain SSN 1. Secure employment with USF 2. Obtain an employment offer letter from employer. This should state: The name of the student The name of the employer The start date of employment. 3. Bring your employment letter to International Affairs for a supporting letter. It may take up to a week to produce this letter. Complete the SS-5 application form at the Social Security website. Social Security

19 SSN Continued.. 4. Take the following documents to the Social Security office: a)Completed SS-5 application form b)Valid passport c)I-94 card d)I-20 ID or DS-2019 e)Employer's letter f)Letter from International Affairs g)Employment Authorization Document (EAD) - if appropriate. It takes about 2 weeks to issue SSN, once you receive your card by mail, provide a copy to the Florida Board of Nursing so you can receive your permanent nursing license.

20 Register for Courses –In order to register for courses, you should know the subject and the course number. If you only know the subject of the course; Go to Click on “class schedule search, student” on the left of the screen (it’ll take you to Enter all the information about the class you have and follow the directions. At the end you should be able to get the information about course number, subject and section »example: NUR (subject) 4455 (course) 001 (section)

21 Register for Courses cont’ If you know the subject and the course number; Go to Oasis Login GenMenu?name=homepage GenMenu?name=homepage Follow the steps to login Go to “Student” option from the top menu, then select “registration”, “register or drop classes”, “select a term”, and then “submit”. Follow the instruction to add/drop courses Once you’re done registering for courses, your next step is to pay for tuition and fees and attend classes.

22 Buy Your Books To check the required books for a course, go to BWizardView?catalogId=10001&storeId=52063&langId =-1&level=1 BWizardView?catalogId=10001&storeId=52063&langId =-1&level=1 Under your customized textbook list, follow the steps and select term, department, course, section. After clicking on “add course” on the right side of the page, you will see the added course number. Add all courses, click on “view all textbook list” and you’ll have the list of required or recommended textbooks for your courses with the USF bookstore prices. Tip: study guides are almost never used, to save money – buy only the textbook. If not sure whether you need any book or not – e-mail the course instructor.

23 Buy Your Books cont’ There are several ways to buy your textbooks: –Buy from the USF book store – easy and fast –Buy online – takes up to 3 weeks to deliver, could be significantly cheaper. Some useful websites: –Buy e-book Instant delivery Sold with or without hard copy text books Very useful for making study guides Convenient search options Always accessible through the computer

24 Buy Your Books cont’ If you are limited financially – you can opt to buy an older edition of the required text books. –Will cost a fraction of the new edition’s price –Might not have same chapter numbers –Might lack some material –In most cases is sufficient for reference use

25 Buy Required Stuff Laptop computer (optional) White uniform (nursing scrubs) White laboratory coat Stethoscope Nursing software for PDA

26 Buy Required Stuff Laptop computer –You’ll need a computer. If you do not have one, you can use computers in the library or the computer lab on the second floor of the College of Nursing (when available). –Laptop will make your study more productive –You can buy one from: USF computer store (, nearby Staples (, online etc. –If you buy it before coming to the US – make sure it has wireless card, you’ll be able to use free wireless internet connection anywhere on USF campus.

27 Buy Required Stuff Uniform and lab coat –White uniform is required –Check with USF Health book store –Buy online/ google it –Buy in the University square mall (take bus D route)

28 Stethoscope Suggested brand Littman –Can buy it in USF bookstore –Shop online/ google it –Buy in uniform store

29 “Nursing Central” software Required for all undergraduate USF nursing students Includes information on disease, drug guide, medical dictionary Buy it online or in USF bookstore Check it at central_pda_wireless central_pda_wireless It can be used on iPhone, iPod touch, Palm PDA and other devices. See the website.

30 Shopping Tips –Where to buy groceries Sweetbay Publix Wal-Mart –Where to eat – walking distance from campus Check the Marshall Center food court, (take bus route B from the College of Nursing) there are several small restaurants there Moffitt Cancer Center cafeteria – the building is next to the Health Sciences Center (HSC) building Panera Bread Chipotle Mexican grill Einstein Bros’ bagels Evos USF book store Burger king

31 Shopping Tips cont’ Tip: if you are not familiar with American food and restaurant chains, it is a good idea to look at their websites before going so you can get an idea about the prices and type of food they serve. To find the directions to the place – go to Google maps or, enter your location, see the map. You can buy just about everything online and have it safely delivered to your address as long as you have valid credit or debit card.

32 Study Tips Teachers always post PowerPoint prior to the lecture – check it Make notes during the lecture (on the printed Power Points or on your computer) Attend all lectures  It is very Important, during the lectures teachers often give tips on what kind of questions will be on the test. Record lectures  Most teachers make their test questions based on Power Points and lecture – listen to the lecture several times and study PowerPoint, it will be very helpful in preparation for your tests Use textbooks as a reference  You’ll find yourself very busy during the semester, do not try to read all the chapters, read books if you don’t understand something in the PowerPoint or if teacher suggests to read a particular chapter

33 Study Tips cont’ Make study guides, they will help you get organized, and they are useful for the final comprehensive test. Pay attention to review questions. If teachers say to pay attention to review questions – they mean it. You’ll find those questions on the test. Form or join a study group, It makes it easier and faster to make study guides if you work in group with several of your classmates. Write an e-mail to the teacher if you need any clarifications. Teacher’s e-mail and phone number can be found on Blackboard under the course syllabus. Teachers are very helpful and respond within 24 hours. Don’t be shy to dispute the grade if you think that your answer was correct. You might get some points back.

34 Study Tips cont’ Review every test –You can request a review after every test. –Very helpful to further understand the material –If there is no class exam review – write an email to the teacher and arrange for an appointment to review. –Some of your missed questions can appear on the comprehensive final test. Seek help if you think that you are not doing well –Write an e-mail to the teacher and make an appointment –Do not wait until the end of the semester –Ask about tutoring options

35 Study Tips cont’ Group tutoring –Organized by the faculty –Free for students –Taught by fellow students –Might be helpful if you need further explanation of the material –The date, time, and place usually announced through e-mail. Ask the teacher for more information Internet connection –You’ll need it constantly during the study –All USF buildings have free wireless connection –You can find wireless connection in some coffee shops and restaurants (Panera Bread, Starbucks…)

36 Open a Bank Account As a new student, the easiest bank account to open would be with the USF Federal Credit Union. The credit union is located in the Marshall center on campus. For more information on the services rendered at the credit union, go to You need only your USF student ID Card to open an account and a deposit of $25.

37 Get Vaccinated Florida law requires that all students be immunized against certain communicable diseases like measles, hepatitis B, meningitis, etc. Failure to comply with immunization requirements will result in the placement of a registration hold on your student account. Every new student needs to be immunized or submit proof of immunization if already received. This is done at Student Health Services (SHS).

38 Get Vaccinated cont’ SHS is located near Marshall center next to the USF bookstore. For more information on immunization, go to If you get sick, go to the Student Health Services (SHS), located next to the USF bookstore or call the number on your health insurance card. In case of emergency, call 911.

39 Health Insurance for International Students Health insurance is mandatory for all international students at USF. Failure to pay the premium can result in you being dropped from the courses. The student health services (SHS) insurance office assists all international students in complying with the health insurance mandate. For more information go to,

40 Find a place to live There is a wide range of living options for students who wish to live on campus. It is important to choose the type of housing that best fits your needs. For more information go to http://www.housing.usf.edu The different styles available on campus are as follows: Traditional-style living Apartment-style living Suite-style living Greek Housing

41 Find a Place to Live cont’ You can sign up online for the on-campus housing of your choice a few months prior to the beginning of the semester. The university will notify you when you can sign up. You have the option to sign up for a short-term (one semester) stay, or a long-term (two semesters) stay. Check on for a list of what you can bring and what is not allowed.

42 Find a Place to Live cont’ There are also a number of housing locations outside USF campus depending on your choice. However, new students are usually advised to live on campus to allow for easy and smooth transition. Some of the off-campus apartments are located on the route of the Bull Runner C (USF Shuttle). This makes it easier to get home from school. Especially those located on 42 nd and 46 th street. There are also apartments located in areas close to USF. For more information on off-campus housing, go to

43 Transportation For those without cars, free shuttle transportation is available on USF campus. You will need the campus map to help you in navigating and getting around campus. For more information about the bull runner (USF Shuttle) schedule, route, and campus map, go to The ride is free for USF students. You only need to show your USF student ID Card to the driver as you enter the bus. The route of Bull Runner D passes through the shopping areas around USF campus.

44 Transportation cont’ However, the USF Shuttle only goes to a limited number of places off-campus. Thus, you will need an alternative means of transportation to get to your clinical sites. E.g. Hillsborough Area Transit (HART) City Bus. The HART bus travels to many corners of Tampa and can be very helpful in getting to your clinical sites. For information on the HART bus schedule go to, You can use the link to get the bus schedule, route, and map.

45 Transportation cont’ The link will also give you the approximate commute Transportation with HART Bus is free for USF students. You only need to show your USF student ID Card to the driver as you enter the bus. You can also buy the bus schedule booklet at the University Transit Center, which is located very close to Wal-Mart on East Fletcher Avenue. The booklet cost is $1.

46 Cultural Differences All the stereotypes you may have about Americans might not be true Even the true ones cannot be generalized You may find most Americans requiring more personal space Shaking hands when you first meet are not common and if any are momentary You need to be more assertive and speak out on your own behalf Eye contact is not sign of disrespect, but instead an indication of openness. You must be time sensitive. Being late for classes/appointments for more than 10 minutes can be considered rude.

47 In The End We hope that you found this presentation helpful, and we wish you a pleasant journey and a successful learning experience here at the College of Nursing, University of South Florida.

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