Skip to main content

Pre-Arrival Checklist: International Students

international students on wcu campus


Congratulations on your acceptance to Western Carolina University! 

Remember, there is a lot of information here, but WCU Global is here to assist you along the way! Prepare for your arrival by following the steps below.

We look forward to meeting you very soon! Please let us know if you have any additional questions. SAFE TRAVELS! 

These are things that you must do before arriving on campus.
Questions? Contact our office at or +1.828.227.7494.

New students should arrive at the Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) on the days below. Please click the appropriate link to tell us your flight information. Read the information carefully.

Fall 2024 - August 13th - Submit your travel plans to our office.


  • Deadline to submit travel plans: July 1st, 2024
  • Airport pick-up day: August 13th, 2024
  • Required international student orientation: August 14th-16th, 2024

Students must arrive at the Asheville Airport on the designated day.

For WCU Global to take you to campus, you must submit your flight information (flight number, arrival date/time, airline) via the travel survey by July 1st, 2024.

Students who arrive early may stay at one of the hotels listed on the travel survey. Individuals staying at one of the listed hotels will be picked-up by our office on the morning of the designated arrival date.

Students SHOULD NOT arrive late. Anyone who arrives after the designated pick-up date is responsible for finding their own transportation to WCU's campus from the airport. Taxi rides from the airport to campus are very expensive, and you should expect to pay at least $160+ USD.

Important Note: Graduate students are not required to pay an enrollment deposit. However, if you plan to live on campus as a graduate student, you will need to submit a deposit. To do so, please contact our office at  

What is the enrollment deposit?
Paying the enrollment deposit tells the university that you intend to attend Western Carolina University. This must be paid to register for classes and sign up for on-campus housing. When the semester begins, this will be added as a credit towards bills on your student account.

Payment Instructions:

  • Go to Deposit Payment Portal
  • Log in
  • Click on the purple "Application" button
  • Confirm/accept your offer of admission
  • Enter payment information

Fall Semester Enrollment Deposit Deadlines: 

First-Year students- May 1st 

Transfer students- June 1st 

Spring Semester Enrollment Deposit Deadlines: 

First-Year students- December 1st 

Transfer students- December 1st 

Payment doesn't work?
Contact us at with screenshots of what you see. We will help you!

There are two types of housing available for international students:

  • On Campus
  • Off Campus

Explore these options and sign-up for on-campus housing.

Explore these options for off-campus housing*

Housing Agreement: Students will get access to their  Fall 2024 Housing Agreement on March 1st. They will receive an email from the Department of Residential Living at WCU asking them to log into their Housing Portal, complete their Housing Agreement, room preferences and sign up for their Meal Plan.
Housing Preferences: The deadline for students to submit their Housing Preferences is July 3rd. While students will still be able to submit their Housing Agreement, they will not be able to complete their preferences. If you have any questions regarding housing or accessing the Housing Portal, please email the Department of Residential Living at

Student housing both on and off campus is in very high demand. Our office strongly recommends that accepted students plan their housing as early as possible.*IMPORTANT: Exchange and first-year students are required to live on campus.


On-Campus housing over winter break (mid-December to mid-January):

Students that plan to stay on-campus over winter break (typically mid-December to mid-January), must choose Robertson as their residence hall. Robertson is the only residence hall that stays open over winter break. It costs around $23 per day to stay over winter break, and you must email to request that option before December 1. Keep in mind that the university closes for a majority of the winter break and dining options will be limited. However, there are modified kitchen facilities within Robertson.


If you are an ISEP or KNPU student, please contact our office  ( to discuss your housing and meal plan options based on the exchange agreements with your institutions.

All international students will be automatically enrolled in the WCU student health insurance program, Student Blue. Services will be available to all students at Health Services, located in the Bird Building.

If you meet the health insurance coverage requirements through a different provider, Student Blue can be waived by completing the waiver process
Waiver portal will be opening on or around June 13, 2024 for Fall 2024. 

If you intend to waive Student Blue, your own insurance must meet the following requirements: 

  • Has at least $100,000 of total medical coverage
  • Has at least $25,000 of repatriation/return of mortal remains coverage.
  • Has at least 50,000 of medical evacuation coverage
  • Has no more than a $500-dollar deductible
  • Has an effective and termination date that covers the student for the entire semester.

Note: The above amounts are in displayed in US dollars.

Waiver proof/information must be provided in English per requirements for waiving the university health insurance. 

For more information on student health insurance at WCU, please visit the WCU Health Services information page

The Fall 2024 deadline to enroll or waive the WCU student health insurance: September 11th, 2024

North Carolina State Law requires anyone attending classes on the university campus to present proof of immunizations. Upload your immunization form and TB questionnaire to your Patient Portal before arrival on campus.

Important: If you do not submit the immunization and TB questionnaire forms by the deadline, WCU Health Services will place a hold on your account preventing registration for classes. Upload these into the Patient Portal.

Students with incomplete records, or without immunization records, will be required to receive immunizations from WCU Health Services after you arrive on campus. The cost of these shots will be billed to your student account. Email with immunization-related questions.

Log in to your Patient Portal.
Learn more about WCU Health Services.

Important Note: You must submit your required immunizations documents, covered in Step 5, before you can register for courses. 

First-year and transfer students: Log in to your myWCU and choose the appropriate orientation day. Please note that you will pick your class schedule on that day. You will not have your finalized class schedule until you attend the first-year or transfer orientation. You will also be provided a pin number to change your classes after arriving.

Exchange students: You will NOT be able to look up available classes until February for Fall or October for Spring. We will send more details on the exact date and time.

View WCU's Course Catalog for course descriptions.

View the searchable schedule of classes.

For a step-by-step guide on registering for courses, please refer to WCU's Course Registration Guide

Work with your faculty advisor and program coordinator to develop your class schedule.

View WCU's academic calendar.

Important Note: If you have not registered for classes before you arrive on campus, your CatCard will not work. Make sure you register for classes as soon as possible

Please submit your CatCard ID photo by January 2nd, 2024, by logging into myWCU.  If you are having trouble uploading the photo in myWCU, send a clear headshot with no sunglasses, filters, etc. to  Please include your full name and student ID number (920____) in the email.

Your picture should follow these guidelines:

  • JPEG file format
  • Look at the camera (like in a passport photograph)
  • Do not cover your face
  • No hats (traditional headwear is fine)
  • No sunglasses
  • Picture of your head + shoulders is preferred

Please Note: Your CatCard is used for many important purposes on campus such as accessing your residence hall, accessing dining facilities, checking out books at the campus library, and more. Therefore, it is imperative to submit your CatCard information before you arrive on campus. In addition, you must be registered for classes so your CatCard will work. 

For questions regarding your CatCard, please email

Bring these items with you on the plane. Have these items with you at the Port of Entry.

  1. I-20 or DS-2019 (original copy)
  2. Valid passport
  3. Valid visa
  4. Letter of acceptance to Western Carolina University
  5. SEVIS fee proof of payment
  6. Evidence of financial support
  7. Airline ticket
  8. Cash or Credit Card (not pre-paid) - USD $250-$300 or Visa/MasterCard. This is money you can spend until you set up a bank account. Please do not bring traveler's checks, pre-paid credit cards, or non-USD currency.
  9. Remember to check the weather! North Carolina has four seasons, so make sure to pack appropriately.

The International Orientation Fee ($130) is a one-time fee charged upon initial arrival. The International Student Fee ($150) is charged each continuing year at WCU. This is used to support activities and services throughout your time at WCU. Both fees are payable by all international students, except ISEP and KNPU students.

Submit your enrollment deposit in Slate ($300): This deposit is required to reserve a room on campus and will go towards your student account. This is payable by all international students, except ISEP and KNPU students.

WCU expects ALL students (undergraduate, graduate, and exchange) to pay their university charges prior to the start of each semester. You will need to be prepared to make the necessary payments. This includes housing, meal plan, and other fees. The final date to pay your Fall 2024 bill is Monday, August 19th, 2024.

Degree-seeking students pay out-of-state tuition and fees.

Exchange students pay Room/Board, International Student Fee, International Orientation Fee, Health Insurance, and Book Rental.


Click here to see all the Payment Options.

ISEP and KNPU students, email regarding any financial charges or questions.

If you need more time to make payments, please notify We can assist you in making a payment plan. Be aware that WCU will hold you responsible and limits the duration of time to defer payments.

Office of Web Services