Pre-Arrival and Student Visa Information

International students at State Capitol

Apply for a U.S. Visa

Once you’ve been accepted to SPSCC, you should apply for a U.S. Visa as soon as possible when you receive your acceptance packet. Your acceptance packet will include your admission letter and I-20.  Visit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for step-by-step instructions on how to navigate the student visa process.  You will need to pay a SEVIS fee first and then use your receipt to apply for your student visa before you can schedule an interview appointment with the U.S. Consular Office in your home country. Many consulates recommend that you make an appointment no more than 90 days from the intended date of travel, but some can make earlier arrangements for interviews.

Students already studying in the U.S. must complete the Transfer Verification Form and submit it along with a copy of your Student Visa and I-20 during the application process to SPSCC.

Select Housing

Select and apply for your preferred housing option as soon as possible and before you arrive on campus.  See International Housing information for options while attending SPSCC and notify us of your preference once you have visa confirmation.

Attend a Pre-Departure Orientation in Your Country

EducationUSA Advising Centers in your country may offer a free pre-departure orientation session for students attending colleges and universities in the United States. Visit the EducationUSA website to find a center in your area and learn more.

Planning for Orientation and Class Registration

Check your email regularly for updates on orientation and arrival information. When you receive your student visa, make flight arrangements no later than the reported date on your I-20. Submit a new student arrival form once you confirm your travel plans. New students are required to attend an orientation and registration session to register for classes at SPSCC.  Make sure your arrival date is before the orientation date. You may arrive in the United States as soon as 30 days before the start of classes. 

Health Insurance

Due to high health care costs in the US, we require that all international students carry health insurance continuously while studying at SPSCC, including during breaks and holidays. All international students are required to carry the college-approved health insurance plan provided by Firebird International Insurance Group. The charge will be applied to your tuition and fees each quarter. Insurance must be pre-paid the quarter prior to taking an approved quarter vacation.

Who is SPSCC’s approved insurance provider?

Firebird International Insurance Group provides a health insurance policy for purchase for our international students.

  • Student: $432 per quarter/$1728 per year
  • Spouse of student: Health insurance can be purchased separately upon arrival.
  • Children of student (under 18): Health insurance can be purchased separately upon arrival.

Visit the Firebird website for more information or call them at 1-800-899-4233.

Getting to Campus

Before you leave your country, please read the U.S. government’s information about the procedures for entering the United States. When you arrive in the United States, you will need to present your I-20 to the immigration officer. We are excited for your arrival at SPSCC.

Olympia is located about 45 minutes from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (airport code SEA).

  • Shuttle Service: Capital Aeroporter offers shuttle service for about $42.00. Arrange for service before you arrive by visiting the Capital Aeroporter website.
  • Bus Route: IntercityTransit provides a connected bus route from the airport to Olympia, although travel time is over two hours and involves multiples stops and bus transfers.
  • Car Route: View driving directions to SPSCC from the airport on Google Maps.