Welcome to the International Community at HWS!

Congratulations on your acceptance! It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to HWS and to our outstanding international community.

International students have a long history of noteworthy contributions to the HWS community through exemplary extracurricular and academic performance. We are confident that you will continue this legacy, and we look forward to welcoming you into a community eager to celebrate your achievements and contribute to your personal, academic and professional growth.

As you prepare to pack your bags and start an exciting new adventure, know that all of HWS’s international community shares the common experience of leaving home to study in the United States. This tight-knit community is more than willing to offer insight and support throughout this process to make your transition smooth and enjoyable.

Throughout your time at HWS, we also hope that you find the Office of International Student Success to be a place to share with other international students and join events that celebrate multiculturalism and world cultures, including dinners, workshops, multicultural events and outings.

International Student Orientation

  • Arrive to campus on Friday, Aug. 18 or Saturday, Aug. 19. If you would like a ride from the airport, please fly into Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC). Our student van drivers will pick you up and bring you to campus.
  • International Student Orientation begins on Sunday morning, Aug. 20 at 8:30am and we’ll meet for breakfast. You’ll spend the day with the International Student Success team until New Student Orientation begins on Sunday afternoon.
  • We will come back together on Thursday, Aug. 24 for the entire day. The International Student Success Manager and a team of Orientation Mentors will lead you through welcome icebreakers, a shopping trip, a special outing and a workshop to learn all about your F-1 status as an HWS student. It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect and bond with other new international students.
  • Participation in International Student Orientation is required for all incoming international students. 

Important links

HWS I-20 application
Newly enrolled students should complete this form to begin the process of applying for the I-20 – Certificate of Eligibility from HWS.

Certification of Finances
In order to issue the I-20, we attest to the US Government that you have the funds needed for one full academic year. The Estimated Full Cost of Attendance for 2023-2024 is $83,475. Please note that this estimate is an amount that includes expenses above the cost of tuition, room and board and fees. These incidental expenses reflect the costs associated with health insurance, books and supplies.

To determine what your certification should say, you should take $83,475 and subtract any financial assistance you received. What’s left is what is needed on page 2 of the certification. Once completed, the certification of finances form must include one or more of the following: a bank officials’ signature, certified bank stamp and/or certified bank statement. It should also include a parent and student signature. New students should upload the completed form to the New Student Onboarding Portal.

Please note, if you have received financial aid, you’ve received $2,000 in work study monies. This money is income you will earn once you arrive to campus, find a job and begin working.

SEVIS Transfer In Form
For students already studying in the US as an active F-1 Student, this form provides a seamless transfer of your SEVIS record. Once completed, please upload to your New Student Onboarding Portal.

Confirmation of Financial Guarantee
All international students are required to accept the financial obligations to attend HWS by completing the Confirmation of Financial Guarantee form. Once completed, please upload to your New Student Onboarding Portal.


For more information, contact the Orientation Office at (315) 781-3041 or

Sherri Martin-Baron
International Student Success Manager, DSO 
Phone: (315) 781-3048
WhatsApp +1 (315)-719-6866 (M-F 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern only)

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