New International Student Check-In and Orientations

We want your first semester at Academy of Art University to be the best time of your life. We pay special attention to our new international students, making sure that each one has additional support during their first months at the university.



2023 Spring Semester

Complete the mandatory International Student Check In Form AFTER your arrival to the US and upload your I-94. Completing the International Student Check In Form is required to activate your SEVIS record and notify the US government that you are in the United States. Check In hereAfter completing your Check In, you will receive a link to attend the International Student Orientation online.

Housing Check-In

New International Students who have completed a housing application via the Housing Portal may arrive for check-in starting January 24, 2023, between 1:00PM-6:00PM. Students who have already received their room assignment will need to sign up for a check-in appointment, this information will be provided via email by their Resident Director. If you have not received a room assignment or have not received instructions on how to sign up for a check-in time, please contact the Department of Housing & Residence Life at (415) 618-6335 or via email at Please note that our office is open from 8:30AM-5:30PM PST Monday-Friday. If you are interested in staying in Campus Housing but have not submitted an application, you may do so via the Housing Portal. After you have logged in using your Student Self-Service username and password you may submit a Spring Application by selecting “Spring 2023 Application” located in the menu and on the homepage.

Spring 2023 Orientation Dates

New Student Spring Fling EventFriday, February 3
11:30AM - 3:30PM
1142 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco
Launchpad to Learning OpensMonday, January 23Get Started
Welcome to Your School: Spring 2023Thursday, February 2Times and Virtual Locations VaryView Schedule

View The Full Calendar

International Student Handbook:

Enrollment is now open!

The next semester is just around the corner.

Apply Now

New International Student Instructions

Step 1: When you receive your I-20
  • Make sure your personal and program information on the first page of your I-20 is correct. Any correction must be reported to your advisor immediately—we’ll make the correction and mail you a new one.
  • Print your name, sign, and date the I-20 on the bottom of page one.
  • There are strict regulations to which you agree when you sign the I-20 and enter the U.S. as an F-1 student. Read these regulations on page 2 of your I-20 carefully—you are responsible for knowing them.
  • Send an email to your advisor to confirm you received your I-20.
Step 2: Pay the Sevis I-901 Fee (must be paid within 30 days from the day you receive the I-20)
  • You are required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee of $350 by mail or over the Internet. Please see the SEVIS I-901 Fee instructions in the I-20 package. Academy of Art School Code is SFR 214F 00500000
  • Your SEVIS ID number can be found on page one of your I-20 (upper right corner).
Step 3: Obtain an F-1 Student Visa
  • To apply for an F-1 Student Visa, contact the U.S Embassy/Consulate in your home country for details. Some U.S. Embassies/Consulates will accept your visa application at any time, while others will require you to make an appointment in advance, so be sure you plan ahead. It can take more than a month to process a student visa.
  • If you are from a country that is participating in the visa waiver program, Do not enter the U.S. on a visa waiver—you must apply for an F-1 Student Visa. After you’ve obtained your F-1 visa you are required to send an email to let your advisor know.

Class Registration

You can register for your classes after receiving your F-1 student visa and speaking with your advisor. After class registration is completed, you can log on to Student Self Service to:

  • View your class schedule
  • Sign the Enrollment Agreement (mandatory)
  • Make tuition payments
  • Submit your U.S. address and phone number, if you have them
  • Choose your own room assignment after you’ve applied for on campus housing.

Note: If you have not received your username and password, please contact your advisor. • After you receive your F-1 Student Visa, book your flight to San Francisco (SFO). You can enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the I-20 program start date.

Step 4: Book your flight

Purchase your plane ticket.

Step 5: Email your arrival date and time to your Admissions Specialist

Email or call our Admissions Office to speak to a Specialist

Useful Things to Know

Transportation from the airport

Airport shuttles to downtown San Francisco cost about $20, while taxis are around $40. Academy of Art University does not provide airport pickup.


For the summer semester, you should have at least $7,000. For fall or spring semester, you should have at least $12,000 available to pay for tuition, books, and materials (does not include campus housing fees).

Health Examination/Vaccination

AAU does not require any vaccination and/or health examination before entering the US. However, students should check with the US Government to see if there are any requirements. If needed, student should obtain a report of their vaccinations and health examinations from their local doctor and keep it along with their I-20 when traveling to the U.S.

Bank accounts

It can take several days to open a U.S. bank account, so please have a credit card as backup.

Paying Tuition

You can pay your tuition online through Student Self Service or in person when you arrive. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and traveler’s checks—personal checks, money orders and/or bank drafts should be made payable to Academy of Art University. Wire transfers are also accepted but can take several days to process.

Campus Housing & Payment

If you have submitted an application for campus housing, please check the following before you arrive:

  1. Check your room assignment: Students who submit a housing application for spring will receive their room assignment via email. If you have not received your room assignment, please contact the Department of Housing & Residence Life. (P: (415) 618-6335 E:
  2. Sign Up for a Check In Time: Instructions on how to sign up for a check in time have been sent to you via your preferred email address. If you have not received these instructions, please contact the Department of Housing & Residence Life.
  3. Confirm you are ready for check in.
  4. Have you paid your housing balance? Please contact Accounts Receivable at (415) 618-6429 or via email at for options on how to make your payment.
  5. Are you enrolled in classes? Students are required to maintain a certain amount of units to be eligible for campus housing. (9 units for Undergraduates, 6 Units for Graduates)
Health Insurance

All F1 students registered in 6 or more credits at the Academy of Art University will be automatically enrolled in the Anthem Student Health Insurance Plan. The plan covers office visits, medical, accident and hospital expenses. For questions please contact

International Student Office

Contact International Students Office We have language support 1-415-274-2208

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