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.

RSVP For Spring 2021 New Student Orientation Now!

2020 Spring Semester

New International Student Check-In (Mandatory) Check In Date(s): January 21, 22, 23, 24 or 25 Check In Time: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM Check In Location: 79 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 – 1st Floor in the Atelier/Art Gallery Important: Bring your I-20 and passport. It is essential for all new students to choose a day to check-in with their International Admissions Specialists. There are limited personnel and space for each check-in day, so reserve your day as soon as possible. Check-in with International Admissions – if your flight will arrive after check-in, please notify your advisor right away. We want to provide excellent customer service to you and look forward to welcoming you to Academy of Art University. When you check-in, you will receive your student ID card and can pay tuition, sign up for the English Placement Test, watch the International Student Orientation video (mandatory) and receive the details about the New Student Orientation and Meet Your Department Director (mandatory).

Housing Check-In

As a new student, you may also check-in for housing if you have applied. Housing check-in begins January 21st. They are open from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday, and 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM on Saturday. Housing Move-in time is Monday – Friday from 1:00 PM – 5:30 PM. Please send your arrival date and time to – be sure to include your full name and student ID number.

Spring 2021 Orientation Dates

Online Parent and Family Orientation ChatTBATBATBA
New Student OrientationWednesday, February 3Event will be held onlineRSVP Now!
Meet Your Department DirectorThursday, February 4Times and Locations VaryClick to View Schedule! RSVP Now!
Campus Life EventsTBATBATBA

RSVP For Spring 2021 New Student Orientation Now!

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 $200 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’ve applied for on campus housing, you should do the following:

  1. Email your arrival date and time to and your advisor.
  2. Log on to your Student Self Service and choose your own room assignment.
  3. Pay your housing balance when you move into campus housing. For any questions regarding your housing, please contact the Housing Department directly at 1-415-618-6335, or fax us at 1-415-618-6276.
Health Insurance

All F1 students registered in 6 or more credits at the Academy of Art University will be automatically enrolled in the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan. The plan covers office visits, medical, accident and hospital expenses. We strongly encourage you to review the FAQs to find more detailed answers to your questions and your health plan coverage. For questions please contact

International Student Office

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

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