BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
Congratulations on being accepted to the College of Southern Nevada. We’re thrilled you will be joining the CSN community!
Your next step is to prepare for your arrival in the U.S.
Identify the Right Immigration Status
CSN hosts many international students with a variety of experiences and situations. Some are coming to the U.S. for the first time, others are transferring from schools or colleges within the U.S., and others are changing their visa type. The documentation requirement for each status varies and it is important to identify which situation best describes your status.
Students applying to study at CSN from a foreign country need an I-20 from CSN to obtain an F1 visa to enter the U.S.
Students who physically reside in the U.S. with an F1 visa and I-20 from another school in the U.S. and transfer to CSN.
Change of Status Students
Students who physically reside in the U.S. on a visa other than F1 and would like to apply for a change of status through immigration to request official permission to study in the U.S.
NOTE: Due to time-sensitive eligibility requirements and the lengthy process with immigration, we encourage students to apply for the F1 visa in their home country. Contact our office to determine eligibility to apply for this status.
If you have attended CSN in the past with a CSN I-20, you are considered a returning student.
Laura Lacayo - International Student from El Salvador
Prepare For Your Visa Application Process
It is important to prepare yourself and gather the appropriate documents to ensure a successful visa interview.
Ensure that your passport is valid with an expiration date no less than six months after the end of your program. A passport that is not valid for the duration of your program could be cause for visa denial.
Check Your I-20
Review all the sections of the I-20 received from the College of Southern Nevada to ensure the accuracy of your name, address, program, and other details. Please contact our admissions team if there are corrections needed on your I-20.
Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee
You must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before applying for your F-1 visa. The SEVIS I-901 fee is a payment to U.S. Customs and Immigration Services and is used to fund the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, which monitors F, M, and J visa holders. You can pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online. Currently, the fee for F-1 visa applications is $350, but this is subject to change at any time. Be sure to save and print a copy of your receipt – you will need the receipt when you apply for your F-1 visa.
Obtain a Recent Financial Statement
You will need a financial statement showing you have adequate funds available in a regular bank account to cover your cost of attendance for the first year of your program. Obtain the most recent financial statement available. NOTE: Statements should be no more than three months old when provided for a visa interview.
Gather Supporting Documents
Temporary intent is a key component of an F-1 visa that demonstrates your entrance into the United States is temporary and intent is to leave the United States at the end of your program. It is helpful to have documents that show strong ties to your home country in order to demonstrate temporary intent. Examples of strong ties to your country are: proof of close family ties in your home country, proof of ownership of property or stock in your home country, proof of guaranteed employment or continued education in your home country, or any other documents that support your intent to return to your home country.
Complete a Visa Application
Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form DS-160 which is available on the U.S. Department of State website. Save and print a copy of the DS-160 barcode page when the form is completed.
Schedule A Visa Interview Appointment and Pay the MRV (visa application fee).
Locate the US Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Follow instructions on how to pay the Machine Readable Visa fee (MRV application fee), how to schedule an appointment, and review wait times for your visa interview.
Prepare For Your Interview
It is important to be prepared for your interview. You will only have a few minutes to speak with the visa interviewer, so it is important to be prepared to answer their questions quickly to demonstrate your temporary intent and purpose to enter the United States. Interview preparation best practices might include ensuring your ability to:
- Understand and clearly explain the documents supporting your temporary intent.
- Easily explain your purpose for entering the United States, and how you hope your study program will impact your life.
- Explain the details of your program and what you expect to study.
The Visa Interview
Preparing the following support documents can help Visa interviews go smoothly:
- I-20 issued by CSN
- Valid passport
- SEVIS I-901 receipt
- MRV (visa application) receipt
- Supporting documents demonstrating strong ties to your country
- Recent bank statement (no more than three months old)
If you intend to apply for F-2 Visas for your spouse or children, you must provide evidence of their full names, relationship to you, residence, nationality, and I-20s.
Follow these guidelines during the interview:
Do not bring family members with you to the interview
They can come with you to the embassy for support, but they should wait outside during the actual interview. The visa interviewer is there to assess your candidacy for entry into the United States. If your family members speak for you, it can negatively influence the interviewer’s decision.
Speak clearly and to the point
Most interviewers make their decision within 2-3 minutes of the interview. You need to use that time to directly explain your temporary intent, the purpose of your education, and what you expect to do in your program. Long stories and complicated explanations make it difficult for the interviewer to make a favorable decision.
Rely on direct evidence and refer to your supporting documents
Official forms are the best evidence to use to demonstrate temporary intent. Be sure you can present your documents and point to the specific area of the document that illustrates your point. Do not rely on long, informal letters – the interviewer does not have time to read them.
Advisors from the Education USA Comprehensive Advising Center are familiar with the U.S. embassies of foreign countries and can review documents and schedule practice interviews for visa applicants, free of charge. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor even if it is necessary to travel to a nearby city. EducationUSA advisors are most effective when meeting with students BEFORE they are denied the visa.
Find an EducationUSA Comprehensive Advising Center at educationusa.state.gov/
What do I do if my Visa is denied?
If your Visa is denied, politely ask the officer what documents they suggest you bring to overcome the refusal. Ask for a written explanation of the denial and contact the CSN admissions team to discuss your options.
Once you have completed your Visa Application Process and received approval, it is time to focus on the practical aspects of your arrival to the US and to CSN.
Prepare for Your Program at CSN
Confirm your Attendance at CSN
Contact the CSN international admissions team to notify them of your F-1 visa approval and confirm your planned program start date.
You are permitted to enter the United States 30 days prior to your program start date. There is a required in-person Welcome Day and Orientation two weeks before classes start. The admissions team will provide details about your specific orientation date.
Deferring your Program to a Later Date
If you cannot begin on the program start date listed on your I-20 but would like to begin at a later start date, contact the admissions team. They will let you know your options for your program. They will need to issue you a new I-20 and will inform you of how to proceed.
Activate your MyCSN Account
By now, you should have received an email from CSN that contains your 10-digit student number (also called and NSHE ID). If you have not received this email, please contact the admissions team.
To activate your account, visit the Student Verification Account site and enter your NSHE ID, your last name, and 9999 as your PIN. Follow the on-screen instructions to create your CSN password and password recovery questions. It is important that you remember your password and answers to your recovery questions. You will use your NSHE ID and password every day that you study at CSN.
Your login credentials for all your CSN accounts will be:
- USERNAME: Your NSHE ID
- PASSWORD: The password you created at account validation
If you are unable to log in or need to reset your password, you should contact technical support at +1 702-651-4357.
Log into your CSN Email Account
Now that you are a CSN student, CSN will only contact you through your official CSN email address.
It is important that you have access to this email and check it regularly. To access your email from the internet, follow these steps:
- Visit www.csn.edu and click “Login” on the top right of the page.
- Enter your NSHE ID and your Password.
- On the GoCSN home screen, click the “Student Email” tile. If you do not see the Student Email tile, click the search icon on the top left of the screen and search for “Student Email.”
- You must enter your full email address to log into your student email account.
Your email account is hosted by Microsoft Outlook. You can install the Microsoft Outlook app on your personal computer, smartphone, or other devices. You also have access to the Microsoft Office 365 Suite, and you can install it on up to 5 devices. Once the application is installed you can log into the program using your NSHE ID and your password.
Complete the Online Orientation
Please take the time to complete the new student online orientation. The new student orientation will provide you essential information about the CSN campus community, the services available to you as a student, and other important information you need to know about your new college. To complete the online orientation, follow these steps:
- Visit CSN and click “Login” on the top right of the page
- Enter your NSHE ID and your password
- On GoCSN, click the “MyCSN” tile (you may be asked to enter your NSHE ID and password again).
- Click the link that says, “Complete Online Orientation.”
The online orientation should take 60-90 minutes to complete. You can save your progress and return later if you do not have time to complete it in one sitting.
Prepare for Your Arrival in Las Vegas
Enroll in a Health Insurance Plan
All CSN students are required to have health insurance coverage and must enroll in the CSN approved health insurance plan. You will only be allowed to register for courses after you have purchased insurance.
CSN is a non-residential campus. Students are encouraged to either live with a host family or at an apartment near their home campus. Contact your program coordinator to determine the CSN Campus that hosts your program.
Homestay provides an excellent opportunity to experience American family life in person. Through homestay, you will live with an American host family. They will provide you with a room to stay in and two meals per day. Homestay families often invite their students with them for weekend activities and other outings.
If you prefer more independent living, you can rent an apartment. Here are some things to consider when choosing an apartment:
1. Will you have a roommate?
Sharing the cost of an apartment with one or more roommates can both reduce the cost of living and create a unique social experience. However, living with roommates is not for everyone. Think about your lifestyle and if you would be ok sharing an apartment with someone.
2. Will you rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment?
Most unfurnished apartments in Las Vegas come with a refrigerator, stove and oven, and dishwasher. Furnished apartments come with everything you need to live – furniture, sheets, towels, dishes and cookware, tables, and desks. Furnished apartments are more expensive than unfurnished apartments, but you do not have to purchase anything to live comfortably.
3. How close is this apartment to my home campus?
Las Vegas is a spacious city, and travel to and from campus can take much of your time and money if you do not drive your own car. Consider your travel time to and from school when selecting the location of your apartment.
Your program coordinator can help you with recommendations for apartments or connect you with a homestay coordinator.
Some students prefer to visit an apartment complex and find a place to live after they arrive in Las Vegas. While this is possible, it is recommended that students secure a residence prior to arriving in Las Vegas unless they have a comfortable short-term alternative such as staying with friends or family while they search for housing.
Option #1: Homestay
Homestay service is coordinated by a private contractor, not a CSN employee. Homestay students live with Las Vegas families and will generally have access to a private or shared bedroom room, bath, kitchen, and other facilities as a member of the family. Please plan on applying for homestay at least two months prior to your arrival.
For more information about the homestay programs, contact:
Stacy Burn - phone:1-702-812-9188 or email the International Center
Imad Banimenia - phone: 1-617-695-3571 or email the International Center
Option #2: Apartments for Rent Near CSN
It is recommended that students wait to sign a rental agreement until they have determined the CSN campus at which they will attend courses. CSN has three campuses located in different areas of Las Vegas which are several miles apart from each other. The campus addresses are listed below for your reference.
- Henderson Campus Address: 700 College Dr., Henderson, NV 89002
- North Las Vegas Campus Address: 3200 East Cheyenne Ave. North Las Vegas, NV 89030
- Charleston Campus Address: 6375 West Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146
The Village at Nevada State College Student Housing
The Village NSC Housing is located on the campus of Nevada State College. The Village offers stay fit amenities, tools that help you make the grade, and community events to keep you connected! You will love the furnished apartments with private bedroom and bathroom floor plans, a fitness center, and study rooms. As part of the greater campus community, you will have other amenities available to you, like on-campus dining. Professional, on-site residence life and maintenance staff are dedicated to serving student needs. Please note that you will be responsible for your own transportation to and from our CSN Campuses.
Contact The Village NSC Housing for more information today!
Vista Del Rey Apartments
Located within walking distance of CSN's Charleston Campus, Vista Del Rey offers affordably furnished and unfurnished apartments.
Contact Us for international student housing opportunities.
CSN's Roommate Finder on Facebook
Student Furniture Rentals - CORT
6625 Arroyo Springs Street Suite 130
Las Vegas, NV 89113
Tel. (702) 882-7368
DISCLAIMER: Off-campus housing information is provided solely as a courtesy. CSN does not inspect, endorse or assume any responsibility for any properties, accommodations, or other housing options or websites; and it expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any problems that may arise within connection therewith. Individuals are strongly advised to thoroughly investigate and inspect any properties, accommodations, or other housing options before making final arrangements.
As part of your visa process, you demonstrated to the US Government that you have enough financial support to cover your cost of living while enrolled in your program. It is important to bring enough funds to cover moving and initial costs in the United States. The costs can include:
- Tuition or fees for your program
- Security deposits for housing and utilities (prior to move-in)
- Household items such as dishes, furniture, groceries, and linens
- Supplies and books for your program
- Public transportation fares
- Emergency cash reserves
Traveler’s checks are recommended for safely securing housing, supplies, and services. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted forms of payment. Small denominations of cash ($20, $10, $5, and $1 bills) are recommended as some businesses may have difficulty making change for larger bills ($100).
We look forward to welcoming you on Campus. Safe travels!
WHEN YOU ARRIVE
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has automated Form I-94 at air and seaports of entry. The paper form will no longer be provided to you upon arrival, except in limited circumstances. Instead, you will be provided with a CBP admission stamp on your passport. You can download a copy of your I-94 (record of admission) directly from the CBP website. Click on Get Most Recent I-94.
If there is an error in your electronic I-94, you should visit a local CBP Deferred Inspection Site or port of entry to have your admission corrected. List of Deferred Inspection Sites and ports of entry. At the bottom of the page click on At Port of Entry.
How to Get to Campus
Group shuttles are an economical way to get from the airport to most major hotel/resorts.
Las Vegas has a very large public bus network. Exact cash is required if you do not have a bus pass. Special college passes are available to CSN students and may be purchased on-campus or at the RTC Administration Building, 600 S. Grand Central Pkwy. You must have a College Student ID to purchase a student pass. A college ID must be presented when using College Transit Passes. A college ID is not valid for the purchase of reduced fares onboard buses or at vendor locations.
Lyft and Uber, operate all over the Las Vegas valley, but you must be a Lyft or Uber customer before you can request a pick-up. Funds are exchanged electronically through an app. There is no exchange of cash between the driver and passenger. Lyft and Uber are currently authorized to provide ride-sharing services at the airport. Simply arrange for a ride using the app on your smartphone or mobile device. Airport pick-up is on Level 2M in Terminal 1 and Valet Level in Terminal 3.
There are many taxi companies in Las Vegas and the Nevada Taxicab Authority regulates them. Payment options are usually cash or credit card, but not all taxis accept credit cards.
Welcome to Campus!
Welcome to Campus! You are now officially a member of our Coyote Family and we look forward to getting to know you better.
We know that learning to navigate a new education system takes energy, patience, and time, especially in new and unfamiliar surroundings.
All new international students and exchange visitors at CSN must participate in three mandatory introductory activities:
- Online Orientation
- Welcome Day
- CAPS 128
Online Orientation is the first activity and lasts approx. 50 minutes and should be completed prior to your arrival in the U.S. Orientation will guide you through the most important factors for your status as a CSN student.
Once you have completed the Online Orientation, you must sign up for and attend the in-person Welcome Day Orientation event.
During Welcome Day, you will:
- Check-in with your immigration documents (I-20, Passport, Visa, I-94)
- Register for the Math and/or ESL Placement Test
- Purchase your health insurance
- Meet with an academic advisor
- Register for classes for the upcoming semester
- Hear about local housing options
- Learn about the International Student Organization (ISO)
- Tour the West Charleston Campus
- Purchase a Student ID card
- Purchase textbooks
This event occurs two weeks before the official start of your program. You will receive details on the various steps near the beginning of the semester.
The introductory activities will be completed by your enrollment in our CAPS 128 class, which is a 5-week course worth 1 credit. The CAPS 128 course is designed to help students adjust to US culture and understand the relationship between academic policies and immigration regulations.
If you have not yet found a place to live, we recommend you consult the section on Housing in the pre-arrival section above to assist you in your efforts to find a new home here in Las Vegas as soon as possible.
For your convenience, we have put together a Welcome Guide that will hopefully make your transition to your new student life a little easier.