Frequently Asked Questions

International Accepted Graduate Students

When can I travel into USA after I get I-20?
After you receive your VISA, students can travel into USA exactly 30 days before the first day of Marist College classes, not the first day of orientation.  Please take careful note of this as US government is very particular about this.

What about health insurance?
All International graduate students are required to purchase Marist provided health insurance.  There might be other insurance companies available, but after a lot of research, Marist has qualified a health insurance provider who has a comprehensive plan that will provide you with access to quality medical care in the Poughkeepsie area.

What is travel insurance?
Travel insurance is insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while traveling, either internationally or within one's own country. Some students come to the US a month prior to school start date.  Health insurance is established at the time of orientation and so for the month in between your arrival and college start date, it is advisable to get travel insurance/temporary health insurance from your country.

Do I need any immunizations before I come to the College?
Yes. You are required to have two MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) immunizations before you join Marist College. You also must either have a shot for Meningitis, or sign a waiver form. Tuberculosis testing is also mandatory for attendance at Marist College. The orientation process goes faster if you have already received immunizations and have had tuberculosis testing.  If the MMR immunization and TB testing are not taken before coming for orientation, then they are administered on campus.  To avoid delays, please try to get these vaccinations and the TB test even before coming to Marist.

How far is Marist from New York?
Marist College is about an hour and a half north of New York City. You can get to New York City using the mass transit train system. You have the benefit of being close enough to visit New York City, but far enough away to enjoy the beauty of the Lower Hudson Valley region, and a substantially less cost of living.

How do I get from NY airport to Marist College?
Detailed travel information can be found at this link (insert link)

Is living in Poughkeepsie as expensive as living in New York City?
No. Living in Poughkeepsie costs about half as much as living in New York City.

Can I communicate with current Marist students to find out about housing etc.?
Yes, you can communicate with other students to find out about housing. You may email and request names and contact information for current students. Many student communicate through Facebook. Most students share a home. Two students can share a one-bedroom apartment. Four students can share a two-bedroom apartment.

What is the weather like in Poughkeepsie?
Weather in Poughkeepsie changes with each season. Summers are warm, with high temperatures occasionally exceeding 30 degrees Celsius. Winters are cold. Temperatures can reach -10 degrees Celsius. You will need a warm coat and warm boots for winter. Sizes in the United States may differ from sizes you are used to. Please check the internet for size conversions.

Should I buy my winter jacket and shoes before I come to the USA?
Winters in New York can be pretty severe.  The jackets and shoes bought in other countries may not be adequate for the weather conditions here.  Please buy your winter jackets and winter shoes in the USA so that you are well prepared for the weather conditions here.

Do I need a laptop?
Yes!! You will need a laptop.  Our suggestion would be to buy it in the USA. You will be covered under the product warranty if any problem occurs.

Does Marist help with accommodation?
Marist will provide you with free, temporary accommodations prior to the start of the semester. Please see your International Orientation document for dates and locations. Marist does not provide permanent graduate housing on campus. You will receive assistance locating a place to live.

What is OPT and when can I do OPT?
OPT is Optional Practical Training. If you are an F1 student, you have the option of applying to work in the United States by engaging in practical training after you complete your degree. Practical training can provide valuable work experience by sharpening and adding to the skills you learned in school. Currently you may apply for 12 months of OPT after your degree completion. The job must be in your field of study. Students who complete the MSIS or MSCS programs may also be able to apply for an additional 17 months of OPT. Details can be found


Do I have to be there for Orientation?
Yes it is very important to attend the orientation conducted by Marist College.  You will register for classes; learn about U.S. education expectations and U.S. culture; discover services like tutoring, the Writing Center, and proofreading service which are available to help you succeed in your studies; have the opportunity to acquire a cell phone; learn about banking in the U.S.; finish your immigration documents; receive help with accessing your Marist on-line account; and more. The Orientation process is created to give you services you need to start successfully at Marist College. Attendance is mandatory.

I am worried about bringing my original documents with me.
Better to be safe than sorry.  Please keep your original documents in your hand luggage at all times.  Sometimes luggage is misplaced and it takes time for it to reach you

Can I drive with my Indian driving license?
If you have to drive in the USA, please check the state policy on International driving license.  Some states will accept International driving license and some will not.  You have to carry your country license along with the International permit.  Also be aware that you have to buy insurance when you drive in the USA.  You can find information about New York State at

Should I bring any United States dollars with me when I come to Marist for the first time?
Initially it is better to carry about $300 US dollars until a bank account is established.  Consider how you are planning to get from the airport to Marist College. If you use a taxi service for easier travel, it is more expensive than using mass transit. Plan your finances accordingly.

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