Arriving in the U.S.

As you begin your journey to Winston-Salem, NC, please use the following resources to ensure a smooth and safe arrival.

  • Initial Port of Entry: Arriving in the United States

    When you arrive at your initial port of entry to the U.S., you should have the following documents with you:

    • Form I-20 or DS-2019 issued by Wake Forest University
    • Passport that is valid for AT LEAST six months beyond the date of your initial entry
    • F-1 or J-1 visa stamp in your passport (exception, Canadian citizens are not required to have a visa stamp in their passport to enter)*
    • Proof of admission to Wake Forest Univerity
    • Proof of finances
    • Proof of SEVIS I-901 fee payment

    *If you do not have the F-1 or J-1 visa stamp in your passport, the likelihood that you will be denied entry to the U.S. is very high.

    You will be admitted into the country as an F-1 or J-1 student. If you are admitted into the country in any other visa status, please notify ISS immediately as your enrollment at Wake Forest University may be affected.

    If you do not have your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 with you when you arrive at a U.S. port of entry, it is possible for you to be temporarily admitted into the country for 30 days, at the discretion of the immigration official. If you are temporarily admitted to the country, you will be given Form I-515A and instructed to send in all necessary documentation to an office in Washington D.C. to extend your stay. If you receive a Form I-515A, contact the Center for Immigration Services and Support (ISS) immediately upon arrival to campus to ensure you receive the appropriate documentation to send to Washington D.C. in a timely fashion.


    Please keep in mind that you are making an entry to the U.S. at a very busy time of the year in terms of processing for customs and immigration. There is always a chance that you will be delayed and will not be able to make your connecting flight.

  • Nearest Airport to Wake Forest University

    Greensboro Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) is the closest airport to Wake Forest University.

    While flights to Charlotte and Raleigh may be cheaper, these airports are located approximately 1.5 to 2 hours away from Winston-Salem. Ground transportation is limited from those cities, therefore the cost to travel to Winston-Salem from those airports may exceed the amount you saved on airfare by flying into the larger airports.

    Transportation to Winston-Salem

    Since the airport is located 30 minutes from Winston-Salem, you have several transportation options available to you:

    Black Tie Transportation

    Black Tie Transportation provides shuttle services between the Greensboro, Charlotte, and Raleigh airports to campus.

    PART Shuttle

    If you arrive between the hours of 6:00am and 7:00pm, you have the option of taking the PART (Piedmont Area Rapid Transit) shuttle to the bus terminal located in downtown Winston-Salem. You will need to take a taxi from that bus terminal to the WFU campus or your place of residence.

    PART is a lower cost public shuttle service. The shuttle stop is located outside of the baggage claim area on the ground floor of the terminal. From PTI you will be transported to the PART central hub in Greensboro. From Greensboro you will have to transfer to a shuttle to Winston-Salem.

    Please call 883-PART (7278) to request a shuttle pick-up.

    Airport Taxi Service: There is regular taxi service that operates on the ground floor of the terminal. Tickets can be purchased for the kiosk that is located on the ground floor of the terminal. Hiring a taxi or Uber is the most direct way to arrive on campus.

    Uber or Lyft: Offer transportation services through an app that you can download to your phone.

  • Hotels

    If you will be arriving late in the evening, you may want to spend the night in the Greensboro area. There are several hotels located near the GSO Airport. Most of these hotels provide shuttle service to and from the airport.

    Greensboro Marriott Airport
    1 Marriott Drive , Greensboro, NC
    (located across the street from the airport terminal)

    Best Western Greensboro Airport
    800 National Service Road , Greensboro, NC

    Winston-Salem Hotels

    Courtyard by Marriott
    3111 University Parkway, Winston Salem, NC

    Fairfield Inn & Suites Winston-Salem Hanes Mall
    1680 Westbrook Plaza Dr, Winston-Salem, NC

    Graylyn (free shuttle to campus)
    1900 Reynolda Road, Winston Salem, NC

    Best Western Plus University Inn
    3050 University Pkwy, Winston Salem, NC

  • Checking in with The Center for Immigration Services & Support (ISS) Upon Arrival

    All new international students are required to check in with ISS ONLINE and IN PERSON. Please check your WFU email for communication from ISS regarding your specific check-in date and time.

    Failure to complete your check-in process will result in the loss of your visa status.

    You will make an appointment with ISS to complete your immigration check-in. You will need the following documents to complete your online and in-person check process:

    • Passport
    • Visa Stamp in passport (exception: Canadian students will not have a visa stamp)
    • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
    • I-94 Record
      • Go to
      • Enter your biographic and passport information into the online form
      • Print out the I-94 record
    • Current local U.S. address
    • Current local U.S. telephone number
    • Emergency Contact Information

    You will also be required to provide an emergency contact person. Your emergency contact must be the person you would like for ISS to contact in case you are in an emergency situation such as hospitalization, serious injury, arrest, etc.

    The office is located in 017 Reynolda Hall. This is building #5 on the Reynolda Campus map.

  • Getting Settled into Winston-Salem


    For graduate students living off campus: Most apartment complexes will have a list of contact numbers for all utility services such as electricity, phone, cable TV, etc. Please keep in mind that you will probably have to pay a deposit in order to connect most utilities. Although you may be asked to provide a Social Security number, it is not necessary in order to receive service.


    Wells Fargo Bank is located near campus on Reynolda Road. They offer special student accounts that do not charge a monthly service fee. Since it is so convenient, almost all international students end up banking with Wells Fargo. When you open your account, you will apply for an automated teller machine (ATM)/debit card. This card will arrive in your student post office box or at your home residence about a week after opening your account. Although it can be used just like a credit card, keep in mind that it does not carry with it a line of credit. When you establish your account, you will need to have your passport with you. A Social Security number is not necessary in order to open an account with Wells Fargo. It usually takes about 30 minutes to complete all necessary paper work. As a foreign national, you will be required to complete a special form that provides additional information about funding sources, etc.

    Postal Services

    There is a full service post office located on the campus of WFU. In addition to all of the regular mailing services, the post office is also able to send mail internationally via FedEx and accept packages from all other couriers (UPS, DHL, etc.).


    Unfortunately, there are no major shopping centers located within walking distance of WFU. There are, however, several stores close to campus (see below) that sell the majority of what you’ll need to get started with life in the U.S. Keep in mind this list offers only a small sampling of shopping opportunities available in the city of Winston-Salem.

    (5420 University Parkway, Winston Salem, NC)

    Target is the second largest department store chain in the U.S. It carries a wide assortment of home goods, electronics, and clothing. Target also has a small grocery section that carries produce, vegetables, and other assorted groceries. A free shuttle to this Target store is available on the weekends operated by Wake Forest University.

    The shuttle line hours of operation can be found by visiting Ride the Wake.

     Harris Teeter
    (2835 Reynolda Rd Pine Ridge Plaza, Winston Salem, NC)

    This is one of the closest full-service grocery stores located close to campus. It offers a full line of meats, produce, and assorted grocery items. This location offers a discount on groceries for WFU students.

    The shuttle line hours of operation can be found by visiting Ride the Wake.

    Lowes Grocery
    (2890 Reynolda Road, Winston Salem, NC)

    This is one of the closest full-service grocery stores located close to campus. It offers a full line of meats, produce, and assorted grocery items. The apartment shuttle Gold line drops off at the Corners at Crystal Lake apartment complex; this complex is 1 block away from the grocery store.

    The shuttle line hours of operation can be found by visiting Ride the Wake.

  • Health Insurance

    Wake Forest University requires that all students registered on a full-time basis be covered by a health insurance policy that meets certain coverage criteria defined by the university.

    Students have the option of either purchasing coverage through the university plan (Student Blue) or waiving this coverage by proving that they are currently covered by a health insurance policy that meets or exceeds the established criteria.