While you are in the U.S.
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Climate and Clothing
Brevard County's climate averages around 72 degrees a year. Dress on campus is informal,
usually jeans and shirts.
Suggested items to pack:
- Clothes including trousers, shirts, shorts, coat, sweaters
- 1 formal outfit or national clothing
- Language dictionary
- Basic kitchen utensils
- Basic linens/bedding (light blanket, sheets)
- Photos of family and personal items from home
- Doctor's prescriptions (in English, if possible) and current medications, extra pair of glasses
- International driver's license (if you have one)
Housing Options- You should plan on arriving in Brevard County at least a week before classes start in order to find suitable living accommodations and to make the necessary rental and transportation arrangements.
Long-Term: Apartments and Other Housing Options
Off-Campus housing options include:
- Rooms in private residences
- Apartments/townhomes/condominiums which can be rented by yourself or shared by multiple students depending on the lease options of the apartment complex. It is reasonable to expect off-campus housing to cost between $250 to $800 per month, depending on the number of people sharing the expenses which include monthly rent and utilities (water, phone, electricity, gas, trash, cable, etc.). A security deposit (usually one month's rent) is also required for most off-campus housing In addition, utility companies (phone, electricity, etc.) may require deposits in advance as well.
You may also search Internet-based apartment search engines such as:
- Zumper/Cocoa area
- Zumper/Melbourne area
- Zumper/Palm Bay area
- Zumper/Titusville area
- Zillow/Cocoa area
- Trulia/Cocoa area
- classified advertising section of the local newspaper the Florida Today
To rent an apartment, it is customary to sign a lease. A lease is a binding contract, and is required for a fixed period, typically 12 months. Leases obligate you to pay rent for the term of the lease even if you move out of the apartment. Please read and understand the lease before you sign it.
Official Arrival Date- You must arrive in the United States at least by the date indicated on your Form I-20. You may arrive in the United States as early as 30 days prior to the official date indicated on your I-20.
Traveling to the U.S.
Travel Tips: We want your trip to Brevard County to be safe and pleasant. For this reason, please observe the following travel tips:
- Reconfirm your flight at least three days before leaving the country.
- To reduce jetlag, drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids on the plane and get some rest.
- Carry your money, passport, immigration documents, and important documents with you on the plane. Do not pack these items in your luggage. You should have at least $1,500 in Travelers Checks when you arrive to cover initial expenses such as taxi, bus fare, meals, first rent installment, books and supplies. Bank drafts, other than negotiable Travelers Checks will take one or two weeks to clear.
- Never carry a large amount of cash.
- If you need help, ask an airport employee.
- Never leave your luggage unattended.
- Be cooperative, patient and courteous when waiting in travel lines.
Entering the U.S.-What to do at the U.S. Port of Entry
Be ready to present your passport, visa, your Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) and supporting documentation. You will be given a Form I-94 to complete either before your arrival or upon arrival in the United States. The top portion of the form I-94 will be kept by immigration, and the bottom portion will be stamped and returned to you. This portion should be stamped F-1 and the letters D/S should be written next to the stamp. Your Form I-20 should also be stamped. If the bottom portion of Form I-94 is not returned to you, or if a specific expiration date is instead of D/S, please ask the immigration inspector for clarification. Do not leave the immigration area at the port of entry unless your documents are in order; if there is a problem, it is much easier to take care of it before you leave the Immigration area. Keep your portion of the I-94 with your passport.
U.S.-VISIT is a part of the new immigration system that will be used to track millions of visitors to the United States. It began on January 5, 2004, the program is operational at 150 airports. All students will be required to go through the screening process, which will include a digital photograph and an electronic fingerprint.
Guide to Local Resources
Click here for information about Brevard County.
F-1 students are permitted to engage only in employment that has been authorized. Any unauthorized employment constitutes failure to maintain status. A student who is out of status is not eligible for F-1 benefits, including employment.
There are three categories of employment available to F-1 students at EFSC.
- On-campus employment
- Practical training (curricular and optional practical training)
- Employment authorized due to Severe Economic Hardship
On Campus Employment does not require USCIS approval. Employment must be on-campus and is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session. Students should contact the International Services Office on either the Melbourne or Cocoa campus to obtain authorization for on-campus employment.
Students interested in Optional Practical Training or Curricular Practical Training need to meet with in International Student Advisor for more information.
Income earned in the United States is usually subject to any federal, state, or local income regulations that apply.
Annual filing for taxes is mandated each year by April 15th. If the student was present in the U.S. for any day during the tax year, the student must file.
Miscellaneous Tax Information
Please note that EFSC staff does not provide tax advice and students should refer individual questions to a specialist in international taxation.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes a number of helpful information/instruction booklets, which are available through the IRS Tax Payer Assistance Service (toll free call 1-800-829-3676). You may find a copy of the following forms at your local public library or www.irs.ustreas.gov.
- IRS Publication 519 US Tax Guide for Aliens
- IRS Publication 520 Scholarships & Fellowships
- IRS Publication 597 U.S./Canada Tax Treaty
- IRS Publication 901 U.S. Tax Treaties
- IRS Form 1040NR Nonresident Alien Tax Return
- IRS Form 1040NR-EZ Nonresident Alien Tax Return
- IRS Form 8843 Statement for Exempt Individuals
International Student Services (ISS)
Aggie Dobrosielski, Student Advisor
Holly Duff, Student Advisor
Office Hours by Campus
Cocoa: Building 11, Second Floor
Monday-Thursday, 8 AM – 5:30 PM
Melbourne: Building 1, 122
Monday-Thursday, 8 AM – 5:30 PM
Palm Bay: Building 1, 112A
Tuesday, 8 AM – 5:30 PM
Titusville: Building 1
Call 321-433-7341 for appointment