Center for International Programs

Accepted Students

Pre-Arrival Information
Arrival Information
What to Expect in Arcata

Pre-arrival Information

Before coming to Arcata it is important that you are prepared and have all of the necessary materials to be successful at Humboldt State University. Please read the provided information carefully and contact the Center for International Programs (CIP) if you have any questions or concerns.

Prearrival Checklist

If you are sponsored
If you are sponsored by an organization, notify them of your plans. Your sponsor can assist you with many predeparture arrangements and provide valuable information.

  • What to bring - Avoid bringing excess items that can be purchased here and appliances that cannot be used in the U.S. Click here to download a Packing List.
  • Make travel arrangements - Arrive on campus at least two days before International Student Orientation begins in case of travel delays or jet lag.
  • Make Financial Arrangements
  • Make copies - Copy medical records, x-rays, and prescriptions. Also, have prescriptions written in generic terms rather than brand names. A certified birth certificate translated into English may be required to obtain an California driver’s license.
  • Label your luggage - Label all luggage, inside and outside, with your name address, and phone number (if you have them) in Arcata.
  • Carry all legal documentation - Carry your passport, I-20, financial documentation and any other legal documents, on your person, not in your luggage! You will need these to clear Customs.
  • Check with the airlines - Ask about their luggage policy and reconfirm your flight reservations 72 hours before departure.
  • Leave a phone number with someone in your home country - Use someone you know in Arcata or your department. If you do not know anyone in the U.S. to use as a contact, please use the Center for International Programs Office phone number: 1-707-826-4142. Leave a message if calling after normal business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time) and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. If it is an emergency call after business hours or during a holiday, and there is no emergency contact information on the voice mail, please call 1-707-826-5555 so a staff member can be notified to assist you.

Class Fees
There are some student fees not included in the estimated cost of attendance and they can sometimes surprise students. You can check to see if there are additional fees attached to a class by looking up the class at the Humboldt State University class schedule Web site:

Make Financial Arrangements
Bring enough money to cover the cost of tuition and fees, health insurance, housing expenses, books and personal expenses. If you plan to live on campus, you will pay a deposit before arriving and will need to pay for the entire semester for housing and dining costs after your arrival. If you live off-campus, we recommend that you bring first and last month’s rent, plus damage deposit (approximately $1,500).

We also recommend that you bring money in traveler’s checks or credit card rather than cash. Foreign bank drafts can be used to open a bank account; however, you cannot withdraw money from this account for 30 days.

Sponsored Students/Scholarships: If you have a scholarship or are sponsored by a third party, you must bring a letter from your funding source addressed to Humboldt State University, which authorizes billing for tuition, fees, housing and insurance, if applicable.

Make Travel Arrangements
The Arcata Airport (airport code: ACV) is a small airport located close to Arcata. There are no direct international flights to Arcata. Most students arrange a connecting flight to the Arcata airport from a major airport such as San Francisco (airport code: SFO).

What to Bring

  • Extra eye glasses or contact lenses and fluid
  • Frequently used or favorite books
  • Educational supplies (calculators, paint brushes)
  • Traditional or special medicines (packaged and wrapped)
  • Photos, slides, maps, flags, artifacts, clothing, and cultural items typical of your country or region which can be used to share your culture with other students and to display at the International Cultural Festival and International Education Week
  • Medical history from your home country physician (translated into English) for physicians at HSU and in the Arcata Area
  • You will need bedding and personal items, but it is best to purchase them after you arrive, as bed and pillow sizes vary by country.

Linens are not included and are not available in your dorm room upon arrival as most students prefer to shop for these amenities during the scheduled shopping trip during orientation week. If you would like to have linens before you arrive, we have assembled for your convenience a list of online dormitory suppliers. If you order your supplies online, you can pick up packages at our office, Feuerwerker House (FWH), or if you have requested our complimentary airport pick-up service, we will deliver your dormitory package to you upon airport pick-up.

Arrival Information

You are required to attend the mandatory orientation. We advise you arrive at least 1 day before orientation in order to attend orientation on time. Please see the Orientation section below for more information.

Arcata Airport: The local airport (airport code: ACV) is a 15-minute drive north of Humboldt State and the city of Arcata.

Transportation from the Airport: The HSU Center for International Programs will provide a courtesy van/bus and driver (during the dates specified for each term) for pickups and transportation to lodging (on and off campus). If you are living on-campus, we will also assist you in checking into the dorms. If you will arrive on any other date, you must make your own transportation arrangements (for example, book the Airporter Shuttle,

Arrival and Airport Pickup Request Form: We need to know when you will be arriving at Humboldt State. If you would like to be picked up at the airport, you must submit an Arrival and Airport Pickup Request Form no later than 2 weeks before your arrival date. If you will be arriving by bus or car, please indicate your means of transportation and provide your arrival date on the form.

Travel Delay Tips: Sometimes, travel delays may happen and we would like to make your trip as easy as possible. To help you with a smooth arrival, please download and print these travel trips before you start your journey.

Luggage: Please be aware that it is your responsibility to load and unload your luggage and carry it into your lodging. The HSU bus driver will not perform this service for you.

Bus Service: You may take the Greyhound bus service from San Francisco, but you should be aware that this is a long trip (eight hours). There is no direct transportation from the San Francisco airport to the bus depot, and you will need to arrange to get from the Arcata bus station to your lodging. For more information, please visit the Greyhound website at

Early Dorm Check-In: This semester, early check-in is available to international students for a cost of $23/night starting January 10th.  If you would like to check-in into the dorms prior to the move-in date of January 14th please get in touch with our office and we will assist you in making arrangements with the Housing & Dining Office.


Mandatory advising and registration take place through the Center for International Programs International Student Orientation.

Orientation Schedule: The orientation schedule will be emailed to you and posted on the Center for International Programs website once available. In the meantime, you may contact the Center for International Programs at international [at] humboldt [dot] edu if you have any questions.

Registration and Advising: Major advising and registration for classes will take place during orientation. You will be billed for tuition and fees after registering for classes. All registration fees are due within 72 hours of registration.

What to Expect in Arcata

The City of Arcata

Arcata is a friendly community of about 17,000 residents. The Arcata population enjoys many of the same conveniences (coffee shops, art galleries, theaters, clubs, bookstores and bike paths) of a much larger community. Nearby, you will also find some of the best (and least crowded) sites for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, surfing, and exploring on the north coast.

Visitors from around the world come to this beautiful part of California to see the pristine beaches, clear blue rivers and world-famous Redwood trees. Redwood National Park, located 60 km north of Arcata, is home to some of the oldest Redwood trees in the world. For city-lovers, San Francisco is just a 5-hour car ride away, or a one-hour flight from Arcata/Eureka Airport. Direct flights to San Francisco leave several times a day.

Transportation in Arcata

Whether you are travelling to class or just running errands, Arcata is safe and easy to get around. From the Humboldt County bus system to car rentals, there are plenty of transportation options to help you reach your destination. Arcata is a very bike friendly town, and students can walk everywhere.  Students can also use the Bicycle Learning Center on campus—it’s a student volunteer run program that provides tools and knowledge for learning to repair and maintain your bike.

Jack Pass

Humboldt State’s Jack Pass provides unlimited free ride access on the Humboldt County bus systems. Save car and parking expenses and help protect the environment at the same time. Simply slide your HSU student identification card through the bus fare box to receive a free ride.  Please go here to view bus schedules.


An alternative to riding the bus, HSU’s two Zipcar rentals offer students another way to run errands or simply get around. For a small fee, students can rent a car for as little as an hour or for multiple days. Gas, insurance, reserved parking spots, up to 180 miles of driving per day and roadside assistance are included in the hourly and daily Zipcar rates.


Arcata has a moderate climate year-round, so you’ll never have to worry about being too hot or too cold. Our average low is 4 C and our average high is 14 C.   We are on the coast near the ocean, so we do get some rain year round.  An umbrella and rainboots are good to have for walking around campus.  Our campus is also known as Hills and Stairs University – so bring good walking shoes.

 For more information about Arcata and Humboldt County:


Center for International Programs
Humboldt State University
1 Harpst Street.
Arcata, CA, 95521-8299 U.S.A.

Telephone: +1 (707) 826-4142
Fax: +1 (707) 826-3939