Fall 1 Session Welcome Letter
Congratulations on your acceptance into the English as a Second Language Program at Longwood University for the Summer Session. Between now and the time you get to Longwood, there are some important things you need to know. Please read this letter carefully so that your transition to life as a student in the United States can go smoothly.
Classes begin on August 24, but you will need to arrive at Longwood by August 14, because there are several things you need to do before you start classes.
Arrival Date: Please let us know (before August 10) the following:
Please call Eileen Beach at 434-547-0313; firstname.lastname@example.org with any last-minute changes in your arrival date or flight schedule – be sure you have this number with you when you travel.
We will pick you up at Richmond Airport and drive you to Farmville if you arrive anytime BEFORE 8:00 pm on August 14 and 15. If your flight is late, we will wait at the airport until you arrive.
If you choose to take a flight that comes in later or on the next day, you will have to find your own way to the university – taxis are very expensive and there is not a regular Richmond-Farmville bus service.
- Housing: You will need to find your own room off-campus (not in the student housing) before you arrive in Farmville (see choices below). If you have not made arrangements for an apartment before you get here, you will have to stay at the Hampton Inn Hotel (434-392-8826) at your own expense (the rate starts at $129.00/night) until you find an apartment.
We have two apartment complexes available (click to view):
- Walk2Campus Apartments – new, modern, furnished (you don’t need to buy furniture), very close to the university (you can walk to classes)
- SunChase Apartments - older, traditional apartments, not furnished. You will need to take the bus or have a car to get to the university.
- Arriving at your housing – If we pick you up at the airport on August 14 - 15, we will drive you to your apartment or, if you have not chosen where to live, to the Hampton Inn (your expense) and meet with your apartment manager to get keys.
- Shopping Trip - On August 19, we will pick you up at your apartment/hotel, give you a tour of Farmville and take you shopping at the local Walmart for things that you may need for your apartment.
- Orientation (getting to know us) - The International Students will have an Orientation week August 17 - 20. You will learn about the ESL courses and policies and your plan for success as a student in the U.S. and you will get a tour of the Longwood campus. Please bring your passport and immunization record (see below). We will help you with banking and tuition payments at this time (see below – Banking and Payment for Tuition).
- Immunization (Shot) Records – All Longwood University students must have with them their immunization (shot) records, which have been completed by a doctor or health-care provider, before they can be admitted to classes. The Certificate of Immunization form can either be mailed (Longwood University Office of International Affairs, 201 High Street, Farmville, Virginia 23909) or emailed to the Office of International Affairs (email@example.com). You will not be able to be registered for classes until your immunization record is on file at Longwood.
- Placement Test – On Monday, May 18 -the first day of class - you will be given a placement test to find your level of English and put you in the correct ESLP class. Please come to the ESLP office (Room 116 – Stevens Building) at 8:30 am. The test usually takes about 2.5 hours and after lunch, we will meet with you, let you know what course module you are in, have you meet your teacher and give you your class schedule for the session.
- Payment for Tuition – Please be prepared to pay for classes before they begin. Have all banking information, wire transfer information or a credit card with you the day of orientation. If you have a financial sponsor (government or educational agency), please have a letter from them saying that they are responsible for your tuition payment for the upcoming session.
- Health Insurance - All F-1 visa holders are required to have a valid health insurance policy. Health care is very expensive in the United States and insurance will help to cover medical expenses in case you become sick or injured. We recommend that you get a health insurance policy before you arrive in the U.S. For more information about health insurance and how to buy a policy, talk to the ESLP Director, Mrs. Beach, when you arrive at Longwood.
- Banking – Life for a student is easier with a local bank account and a credit card. Please be prepared to visit a Farmville bank such as Wells Fargo or Bank of America that can work with your financial sponsor and open an account with the bank of your choice. You will need your passport as ID.
- Electronics – Mobile phones purchased in your country will probably not work in the U.S. so you will have to change your SIM card and/or possibly your phone service provider. The phone centers in Farmville include Verizon and U.S. Cellular. (T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, and LG centers are in Richmond.)
All Longwood students are required to have a laptop computer and we recommend that ESL students also bring or purchase a computer to use – especially if they will be in the Writing or Academic Prep Modules. Students may bring whatever brand laptop they choose. Windows and Apple options are acceptable. Below is a set of minimum specification recommendations designed to serve as a guide for purchasing decisions.
- Laptop Minimum Specification Recommendations
- Processor: wDual Core Processor (i5 equivalent or higher)
- Memory: 4GB DDR3 RAM Minimum wHard Drive: 250GB Hard Disk Drive or 64 GB Solid State Drive (with the Solid State drive, much of the space will be taken up by the Operating System so be sure to purchase external storage)
- Operating System: Running Windows 7 or later, OSX 10.7 Lion or later, or the latest stable release of a Linux Distribution
- Internet Connectivity: Wired Ethernet Port
- External Storage device(s): (i.e. large flash drives or external hard drive)
- Optical Drive: A DVD-RW drive is recommended but not required (this may
be necessary to watch DVD’s or to install software from a disk)
(Bring all documentation and software that comes with the laptop to campus.)
- Weather – The summer weather in Farmville is hot and humid; winter temperatures can reach as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 degrees Celsius). Although all housing and classrooms have air conditioning and heat, please arrive with the clothing you will need for the four seasons at Longwood, including warm coats and boots for snow and raingear/umbrellas for year-round rain.