Spring 2017 New International Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to San Francisco State University!

The staff at Office of International Programs are looking forward to seeing you at the Mandatory International Student Orientation beginning on January 17, 2017

Please arrange to arrive San Francisco before January 12, 2017.

Important Information for New Students

Mandatory International Student Orientation (January 17 - 19, 2017)

Dates: January 17 - 19, 2017 (Orientation Schedule, PDF 324KB, updated on January 6, 2017)
Location: Student Life Event Center (Annex I) (Map, PDF 561KB)
Direction: Walking from 19th Ave and Holloway or from Lake Merced Blvd and Font Blvd)

For Students Who Are Currently in the United States:

ELM (Entry-Level Mathematics Test) and EPT (English Placement Test) - Undergraduate Students Only

If your Notice of Admission indicates that you need the EPT and/or ELM, you must take the test(s).  These tests are mandated by the State of California.  To take the test(s), you must register and pay at https://ept-elm.ets.org/CSU/.  The final test date is Friday, January 13, 2017.

Register for ELM and EPT

Test Registration Start date:  November 7, 2016.  Deadline: December 30, 2016

Test date: Friday, January 13, 2017

Location: To Be Announced (TBA)

Composition for Multilingual Students Program (CMS) - Undergraduate Students Only (Except MA TESOL Students)

SF State provide a unique English program called Composition for Multilingual Students(CMS) Program.  The English courses provided by CMS program are designed for non-native English speakers who need to fulfill undergraduate English graduation requirements.  Undergraduate students have the option to follow either the CMS track of English courses or the track for native English speakers.  If you choose to enroll in CMS courses, you must take the Composition for Multilingual Students Placement Test (CMSPT) so you can be placed into the CMS courses most appropriate for your English level. 
CMS program is designed for Undergraduate students. Graduate students are not required to enroll in CMS program nor take CMSPT except MA TESOL students.

We encourage you to watch the following videos to learn more about the CMS program and CMSPT.  Visit CMS program website for CMS advising hours.

Register for CMSPT

Test Registration Start date: November 7, 2016

Test date and Location: Tuesday, January 17, 2017.  

Check in at 12:30PM in Humanities Building (HUM) in Room 401 (4th floor).  

Test begins promptly at 1:00 pm.  

Course Registration

Health Insurance Requirements

All F-1 International students must obtain and maintain the CSU-sponsored health insurance plan while enrolled at SF State.  You can purchase CSU-sponsored health insurance plan at https://www.csuhealthlink.com/.


  1. Go to http://www.csuhealthlink.com/, click "Find Your School's Plan" and select "San Francisco State University"
  2. Look for the plan called 2016-2017 San Francisco State University - Intl.  Click "Enroll in Coverage".  Select "Annual" plan.  Do not purchase other plans otherwise the insurance hold will not be cleared
  3. Registrar's Office will clear your hold within 48 hours. You do not need to provide the proof of purchase to the Registrar's Office or OIP

Video instruction:

(Video length: 2:27.  This video does not include any dialogue)

Watch the video instruction on QQ

Understanding and Using Your Health Insurance

Watch the following video to learn how health insurance works in the U.S., what to do when you are sick, and services provided by Student Health Services (SHS).

(Video length: 3:14.  This video does not include any dialogue)


Watch the "Understanding and Using Your Health Insurance" video on QQ 


To Clear the International Health Insurance Registration Hold:

  • If you purchase the CSU-sponsored health insurance plan, your hold will be cleared with 48 hours
  • Government-sponsored scholarship: If your health insurance is included in your government scholarship, e-mail a proof of your government scholarship that includes reference to your health insurance to OIP at oip@sfsu.edu Please include your full-name and SF State ID in your e-mail
  • Employer-sponsored plan: If your health insurance is employer-sponsored plan (i.e. receipt of insurance is a part of the employment compensation through your spourse or parents in the US), please obtain a letter of your current insurance coverage from your insurance company and purchase the 2016-2017 On Call International (Medical Evacuation & Repatriation) Plan. E-mail the letter and proof of 2016-2017 On Call International (Medical Evacuation & Repatriation) Plan to oip@sfsu.edu.  Please include your full-name and SF State ID in your e-mail


We hope you found the above information helpful.  We are looking forward to see you in San Francisco!

Advice from Current International Students

"Plan and think about your goals and what you want to achieve during the program, otherwise, it’s likely you will just end up spending time and money."

"Try and meet people before coming here, e.g. through Facebook. I found it very hard when I got here not knowing anyone and I wish I had made use of the Facebook group before coming to San Francisco."

"Be friendly, try new things, and be involved."

"It’s normal to be homesick from time to time."

"Look for housing early, and do not despair if it does not go well in a week; every day brings better opportunities."