Spring 2016 New International Students

Fall 2015 International Student Orientation.  August 17, 2015.

Congratulations on your acceptance to San Francisco State University! 

The staff at Office of International Programs are looking forward to see you at the Mandatory International Student Orientation on January 19, 2016.  Please arrange to arrive San Francisco before January 14, 2016.

Important Information for New Students

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/ in early November 2015.  The test date is Friday, January 15, 2016.  

Register for ELM and EPT

Test date: Friday, January 15, 2016

Location: To Be Announced (TBA)

Test Registration: November 5, 2015 - January 2, 2016

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 Program (CMS).  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's website at http://http://cmls.sfsu.edu for CMS advising hours.

Register for CMSPT

Test date: To Be Announced (TBA)

Location: To Be Announced (TBA)

Test Registration: End of November 2015

Class Registration

Health Insurance Requirements

All new Spring 2016 F-1 International students must obtain and maintain the CSU-sponsored health insurance plan or provide a proof of insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum San Francisco State University insurance requirements while enrolled at SF State.

To Purchase CSU-Sponsored Health Insurance Plan:


  1. Go to https://www.csuhealthlink.com/, click "Find Your School's Plan" and select "San Francisco State University"
  2. Look for the plan called 2015-2016 San Francisco State University - Intl.  Click "Enroll in Coverage".  Spring 2016 new students should choose the "Spring Summer" plan (Plan covers from 1/12/2016 - 8/11/2016).  Do not purchase other plans
  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
  • If you have your own health insurance, please follow the instruction on the Health Insurance Affidavit (PDF file, 196k) to clear hold.   The signed Health Insurance Affidavit must to be sent to Student Health Services (SHS), not OIP
  • 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.eduPlease include your full-name and SF State ID in your e-mail
  • If your health insurance is employer-sponsored plan (i.e. through your spouse), please obtain a letter of your current insurance coverage from your insurance company and purchase the 2015-2016 On Call International (Medical Evacuation & Repatriation) Plan. E-mail the letter and proof of 2015-2016 On Call International (Medical Evacuation & Repatriation) Plan to oip@sfsu.eduPlease 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."