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Travel and Registration

Traveling to the USA

Getting your non-immigrant visa

Upon receipt of your I-20, the student should pay the SEVIS (I-901) fee required for all student visa applications. Be sure to print the receipt showing payment of this fee.  Following fee payment, the student should contact the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate to schedule a visa appointment and download the visa application forms.  The student should take their 1-20, passport, admission letter, and financial support documentation to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the appointment.


Travel to Knoxville

Arrange for travel into the Tyson McGhee Airport (TYS) in Knoxville, Tennessee. The TYS airport website includes a map of airport, information about taxi service, and hotel options close to the airport.


Arriving in the U.S.

Students should carry their passport and visa stamp and I-20 in their carry-on luggage on the airplane.  When students arrive in the U.S., they will complete an arrival card (I-94).  The inspection officer at the airport will review your I-94 arrival card to ensure it matches your passport information.  They will review your I-20 and passport in order to process your entry into the U.S. as an F-1 student.


About Knoxville

Knoxville’s climate is considered humid subtropical, although it is not as hot and humid as areas to the south and west of Tennessee.  Our average temperature in the Summer is 78°F with a few days in the upper 90s in the hottest part of the summer months (July-August).  Winters in Knoxville are generally cold, with occasional small amounts of snow and ice. January has a daily average temperature of 38°F, although we generally have several days in Winter that are below freezing.

Knoxville is a vibrant and diverse city, with a historic and active downtown area as well as suburban and relaxed outlaying communities.  The country is never too far away, with rolling mountains and scenic rivers and lakes a short drive from town.  Students in Knoxville enjoy outdoor festivals, exciting concerts from some of the world’s top modern artists, hiking, bicycling and exploring our beautiful mountains and greenways, shopping in eclectic mixture of hometown shops, and much more.  Please visit the Knoxville Visitors Guide for additional information.


Housing, Food and Transportation

Pellissippi State Community College is a commuter campus, which means that we do not offer on-campus housing. However, there are many apartments that are located very close.  If you are having difficulty finding an apartment online, please contact the International Admissions Specialist for further information.

Our other campuses offer vending machine services as well as catered food options at scheduled times from local restaurants. There are a lot of local restaurants and markets that offer multi-cultural foods as well. 

While it is helpful to have access to a car while living in the city, we also have a bus transportation system called the Knoxville Area Transit Bus.


Immigration Check-In Session at Pellissippi State

Students are required to attend an Immigration Check-In and Welcome Session approximately 2 weeks before classes begin. During this session, your International Coordinator will provide an overview of your Immigration status requirements, information about campus activities, housing, what to expect in the classroom, and much more information to help students settle into life at Pellissippi.


Required Orientation program

Students are required to attend a General Student Orientation Program before classes begin. Students will be able to register for their Orientation during the Immigration Session. This is an event designed to support students’ success at Pellissippi. It is also a great opportunity to meet other students from around the world.



Students are required to take a Placement Test before registering for classes their first semester. An opportunity to sign up for this test will be provided at the Immigration Check in session.  The Placement Test will determine what level of coursework the student should take their first semester. Your first semester may include some ESL coursework, depending on the results of your placement test.


Academic Advising and Registration

After Placement Testing is completed, students will schedule a time to meet with an Academic Advisor, who will assist the student as they register for classes.

Stay in touch with your International Coordinator.  She is here to help you with any questions or concerns you may have during your program.

Contact Us

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Patricia J. Higgins, PDSO

International Admissions Specialist
Tennessee Consortium for International Studies
Fax: 865-539-7660
Goins Administration Building, Room 204D
Hardin Valley Campus