Guidebook / Preparing for Meredith

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As you prepare for coming to Meredith, there may be many questions that come up and important tasks to complete. Once you have finished the first critical steps of obtaining your I-20 and F-1 visa, and paying your enrollment deposit in the Application Portal, we encourage you to read through and work on the following pre-arrival tasks. If questions arise along the way, please contact OIP so that we may assist you.

**Undergraduate students should also review Meredith’s New Student Checklist applicable to all incoming undergraduate students**

Get Access to Important Information

After paying your enrollment deposit, one of the most important next steps you can take is getting access to Meredith’s online systems and email in order to keep up with important information. Look for an email from, subject line “Meredith College Technology Account Information,” for specific instructions for getting started. If you have any questions or difficulties, please contact Technology Services at or by phone at +1 (919) 760-2323.

  • Establish your NetID password 
  • Use your NetID and password to access MyMeredith and associated campus portals
  • Use your NetID and password to access your Meredith email and check it regularly

Your Meredith NetID will be important for you during your time at Meredith College. This will give you access to a variety of portals that will be useful to you, most available through MyMeredith. Once you’ve logged in to MyMeredith, you will find a box with links to Self Service.

In the Academics section, you can keep up to date with your degree progress, check for registration holds, and register for classes in the future. There is also a Financial Information section which gives you access to the payment portal where your tuition and fees can be paid each semester. There are also a variety of other aspects to utilize, such as tracking your work hours and payment stamps if you have a job on campus. Familiarizing yourself with MyMeredith will be helpful in being able to easily access all the resources you may need. 

For your Meredith email, once you have paid your deposit you can request your Meredith College account to be created through the admissions portal checklist. The request task will be sent via the email account you used to apply for Meredith. In the email are instructions for setting up your NetID Account, a link to a Student Technology Page outlining your Meredith email and additional information for placement testing (if you need to take any), and links to Meredith sites. If you do not receive this email within 24 hours or two business days, Technology Services recommends you check your spam folder or reach out to the Meredith Helpdesk.

Complete Health Tasks

Your health and wellness are a priority for Meredith College. Please review the following policies and recommendations:

Meredith has compiled a list of required vaccines students must have prior to arriving on campus.

  • Collect vaccination records/proof of immunizations.

Since your current doctor is most familiar with your medical history, and since immunizations and other medical care can be very expensive in the U.S., we recommend that you take care of any current medical needs while you are still home. 

  • Work with your doctor on the above-mentioned immunization documentation, as well as any other required health forms relevant to your situation.
  • Upload any and all medical forms and documentations in the Student Wellness Portal.
  • Ask about any ongoing health concerns and fill any prescriptions or medications you generally take.  Bringing this medicine with you (prescription as well as general medications for stomach aches, headaches, allergies, etc.) will save you the expense of purchasing them in the U.S.
  • Visit your dentist and eye doctor at home as well, if possible.  Most U.S. health insurance does not cover dental or vision care.

Since medical expenses in the U.S. can be extremely high, health insurance is designed to protect you from incurring unmanageable expenses in the case of medical emergencies. For this reason, Meredith College requires that all students have a health insurance policy to cover them throughout their studies. More details about Meredith’s health insurance policy are available on our Student Health Services website

There are two options you can consider for meeting your health insurance requirement:

  1. Enroll in Meredith’s policy with Student Blue or 
  2. Waive the Meredith health insurance with an alternative health insurance policy. International Student Insurance’s (ISI) Defender plan is Meredith’s vetted alternative to Student Blue for international students, unless you have a different policy through a spouse or employer in the U.S.


**IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING THE INSURANCE WAIVER: In order for your waiver to be approved, your alternative health insurance policy must provide coverage for the full year, though payment can happen by semester. For the 2024-25 academic year, the Fall semester’s policy must begin by August 1, 2024 and continue through at least December 31, 2024; spring semester’s insurance must begin by January 1, 2025, and run through July 31, 2025.

Keep in mind that with health insurance policies in the U.S., you generally get what you pay for, meaning that the cheaper the policy you buy, the less coverage it may provide, and vice versa.  You will want to take your own medical history and needs into account as you make a decision about what health insurance policy is best for you. It is important to understand both the upfront monthly costs as well as how much you pay out of pocket towards deductibles and copays, in addition to the difference between ‘in-network’ and ‘out-of-network’ services.

Next steps for meeting your health insurance requirement include:

  • Review Meredith’s Student Blue health insurance policy and compare it to ISI’s Defender policies (both the $200 deductible and $500 deductible plans will meet the waiver requirements).
  • Once you have decided on your insurance policy, enroll in or waive out of Student Blue.  
    • If waiving (meaning you are purchasing ISI instead), a waiver form is required, along with documentation of your ISI health insurance policy. Complete your waiver in the Student Blue Portal.
    • If you are choosing Meredith’s policy, enroll in the plan (and get access to your health insurance card) in the Student Blue Portal.
  • Check your Meredith Student Account to see the insurance charge applied (or dropped if you have successfully waived with your ISI insurance policy). Action must be taken to either enroll or waive prior to the start of classes.

Make Housing Arrangements

Welcome home, new Angels! Moving to a new place can be challenging for all sorts of reasons, so we wanted to share some resources to help as you make arrangements for where you will stay during your studies at Meredith.

On-campus housing is available and generally required for new undergraduate students. There are some limited opportunities for graduate student housing on-campus as well. Interested graduate students should contact for more information.

There are six residence halls that undergraduate students may choose from, in addition to the Oaks Apartments. New undergraduate students should consider the following important steps related to housing at Meredith:

  • Submit your Housing Request Form as soon as possible so that you can be placed in a building and with a roommate best matched to your preferences.
  • Plan Ahead for School Breaks. For students who need to remain on campus over breaks during the school year, space will be available. During short breaks within the semester, students may remain in their rooms (though Campus Dining is generally closed on breaks, and students staying will want to plan ahead to cook or make alternative arrangements); during Winter Break, Meredith will arrange for temporary housing in an apartment on campus with a kitchen to cook in. If you choose to stay on campus during winter break, please note that all offices/services will be closed, though Campus Security will remain present. If alternative plans are possible (for example, visiting friends or family), that’s generally best since the campus will essentially be closed. During the summer break, students may request on-campus housing at the Oaks. Review Meredith’s academic calendar for school break dates to assist with your planning.

New graduate students should look for housing off campus, since on-campus housing is reserved for undergraduate students.  In general, the average rent for one person in Raleigh can range from approximately $500 up to $1,500 a month, depending on the circumstances (roommates or not, furnished or not, etc.). Students living off campus should prepare to pay the first month’s rent, plus a security deposit (often equal to a month’s rent), when signing a lease (contract) for off-campus housing.

As you begin looking for housing, know that there are many options within walking distance or a short bus ride to Meredith College. View a  list of a few apartment complexes and search tools that past graduate students have recommended.

Temporary Housing:  Having a place to stay for your first night in Raleigh is essential. If there happens to be a gap between when you arrive and when you can move into your housing, we suggest booking a temporary room by searching sites for the Raleigh area (zip code 27607). A few helpful websites include:

Register for Classes

Self Service

Registering for classes is an important component in preparing for your first semester at Meredith. While the advising process differs for graduate students and undergraduate students, note that all students eventually use Self Service for course registration. Bookmark this helpful tutorial for navigating the registration process in Self Service in the future. 

For your first semester though, students are generally registered for classes by a Meredith faculty or staff member.

The Student Success Center  (SSC) will help develop your first semester schedule based on the information you provide in the StartStrong Regrets Form

When completing this form, you will come across a section requesting information about math courses you have taken in the past, including whether or not you have taken calculus. If you have any confusion or concerns regarding which topics to select, or if you feel you could better describe your experiences in calculus outside of the form, Professor Tina Starling from the Math Department is a great person to set up a conversation with.  To contact Professor Starling, email her at

For any questions or concerns regarding your schedule, we recommend reaching out to the Student Success team at

The first semester course registration process varies by department.  New graduate students are encouraged to contact their faculty advisor or program coordinator for instructions.

Prepare Finances

Living and studying in the U.S. can be expensive, so it is important to prepare both for expected and unexpected expenses.  

Students are billed for tuition and fees by Meredith’s Accounting Office. Once you are registered for classes, the Accounting Office will issue a bill, which you can view in Self Service. Tuition is charged one semester at a time and typically is due before the semester begins.

  • Review options and pay tuition by August 1 if possible.
  • If you have any difficulties making the payment from abroad, please contact the Accounting Office ( to discuss making your payment upon arrival.
  • After August 1, students who have not paid may have a hold on their Student Account preventing course registration or schedule changes. Contact Accounting for assistance with removing the hold.

In addition to tuition and fees, students should also budget for the cost of textbooks and course materials. Approximately $300-600 each semester is recommended. 

Plan to bring enough money with you to cover your first week at least, including expenses such as transportation, food, temporary housing, items for your room or apartment, etc.  This money should be available through a credit card or in U.S. currency (or better yet, both!).  While students will have the opportunity to set up local bank accounts during International Orientation, it can take a few days before funds in the new account are available and/or for money wired internationally to be available in your U.S. account. Note that the first month in Raleigh is often the most expensive month, as there will most likely be one-time expenses associated with getting settled in.

Mark Your Calendar for Orientation(s)!

There are a number of orientation programs designed to help set you up for success at Meredith! Please note when the programs relevant to you are taking place so that you can plan your travel dates accordingly.

  • Pre-Departure Orientation(s). Are you interested in connecting with other students from your home country also preparing to study in the U.S.? The U.S. State Department’s International Student Network hosts a number of sessions throughout the spring and summer that may be of interest to you. 
  • International Student Orientation. This is a pre-orientation program designed specifically to help welcome and support incoming international students before joining campus-wide New Student Orientations. International Orientation will take place August 14 – 16, 2024. Wednesday, August 14 is students’ arrival (and on-campus move-in) day, and orientation itself will take place all day Thursday and Friday.
  • Undergraduate New Student Orientation. The campus-wide orientation for new Meredith undergraduate students begins on Saturday, August 17, and runs through Tuesday, August 20. Your specific schedule will vary depending on if you’re a first-time student, a commuter student, a transfer student, and/or a Wings student. Please continue to check Meredith’s Orientation website throughout the summer for updates and details.
  • Graduate New Student Orientation. New graduate students have program-specific orientations at various times throughout August. Contact your Graduate Counselor for details.

Prepare for Travel

Once your F-1 visa has been approved, we recommend confirming your travel plans as soon as possible. 

  • Book Flight(s). As you begin looking for flights to come to Meredith, please plan to arrive in time to attend International Student Orientation. Also note that new F-1 students are eligible to enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the program start date on your I-20 (see “earliest admission date” on page 1 of your I-20).
  • Submit International Student Arrival Form. Once you have booked your flights, please complete this form to help OIP prepare for your arrival. We are pleased to offer airport pickup from the Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDU), and the Arrival Form is how you can request that assistance.
  • Review U.S. Entry Requirements. Learn about what to expect at the U.S. Port of Entry, what documents to have with you in-hand, and other important requirements for travel to the U.S.
  • Pack Your Bags. Read through advice from current Meredith international students on what to bring from home and what you can plan to buy in the U.S., as well as what to expect from the weather in Raleigh! 
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