THE ALL-PURPOSE GUIDE TO INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS AT NEUMANN UNIVERSITY

It’s common for international students who are planning to leave their home country in order to pursue a college degree at a university in the United States to feel overwhelmed and challenged. We get it!

Between making the decision to attend college in a different country, choosing which college fits you best, figuring out how to pay for college, gathering all of your application materials in a timely manner, and thriving as a student once you are admitted, international students have much to consider and many decisions to make.

That’s exactly why the Admission Team at Neumann University put together this interactive digital resource page — so that you can efficiently tackle the college admission process and get one step closer to fulfilling your dream of attending college in the United States.

In this resource, you’ll find just about everything you need to thrive as an international student, including advice on adjusting to a foreign country, research surrounding social security and tax information, tips specific to future students of Neumann University, and much more. Let’s get started!

 

ADJUSTING TO THE U.S.

Note: The following sections are designed to assist you with your transition, but it is important to keep in mind that these are generalizations.

By electing to study abroad, you have taken a bold step to immerse yourself in a different culture for the purpose of learning. This adventurous and courageous act sets you apart from other students who may never explore the world around them and the energy and enthusiasm required to get you this far are qualities that will help you be a successful student. The initial thrill of international study, however, may wane if unfamiliar cultural systems, customs, and languages begin to overwhelm you. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as “culture shock.” The best defense against culture shock is an understanding of the circumstances that create it and a general understanding of the new cultural environment you are about to enter.

What is "Culture Shock"?

What is "Culture Shock"?

Cultures are made up of various spoken and unspoken rules. A student who wishes to learn about another cultural system can read about the history of a country, study its political structure, or become acquainted with the national religious practices. 

When we are home, there are many different cultural cues that we unconsciously experience and respond to. For example, when you are in your home country, you seldom consider how to greet a friend or how to behave in a classroom. These are all things that a person does easily while at home. Cultural cues govern these simple acts, but when familiar cultural cues no longer apply and unfamiliar ones begin to threaten security and confidence, culture shock may result.

Culture shock is the feeling of being out of place in an unfamiliar environment. The initial excitement of moving to a new country often subsides when different cultural expectations challenge you to attend to daily responses and behaviors previously taken for granted. The potential stress of dealing with these persistent challenges can result in feelings of frustration with your host country as well as a profound longing for home. If you are a person who has already exhibited the courage and sense of adventure required of embracing international study, overcoming culture shock can be an opportunity particularly suited to your sense of adventure.

American Culture

American Culture

Americans value individualism. European immigrants who rejected the religion, politics, and economics of their home cultures established a new American culture in the early 1600s. As a result, early American culture evolved out of a commitment to individual desire and rebellion against authority.

This commitment to individual religious and political beliefs was so powerful that it resulted in the colonization of a continent that was already inhabited by Native Americans. American colonizers who believed they were culturally superior to their home countries and to Native American culture felt justified in leaving home and country and colonizing the “New World.”

Greetings & Conversation

Greetings & Conversation

Meeting new people can be exciting and at times stressful, particularly in a new environment where many others already have established friendships. Of course, the best way to start a friendship is to say “hello” to a stranger. In America, people tend to greet each other by saying “Hi,” “Hello,” or “How are you?” “How are you?” is an expression used as a greeting and not usually used as a question. If someone keeps moving past you as they say “How are you?”, they mean it as “Hello.” If an acquaintance stops walking to chat with you and then asks “How are you?”, they usually expect a short, positive answer. The typical response is, “Fine.” This may seem impersonal, but it has become a part of the American cultural greeting practice between strangers and acquaintances.

American men usually shake hands when they meet someone for the first time. Some American women will also shake hands with men or women they first meet, but as this is a fairly new cultural convention in America, Americans tend to wait for the woman to offer her hand first. Unlike many countries, it is uncommon for Americans, especially American men, to hug or kiss each other when they greet one another. You may notice, however, that men who are particularly close friends may greet each other with vigorous hugs from time to time.

When Americans speak to each other, they tend to maintain a conversational distance of about three feet from one another. Americans often feel uncomfortable with someone who stands too close to them, even if the person is a close friend. Despite this seemingly distant behavior, you may find that Americans you have just met will ask you intimate questions. The questions Americans may ask of you usually come out of a genuine curiosity about you and your culture, with which they may be totally unfamiliar. Trust your instincts about whether a person is being curious or intrusive and remember you can politely refuse to answer anything that makes you uncomfortable.

Individualism and the American Family

Individualism and the American Family

America’s early history established a commitment to individualism, aggressive capitalist development, and rebellion against authority, and remnants of this cultural philosophy remain today. Americans’ commitment to individualism results in less family cohesiveness than you may be accustomed to in your own life. Many American households only include the “nuclear family,” the parents and children. When children become adults, the cultural expectation is that they will move out and establish their own nuclear family.

In America, elderly parents seldom live with their grown children and often live in senior citizen communities or, if they require medical attention, in nursing homes. This cultural difference can seem quite strange to international students whose cultures assert the importance of caring for elderly family members. Regardless of this fractured family structure, many Americans are devoted to their nuclear and extended families even though they may not reside together.

Many American families are “blended families” with stepparents and stepsiblings and so a cultural tradition has evolved of welcoming family and non-family members equally, especially around American holidays. Most American families who live separate daily lives regard holidays as important family gatherings. For this reason, you will find that your American friends will probably become concerned if they discover you have no plans to “go home” for the holidays and will likely extend invitations for you to join their family celebrations. Holiday celebrations often have lots of food and celebrating so take advantage of the invitations!

Tips for Adjusting to American Culture

Tips for Adjusting to American Culture

  • Be open-minded.
  • Have a sense of humor.
  • Communicate your feelings and thoughts with others.
  • Be curious about your new environment.
  • Be tolerant of other cultural beliefs.
  • Be positive.
  • Maintain a strong sense of self.

UNDERSTANDING THE AMERICAN
COLLEGE CULTURE

American students tend to be competitive and driven. American students tend to take on a lot of work and are involved with many different academic, extracurricular, and social activities. You may find this frenetic pace a bit overwhelming (so do many Americans!). The focus on individual achievement results in the drive to achieve as much as possible with the hope of enhancing personal growth and job prospects. The drive to earn money is powerful, and as a result, you will see that many students do what they can to make themselves more marketable in the American workforce.

American students’ strong sense of individualism is also apparent in the classroom. Students assert their opinions and question professors easily and vigorously. International students may find this behavior aggressive and disrespectful, but it is important to understand the underlying cultural drive to be heard. Questioning authority and trusting individual perceptions of reality are particular points of pride in American society and when employed wisely enhance the classroom environment with the free and respectful exchange of ideas.

Informality is another jarring aspect of the American classroom. Students and professors alike tend to dress and behave casually with one another. In classrooms, it is not unusual for people to speak without raising their hands, to address the professor by his or her first name, to debate with classmates or the professor, or to eat and drink in class. Professors tend to make it clear by example or by explicit statement, the level of formality they expect in a classroom. If you are uncertain, ask your professor what classroom behavior he or she expects.

Tips for Adjusting to American Classroom Culture

  • Don’t be shy. Speak in class as much as possible. In some countries, it is best to sit quietly while the professor speaks.  This is not the style in the United States. Here, students are expected to speak during class.
  • If you don’t understand part of the lecture, ask the professor to clarify.
  • If the professor asks the entire class a question and you know the answer, raise your hand and answer the question.
  • Don’t worry if you are not a native English speaker!  American students are increasingly accustomed to hearing fellow students speak with foreign accents.
  • If you are not comfortable asking questions during class, make sure to ask the professor your questions immediately after class or during the professor’s office hours*.
  • Participate in classroom discussions and ask follow-up questions. These are important to doing well in classes.
  • Make sure to attend all your classes regularly.

* Office Hours:
Definition: A time when the professor is in his/her office and available to answer students’ individual questions about lectures, assignments, or exams. If you cannot attend a certain professor’s office hours because of a class conflict, ask the professor for an individual appointment time. If you are having trouble adjusting to life in the U.S., please let someone know. Jen Mintzer in the International Studies Education Office (BMB 114B) can be contacted readily by email mintzerj@neumann.edu or by phone 610.358.4547.

COMMUNICATIONS

WiFi

Neumann provides WiFi standard wireless and wired network and Internet access throughout the campus and to the residence halls. Resident students wishing to connect to the Internet from their rooms must register their laptops once they hook them up to the Neumann Network. Students will get redirected to a NetReg page the first time they attempt to access a webpage; there, they enter their Neumann Computing ID & password. Off-campus students may use their own service providers or can sign up for inexpensive Internet service from local service provider. Click HERE for more information.

Internet Calling

Internet calling is the least expensive way to stay in touch with family and friends back home. Websites such as skype.com offer free computer-to-computer calling anywhere in the world. You will need to make sure your computer has a microphone, speakers and an internet connection.

Cell Phones

For cell phones, any shopping mall will have a variety of stores where you can buy a phone. Verizon, AT&T, Apple, T-Mobile, and Sprint are the main providers of cell phones. You can visit their websites to learn more about their calling plans. Many providers will require you to sign a 2-year contract. (There may be high fees if you cancel your contract early.) Without an SSN, international students can either purchase a Pre-Paid plan or put down a deposit ($400-$600) to get a Post-Paid plan. If students have a good payment history, the deposit will be returned to them when the contract is up.

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EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION

On-Campus Employment

On-Campus Employment

Any Neumann student can apply for on-campus jobs. F-1 students may work on-campus part-time (20 hours/week) during the academic year and full-time (40 hours/week) during the summer and college breaks. Once a job has been secured, students will need to obtain a social security number. Please see the Neumann DSO for assistance with this.

Once you start work, your employer will need to see the following documents in order to complete Form I-9, which verifies your identity and employment eligibility:

-I-94 Arrival-Departure Record
-I-20
-Passport

Hint: A good place to start your search for on-campus employment is the Sodexho Dining Service Office, located in the Bruder Life Center. You might also try the Aramark Maintenance Office, Admissions Office, Bookstore, Library, etc.

Off-Campus Employment - Including Internships & Co-ops

Off-Campus Employment - Including Internships & Co-ops

Off-Campus employment - including internships and required co-ops - for F-1 students is strictly regulated by USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Service) and F-1 students may not work without prior approval from this agency. The approval process can take up to 90 days, so students should plan ahead and apply early.

There are two main types of off-campus employment available to international students; one is Optional Practical Training (OPT) and the other is Curricular Practical Training (CPT).  

Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students

Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students

USCIS permits students in F-1 status to work in the United States so that they may reinforce what they have learned in university and college degree programs. This benefit is called Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT allows F-1 students to obtain employment in areas related to their academic major. OPT is available for periods up to twelve months at each degree level. A job offer is not necessary to apply for OPT and a student may work for one or more employers, change jobs, or look for work during the training period.   

If you have been enrolled as a full-time student for at least nine months, you are eligible for Optional Practical Training. An OPT job must be related to your academic major and be intended to cultivate practical experience. You may use your 12 months of OPT part-time while school is in session or full-time during summer breaks or after graduation, just keep in mind that the total of all OPT is 12 months. Many students prefer to save their OPT until after graduation. Frequently Asked Questions about OPT.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 Students

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for F-1 Students

Curricular Practical Training allows F-1 students to work before graduation in an internship or independent study related to their field of study. You must have been a full-time student for at least nine consecutive months to qualify for CPT. CPT is authorized with a specific employer for a specific amount of time, so you will need an offer before applying.  The benefit of CPT is that it does not reduce the amount of OPT available unless you use 12 full months of CPT. The internship or independent study must appear in your major department on your transcript for credit. Frequently Asked Questions about CPT.

Off-Campus Employment Due to Severe Economic Hardship for F1 Students

Off-Campus Employment Due to Severe Economic Hardship for F1 Students

F-1 students who encounter unforeseen, severe economic hardship after completing one academic year (also defined as nine consecutive months) may apply to USCIS for permission to work off-campus.

To apply, you must document an unanticipated change in your financial support showing that your expenses have increased significantly or that your income has decreased significantly. You must also show USCIS that you have exhausted other employment opportunities. Students who can document that they have encountered an unforeseen economic hardship after completing one academic year in the U.S. should contact Neumann’s DSO. Generally, it takes the USCIS two months to approve an application for off-campus work based on severe economic hardship.

SOCIAL SECURITY & TAXES

Social Security Numbers for F-1 Students

Social Security Numbers for F-1 Students

Students who have secured employment while in the United States are required to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN). This applies to on-campus employment as well as off-campus employment (CPT & OPT). Students cannot apply for a Social Security Number until an employment offer is received.

General information can be found HERE.

Social Security Procedure for On-Campus Employment

Social Security Procedure for On-Campus Employment

F-1 students seeking a Social Security Number for on-campus employment must present the following documents to the Social Security Administration Office.

Note: SSA will not process your application more than 30 days in advance of the scheduled employment start date.

Social Security Procedure for Off-Campus Employment (OPT & CPT)

Social Security Procedure for Off-Campus Employment (OPT & CPT)

F-1 students seeking a Social Security Number for off-campus employment must present the following documents to the Social Security Administration Office:

For F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

For F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Note: SSA will not process your application more than 30 days in advance of the CPT employment start date.

For F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)

For F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Note: SSA will not process your application until the employment start date on the OPT EAD card has been reached.

  • SSA Application for a Social Security Card: Form SS-5 (Available on-line or from ISE)
  • I-20, endorsed for OPT
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • Passport, visa stamp, I-94 card

Visiting the Social Security Administration Office

Visiting the Social Security Administration Office

The SSA office closest to the Neumann University campus is:
807 Crosby Street
Chester, PA 19013
Telephone: (800)-772-1213
Office Hours: 9am – 3pm, Mon, Tues, Thurs, Friday; 9 - noon Wednesday

Note: When at the SSA Office, ask for a receipt that will verify your submission.

After the application has been submitted to SSA, students should receive their Social Security Number by mail within 2-6 weeks. F-1 students may not start work on-campus until their Social Security number is received. Please provide your new Social Security Number to the Neumann DSO once it is received.

Tax Reporting for F-1 Students (For Tax Year 2018)

Tax Reporting for F-1 Students (For Tax Year 2018)

All F-1 students must file tax returns each spring, even if no money was earned in the United States. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the government agency responsible for federal tax reporting.

If you did not earn any U.S. income during 2018 other than bank or credit union interest, then you need only file Form 8843, Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition. Form 8843 is not an income tax return. Form 8843 is merely an informational statement required by the U.S. government for certain nonresident immigrants.

If you were employed in the U.S. at any time during 2018, you must file a federal income tax form (1040NR or 1040NR EZ) and a PA state form (Form PA-40) in addition to Form 8843. You can expect to receive Form W-2, Wage, and Tax Statement, from your employer sometime before the end of January. Your bank, credit union or other financial institution will mail you a yearly Statement of Interest as well. Once you receive your W-2 and Statement of Interest, you are ready to complete these forms.

The ISE Office will email reminders and tax form links each February to international students on campus. Students who filed tax returns last year may also receive both U.S. federal and state income tax forms for the new tax year in the mail in January.

Forms are available online, but cannot be submitted electronically. Please open the relevant pdf, type your responses in the colored boxes, print, sign, and mail by April 15, 2019. Since the International Studies Education staff is not qualified to give individual tax advice, students with complicated tax situations may wish to consult with a tax preparation service, professional tax accountant, or tax attorney who is knowledgeable about nonresident tax law.

Federal Income Tax Forms and Assistance:
Tax form 8843
Tax form 1040 NR EZ
Federal Income Tax Forms and Publications

Pennsylvania State Tax Forms and Assistance:
Pennsylvania State Tax Department
Form PA-40

Tax Forms From Other States:
Federation of Tax Administrators

Other Useful Info:
Income Tax Treaties: Full texts of tax treaties between the U.S. and foreign countries and the related U.S. Treasury Department Technical Explanation on the IRS website.

Forms 1040NR EZ, 1040NR and 8843 cannot be filed electronically at this time, nor can they be faxed. They must be completed on paper and mailed to the Internal Revenue Service. The deadline for filing your income tax returns is April 15.

Note: If you are a foreign student on an F- 1 visa, and if you are also a nonresident alien for federal income tax purposes, you are exempt from Social Security (FICA) taxes (including Medicare tax) on income earned in the United States. Make sure that your employer knows this. If boxes 2, 4 or 6 of your W-2 form contain dollar amounts, you are most likely due a tax refund.

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U.S. IMMIGRATION INFORMATION

F-1 VISAS

F-1 VISAS

International students must have a visa to attend school in the United States. International students at Neumann University enter the U.S. as F-1 nonimmigrants.

Once you are accepted at the University and have submitted your completed Affidavit of Support, you will receive an I-20 form from Neumann. Sign this form and take all pages to your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for a student visa. Your name on the I-20 should match that on your passport. (Canadian students do not need to visit a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Rather, they may show these documents to the U.S. Immigration Officer at their point of entry into the United States.)

The U.S. government requires F-1 students to prove that they have sufficient funds or income to pay for their tuition and living expenses. Proof of funding is established through the Affidavit of Support and original copies of tax returns, employer letters, account statements or bank statements. Each U.S. Embassy may require different documentation based on the location.

As an F-1 student, you may enter the country 30 days prior to the program start date listed (see #5) on your I-20. (Note: On-campus housing at Neumann is generally not available until Student Orientation in the fall, or the beginning of the semester in the spring.)

Do not enter the U.S. with a B-1, B-2, or B-1/2 Visa unless it is marked “Prospective Student." You will most likely not be allowed to change your status to F1. Do not enter the U.S. without a visa! The U.S. allows individuals from certain countries to simply show a round-trip ticket to enter the U.S. Do not do this. You will not be allowed to stay past 90 days and you cannot change to student status.

SEVIS

SEVIS

SEVIS is the web-based tracking system that is used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS, formerly INS) to monitor all non-immigrant students. SEVIS stands for the “Student and Exchange Visitor Information System."

The I-20 that you received is a SEVIS-issued I-20. It has a barcode for scanning at all U.S. ports of entry. The regulations for F-1 international students are now more strict than in the past. The two main violations of status are unapproved employment and enrolling less than full-time while at Neumann. Therefore, be sure to review all of this information on immigration issues. Always ask the staff of the Office of International Studies Education (ISE) at Neumann if you have any questions or are uncertain of policy.

Changes in Name or Address

Changes in Name or Address

All students must report to Neumann’s DSO any name or address changes within 10 days. These changes will be recorded by the DSO into the SEVIS system.

Enrollment: Full-time vs. Part-time

Enrollment: Full-time vs. Part-time

Students are required by law to be enrolled full-time (minimum of 12 credits per semester at Neumann) in order to maintain F-1 visa status. A student must receive permission from the DSO prior to enrolling part-time in any semester. Generally, the only possible scenarios for approval are medical emergencies (which require medical documentation) and final terms of degrees. If permission is not granted prior to part-time enrollment, a student’s record in SEVIS will reflect the violation of status and the student’s record will be closed in SEVIS. The only way to reopen the record is to apply for reinstatement through the USCIS, and reinstatements are rarely approved.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad

Some international students at Neumann choose to study abroad during their four years of study. Keep in mind that a new I-20 is needed if a student is out of the U.S. for 5 months or more. In this case, Neumann’s DSO will send a new I-20 to the student abroad.

Travel

Travel

Be sure to have your I-20 form with you whenever you enter or leave the country.

Your I-20 must be signed by Neumann’s DSO in order to reenter the country when you travel. The signatures are good for one year. (Except during OPT, signatures are good for only 6 months.) You should have your I-20 signed before traveling if you are before, but close to, the one-year mark on the previous signature. It is advisable to make a few copies of your I-20 and bring them with you when you travel. The originals of both should be returned to the student when processed at the port of entry. If a USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services) Official should keep the original form, a student would at least have a copy to show other officials when asked.

If you are out of the U.S. for five or more consecutive months, you will lose your F-1 student status and be unable to re-enter the U.S. This is true whether you are a student or an OPT participant.

In light of stricter policies at ports of entry, international students should travel with several documents: your signed I-20, your passport with the visa page, evidence of financial support (that you used to obtain your visa), and a transcript showing your full-time enrollment at Neumann. The USCIS Official may not require anything in addition to your passport and I-20, but it is always good to be prepared.

Remember that no one can guarantee your entry back into the United States. A USCIS Official can decide not to let you back in if there are problems with your documentation or other related issues. Neumann has not had this problem as of yet, but you should keep it in mind.

Graduation

Graduation

Student records in SEVIS are automatically closed once the student’s graduation date is reached. If a student applies for OPT (see Employment Info page of Handbook), the student’s record remains open until the OPT is completed. Students who wish to transfer their F status from Neumann to a graduate school must notify Neumann’s DSO before graduation so that the transfer process can be completed. Otherwise, the student’s record in SEVIS will be closed automatically upon graduation.

Extensions

Extensions

The timeframe given to a student for completion of the degree is indicated on the I-20 form, line #5. It is possible that a student may need more time to complete the degree in various circumstances, for instance, a medical emergency. In this case, a student must request the extension prior to the ending date on the I-20. A new I-20 will be issued including the extra semester(s) needed.

Leaving the U.S.

Leaving the U.S.

The timeframe by which F-1 students must leave the country depends on the following circumstances:

  • Completion of degree or authorized employment: 60 days from the program end date
    (F-1 students who have graduated may not work on campus during their 60 day grace period)
  • Authorized withdrawal by DSO: 30 days from the date of withdrawal
  • Violation of status: immediate departure, NO grace period

PHILADELPHIA: A REGIONAL OVERVIEW

Neumann University is located in Aston, Pennsylvania, thirty minutes from the exciting and historic city of Philadelphia. Here is a brief Philadelphia overview, along with links to more information. You can also get a feel for the city by watching these homemade vodcasts.

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Philadelphia

Philadelphia is commonly referred to as Philly, The City of Brotherly Love, or the Birthplace of America. A centerpiece of early American history, Philadelphia gave birth to the American Revolution and American independence. It was here that America’s Founding Fathers met and created the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. It served as the nation's first capital in 1774 and was the most populous city of the young United States.

Today, the Philadelphia metropolitan area has a population of 5.8 million and is the fifth-largest in the United States. Below are just a few of the many things to see and do in this culturally-rich and wonderfully diverse city.

Historical Landmarks

Independence Hall, Independence National Historical Park, the Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin’s print shop, Betsy Ross’ House, Battleship New Jersey Museum, Christ Church, Elfreth’s Alley, Valley Forge.

Art Museums

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum (featuring the largest collection of Rodin's works outside France), the Barnes Foundation (featuring a celebrated collection of French Impressionist painting), the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (housing important American paintings and sculptures).

Performing Arts

Philadelphia Orchestra (at the Academy of Music), the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Wilma Theater, the Arden Theater Company, the Walnut Street Theater, World Café Live, Kimmel Center, Prince Music Theatre, Fringe Festival.

Cultural Districts & Other Attractions

The Atwater Kent Museum, Adventure Aquarium (across the Delaware River in Camden, NJ), the Philadelphia Zoo, the Reading Terminal Market (great place for lunch), the Mummer’s Museum, the National Constitution Center, the Franklin Institute (museum of science and technology), South Street, the Italian Market, Old City, Rittenhouse Square, King of Prussia Mall, Chinatown, Society Hill, University City, Penn’s Landing and the Waterfront.

Sports & Recreation

Among Philadelphia's outdoor attractions is Fairmount Park, the largest urban park system in the United States with five major parks located throughout the city, each offering a variety of recreational facilities. Philadelphia is also a city of sports lovers, and is home to professional teams in four major spectator sports; the Eagles (American football), Phillies (baseball), 76ers (basketball), and Flyers (hockey).

Day Trips

Hershey Park (chocolate-themed amusement park), Lancaster County (famous for its Amish settlements), the New Jersey shore (beaches, great seafood, etc.), the casinos and boardwalk of Atlantic City, Baltimore, Pocono Mountains, Longwood Gardens, and Delaware County are just a few of the many day trip opportunities available in the area surrounding Philly.

Getting Around Philadelphia

Philadelphia's mass transit system, SEPTA, operates a coordinated system of bus, subway, elevated train, and trolley lines that covers the city and surrounding counties. During the academic year, Neumann offers shuttle service to the Elwyn Train Station, where you can take the R3 train directly to downtown Philly. The Philadelphia International Airport can be reached by taking the R3 train to 30th Street Station, then taking the R1. If driving, the airport is only a twenty-minute drive from campus.

Regional Transportation

After a 38-minute SEPTA ride from the Elwyn station to the 30th Street Station, Neumann students can catch an Amtrak train to New York City and Washington, D.C. Taking the bus is another, inexpensive option for traveling to and from New York and Washington D.C. Check out the Chinatown Bus, Bolt Bus, or Greyhound.

Delaware County

Due to its renowned historic sites, world-famous gardens, wine trails, sports centers, and some of the best dining and theater options in the region, Delaware County is a very popular day trip option for people in the surrounding areas.

Healthcare Innovation

The greater Philadelphia region is a hub for professionals looking to work in a health-related field. It has a rich network of world-renowned research institutions, biotech and contract research organizations, global inventers of medicine, and many major health systems. In fact, 80 percent of U.S. pharmaceutical and biotech companies have a presence in the Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania corridor.

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Set in Aston, Pennsylvania, in the heart of Delaware County, Neumann's scenic campus offers an intimate, small-town atmosphere with easy access to the cultural hub of Philadelphia, which is less than 30 minutes away by car. Neumann University is also a short distance from Washington D.C. and New York City, as both are about 2 hours and 30 minutes away.

 

Map showing Neumann University proximity to DC New York City and Philadelphia

 

There are also a variety of attractions and activities available in Aston, PA. The 1969 Thomas Massey House, one of the oldest English Quaker homes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the Brandywine River Museum, internationally known for its amazing collection of still-life and landscape painting; and the Barns-Brinton House, a restored 18th-century tavern and home, are all close by and available to tour. 

Trip Advisor is also a great resource for visitors and NU students looking for fun activities and attractions near the campus.

CHOOSING NEUMANN UNIVERSITY

Neumann University offers a comprehensive education that provides you with a strong foundation and prepares you for a professional career. We offer a variety of excellent graduate and undergraduate degrees within the Arts and Sciences, as well as highly regarded degree programs within our integrated professional divisions: Education and Human Services, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Business and Information Systems.

With Neumann’s philosophy, mission and commitment to our students, emphasizing the relationship between learning and the development of the total individual, you’ll learn the skills and gain the knowledge you need to succeed anywhere in the world, fulfilling your professional goals and dreams.

In addition to our world-class degree programs, here are some more reasons to consider attending Neumann University:

Our Community

International students on Neumann’s campus will not get "lost in the crowd." Our University’s manageable size and welcoming, supportive faculty and staff make all students feel at home very quickly. Current international students mention that they are particularly grateful for the hospitality of the Franciscan Sisters in our community.

Our Academics & Services

The intimate size of our campus means that you will receive the individual attention you need to achieve your academic and personal goals. From campus ministry to student activities and from counseling services to tutoring assistance, we offer the services you need to thrive in your new campus environment.

The Office of International Studies Education was created to assist international students with questions regarding government regulations, social and academic adjustment, personal matters and other concerns. From your personal pick-up at the Philadelphia airport to a personal academic advisor: We’ve got you covered.

Neumann University also offers a variety of undergraduate majors and minors, including Business Administration, Health Sciences, Political Science, and Biology/Clinical Laboratory Science, the latter two resulting in 100 percent job placement rate for graduates. For more information on the other bachelor's degrees offered at Neumann, visit our programs page!

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Our Campus

Neumann University is located in Aston, Pennsylvania, a quiet and safe residential neighborhood, 30 minutes from Philadelphia. On-campus housing that are in secure student dormitories is an option if reserved well in advance.

Neumann's student to faculty ratio is 14 to 1, and over 2,500 men and women are enrolled at this time. The tuition and fees of the 2019-2019 academic year are approximately $30k, and 98 percent of NU's students receive some type of financial aid.

Our Location

Philadelphia is the 5th largest city in the United States and is conveniently located between New York City and Washington DC, both of which are approximately a two-hour direct train ride away. Philadelphia is home to over 50 colleges and universities that are a great social and personal support network for international students.

The Philadelphia International Airport is only 20 minutes from the campus.

Our Athletics

Neumann University fields 21 teams with approximately 300 student-athletes competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division III.  Those are: baseball, basketball, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, indoor track, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Our hockey teams are especially strong. Club teams are also offered.

Our Residential Life

Neumann University and its Residence Halls are located just off of Route 95 in Southeastern Pennsylvania, conveniently close to Philadelphia, New Jersey, and tax-free Delaware shopping. Resident Students at Neumann University enjoy many perks, arguably the most crucial being the individual growth one can gain in community living.

Resident Students at Neumann University also enjoy:

  • FREE parking in all University student lots (Freshmen CAN have cars!)
  • FREE laundry facilities in each Residence Hall
  • Flexible on-campus dining options
  • Central heating and air-conditioning
  • Access to cable and internet in every room
  • Suite style rooms with a bathroom in each suite
  • Access to 24-hour computer labs and 24-hour quiet study areas
  • Access to fitness and weight training facilities in the Mirenda Center for Sport, Spirituality, and Character Development, located right next to the Residence Halls

Our Student Engagement

Neumann University offers a variety of clubs and organizations in order to nurture student engagement and leadership. These include Active Minds, Black Student Union, ALLY Program, Rugby, Students for Environmental Awareness, and so many more.

To find out more about these clubs and organizations at Neumann, please email: sgb@neumann.edu

APPLICATION & ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

You're looking for the right fit, and we're looking for dedication and passion. Admission decisions are largely based on high school GPA in a college-prep curriculum or your community college educational experience, a personal recommendation, and a personal statement presenting your ability to effectively form and articulate thoughts in writing.

Application Details

Application Details

  • Complete the online application form, FREE.
  • Provide a professional, course by course, evaluation by an independent or NACES approved organization of all academic work (high school/secondary or college/university) completed outside of the United States.
  • Professional Nurses seeking admission should request the “Credentials Evaluation Service Academic Report” available through the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Programs, Inc. at http://www.cgfns.org
  • Once the Office of Admission has received these documents your application will be reviewed, and you will receive your admission decision by letter.
  • Upon admission to Neumann University, we will ask that you provide the following documents so that we may begin your immigration paperwork:
  • Affidavit of Support with financial statements showing you or your sponsor can fund at least a year’s worth of tuition and housing
  • Proof of medical insurance (or you may purchase this on campus when you arrive)
  • Copy of current visa if an I-20 is not needed

In addition to the measure of achievement as indicated by transcripts, there are other factors which are considered in the admission process:

  • Excellence in co-curricular activities
  • Initiative
  • The seriousness of purpose as evidenced through work, travel experiences, and/or contributions to home, and school and community

English Proficiency

English Proficiency

  • Minimum TOEFL score of 213 computer-based; 550 paper-based; or 78 internet-based
  • Minimum IELTS score: 6.5
  • Minimum Pearsons (PTE Academic) score: 58
  • ELS English for Academic Purposes Level 112 Certificate from ELS Language Centers. To find language centers in our area, visit www.els.edu.
  • Completion of freshman English (college level) with a grade of "C" or better at an accredited community college or university
    • Applicants who attend a secondary school where English is the language of instruction for a minimum of three years may have the proof of English proficiency requirement waived. Neumann University reserves the right to request an interview as a part of the admission process.
    • English proficiency requirement waived for applicants who come from select countries whose primary Language is English (Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada-excluding Quebec, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom)
    • The TOEFL, IELTS, ELS scores are waived if the student has a C minimum in English Composition from an accredited U.S. community college or U.S. college/university. Students must provide the course syllabus for proper review and qualification for the TOEFL/IELTS/ELS waiver.

English Proficiency for Nursing & Health Sciences Majors

English Proficiency for Nursing & Health Sciences Majors

  • English proficiency requirement waived for applicants who come from select countries whose primary Language is English (Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada-excluding Quebec, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom).
  • The baccalaureate Nursing and Health Science Programs require a minimum overall score of 84, with a minimum score of 26 on the verbal subtest on the Internet-based TOEFL; or a minimum overall score of 81 with a speaking score of 3 on the MELAB.

FINANCING YOUR EDUCATION

Neumann University makes a quality, private education affordable. This commitment reflects our Franciscan heritage and we take it to heart. Neumann offers Academic and other Scholarships and awards to F-1 international students based on the applicant's academic record and other factors. To learn more, contact the Admissions Office by emailing neumann@neumann.edu or calling 610-558-5616.

Additionally, Neumann University offers all full-time degree-seeking international students the option of working on campus up to 20 hours per week, as allowed under the terms of their student visas. Positions are often available in food service, maintenance, and administrative offices.

Merit-Based Academic Scholarships

All students who complete an application for admission are considered for merit-based scholarships. No separate application is required. Each year, the profile of the scholarship recipients varies based on the academic success of the applicant pool.

These scholarships are awarded to first-year, transfer, and international students who have succeeded in their academic pursuits throughout their education journey. Scholarship awards are based on the combination of your grades and ACT or SAT scores. Use Neumann’s Net Price Calculator to estimate the scholarship you have earned by your work in high school.

Fall 2019-Spring 2020 Merit Based Scholarships

Fall 2019-Spring 2020 Merit Based Scholarships

Transfer and international students may apply for the below academic scholarships.

  • Francis Scholarship - Up to $13,000
  • Clare Scholarship - Up to $11,000
  • Heritage Scholarship - Up to $9,000

BANKING

Both of these banks are reputable, are conveniently located near the Neumann University campus and both offer free checks and debit cards. For international students, a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) is not necessary to open an account. To sign up for an account, simply visit their branches here in Aston and bring your passport and visa documents and $50 U.S. cash to open the account.

td-bank-logo

(Open on evenings and weekends)  
5025 Pennell Road
Aston, PA 19014
(610) 859-9810

Review their checking account information.

wells-fargo-logo

3521 Concord Rd
Aston, PA 19014
Phone: (610)497-3200
Fax: (610)485-6602

Review their checking account information.

CONNECT WITH US

We hope this resource has been helpful as you make the decision to pursue a degree at Neumann University. For more information about International Student Services, please contact:

Jen Mintzer
International Studies Education
Neumann University
One Neumann Drive
Aston, PA 19014
Telephone: 610.358.4547
Fax: 610.361.5214
Email: mintzerj@neumann.edu

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