Pre-arrival Logistics

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Cost of Living

Student Financial Services calculates the cost of attendance to Yale College for a given academic year. (Note: This figure is typically updated in March on Yale's website.)


Y-VISP students generally hold J-1 visa status and must be registered as full time students during their entire time at Yale. Enrolled students will be contacted by the Y-VISP Program Manager regarding the issuance of the DS-2019 (the J-1 visa document) and the application for the J-1 student visa.

Yale Net IDs and Yale email addresses

Y-VISP students will receive automated emails from Yale, sent to the email address listed on their Y-VISP application. It will include information about how to set-up Yale NetIDs and Yale email addresses, as well as a temporary pin. It is not uncommon for these to go to students' spam inboxes. The Y-VISP Program Manager will send Student ID numbers (SID) and Yale NetIDs directly to the students. After receiving the email with your SID and NetID, if you have not yet received your temporary pin, let Lauren know.


Required Immunizations

Yale University requires students to complete immunization and health forms. Students will not be permitted to enroll in classes until they have submitted all the forms and met the immunization requirements.

Yale Health Insurance

All Y‐VISP students are enrolled in Yale’s comprehensive insurance, which includes Basic Coverage, Hospitalization/Specialty Care, and Yale Health Prescription Plus.

Tip: Yale's Health Insurance includes mental health coverage. To find more about available services, visit Mental Health & Counseling.


Before arriving at Yale, Y-VISP students will be assigned to one of Yale's fourteen residential colleges. Rooming arrangements vary, but Y-VISP students generally share a room with another Y-VISP student and share a suite with other Yale students. The only way a single room can be guaranteed is by registering with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and them granting this accommodation for a health (mental or physical) condition.

Generally, Y-VISP students are able to live in one of the fourteen residential colleges. In Academic Year 2022-23, this was not possible for the first time due to COVID-19 restraints and a larger than expected class size. Alternative housing was arranged. Until further notice, we cannot guarantee that on-campus housing will be available.


As part of the experience at Yale, all Y-VISP students will be given a full meal plan, which will allow them to eat in any of Yale’s residential college dining halls, three meals per day, seven days per week. The style is all-you-care-to-eat. Menus feature a wide spectrum of choices from ethnic variations to favorite feel-good foods to gourmet creations and weigh popularity in relation to nutrition. Lacto-ovo vegetarian and vegan entree choices are regularly included. Yale Dining will also customize its services on the meal plans to accommodate medical conditions, food allergies, and medical histories. You need to register with SAS for this.

Travel Documents

Here are some items that Y-VISP students should carry with them or put in carry‐on luggage. Students should not pack these items in a suitcase they plan on checking in. These items should be packed in waterproof plastic bags and placed in carry-on luggage.

  • Legal Documents: DS‐2019 visa document (or in rare cases, the I-20 document), valid passport (for at least six months), and any other important documents (Yale admission letter, covid vaccination document, or financial documents for example).
  • In case of emergency, the office address and telephone number‐ 55 Whitney Avenue, 3rd floor, New Haven, Connecticut 06520. Phone‐ 203‐432‐5953. Also save the OISS phone number, which is 203-432-2305.
  • Medications used regularly, including extra prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. The original container with the doctor’s information should be used for prescriptions. If a student has a health problem that requires medication, the student should bring enough to last as long as possible.
  • English Translations of important documents, including prescriptions (if any), school transcripts, marriage license (if applicable), etc.
  • A credit or debit card that can be used in the U.S. (recommended, but not required). Students can use this to pay for things while they are getting settled and won’t have to carry so much cash with them. It is safer to carry small amounts of cash. The student will normally pay a small fee to use a debit card with a U.S. bank ATM, and possibly with their bank too, but they will get the most up‐to‐date exchange rate.
  • Some U.S. currency (dollars). Students should have $200-$300 to pay for immediate expenses like meals, transportation, or a telephone card.
  • Copies of visa documents, passport, credit cards and debit cards should be made and stored separately, in the event that these items are lost. It is a good idea to leave copies of these documents with a trusted relation back home.
  • Driver’s license. Valid foreign driver’s license and International Driver’s Permit and/or certified English translation. Y-VISP students won’t be able to drive in the U.S. without both documents.

Packing Advice

Pack as lightly as possible 

Y-VISP students will have to carry everything once they arrive (usually up several flights of stairs), and will have a better sense of what they actually need once they settle in. There are many places to go shopping near campus, and students will have an opportunity during orientation to take a bus trip to the outer shopping areas to buy needed supplies. There are also public buses that students can take to go shopping. Y-VISP students may want to check packing lists and advice online, such as this resource for studying in the USA. For questions on what is permitted in carry on and checked luggage, check the TSA website.


Y-VISP students should remove all old luggage tags from suitcases, no matter the sentimental value. Students should put their dean’s office address, the CIPE office address, and contact information on a tag outside of their bag, and on a card that will go somewhere inside the bag as well. Students may wish to tie a colored ribbon to the handle of their suitcases to make them more easily identifiable at baggage claim. Once a student has finished packing, they should zip their bag securely, making sure to use a TSA-compliant lock on the compartments on their bags. Non TSA-compliant locks will be broken if additional inspection is required.

Clothes and Weather

The weather in Connecticut can range from hot and humid in the summer to freezing in the winter. Students need to plan for all four seasons – fall, winter, spring & summer. For the summer, students will need light, casual clothes, and a bathing suit. To plan for the changing weather from fall through spring, students will probably want to have at least one heavy coat or jacket and a light jacket or sweater to start with. Students can buy anything else they need, such as scarves and gloves. If a student is from a warm weather country and does not yet own a winter coat, we can recommend nearby places to buy a good winter coat at a discount. To stay warm, people will often layer clothes—for example, a long‐sleeved tee shirt under a sweater, with a jacket on top. This way as it warms up during the day, a student can shed the layers they don’t need. Y-VISP students will need an assortment of footwear, including sandals for summer, waterproof boots/shoes for winter, and something for formal occasions. They will probably want to bring comfortable sneakers or flat shoes for walking around campus and New Haven. Overall, clothing in Connecticut is affordably priced and if a student needs something once they get here, there are many places to buy discount clothes. 


Dress at US universities is generally casual, jeans and tee-shirts being the most common combination of clothing. To combat homesickness, students should consider bringing some traditional clothing from their home country to wear for special occasions. It is recommended that students bring at least one formal outfit. Many orientation and career events will require formal dress (e.g. a suit and tie for men is expected).

Mementos from Home

Y-VISP students should bring photographs of friends and family and some non-perishable snacks. Some familiar objects can really help cheer you up if you're feeling sad or missing home and it can be fun to share snacks with your new suitemates. Students may want to consider bringing small souvenirs from their home country to give as gifts.

Household Items

We will provide linens and towels for students living in program-provided housing. Y-VISP students should plan on buying most of their household items (cleaning supplies, extra linens, etc.) once they have arrived on campus. The student should bring enough toiletries with them for the first couple of weeks, and can purchase whatever else they need after they arrive. If there is space in their suitcase, they will want to bring enough toiletries from home to get started. There are many pharmacies and shops around campus where students can purchase household items they may lack.


Y-VISP students should make sure to not pack anything valuable in their checked suitcases in case it gets lost. Students should carry all important documents, medications, and toiletries in their carry‐on luggage. Students should pack a change of clothing in their carry-on in case the checked luggage gets lost (it can take a couple of days to locate lost luggage).


Y-VISP students should be sure to bring the appropriate converters and adaptors with them to the U.S. as these can be difficult to find once arrived.