International Study Center

Pre-arrival information

Start Smart before you arrive

Are you ready to join us at the International Study Center? To help you prepare for your study abroad adventure, we’ve designed a free 1-2 week introductory course to help you adapt to studying with us. Through Start Smart, we’ll introduce you to the skills you’ll need as an international student so you begin university with confidence.

Confirm your offer with us today and secure a place on Start Smart by paying a confirmation payment. Once you’ve confirmed your place, you’ll:

  • Meet and interact with our staff before you arrive
  • Meet your future classmates and become a part of a supportive international community
  • Join interactive sessions
  • Develop transferable study skills as you learn on your own schedule
  • Take part in interactive one-to-one and group discussions
  • Practice speaking in English and get feedback from your tutors
  • Gain a certificate of completion before joining your program.

Planning ahead

Do you have questions about what to expect when you arrive on campus, and what it is like living in Waco, Texas? We have put together some helpful tips and key information to make your transition as smooth as possible.

Prepare to study abroad

Before you join us at the International Study Center, you’ll need to make sure you’ve done a few important things.

1. Confirm your place

The first thing to do after you receive an offer from the International Study Center is to pay your deposit. You must do this in order to confirm your place. You can then begin the student visa process. To see what payment is required, and pay it online, visit our Fees page.

2. Apply for your visa

When you have paid your deposit, the University will release your I-20 immigration document. Keep this document in a safe place. You will need it to pay any additional immigration fees, apply for your student visa, and once you enter the USA.

3. Book your accommodation

Baylor has a selection of residence halls to suit all living styles. A Student Enrollment Advisor will help you choose and secure your student accommodation after your application is accepted.

4. Book your travel

After receiving your student visa, you can book your travel to the USA. Waco Regional Airport is the closest airport to campus. You may need to arrange a flight to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, where you can take a bus or a connecting flight to Waco.

What do I need to bring?

It’s worth bringing a few favorite things from home to decorate your room and make it more welcoming. But don’t fill your bag with lots of heavy items; most of what you need, you can buy when you get here. Have a think about what you might want to pack in your hand luggage, to keep you comfortable on the journey.

Join us online

Gain the skills to succeed on your student journey with a place on our free Start Smart course.

Your new home

We have a wide range of on-campus accommodation available, so that you can stay close to the action.

Campus life

Baylor’s lively campus community will welcome you from your first day. Find out how you can get involved when you arrive.

There are a few important documents you should keep in your hand luggage, to keep them safe and make sure they are easily accessible when you need them. These are:

  • Your valid passport and visa
  • Offer letter
  • Evidence of funding for your tuition fees and living costs
  • Accommodation documents
  • English language test results
  • Insurance documents.

If you need to bring any medication with you, make sure to pack it in your hand luggage. Hold luggage can sometimes be delayed, and you don’t want to end up without important medication. Any prescriptions will need to be translated into English.  

There is no formal dress code at the International Study Center, so you will be able to wear what you would wear at home. Texas weather is generally warm for most of the year, but can be cold in winter. Bring whatever you will be comfortable wearing - and remember that you can buy more clothes when you get here.

Your first week

You will be welcomed at Baylor from the moment you arrive at the International Study Center. At the start of the year, you will take part in orientation week activities. You will be introduced to the campus, staff, facilities, and meet other students. There are also tours of Waco, so you can get to know the city.

At the International Study Center, staff will help you settle in. They will be happy to answer any questions you have about your course, or life in the USA.

What it's like to arrive at Baylor

Don’t forget

Check what vaccines you need to have before you arrive in the USA and bring your immunization records.

We’ll get you to where you want to be – Read our latest guidance for current students, or find out more about online learning.