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Center for International Studies
Member, Texas Tech University System The Princeton Review - 373 Best Colleges, 2011 Edition

International Newly Admitted

Welcome to Angelo State University! We’re here to help and assist you in a variety of capacities. Below are things to consider before arriving at ASU:


   Orientation Schedule

Due to various flight schedules and the long distances our foreign students travel, the Center for International Studies office staff will do their best to assist students with checking into campus residence halls upon arrival. However, you must have applied for housing, paid the housing application fee and submitted your bacterial meningitis vaccination record prior to arrival.

Please be prepared to stay in a hotel for the first evening of arrival if the Housing & Residential Programs Office staff is unavailable to check you into your room.

Please Note: Proof of a bacterial meningitis vaccination is required for all new enrolling students and transfer students. Some students may have already had the vaccination, but any who have not must get vaccinated at least 10 days prior to the first day of classes. For information about this requirement, please visit the Bacterial Meningitis web page.

Please send your arrival information to CIS as soon as it is available. The Center for International Studies Office staff can make arrangements to pick you up at the San Angelo Airport (SJT) or San Angelo bus station.

 

Spring 2014 - Regular & ESL Students

Arrive By: January 8, 2014

New Student Orientation, Check-In & Registration - January 9 & 10, 2014

  • Please report to the Center for International Studies, located in the East Office Annex Building.
  • Bring your passport, I-20 and arrival record (I-94 card).

Classes Begin: January 13, 2014

 

Summer I & II 2014 – Regular Students

Arrive By: Summer I – May 28, 2014 & Summer II – July 7, 2014

*There will be no formal orientation session held for either of the Summer I or Summer II semesters for regular students.

  • Please report to the Center for International Studies, located in the East Office Annex Building.
  • Bring your passport, I-20 and arrival record (1-94 card).

Classes Begin: Summer I – June 2, 2014 & Summer II  July 9, 2014

 

Summer 2014  ESL Students

Arrive By: June 22, 2014

New Student Orientation, Check-In & Registration - June 23, 2014

  • Please report to the Center for International Studies, located in the East Office Annex Building.
  • Bring your passport, I-20 and arrival record (1-94 card).

Classes Begin: June 24, 2014

 

Fall 2014 – Regular & ESL Students

Arrive By: August 18, 2014

New Student Orientation, Check-In & Registration - August 20, 21, & 22, 2014

  • Please report to the Center for International Studies, located in the East Office Annex Building.
  • Bring your passport, I-20 and arrival record (1-94 card).

Classes Begin: August 25, 2014


   Visa

How to Apply

The visa is a permit stamped inside your passport by an official of another country’s consulate or embassy that enables you to enter that country. You must have a valid visa in your passport to enter the United States. A visa to enter the U.S. is only issued at a U.S. consulate outside of the United States. The most common type of visa issued for study in the U.S. is the F-1 visa. Students attending ASU should apply for an F-1 visa.

New Student - What is needed to apply for an F-1 visa:

  • SEVIS Form I-20 issued by the University for attendance
  • Admission letter for acceptance to an academic or language program
  • Valid passport that does not expire for at least six months
  • Proof of financial support
  • Proof of ties to your home country - you’ll need to show you intend to go back to your home country upon completion of studies
  • Proof of visa application fee
  • Proof of SEVIS I-901 fee payment
  • Passport size photo
  • Things to Remember when Applying for a Visa
  • Student Visa Information

   Things to Remember when Applying for a Visa

Ties to Home Country

All applicants for non-immigrant visas are viewed as intending U.S. immigrants until they can convince the consulate officer they are not. You must be able to show you have reasons for returning to your home country stronger than reasons for remaining in the U.S. Having “ties” to your home country are the things that bind you to your homeland, hometown, or current place of residence. These “ties” include your family, job, financial investments or financial prospects that you own or will inherit. The interviewing officer may ask about your specific intent or promise of future employment, obligations to family, educational goals and objectives, long-range plans and career prospects in your home country. Each person’s situation is different and there is no single explanation, document, certificate or letter that can guarantee visa issuance.

English

The interview will be conducted in English. Students should practice their English conversational skills with a native speaker before the interview, if possible. If you are coming to the U.S. solely to study Intensive English, be prepared to explain how English will be useful for you in your home country.

Speak for Yourself

You are not allowed to bring parents or family members with you to the interview. Only the person scheduled for an interview will be permitted to enter the consulate. A negative impression is created if you are not prepared to speak on your own behalf.

Know the Program and How it Fits Your Career Plans

If you are not able to explain the reasons why you will study in a particular program in the U.S., you may not succeed in convincing the consular officer that you are indeed planning to study rather than to immigrate. You should also be able to explain how studying in the U.S. relates to your future professional career upon return to your home country.

Be Concise

Because of the volume of applications received, all consular officers are under considerable time pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. They must make a decision mostly on the impressions they form during the first minute or two of the interview. What you say first and the initial impression you create are critical to your success. Keep your answers to the officer’s questions short and precise.

Supplemental Documentation

Lengthy written explanations cannot be quickly read or evaluated. Written documentation should be brief and clear for the officer to review. Remember, you only have 2-3 minutes of interview time.

Opportunities to Enter the U.S. are Not the Same for Every Student

Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where former students have remained in the U.S. as immigrants will have more difficulty getting a visa. Applicants from countries on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or State Department (high alert) list may encounter delays in obtaining a visa.

Employment

Your main purpose for coming to the U.S. should be to study, not for the chance to work before or after graduation. While many students do work “on-campus” during their studies, such employment is incidental to their main purpose of completing their U.S. education. You must be able to clearly explain your plan to return home at the end of your program. If your spouse is also applying for a visa (F-2 dependent visa), be aware that F-2 dependents cannot, under any circumstances engage in employment while in the U.S. If asked, be prepared to verify what your spouse intends to do with their time while in the U.S.

Dependents Remaining at Home

If your spouse and children are staying behind in your home country, be prepared to verify how they will support themselves in your absence. This can be especially tricky if you are the primary source of income for your family. If the consular officer gains the impression your family members will need you to send money from the U.S. for their support, your student visa application will almost certainly be denied. If your family will join you at a later time, it’s helpful to have them apply at the same post where you applied for your visa.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Don’t argue with the consular officer. If you’re denied a student visa, ask for written documentation explaining the reason for the denial. You may also ask for a list of documents needed that may help overcome a denial at your next interview.


   Housing

On-Campus Housing (Residential Living)

When you live on-campus at Angelo State University, you will meet new people, get involved in student activities and be close to all your classes. And you will have plenty of opportunities to study! The Center for International Studies encourages you to apply for a residence hall room for your first semester. It’s best to live on campus until you learn your way around ASU and San Angelo.

Note: Single undergraduate students with less than sixty (60) semester credit hours of college level work who enroll at ASU and carry a total of 12 or more semester credit hours at ASU and who do not live, or continue to live, at the full-time established residence of their parent(s) are required to reside in University-owned housing. Requests to commute from a parental residence from a distance of more than 100 miles must have approval from the Office of Housing & Residential Programs.

To apply for housing please visit the Residential Programs web page.

Off-Campus Housing

Apartments are available within walking distance of the University. These apartments are privately owned and not connected with the University in any way. The Center for International Studies can assist you by providing a list of apartments near campus. However, all arrangements for off-campus housing are the responsibility of the student.


   Vaccinations

Bacterial Meningitis Vaccination

The State of Texas requires that new students or transfer students who plan to live on campus receive a bacterial meningitis vaccination, effective Jan. 1, 2010. Some students may have already had the vaccination, but any who have not must get vaccinated at least 10 days prior to the first day of classes.

Please be aware that ASU Housing and Residential Programs will not assign students to rooms in on-campus housing until we received documentation demonstrating compliance with Texas State law regarding meningitis vaccination.

Students are required to present vaccination evidence to the Registrar’s Office.

Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination include: (Must include date of vaccination.)

  • an official immunization record
  • an official school record or
  • a physician’s note

Exceptions

Students may be exempt from the bacterial meningitis vaccination law under one of the following provisions. Students must submit the indicated documentation in order to be in compliance with the meningitis vaccination law.

  • An affidavit or certificate from a physician that states that the vaccination would be harmful to the health and well being of the student.
  • An conscientious exemption form from the Texas Department of State Health Services that states that the student is declining the vaccination for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief.

   Pre-Arrival Information


   Travel to the USA

Baggage Limitation

Check with your travel agent or the airline on how many bags (weight and size) you’re allowed to check-in and how many “carry on” items (weight and size) are allowed in the aircraft.

If you’re unable to bring all the items you need, you may send some things ahead of time to the Center for International Studies. Note: Only one box may be shipped to the Center for International Studies dues to space limitations.

Address:
Angelo State University
Center for International Studies
ATTN: Meghan Pace
ASU Station #11035
San Angelo, TX 76909
U.S.A.

Each box should be clearly marked with your name and return address. Email CIS or fax 325-942-2084 with your name and the box’s expected date of arrival.

Neither Angelo State University nor the Center for International Studies is responsible for lost or broken items. If you send items and fail to come to ASU, you will be responsible for return shipping costs.

Carry-On Items

Bring at least two sets of personal clothing and personal grooming items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush or comb on the airplane with you in case your luggage is temporarily lost.

Visit the Transportation Security Administration  for more information about carry on restrictions.

Prohibited Items

Certain items are prohibited or restricted in the U.S. Items are listed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Some prescription drugs as well as some agriculture items are restricted or prohibited in the U.S.

Prescription Drugs

Students bringing prescription medication to the U.S. should bring a physician’s letter stating what the drug is, what it treats and the quantity. The note must be in English. Some medications used in other countries are considered illegal in the U.S., are not permitted and may be confiscated. Check with the U.S. Customs and Border protection for information.


   Arival at U.S. Port of Entry

Plan Arrival

You may be refused entry if you attempt to arrive more than 30 days before the start date on your SEVIS I-20 form.

Carry Documents

If you put documents in your baggage and it’s lost or delayed, you won’t be able to present your documents at the port of entry. As a result, you may not be able to enter the U.S. Do not place the following in your baggage:

  • Passport
  • SEVIS form I-20
  • Evidence of financial resources
  • Receipt for the SEVIS I-901 fee, Form I-797
  • Name and contact information of school official

Complete Paperwork

Prior to your arrival in the U.S. and while you’re on the plane, you’ll be given a form to record your entry into the U.S. This form is called the I-94 card. It is very important you print your name on this card as it appears in your passport. Many students have encountered problems when applying for a U.S. Social Security card if the name on the I-94 does not match the name on the passport. A U.S. Social Security card is required for employment in the U.S. For complete details on how to complete the I-94, visit U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Port of Entry

You’ll go through U.S. customs and immigration for inspection* and be asked to show your passport, visa, I-20 and I-94 card. The officer may ask questions about your studies. These questions are usually general in nature. It’s important to remain friendly, polite, patient and completely honest while going through this process.

Frequently Asked Questions about admission to the United States.

*Students from countries on the U.S. Homeland Security or U.S. State Department high alert list may require additional inspection procedures. These countries are Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Students from other countries may also be subject to secondary inspection if the officer at the port of entry cannot initially verify your information or you do not have all the required documentation.

Customs Declarations

Prior to your arrival in the U.S. and while you’re on the plane, you’ll be given a customs declaration form to declare the amount of money and the value of items you’re bringing into the country. You may be asked to pay taxes on money or goods exceeding a certain amount.

Although the inspection at the port of entry is generally efficient, plan on at least an hour delay. Students requiring additional or special inspection procedures may want to plan for a longer inspection time. This is important if you have to make a connecting flight.

Once inspection and immigration is complete, make certain you have the following:

  1. Passport
  2. I-94 arrival/departure record (often stapled in your passport by official)
  3. SEVIS I-20 unless taken by port of entry official
  4. Any additional letter or documents relating to financial support, scholarships, etc.

   Travel Safety

Be cautious if you stay overnight at a port of entry like New York, Los Angeles or Dallas. While most Americans will be helpful and honest, there’s a possibility of someone trying to take advantage of you.

If you stay overnight in the city, ask about the availability of bus or limousine service from the airport to the hotel when you make your reservation. Hotels sometimes provide free transportation. If you need a taxi, use only those clearly marked as “TAXI” with a properly identified driver. Tell the driver where you need to go and ask how much it will cost. Most drivers are familiar with the cost of traveling to area hotels.


   Travel and Transportation to ASU

Arrival Information

Notify the Center for International Studies with your flight schedule for transportation arrangements. Email CIS or fax 325-942-2084.

Intensive English students notify the English Language Learners’ Institute with arrival information. Email ELLI or fax 325-942-2084.

Transportation to ASU

When making plans schedule your arrival at the San Angelo Airport (SJT) to coincide with our office hours if possible. If you arrive between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Central Standard Time), Monday through Friday, the Center for International Studies office staff will pick you up at the San Angelo Airport.

If your flight is delayed, contact the office as soon as possible at 325-942-2083. After office hours or in case of emergency, contact the university police department at 325-942-2071 giving your full name, country, airline, the change in plans and a number where you can be reached, if possible. The university police will communicate your message to the Center for International Studies.

If you arrive after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or on a weekend, we will make every possible effort to schedule your pick-up, but if we are unable to do so, you’ll need to arrange for taxi transportation to the ASU Campus for after hours residence hall check-in. If you do not have a room reservation on campus you should plan to spend the night at a local hotel.

The cost of taxi service is about $25 to $35 U.S. dollars. Taxi service can be found in the baggage claim area. When you arrive in San Angelo you can call 325-942-8899 (Red Ball Taxi & Shuttle) the cost is about $15 to $25 U.S. dollars for transportation to the ASU campus. Coin operated telephones are located throughout the airport and require .50 to $1 U.S. coins.


   Things to Bring to the U.S.

 Due to the international airline baggage limitations, it is generally advisable that you bring only what you absolutely need, and plan to purchase the other items upon your arrival. The Center for International Studies will provide transportation to local stores where you can buy the various items needed the first day or two after your arrival.

However, there are some things you would want to bring from home.

Things to pack in your carry on bag:

Important Documents

  • Airline tickets
  • Passport
  • SEVIS from I-20
  • Evidence of financial resources
  • Receipt for the SEVIS I-901 fee, Form I-797
  • Name and contact information of school official
         Meghan Pace
         Center for International Studies
         Angelo State University
         325-942-2083
  • Official academic transcripts and English translations

Money

Bring enough money for your initial expenses. However, you do not want to carry thousands of dollars in cash with you. Always bring additional money in the form of traveler’s checks or money orders.

Make sure to bring enough small bills ($1s, $5s, and $10s). You will need them to tip the taxi driver, buy a quick snack from the vending machine, or make a phone call from a coin operated phone.

Contact Information

A list of the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of key contacts, both in the US and at home, including the contact information for friends and family who live in the U.S.

Medical Records

Medical and dental records, including immunization and vaccination records and prescriptions, eyeglasses, insurance records.

Driver’s License

If you have a valid international driver’s license, bring it with you.

Things to pack in check-in luggage:

Clothing

San Angelo has an average of 251 sunny days a year with a mild, dry climate. During the summer months (June to September), temperatures often reach the 90’s and above. Light weight clothing is worn during these months. The winter months (late October to March), require warm clothing and an overcoat. Temperatures sometimes drop below freezing during winter and it occasionally snows.

Bring a variety of clothing for the changing seasons. Students usually wear casual clothing. Both men and women wear trousers, blue jeans, short pants, shirts, sweaters and jackets. Men will find a suit or jacket and tie appropriate for more formal occasions. Women will probably want a few dresses, skirts and blouses. Traditional, national attire is appropriate for many occasions.

It is better to bring clothes that are easy to care for, such as “wash and wear” items. Coin-operated washing and drying facilities are available in campus residence halls and in some off-campus apartment buildings, as well as at nearby Laundromats. Dry cleaning is more expensive.

Electronics

If you plan to bring any electrical appliances or computer equipment, remember the electrical current used for small appliances in the U.S. is 120 volts, 60Hz and require two flat-pronged plugs. Appliances from outside the U.S may require adapters which can be purchased at local stores.

Many students choose to bring laptop computers with them from home. Apart from the Internet access at the open access computer lab, ASU also has wireless Internet services available in most areas on campus enabling you to use your laptop. Also, most of the residence halls on campus provide access to Internet. For information, visit Information Technology.

Cultural Items

The Center for International Studies hosts an annual cultural event called International Education Week which highlights the cultural heritage of foreign students attending ASU. We encourage you to bring items of cultural interest such as traditional clothing, music and photos for this and various other events.

Books

You can bring reference books and novels that you enjoy reading. Carry a good bilingual dictionary, if needed to assist your translation.


   Things Not to Bring to the U.S.

Food from Home

U.S. Customs prohibits travelers from bringing any fresh fruit, vegetables and meat from other countries. More information.

Large Amounts of Cash

Do not bring large amounts of cash as it can easily be stolen or misplaced. Bring your money in the form of a traveler’s checks or money orders and deposit the money once you open your bank account here.

Non-Prescription Medicines

Students bringing prescription medication to the U.S. should bring a physician’s letter stating what the drug is, what it treats and the quantity. The note must be in English. Some medications used in other countries are considered illegal in the U.S., are not permitted and may be confiscated. More information.

240 Voltage Appliances

Do not bring 240-volt appliances as these are not compatible with the 110-volt sockets in U.S.


   San Angelo

San Angelo is a community with approximately 100,000 residents. The addition of 7,000 university students makes San Angelo a wonderful place to live and study. It is a safe and friendly town with a welcoming atmosphere towards our international students. Students will find most services needed are located on campus or within walking distance of the campus.The Center for International Studies also recommends students to purchase a bicycle after they arrive to help get you around the city.


   Orientation Check-In

If you arrive in San Angelo during office hours (8 a.m-5 p.m. Mon-Fri), come directly to the Center for International Studies in East Office Annex Building for assistance. The office is located at 1825 S. Johnson next door to the University Clinic. Campus map

Please bring your Passport, I-20, I-94 arrival card and any immigration documents issued to you at the port of entry.

If you arrive after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or on a weekend, we will make every possible effort to schedule your pick-up, but if we are unable to do so, you’ll need to arrange for taxi transportation to the ASU Campus for after hours residence hall check-in. If you do not have a room reservation on campus you should plan to spend the night at a local hotel. It is highly recommended that you make a hotel reservation prior to your arrival if possible.

Hotel Accommodations

Seven local hotels have partnered with Angelo State University to offer special rates. Just mention to these hotels that you visiting ASU (The Fairfield Inn & Suites and the Staybridge Inn & Suites are within walking distance to ASU):


   Health Insurance

Important Insurance Information

Angelo State University has a medical health insurance and evacuation/repatriation policy requirement for all international students enrolled at the university. The Center for International Studies is responsible for monitoring verification of international students’ required health insurance.

It is the student’s responsibility to comply with University, System and Federal regulations as they relate to health insurance.

F-1 students are required to have medical health insurance and evacuation/repatriation coverage each semester they are registered.

J-1 students and their dependents are required to have medical health insurance and evacuation/repatriation at all times

All international students are automatically enrolled in the Angelo State University Student Health Insurance Plan (ASU-SHIP) unless they apply for and are granted a waiver.

Automatic enrollment in the ASU-SHIP may be waived for international students only in the following instances:

  • The student is sponsored by the United States Government, a foreign government recognized by the United States of America, or certain international, government sponsored or non-governmental organizations. Waivers will be based on the government or organization guaranteeing payment of all health care expenses including medical evacuation and repatriation. Documentation of guarantee must be presented to the Center for International Studies no later than the first day of classes each semester of enrollment.
  • The student is enrolled in employer-provided group health insurance coverage which includes medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. This includes Angelo State University employee coverage for graduate students and full-time employees.

To request a waiver from automatic enrollment, you must provide the Center for International Studies with details of your benefits no later than the first day of classes each semester of enrollment.


   Financial Matters

Banking

Upon arrival and check-in with the Center for International Studies, information on local banking services will be provided. The bank you choose depends on your banking needs and the services available.

In order to open a bank account, you’ll need your passport, a local mailing address, personal information and money for a deposit. Funds deposited in your account should be in the form of a bank draft, bank wire or check.

If you have a spouse or other dependents, you may wish to open a “joint account.” This kind of account allows family members to make use of funds in the account. Each family member must also provide the bank with personal information to include their name on the account.

Helpful Tips

Managing your money is essential to living in the U.S. The most common expenses students face are tuition, fees, housing, meals, health insurance, books, transportation, clothes, personal expenses, recreation, travel, taxes, family expenses, etc. While the I-20 reflects many of these expenses, a student should also be prepared for unexpected expenses.

  • Keep up with your account and expenses. Review your bank statements regularly.
  • Make sure you understand the bank policies and procedures, like the amount needed to open an account or the minimum balance required.
  • Keep track of your expenses. Try tracking your expenses by date or by categories, like food, books, clothes, fees, and recreation.
  • Pay bills on time. Companies charge a fee for late payments.
  • Be careful when authorizing “automatic debits.” Make sure the company you are authorizing is well known. Never allow companies to withdraw money from your account unless you authorize the transaction.
  • Don’t write checks for more money that is in your account. It is illegal and usually both your bank and the establishment will charge you a fee.
  • Shop around. Compare different prices before buying an item.
  • Before doing major shopping, get accustomed to the exchange rate, prices and store locations.
  • Look for items “on sale” through advertising in newspapers, television, radio or stores displays
  • Shop at discount stores when possible.
  • Look for student discounts at places like stores, theaters, museums and restaurants.

Credit Cards

If you plan on using a credit card issued by a bank in your home country, please make sure the credit card can be used in the U.S. In the past, there have been some cases where foreign credit cards could not be used in the U.S.

Debit Cards

A debit card provides an alternative payment method to cash when making purchases. its functionality is similar to writing a cheque/check as the funds are withdrawn directly from either the savings/checking bank account (often referred to as a cheque card), or from the remaining balance on the card. The debit card is multipurpose, acting as the ATM card for withdrawing cash and also as a cheque guarantee card.

for more information on debit cards, contact your local banking center.

Expenses

The cost of attending ASU varies with enrollment status, housing situations and personal lifestyles. Standard student expense budgets are prepared each year to determine a student’s financial need. These are the latest cost estimates for undergraduates.


   Bringing Your Family

Issues to Consider

Bringing a spouse and/or children to join you in San Angelo is an exciting option. It can help you succeed in your studies, ease stress and bring family unity and comfort to your household. Furthermore, it can be an everlasting memory of happiness and joy.

Nonetheless, many students have met some unexpected difficulties. Probable causes of disruption are language barriers, cultural differences, idle time for spouse and children and lack of cohesiveness within the environment, etc.

To assist you and your family in fully understanding the consequences of living in the U.S., the Center for International Studies recommends you answer the following questions to the best of your abilities.

  • Where will you live with your family?
  • How will your spouse and children get around (transportation)?
  • What will your spouse do during the day?
  • How will you access information for your family’s needs?
  • What is the English proficiency of each family member? How do you plan to address their language needs?
  • How will your experience as a married couple be different here than in your own country?
  • What will be the biggest source of stress on your marriage?
  • How will you deal with the isolation your spouse and children may feel without grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended family members?
  • Where will you send your children to school?
  • What type of stress will your children experience in school, in a new country?
  • How will you deal with cultural shock individually and as a family?

Procedures for Dependent Visa

Students who choose to bring a spouse and/or children to the U.S. during their study period must apply for a dependent visa/visas. This type of visa is called an F-2 visa.

The Center for International Studies can assist you with the necessary documents to apply for a dependent visa. The process for obtaining a dependent visa and the documents required are similar to those required for an F-1 visa.

Dependents must receive a dependent I-20 from the Center for International Studies to apply for a F-2 visa. The documents required are:

  • Passport biodata page copy (each dependent).
  • Proof of finances ($ 3,000 for spouse, $1,500 per child). These finances are in addition to the finances shown for F-1 student visa.
  • Proof of medical/ health insurance (recommended).

Dependent I-20’s should be discussed with the Center for International Studies staff at the time students apply for admission.

Orientation Handbook

Orientation Handbook