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Preparing For Your Trip to Plattsburgh


International students accepted to SUNY Plattsburgh should pay close attention to these details.

Identification Number

Before your arrival at SUNY Plattsburgh, you were assigned a nine-digit identification number, which appears on your identification card. This number is a substitute for the Social Security Number (SSN or SS#) that each U.S. citizen receives from the federal government. This Social Security Number is used for a number of purposes including banking, taxes and identification.

This identification number has been issued to you for record keeping purposes only at SUNY Plattsburgh. This number is encoded on your ID and allows you access to the dining halls, course registration, etc.

If you would like to open a bank account in the U.S., you should obtain a Social Security Number from the U.S. federal government. To do so you must go to the Social Security Administration Office, located on Route 9 North in Plattsburgh. You will need to bring: a letter from the bank stating that you need a Social Security Number and your passport for identification.

Health Insurance

What if you were to have a serious illness, a major accident or an emergency away from campus? Even a brief stay in a U.S. hospital can cost thousands of dollars. The health care system in the United States is confusing and expensive. Although in many countries the government bears the expense of health care for its citizens, in the United States individuals are responsible for these costs. As a student you can use the Student Health Center for minor accidents and illnesses. Usually the cost of this care is covered by your student fees but you may have to pay extra for some services.

However, this is not enough for serious illnesses, major accidents or emergency care away from the campus. To protect you in these circumstances, it is necessary to have insurance coverage. For this reason, all international students are required to have international student health insurance coverage. Health insurance policies for international students are different from the policies of U.S. students. While the coverage is very good, it is very important that you understand the terms of the policy otherwise you must pay all the hospital bills.

For these reasons and more, we require you to purchase SUNY-approved health insurance while you are a student here. Please visit our international student health insurance page for more information about this very important service. 

In order to use the international student health insurance you should first go to the Student Health and Counseling Center which is located behind the College Store. Most services are free. If you need treatment in a hospital or from a specialized physician, you will first need to visit the Student Health and Counseling Center to authorize insurance coverage. They will refer you to a qualified physician in the community. In order to have the insurance company pay for you, the Student Health and Counseling Center must authorize a claim form in advance.

Please remember: The primary rule is that you must first seek medical advice from the Student Health and Counseling Center. The staff there will refer you to a doctor or to the hospital if you need more treatment. If you do not go to the Student Health and Counseling Center first (that is, if you go directly to a private doctor or to the hospital) you will have to pay the bill yourself. Therefore, every claim form sent to the insurance company must show a referral by the Student Health and Counseling Center .

If you receive a medical bill or if a claim is rejected and you do not understand why, do not ignore it! Gather all the information related to the bill or claim and make an appointment to see someone in the Global Education Office to discuss what to do next.

What Should I Bring With Me?

On-Campus Room Furnishings

Each student is provided an extra-long twin size bed and mattress, desk, chair, dresser and closet. In addition, each room has at least one mirror and one towel rack per student. Computer network jacks are available in each residence hall. Computers and printers are available in various academic locations.

Items You Need or May Choose to Bring

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