Bridgewater State University
International Student and Scholar Services
Preparing to Arrive at BSU
In order to help with your transition to Bridgewater State University, it is important that you take care of the following tasks over the next few months, prior to your arrival:
You should have already received your "Banner ID". This is an 8-digit number (usually starting with '00') and will be your student number at Bridgewater State University. Please write down this number in a safe place - you will need it constantly during your time here at BSU.
Once you have received your Banner ID, please go to the BSU website at www.bridgew.edu and create your student e-mail account. This will be your primary form of communication at the university, and should be checked regularly. Many departments and professors will only communicate with you via this e-mail address.
In order to create your e-mail account, go to the Bridgewater State University web page: https://www.bridgew.edu/services/claimaccount/. You will need to enter your name and Banner ID.
Remember in the U.S.A., your 'first name' is what you might know as your 'given name', and your 'last name' is what you might know as your 'family name' or 'surname'. This could be in a different order in your country, so make sure you put it into the American order while claiming your account, as well as during the rest of your time here in the country.
In order to access your email account you will need to visit the Bridgewater State University homepage. Under the "Quicklinks" tab you will find the "Student Email" section. This will be how you will access your email account from now on. Your e-mail address will be in the format of the first letter of your first (given) name, plus your last (family) name, plus @student.bridgew.edu.
The part in front of the "@" will be your username for logging in to various applications and BSU computers, and will use the same password as your e-mail. For example if your name is John Doe, your email address will most likely be 'email@example.com' and your username is 'jdoe'. (There may be a number between the 'j' and the 'doe').
Once you have claimed your e-mail account, the International Student Services staff would appreciate an e-mail from you at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure your account works, and to begin communication with us. It is possible for your account to take up to 24 hours to activate after you claim it.
The Massachusetts State government requires all students at educational institutions to be immunized against certain conditions. You should definitely obtain immunizations for measles, mumps and rubella/rubeola (MMR), meningitis and hepatitis (if you are under 18 years of age). Students from certain countries will have to show proof of a negative tuberculosis (TB) test.
Please remember to fax the completed university form you were sent and your proof of immunization to Health Services at Bridgewater State University at least two weeks prior to the semester start date.
Resident students, please note that you will NOT be allowed to move into your room on campus unless Health Services have prior proof of immunization.
Note: If you have specific questions about your health records please contact Health Services directly.
E-mail: Cynthia Calderon at email@example.com
Mail: Health Services
Tillinghast Hall, Ground Floor
Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater, MA. 02325
United States of America
When you are admitted to BSU and you send in all required documents, BSU will issue a form I-20 (Certificate of eligibility for F-1 non-immigrant students) or DS-2019 (Certificate of eligibility for J-1 non-immigrant students) and send it to you. You should note the SEVIS number on the upper right hand side of the form. This is your SEVIS ID number.
Students should visit www.fmjfee.com for information and pay the SEVIS fee prior to making an appointment at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in their home country.
Information on visa applications and procedures is available at http://travel.state.gov/
You must always carry a valid passport, student visa and form I-20/DS-2019 with you when you travel and enter the U.S.
You may arrive in the U.S. no more than 30 days prior to the program start date on your I-20/DS2019.
Please be advised that you will be responsible for making your own travel arrangements to Bridgewater. You have the following options available to you:
The best option is the MBTA commuter train, which can be boarded at South Station in Boston. To get to South Station you can get the Silver Line route SL1 (Logan Airport - South Station via Waterfront) bus rapid transit service, available at Logan Airport, is your best direct connection from the Airport to South Station. With drop off and pick up in front of Logan terminals, it is the most convenient option. There are no shuttle transfers and plenty of room to store your baggage.
The Silver Line SL1 runs from approximately 5:30AM to 12:30AM every day of the week. When you arrive at South Station you can board an outbound commuter train to Bridgewater (Middleborough/Lakeville line). Travel time is 45 minutes from South Station to Bridgewater and a ticket costs approximately $8.00 one way. Click here for the MBTA commuter rail schedule.
Taxis are also available from Logan Airport to Bridgewater State University. However, they are more expensive than the train. Please visit http://www.boston-cabs.com/ for more information.
Remember to send your travel plans and arrival information to ISS@bridgew.edu as soon as you confirm your flights. You are required to arrive no later than the weekend prior to the start of classes and attend International Student Orientation.
Please try to schedule your arrival in Boston during regular business hours so that our Residence Life staff will be on campus to greet you. If you arrive very late in the day, we recommend that you plan to spend the night in Boston and we will meet you in the morning. We also recommend that you travel with other students from your home institution.
Students may choose to live on campus or off campus. You are responsible for ensuring that all arrangements for housing have been made prior to arrival and for all arrangements, payments, etc.
Click here for information on applying to live on campus. Be aware of application and deposit deadlines so that you are able to secure on-campus housing in a timely manner. Click here for information on off-campus housing.
All resident students are required to bring their own bed linen and towels. We recommend that you bring at least top and bottom bed sheets (US size: "Twin X-Long" (39 x 80 inches or 99 x 203 cm)) and a towel. We will take you on a shopping trip during the Arrival/Orientation week in order to purchase necessities, but having at least bed sheets and a bath towel will make your first few nights more comfortable.
If you prefer, you may purchase linens online from a company that the university works with as a fundraiser for a student club. You can pre-order all your bedding supplies and a few other essentials online at www.rhl.org/bsc. Your purchases will be here when you arrive, but please note that orders must be placed no later than three weeks prior to your arrival. Please verify the order deadlines at the website above.
Also it is very important that you utilize the following information when completing the shipping information:
Rita Camara, Assistant Director, Residential Life
100 DiNardo Hall
Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater, MA 02325
Cell phones are very common in the U.S. and just about every student has one. You might find it useful for keeping in contact with the friends you make in the country, and for contacting your family back home.
There are two options for cell phone packages: prepaid and contract. Since you will be new to the country, getting a prepaid phone will probably be your most likely option. There are stores in Bridgewater that can help you with purchasing your phone and selecting the type of package you would like.
Please note that it is not possible to purchase a sim card on its own - you have to purchase a phone as well.
If you have brought a cell phone from home, you can try to remove the sim card from the new phone and put it into your phone from home, but your foreign phone needs to be multi-band and 'unlocked' to accept other sim cards. You will have to check this with your cell phone provider in your own country. Don't forget that you will most likely need a voltage adapter (or purchase a new charger) in order to charge up your phone in the United States.
Some networks' phones (for example Virgin Mobile) do not use a sim card and therefore you will be unable to use a foreign phone with this network.
Generally, cell phone providers in the U.S. cannot be held responsible if their sim cards do not work in a foreign cell phone - if you decide to go for this option it is at your own risk.
*We can provide some additional information about our local retailer when you arrive, or feel free to email questions to International Student Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bridgewater State University has a laptop/notebook requirement, meaning that we prefer each student to have their own laptop. You will find that having close access to a computer is necessary for most if not all of your classes. BSU has a partnership with Dell, giving our students a discount and technical support for laptops purchased through the Dell partnership program.
You are also welcome to bring your own laptop from home - however please note that technical support might be more limited. Your laptop will need to have a wireless network card, and it is highly recommended that you set your laptop on the U.S. English language setting.
Please click here to see the university webpage for any further information.
The climate in South-Eastern Massachusetts (specifically Bridgewater) is warm during summer when temperatures tend to be in the 70's Fahrenheit (°F) (high 20's Celsius) and very cold during winter when temperatures tend to be in the 20's Fahrenheit (below zero Celsius (°C)).
The warmest month of the year is July with an average maximum temperature of 83°F (28°C), while the coldest month of the year is January with an average minimum temperature of 17°F (-8°C). The highest recorded temperature was 104°F (40°C) in 1948, and the lowest recorded temperature was -18°F (-28°C) in 1961.
Temperature variations between night and day tend to be moderate during both summer and winter with a difference that can reach 22°F (12°C).
The annual average precipitation at Bridgewater is 48 inches (123 cm). Rainfall in is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest months of the year are November and December with an average rainfall of 4.5 inches (11 cm) per month. Snow is fairly common between November and February. You will need a warm jacket, a hat and gloves if you arrive in December/January. You need to be dressed in warm clothes when you are outside, but all buildings on campus and public locations are fully heated.
The town of Bridgewater is approximately 28 miles (43 km) south of Boston, which is the capital city of Massachusetts. The MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) conveniently has a train stop right in the middle of the Bridgewater State University campus. It takes approximately 50 minutes by train to South Station, Boston. Click here to view the MBTA commuter rail schedule information.
Within the city of Boston there is a subway system (called the "T") that is great for getting around the city.
BSU is right in the center of the town of Bridgewater; supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, restaurants, etc. are within a short walking distance.
There is a free shuttle bus service to take students around the campus itself; however there are no public transportation buses in the greater area.
For places off the train route or past easy walking distance, we encourage you to make friends with their own vehicles to help you out.
Bridgewater State University will be sending all students electronic bills (e-bills). You may view your e-bill by visiting the InfoBear network as well as reviewing your BSU e-mail for semester charges. You will be able to pay online using MasterCard or Visa or electronic check. Please note that your bill will include detailed charges, some of which generally do not apply to exchange (J-1) students. These charges include, tuition and fees and the parking decal.
Exchange students, when paying your bill online, please deduct the tuition and fee total as per your exchange student agreement, and the cost of the parking decal. You should also make adjustments to the cost of mandatory health insurance if applicable. You will be billed for your residence hall accommodation according to your assignment as well as for the "Gold" meal plan.
Please note that if you make changes to your course schedule, room assignment or meal plan, your student bill will also change. You will be able to view your account online to view the most up to date to information.
For payment deadlines and additional information please click here.
If you have any questions or concerns before your arrival to Bridgewater State University, please feel free to e-mail International Student and Scholar Services at email@example.com. We will be happy to help you prepare for your experience here in the United States.
Last Modified: August 30, 2012