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Getting Started - International Students

1. Get Settled

  • Find a place to live. NOVA does not have on-campus housing.
  • Arrange for transportation to the College. 
  • Open a bank account.

2. Check In

Visit an international student advisor on the campus you will be attending as soon as possible to get information on an orientation session, placement testing and the registration process. Bring your I-20, I-94 and passport.

3. Take English Placement Tests

If you are beginning the intensive ESL program, you will have to take a test given by the ESL department. If you completed a freshman composition course at a U.S. college or university show your transcript to a counselor and the counselor will determine if you need to take any additional tests.

If you are starting an associate degree program, you will need to take the English Placement test given at a NOVA campus Testing Center. The Placement Test is required of all students to determine the level you will begin your studies. It is required even if you submit TOEFL scores with your application.

  • Tests are given at each campus Testing Center.
  • Photo ID and EMPL ID (found on your NOVACard) are required.
  • Allow approximately two hours for each test.

4. Take a Math Placement Test

It is strongly recommended that students beginning an associate degree program take the math test. You are not required to take math your first semester and you will be eligible to retake the test after your first semester.

5. See a Counselor

A counselor will interpret your test results and help with academic planning before you enroll in classes.

6. Enroll for Classes

Enroll online with NOVAConnect. First-time students are encouraged to enroll in SDV 100 or another student development course during their first semester.

7. Pay Your Tuition

Pay online by credit card through NOVAConnect. When you enroll for classes, you must pay by the payment deadline. Unpaid classes may be dropped from your schedule.

8. Check Your Enrollment Schedule

Print a copy of your enrollment schedule from NOVAConnect or call 703.323.3770 or 703.330.3770 (Prince William County) to check your classes and payment status.

  • Verify that you are enrolled in the correct courses.
  • Print a copy of your enrollment schedule every time you make a change.

9. Buy Your Books

Print your schedule of classes and take it to your campus bookstore or buy your books online.

10. Buy a Parking Permit

You can buy a parking permit online through Parking Services using your credit card 24 hours after you enroll for classes. You can also pay for a parking permit by cash or check at any of the campus Parking Services offices.

  • Parking permits are required for all semesters/sessions of enrollment.
  • Permits are required for all vehicles parked in all lots (except parking meters and hourly pay lots).
  • Student permits are valid only in "B" lots.
  • To use the parking garages at the Annandale and Medical Education Campuses, you must have a NOVACard ID and a parking permit.
  • Hourly pay parking is available in the garages for those without a current permit and ID card.

11. Get Your NOVACard Student Identification

Get your free NOVACard 24 hours after you enroll for classes. This ID serves as your library card, it can be used for making copies, getting discounts and more.

12. Activate Your Email Account

Activate your free email account.

  • To protect your privacy, instructors may only use a student's official NOVA email address.
  • You will receive updates on course changes and other pertinent information through your NOVA email account.

13. Explore

Learn more about the services and activities at NOVA: