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Pre-Departure Checklist

Get ready for take-off! Here is a handy Pre-Departure Checklist to help you prepare for your trip.

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Important Travel Documents to Bring

Before your departure, make sure that you have the following documents. You will need these for entry into the US:

  • Passport
  • F-1 visa stamp (inside your passport)
  • Proof of I-901 fee payment
  • I-20 issued from HNU (must be signed by you)

We recommend that you live on campus for at least one year. If you are planning to live off-campus, please keep in mind that renting in the Bay Area can be very expensive. Some good places to start searching are ,, and to find local off-campus housing options. If you will be using public transportation to get around, make sure that you can find an apartment that is easily accessible to public transportation and close enough to HNU.

Health Insurance Information
  • Do I need to purchase health insurance?
  • If you should choose to use your own insurance, please be advised that your insurance MUST:
    • provide coverage for the entire academic year
    • provide coverage for a maximum of at least US $50,000 per condition per plan year
    • not have a deductible that exceeds US $1,000
    • provide pharmacy/prescription benefits
    • provide for primary care in the San Francisco  Bay Area
    • provide for emergency care in the San Francisco  Bay Area
    • provide for coverage throughout the US
    • provide coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation

If your current insurance does NOT cover ALL of these aspects, you will need to purchase additional insurance. 

Please be advised that you must show proof of all of the above to the International Student Advisor upon arrival. You will not be permitted to enroll in classes until this criterion is met.

  • Do I need to receive immunizations prior to attending HNU?
    • HNU requires that all residential students submit immunization records along with your housing application. We strongly encourage you to get these immunizations in your home country. To live on campus, you must show proof of tetanus, MMR, TB, Hepatitis B., and meningococcal vaccinations. You will not be permitted to reside on campus without proof of these immunizations. If you arrive without immunizations, you will be responsible for obtaining them.
What to Pack
  • Clothes
    • While Oakland does enjoy warm sunny days and HNU features gorgeous views of the Bay Area, we do experience seasonal weather that warrants warm clothing.  Packing sweaters and a jacket is highly recommended. If you are arriving in the summer, it will be warm and short sleeves and shorts/light pants are appropriate.  If you are arriving in January for the spring semester, be prepared for some colder weather to start. Casual attire (jeans, shorts, and T-shirts) is fine for class, but we also recommend bringing business attire for receptions, presentations, etc.
  • Linens/Toiletries
    • If you plan to live on campus, you should know that basic furniture is provided in campus residence halls, including a bed, desk, chair, and mini-fridge, but bed linens, blankets, pillows, and towels are not provided. If possible, bring bedsheets, a light blanket, and a towel with you from home before moving into the residence halls, or you will need to purchase these items upon arrival.
  • Documents
    • Passport,  F-1 visa stamp (inside your passport), proof of I-901 fee payment,  I-20 issued from HNU (must be signed by you), credit card, personal copy of bank statement/statement of financial sponsorship, vaccination records, personal copies of transcripts/TOEFL exam, etc.
    • Phone numbers of your bank, credit card institution, doctor, etc. in your home country.
  • What to Leave at Home
    • Prohibited items include some food, narcotics, and items for resale. For more information, review the prohibited items list on the website of the US Customs Service.
    • Since students are expected to buy required textbooks for all courses, and campus libraries offer supplemental reading materials for review and research, you need not bring any books used in previous studies.
    • It is best to purchase electrical appliances after you arrive, as appliances from outside the U.S. may not be compatible with the outlets inside the residence halls.
Attending Hawk Day and Orientation
  • What is Hawk Day?
    • Hawk Days are provided to give you an early start. On a Hawk Day you meet with your academic advisor, register for classes, get a student ID card, apply for a parking pass, and receive other information. 
  • What is Orientation?
    • Orientation is an excellent opportunity to meet new friends, move on campus, get to know HNU and attend the International Student Orientation, which is mandatory.  This is a great way to start your life as an HNU Hawk.
Getting to HNU From the Airport
  • Bay Area Airports
    • Both San Francisco and Oakland airports are accessible by BART (the local subway train system):
      San Francisco International Airport SFO
      Oakland International Airport  OAK
  • Bay Area Public Transportation
    • If you live in the Bay Area, you will quickly learn about Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).  BART offers frequent trains around the area.  There are several stations in Oakland; the closest to HNU are Rockridge and Fruitvale.  You can visit to find out which trains to take.
    • If you take the bus from the Fruitvale BART station, get on bus #54/Merritt College and get off at Redwood/Aliso. Holy Names University is across the street and up the hill. The fare is $2.50 and will take approximately 33 minutes. For more information, please visit here.  (Please know that this bus line has different schedules on weekdays and weekends and may not operate after 7 or 10pm.)
    • If you want to use a rideshare app, check out Uber or Lyft.
  • Where do I go once I get to HNU?
    • Campus Map
    • Once you enter the front gate, ask to be dropped off at Durocher Hall at the east end of campus where the Residence Hall Office is located.  You may then go to the Front Desk in Durocher Hall. The Residence Life Staff will assist you in moving into your new room.
Local Transit

General information regarding Bay Area travel, including maps and travel times can be found on

AC Transit provides bus service that stops just in front of HNU.  From Fruitvale BART, ride the AC Transit Bus #54. You can check schedules and other routes on the AC Transit website.