West Virginia University Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA)
Welcome to West Virginia UniversityDear new students:
Congratulations and welcome to West Virginia University!
West Virginia is a very beautiful state. If you ever heard John Denver’s song “Country Road”, the place called ”Almost Heaven” is West Virginia. West Virginia University is located in a small town of Northern West Virginia called Morgantown. This pretty and quiet small town is a wonderful place for studying, doing research, and living.
There are over 1600 international students from more than 100 countries studying at West Virginia University. There are about 300 students from China and about 1200 Chinese live in Morgantown. We celebrate our traditional festivals, such as Spring Festival and Mid-Autumn Day every year. We also organize many activities in order to relax and exchange ideas.
Studying in the US is very exciting, but everyone has anxiety and worry due to the culture shock as well as many practical problems, such as renting an apartment and going shopping. We all have had similar situations, so we fully understand your worry and are willing to help you out. The following are some of the suggestions we hope will help.
1. Before coming to WVU
Please get information about WVU, Morgantown, and CSSA from websites:
CSSA Yahoo Group List: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wvuchinese/
WVU Fall 2014 new students group: 105821796
CSSA Yahoo Group List is the main information source for Chinese in Morgantown, all CSSA members share information in this group. We suggest that you join this group as soon as possible and view the news from CSSA. You could join the group online or send us an email. We’ll add you to the group in 24 hours. We also suggest you download 2014-2015 New Students Tips from our CSSA website (or at the bottom of this page).
2. Renting an apartment
Please find an apartment before you arriving at WVU.
WVU has three campuses: Medical School, Engineering, and Downtown Campus. Please choose an apartment near your department. Rent range for one bedroom: $450-$650/month; two bedrooms: $600-$750/month ($300-$375/person/month); three bedrooms: $750-$1200/month ($260-$400/person/month). The lease is usually for one year. There are several ways to rent an apartment:
a . Contact your friends or relatives in Morgantown
b . Contact your advisor or department
c . Apply for on-campus apartment http://housing.wvu.edu/
d . Post a message on CSSA Yahoo Group List, including your name, gender and other information.
3. Flight and Airport pick-up
3.1 Book the air-ticket early. Many students come to WVU in August, you may save a lot if you book the air-ticket early. If you book early it is easier to find an apartment and a person to pick you up at the airport. It’s convenient if you arrive at Pittsburgh International Airport during early evening on weekdays or during the day on weekends (there is 12-hour time difference between Beijing and Pittsburgh in the summer).
3.2 We recommend you to fly into Morgantown Municipal Airport although it may cost $100-$200 more compared to arriving at Pittsburgh. Please post a message on CSSA Yahoo Group to find volunteers to pick you up at Morgantown Municipal Airport. Cost for taxi fare is about $10.00 (includes tip).
3.3 Confirm airport pick-up after you book the air-ticket.
a . If you have friends or relatives in Morgantown area contact them to pick you up at the airport.
b . Contact your advisor or the secretary at your department to ask whether they could pick you up.
c . Post a message on CSSA Yahoo Group List to ask if someone would like to pick you up at airport. If you can’t find anyone to pick you up at least one week before your arrival, please contact CSSA and we’ll try to find someone to pick you up. We suggest that you pay at least $80. It’s about 160 miles between Pittsburgh International Airport and Morgantown and it takes more than 3 hours to pick you up. The typical pick-up fee includes: $0.55/mile x 160miles http://www.irs.gov/uac/2013-Standard-Mileage-Rates-Up-1-Cent-per-Mile-for-Business,-Medical-and-Moving, parking fee. If your flight is delayed please pay $7.25 per hour of delay http://www.paywizard.org/main/minimum-wage. In addition, we suggest that you to find someone from New Students QQ Group or Yahoo Group to fly with you. It’s safer and you could share pick-up fee with other new students.
d . If you contact more than one person to pick you up at the airport, please let others know as soon as possible after you have confirmed your arrangements.
3.4 Travelling by Greyline and Megabus bus services. There are two Greyline buses that commute between Morgantown and Pittsburgh International Airport. Go to www.busride.org and click on Grey Line for more information. There are two Megabus shuttles that commute between Morgantown and Downtown Pittsburgh http://us.megabus.com/ Take the 28X bus from Pittsburgh International Airport to Downtown Pittsburgh, go to: http://www.pitairport.com/public_transportation.
3.5 Taxi from Pittsburgh International Airport to Morgantown costs about $250.
Please come to WVU one week before class in order to settle in. We strongly recommend you participate in Student Orientation. Application for Student ID, Social Security Number, Health Insurance, and Payroll may be processed during orientation. This is also an invaluable opportunity to make friends and familiarize yourself with the campus. CSSA will also organize New Student Orientation (normally one week before class). Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, we are happy to help you.
Many friends leave WVU every year and we welcome new friends that arrive. You will have a special experience with many fellow Chinese students here at WVU.
Hope you come to Morgantown safely!
Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) at WVU
President: Chit Yuen Yi
Vice-President (In charge of student affairs): Man Chio Tang (Steve)
Vice-President (In charge of culture activities and sports): Fan Yang (Tony)