The most reliable (some might say the only reliable) network on campus is At&t. You may use At&t directly or other virtual network operators that run on the At&t network. These tend to be more budget-friendly and include H20 Wireless and Cricket Wireless.

Please note: you have to pay for your mobile phone to remain active – not only for outgoing calls but also for incoming calls.Buy upfront or in installments: you can buy your phone upfront or pay a provider for it over time. Phones paid for to providers over time tend to be locked to only one network and tend to be more expensive in the long run.

Prepaid vs. contract: you can prepay for your phone services (calling, texting, and data) or you can get into a monthly contract. Prepaid options are more flexible since you’re not “indebted” to the provider.

Unlimited vs. “pay-as-you-go”: You may go for unlimited calling or texting or “pay-as-you-go” options that charge per text/minute. If your plan is not unlimited, charges per minute or text include incoming calls and texts.

Bank Account If you don’t have an account with a bank in the U.S. and would like to have one, we will have a session during Pre-orientation to guide you through the application process for a U.S. Bank checking account.

International Calling Besides WhatsApp, there are options for traditional calling through services such as Rebtel. H20 wireless plans also typically include some international minutes.


Basics of Healthcare in the U.S: Healthcare services in the U.S. is a very complex subject so this is a broad overview of things to keep in mind.
  • Dental services and eye-care/vision are typically outside the scope of general health insurance. That means that dental and eye-care (vision) services require either out-of-pocket payment and/or a separate insurance plan.
  • Mental health services are sometimes covered in the general health insurance.
  • Prescriptions are typically provided through pharmacies. The extent of coverage for prescription is detailed in your health insurance plan document.
  • Christian Science care is covered by some health insurance plans.

Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care

“Urgent” and “emergency” may communicate a similar message of an issue needing to be addressed “right away,” but there is a subtle difference. Urgent care centers or walk-in clinics are suitable for situations, such as an injury, that may require immediate attention but they are not severe enough to warrant emergency services. Emergency room (ER) services typically cost more and are best suited for severe circumstances.


Break Housing , what you need to know: Principia College offers break housing, this means you can stay on campus during breaks for a certain fee. Student life sends out notifications for when its time to sign up for break housing. There is a late signup fee of $25.The nightly cost for summer and winter breaks is $7 per night and it is post- paid it will be added to your Prinbill. Whilst Spring break is prepaid, $70 for the break. This amount is at a flat rate. During breaks meal cards do not work and you need cash to get food from the dining hall. This can be expensive and cooking for yourself might be the best alternative. So you can get groceries from these stores.

State ID and Driver's License Information

To apply for a State ID, you need the following documents:
  • Valid passport
  • A current form I-20
  • A current I-94
  • The original copy of your social security card
  • Proof of residency (e.g. paycheck, transcript, or bank statement) no older than 90 days

What documents do I need in order to get a State ID?

There are two parts to acquiring a driver’s license in Illinois: a written test and a driving test. Once you have successfully completed the written test, you receive a driving permit that allows you to drive under the instruction of a licensed driver. A successful driving test is then required in order to become a licensed driver. Both the written test and the driving test can be done on the same day. Learn more.

Typically, to drive in the U.S. you are required to have a valid state-issued driver’s license.