Pre-Orientation Spring 2023

Welcome to Principia

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You are finally here!

And we’re still here, for you. We have loved working with you from the time you were admitted to Principia and have been looking forward to your arrival. Your room is ready! And the next few days are filled with activities to get you set up for a fruitful, fulfilling, and fun college experience!

Meet new people

By the end of the week, you will have met so many people from so many countries! But don’t worry, there will also be enough downtime for those moments when you just want to be away from too many people.

Meet new people

Also, we won’t be on campus the entire time. On Saturday, let’s check out St Louis Foundry places you can get to using The Space Shuttle.

Get set up

You will also fill out a bunch of forms! I know that’s probably no the most enjoyable thing to do but guess what’s on the other side of those forms? It’s important stuff like a U.S. bank account, your social security number, and student employment!


There will be informative and insightful workshops, too! From health and safety to academic success to career development, you will have learned so much in one week! We look forward to your perspectives on these topics so please bring your questions and ideas!

Pre-Orientation Workshops Schedule

Important Information during Your First Week


Groceries: Aldi and Walmart are budget-friendly supermarkets for groceries. Target and Schnucks are other common options but they tend to be slightly pricier.
Clothing: Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls are great options for budget-friendly yet high quality clothing, personal care items, and room supplies.
Thrift shopping: you can find trendy clothes and other items at meager prices at places such as Goodwill, Plato’s Closet, and Salvation Army.
Online shopping: You can get almost anything online, from clothing to textbooks to electronics. Amazon has nearly everything. Bestbuy is known for electronics. When entering your shipping address, don’t forget to include your full name so the college mail room can identify the owner of the package when it arrives on campus. You will get a notification from the college mailroom when your package is ready for pickup.

Your new address

If you would like mail or packages delivered to you here, you may use the address below. Don’t forget to include your name. Your Name Street Address: 1 Maybeck Place City/Town: Elsah State: Illinois (IL) Zip code: 62028

Mobile Phone Services

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions we hear from admitted students. If you have any questions as you prepare to come to Principia, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
There are numerous banks in the U.S, 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.To get you started with your application form click here.
It is an online tax compliance system which assists non-resident aliens in filing their annual Federal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The foreign national is usually only required to answer a few questions concerning their time spent in the United States and any payments received..
To access glacier, click here
A Social Security Number (SSN) is a tax identification number issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) to individuals in the U.S. who have employment authorization. The SSN is issued for life. Generally, only non-citizens who are authorized to work in the U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can obtain the SSN. The SSN is used to report an individual’s wages to the government and to determine a person’s eligibility for Social Security benefits. Please keep in mind that it is very important to keep the Social Security Number secure and to avoid scams. A lost or compromised Social Security Number can lead to identity theft
To apply for a Social Security number click here
To learn more about travel, employment, transport services, money-transfer options, and so much more click here