Planning Your Arrival

Contact Us

Yifan Sun
International Program and Services Manager
Ph: 1+253.680.7184
Fax: 1+253.680.7288

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Arrive at Bates

To avoid a common mistake, be sure to book your flight to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) which is outside of Seattle, Washington, not Dulles or Washington Airport, which are both outside of Washington, DC.

Please plan to arrive at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at least one week before your start date. This will give you time to become acclimated to the Tacoma area.  If you will be living in a homestay, your host family will pick you up from the airport. You will need to provide the homestay service with the exact date and time of arrival, airline and flight number.

Airport Pick-Up

If your host family is not picking you up from the airport, there are several options for traveling from the airport to Tacoma:


Once you arrive in Tacoma, please call our International Student Advisor at 253.680.7127 during regular business hours between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to schedule an appointment to check in. Please bring the following with you to your appointment:

  • Passport with I-94
  • I-20, with port of entry stamp
  • Bank draft, credit/debit card or completed Bank Wire Transfer Form to pay tuition

Your orientation meeting will include completion of the COMPASS test and you will work with the International Student Advisor to complete the registration process.

Medical Insurance

Once you are registered for classes and have paid your tuition, your medical coverage will become active. Medical care is expensive in the US and this medical insurance is very important in helping you to control costs while still being able to see a doctor if you should become ill or injured during your stay in the US. Visit this website to learn about the medical insurance you will be covered by while at Bates. After you register, you can print your own insurance ID card, choose a doctor and more from this site.



Bates Technical College does not have student dormitories. However, there are homestay programs  that offer international students the opportunity to live with a local family while studying at Bates.  Many great friendships have developed between international students and families as a result of homestay. Living with a homestay family provides international students with many benefits:

  • Opportunity to improve English skills
  • Chance to learn about American culture and lifestyle
  • Opportunity to enrich the lives of American families by sharing their own culture with a family

We currently refer students to either Intercultural Homestays, Inc. or American Homestay Network.


Some students prefer to live in their own apartment or in shared housing. There are two bedroom apartments near each of the three campuses that rent for  approximately $550-$750 USD per month.  If the apartment is not furnished, students will need to rent or purchase beds, tables, televisions, chairs, linens, supplies, etc. Other apartment rental costs may include electricity, phone, water and heating.

Below are sources of online help to find apartments to rent. This is for general information only. The college does not endorse any of these sites.