Preparing for your departure

Use the following tips and timelines to organize your plans prior to graduation and departure from Boston University.

2 semesters before expected graduation:

  • File a formal application for graduation with the Registrar’s office.

Beginning of your final semester:

  • Meet with your academic advisor. Make sure you’re completing all requirements for your degree and you will be ready to graduate at the end of the semester.
  • If you would like to remain in the US for work experience after graduation, you should attend an OPT employment workshop. Eligible F-1 students can work on OPT (Optional Practical Training) and J-1 students can work on Academic Training.
  • If you plan to stay in the US and transfer to another school, talk to an ISSO advisor for information regarding your immigration status and the transfer-out process.

2–3 months before graduation:

  • If family and friends are visiting for the Commencement ceremony, prepare for their arrival by researching places for them to stay. If relatives and friends will need tourist visas to enter the US, remind them to apply for the visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate closest to them. You may request an invitation letter for their visa application.
  • If you’re interested in staying in the United States for employment, start the job search. Check out BU’s Center for Career Development.

1 month before leaving the US or graduating and moving:

  • Contact the Alumni Association and register yourself to receive updates and establish yourself with the Boston University Alumni Community!
  • Make sure your new address is updated in the StudentLink

  • Work with your department to confirm effective last day of employment. Complete the End of Employment or Activity Notification and return it to the ISSO.
  • Talk to your advisor to insure that you understand how your departure from BU will affect your immigration status:
    •  How long can you remain in the U.S.?
    • What steps do you need to take to transition to employment elsewhere?
    • if you are in J-1 status, are you subject to any associated bars or restrictions?
  • Clean out your workspace and return any office equipment (e.g., keys, SecurID, laptops).
  • Contact Human Resources regarding benefits status (vacation days, retirement plan, etc).
  • Report your new address to BUWorks, your host department and the ISSO (you will want to get those tax forms next year!)

Other personal matters to consider

Use the following checklist to organize your personal matters prior to leaving BU:

  • Notify your landlord or housing office that you will be vacating your apartment. Most leases require 30 days’ written notice. Check your lease for details.
  • Make sure your roommates are aware of your plans.
  • Call all of your utility accounts and newspaper/magazine subscriptions.
  • Make arrangements with your bank to close your account(s).
  • Consider what to do with your vehicle, if you have one.
  • Contact health insurance, car insurance, and life insurance companies to discuss coverage options and whether to close the account(s).
  • Leave a forwarding address at your local post office so they can send your mail to your new address.
  • Pay any fines you may have (library, parking, etc.).
  • Contact shipping or storage companies for best rates to ship/store your personal items.
  • Sell miscellaneous furniture, appliances, computers, automobiles, bikes, etc., by holding a garage sale or placing the items on a website such as Craigslist or eBay. You can also donate to a local thrift shop, such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill.
  • Unsubscribe from email lists you no longer need.