Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Institute of Technology, one of the premier research universities in the United States, was established by an Act of the Georgia Legislature on October 13, 1885. The Institute is best known for its top-ranked academics, world-renowned faculty, and highly motivated students. The U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Georgia Tech as one of the top 10 public universities in the country.
Over the years, Georgia Tech has expanded its resources to serve over 20,000 students, more than 6,000 of whom are seeking graduate degrees. Our students come from more than 120 countries to pursue studies in the Colleges of Management, Architecture, Engineering, Computing, Sciences, and Liberal Arts. These six colleges offer 35 undergraduate and over 100 masters and doctoral programs, representing a wide range of traditional and interdisciplinary studies.
The Institute occupies more than 450 acres and 237 buildings. A great addition to Georgia Tech is Technology Square, a $180 million-dollar multi-facility complex that is home to the College of Management. Technology Square is located in the heart of Midtown, Atlanta’s vibrant and growing technology corridor that offers students and faculty extensive exposure to the Atlanta business community.
You can learn more about Georgia Tech’s history, traditions, facilities, and students from the Georgia Tech Factbook.
Atlanta is the capital of the state of Georgia, the site of the 1996 Olympic Games, and one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. It is home to nearly 5.5 million people and boasts the busiest airport in the world.
Atlanta, the undisputed business and cultural center of the southeast, is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 places to for high-tech and international career opportunities. More than 1,600 international businesses are in Atlanta along with many Fortune 500 companies, including Coca Cola Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Home Depot, Newell Rubbermaid, SunTrust Bank and UPS, are headquartered in the area.
The city combines classic small-town southern hospitality with all the amenities of a cosmopolitan city. The moderate cost of living, which is below the national average, and the pleasant climate, which permits year-round outdoor activities, makes Atlanta appealing to many.
When you arrive in Atlanta in August, the probable temperature range will be from an average high in the upper 80s to lower 90s Fahrenheit (lower to mid-30s C) during the day to a low at night of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees C). It also rains often in Atlanta throughout the school year.
The city has four distinct seasons, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy a range of comfortable climates. During the fall and spring, Atlanta is quite comfortable with temperatures of 70-80° F (21-26° C). Summers can be quite hot and humid, with temperatures sometimes reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), and winters are normally mild with a few colder spells. The annual rainfall is about 48 in (122 cm).
We suggest buying as much of your wardrobe as possible here unless you feel the cost would be prohibitive. Student dress on campus is casual and entirely according to your personal taste.
On-Campus Early Move-In
ISSS recommends that you arrive on campus during the week before classes begin, depending upon your FASET or graduate orientation date. This will give you plenty of time to get settled and complete the International Student Check-In. Contact the Department of Housing if you have questions regarding early move-in. Students are allowed to move-in the day before FASET, but may incur early move-in charges. Please check with the Housing Department for details.
Off-Campus Temporary Accommodation
The list below includes hotels that are reasonably priced and convenient to Tech. The hotels listed are within walking distance or accessible by MARTA, the Atlanta transportation system. Many (but not all) hotels offer free breakfast included in the room fee, so ask before you reserve a room. Some hotels, especially those closest to Tech, may offer discounted rates to Tech students, so be sure to ask.
Hotel room prices change often based on demand, but the key below will give you an idea of how much a room in each hotel might cost per night:
$ = up to $75/night
$$ = $76-$100/night
$$$ = $101-$125/night
$$$$ = more than $126/night
You may wish to explore other options. There are many travel websites that can search for hotels in the U.S., including hotel.com, kayak.com, travelocity.com, hotwire.com, priceline.com, and expedia.com.
When making your own arrangements, consider how you will get to the hotel from the airport, and from the hotel to Georgia Tech for Check-In, International Student Welcome Week and orientations. The nearest MARTA stations to Tech are North Ave. Station and Midtown Station, both on the Red/Gold line. The Tech Trolley stops at Midtown Station and GA Tech is about a 13 minute walk from the North Ave. Station. Atlanta will be hot and humid in August, with daily highs in the low to mid 30s Celsius (high 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit), and sudden afternoon thunderstorms are common. You may wish to take this into consideration when deciding how far you would like to be from Tech or from a MARTA station.
You should also consider the area that the hotel is in. Georgia Tech is located in Midtown, and nearby hotels tend to be more expensive than hotels in other areas of the city. Many hotels in the Downtown area are relatively convenient to Tech and are cheaper than hotels in Midtown, but this area is generally deserted at the end of the workday and on weekends as it is primarily a business district. This may make some students uncomfortable. There are many budget hotels near the airport, and many offer free shuttle service to the airport. There is also a MARTA station in the airport.
Lastly, there will be thousands of new students coming to Atlanta in August. The OIE recommends that you make temporary housing reservations as soon as possible in order to have more options in accommodation.
Days Inn Atlanta Airport West: $
2451 Old National Highway, College Park 30349 (23.3km/14.5 miles from Tech; about 55 minutes by MARTA)
How to Get to Tech: Walk to the MARTA bus stop at the intersection of Herschel Rd. and Roosevelt Highway. Take bus 89 toward College Park Station. Get off the bus at College Park Station, and get on the gold or red subway train northbound. Get off at Midtown Station. Leave the station through the south exit, toward Peachtree Place and the MARTA parking lot. Outside Midtown Station, wait for the Tech Trolley, which stops across the street from the MARTA parking lot. Get on the Tech Trolley, which makes several stops throughout main campus and Tech Square. The stop closest to the Library is the last stop, called the Transportation Hub.
Motel 6 Airport North: $
1200 Virginia Ave., Atlanta (16.4km/10.2 miles from Tech; about 40 minutes by MARTA)
1-404-209-1800 or 1-800-466-8356
How to Get to Tech: Walk to the MARTA bus stop at the intersection of Virginia Ave. and Bobby Brown Pkwy (one block from the hotel). Take bus 172 toward Sylvan Rd – Virginia Ave. Get off the bus at East Main St. and cross the street to College Park MARTA Station. Take the gold or red subway train northbound. Get off at Midtown Station. Leave the station through the south exit, toward Peachtree Place and the MARTA parking lot. Outside Midtown Station, wait for the Tech Trolley, which stops across the street from the MARTA parking lot. Get on the Tech Trolley, which makes several stops throughout main campus and Tech Square. The stop closest to the Library is the last stop, called the Transportation Hub.
Atlanta International Hostel: $
223 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta (1.8km/1.1 miles from Tech; about 20 minutes walking)
1-404-875-9449 or 1-800-473-9449
How to Get to Tech: Walk west on Ponce De Leon Ave. Turn left on Spring St., then right on North Ave. Turn right on Cherry St., which will lead you straight to the Library.
Microtel Inn and Suites Perimeter Center: $-$$
6280 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd., Atlanta (21km/13 miles from Tech; about 45 minutes by MARTA)
How to Get to Tech: Walk to Sandy Springs MARTA Station (walk north on Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, right on Mt. Vernon Hwy, right on Perimeter Center Way). Take the red subway train southbound. Get off at Midtown Station. Leave the station through the south exit, toward Peachtree Place and the MARTA parking lot. Outside Midtown Station, wait for the Tech Trolley, which stops across the street from the MARTA parking lot. Get on the Tech Trolley, which makes several stops throughout main campus and Tech Square. The stop closest to the Library is the last stop, called the Transportation Hub.
Comfort Inn & Suites Airport North: $$
1419 Virginia Ave., College Park (17.2km/10.7 miles from Tech; about 55 minutes by MARTA)
How to Get to Tech: Walk north on Harrison Rd. to the MARTA bus stop at the intersection of Harrison Rd. and Willingham Dr. Take bus 93 toward East Point STA/Delowe Dr. Get off the bus at East Point Station (at the intersection of Main St. and Dorsey Ave.). Take the red or gold subway train northbound. Get off at Midtown Station. Leave the station through the south exit, toward Peachtree Place and the MARTA parking lot. Outside Midtown Station, wait for the Tech Trolley, which stops across the street from the MARTA parking lot. Get on the Tech Trolley, which makes several stops throughout main campus and Tech Square. The stop closest to the Library is the last stop, called the Transportation Hub.
Extended Stay Deluxe Lenox North: $$
3967 Peachtree Road, Atlanta (13.5km/8.4 miles from Tech; about 35 minutes by MARTA)
How to Get to Tech: Walk northeast on Peachtree Rd. and turn right on Dresden Dr. to get to the Brookhaven –Oglethorpe MARTA Station. Take the gold line southbound. Get off at Midtown Station. Leave the station through the south exit, toward Peachtree Place and the MARTA parking lot. Outside Midtown Station, wait for the Tech Trolley, which stops across the street from the MARTA parking lot. Get on the Tech Trolley, which makes several stops throughout main campus and Tech Square. The stop closest to the Library is the last stop, called the Transportation Hub.
Buckhead Hostel: $$$
1964 Saxon Valley Circle, Atlanta (10.9km/6.8 miles from Tech; about 50 minutes by MARTA)
How to Get to Tech: Walk to the MARTA bus stop at the intersection of North Druid Hills Rd. and Buford Hwy. Take bus 39 toward Buford Hwy/Lindbergh STA. Get off the bus at Lindbergh Center MARTA Station. Take the gold or red subway train southbound. Get off at Midtown Station. Leave the station through the south exit, toward Peachtree Place and the MARTA parking lot. Outside Midtown Station, wait for the Tech Trolley, which stops across the street from the MARTA parking lot. Get on the Tech Trolley, which makes several stops throughout main campus and Tech Square. The stop closest to the Library is the last stop, called the Transportation Hub.
Hampton Inn – Georgia Tech: $$$-$$$$
244 North Ave. NW, Atlanta (0.3km/0.2 miles from Tech; about 4 minutes walking)
How to Get to Tech: This hotel is right across North Ave. from the southern edge of campus. Walk east on North Ave. and turn left on Cherry St. which will lead you straight to the Library.
Regency Suites Hotel: $$$$
975 West Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta (1.6km/1.0 miles from Tech; about 20 minutes walking/trolley)
How to Get to Tech: Walk south on West Peachtree St. and turn left on Peachtree Place. The Tech Trolley stops across Peachtree Place from the MARTA parking lot. The Tech Trolley makes several stops throughout main campus and Tech Square. The stop closest to the Library is the last stop, called the Transportation Hub.
Residence Inn Atlanta Midtown/17th Street: $$$$
1365 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta (2.9km/1.8 miles from Tech; about 40 minutes walking or about 25 minutes by MARTA)
1-888-236-2427 (or click here for a list of toll-free numbers when calling from other countries)
How to Get to Tech:
Walking – go north on Peachtree St., and turn left on 17th St. Turn left on West Peachtree St., then turn left on Peachtree Place. The Tech Trolley stops across Peachtree Place from the MARTA parking lot at Midtown Station. Get on the Tech Trolley, which makes several stops throughout main campus and Tech Square. The stop closest to the Library is the last stop, called the Transportation Hub.
MARTA – walk to Arts Center Station (walk south on Peachtree St. and turn right on 16th St. Turn left on Arts Center Way, and Arts Center Station will be on your right. Take the red or gold subway train southbound. Get off at Midtown Station. Leave the station through the south exit, toward Peachtree Place and the MARTA parking lot. Outside Midtown Station, wait for the Tech Trolley, which stops across the street from the MARTA parking lot. Get on the Tech Trolley, which makes several stops throughout main campus and Tech Square. The stop closest to the Library is the last stop, called the Transportation Hub.
Residence Inn Atlanta Midtown/Historic: $$$$
1041 W. Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta (1.6km/1.0 miles from Tech; about 20 minutes walking)
1-888-236-2427 (or click here for a list of toll-free numbers when calling from other countries)
How to Get to Tech: Walk south on West Peachtree St. and turn left on Peachtree Place. The Tech Trolley stops outside the Midtown MARTA Station, across Peachtree Place from the MARTA parking lot. The Tech Trolley makes several stops throughout main campus and Tech Square. The stop closest to the Library is the last stop, called the Transportation Hub.
Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center: $$$$
800 Spring St. NW, Atlanta (1.0km/0.6 miles from Tech; about 15 minutes walking)
1-404-838-2100 or 1-866-395-1376
How to Get to Tech: Walk north on Spring St. and turn left on 5th St. Get on the Tech Trolley at the stop in front of Moe’s restaurant. The Tech Trolley makes several stops throughout main campus and Tech Square. The stop closest to the Library is the last stop, called the Transportation Hub.
Choosing a Bank
There are many banks in the local area that offer several types of savings and checking accounts. Many banks have checking and/or savings accounts designed for college students, which often feature lower or no monthly fees, lower minimum balance requirements, etc. Be sure to research different options to find the choice that best fits your needs. Make sure to consider the following before choosing a bank.
What are the fees for wiring money from overseas?
What is the minimum balance required? Is there a penalty if my balance goes below the minimum?
Will my checking account earn any interest?
What will I pay in monthly service charges?
Are there branches or ATM machines near Georgia Tech and where I live?
Opening a Bank Account
In order to open a bank account, you should bring the following documents:
- Georgia Tech ID (Buzzcard)
- I-20 or DS-2019
- Passport and I-94
- You may be asked for a Social Security Number, but it is not required to open an account.
Banks near GT campus include (all have ATMs in the Student Center):
645 State Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30313-2493
Bank of America
231 Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30303-1603
523 Luckie Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30313-2401
Welcome! Many international students and scholars bring their spouse and/or children to the U.S. when they move here to study at Georgia Tech. This can be an exciting opportunity for couples and families to experience life in the U.S., learn or practice English skills, and spend time in the great city of Atlanta! The pages in this section contain information that will be helpful during your time in the U.S.
GEORGIA TECH RESOURCES
The BuzzCard is a GT identification card that students/faculty/staff use to access buildings, use the recreation center (CRC), and utilize other services. It can also be used as a personal debit card with pre-deposited funds to purchase products and services throughout campus.
If you plan to use any of the facilities listed below, you must obtain a BuzzCard first. Immediate family members (age 18 and older) of a Georgia Tech full-time student, staff, or faculty member are eligible for a BuzzCard. Unfortunately, if a J-1 scholar is considered a Guest, his/her immediate family members are not eligible for a BuzzCard.
In order to apply, you must:
- Visit the BuzzCard office, located on the second floor of the Barnes & Noble @ Georgia Tech (in Tech Square on the corner of 5th St. and Spring St.) to fill out a gtID# Request application. The BuzzCard Center will generate a gtID# for you.
- Bring photo identification (such as a passport) and $30 for the BuzzCard fee.
- Spouses must provide proof of marriage.
- Children must provide proof of age (must be 18 or older).
For more information, contact:
Technology Square, 2nd Floor of Barnes and Noble
The spouse of a Georgia Tech affiliate (student or scholar) may be able to use the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) for an additional membership fee in some cases, after the spouse has obtained a BuzzCard. Visit the Member Services Desk (near the front entrance of the CRC) for more information.
The Georgia Tech Women's Resource Center welcomes students' spouses to participate in our programs and services. The Center offers programs such as a leadership conference, discussion groups, and graduate student lunches. WRC also offer several outdoor activities each semester to introduce women to sports such as sailing or hiking. An informal dinner group for student spouses will be formed if there is enough interest. Spouses are also welcome to spend time at the Center volunteering, helping with programs, reading books, magazines or using our internet/computers.
International Spouse Support Group
The International Spouse Group is a space for spouses of Georgia Tech students who are looking for a community in Atlanta. Many of the members of our group have moved to Atlanta with their spouse who may be interning, doing a fellowship, or working on a PhD or other degree at Tech. The spouse group is a great place to meet other spouses, fellowship, and learn more about Georgia Tech, the surrounding Atlanta area, American culture, and one another!
The International Spouse Group meets on Thursdays in the Women's Resource Center (WRC) from 2-3:30 pm. The WRC is located in the Smithgall Student Services Building, Suite 131.
International spouses interested in joining the International Spouse Support Group listserv should email firstname.lastname@example.org. The email should include the spouse's name and preferred email address. The email should state that the spouse is interested in being added to the International Spouse listserv.
For more information on the International Spouse Support Group, please see the website at http://gtspousegroup.wix.com/gt-spouse-group.
The Georgia Tech Counseling Center may be able to provide Couple’s Counseling depending on availability of openings and the appropriateness of the couple for the services that they have available. A couple is eligible if at least one of the members of the couple is a currently enrolled Georgia Tech student. The session limits for Couple’s Counseling is the same as for Individual Counseling (i.e., 16 sessions).
To discuss the possibility of Couple’s Counseling, please schedule an Initial Consultation appointment. It is requested that both members of the couple complete paperwork and that the couple attend the Initial Consultation appointment together.
The Language Institute offers English 3- and 6-week short courses at a discounted rate of $110 per course for the spouses of international students. For information about current classes, please see the Language Institute website.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE RESOURCES IN THE COMMUNITY
Atlanta has a large international population, and there are many opportunities to learn or improve your English. All of the following organizations offer English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs. This is not a comprehensive list of programs in Atlanta, but it will help get you started.
Offers both part-time and full-time ESL courses through the Intensive English Program.
The library system offers free ESOL classes at several locations in the Fulton County area. For details about location and time of courses, visit the website.
Ponce de Leon Branch Tel: 404-885-7820
The library system offers free ESOL classes at several locations in the Dekalb County area. For details about location and time of classes, visit the website below.
Decatur Branch Tel: 404-370-8450
Various Adult Education Options
Various counties within the metropolitan Atlanta area offer Adult Education courses, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). For more information, please contact the county nearest you:
Contact: Paula Cohen-Tsanos
Phone: 678-594-8011 ext:245
Fulton County Adult Education
Contact: Tammy McConnell
Phone: 404-669-8090 ext:123
Contact: Brenda Thomas
CHILDREN: CHILDCARE AND SCHOOLS
Georgia Tech Daycare
Georgia Tech runs two daycare facilities: the R. Kirk Landon Learning Center and The Children’s Campus @ Georgia Tech (opening in the fall of 2012). Both are managed by Bright Horizons, and care for children from six weeks of age through preschool.
Resources Near Georgia Tech
The following list includes a few child care facilities near Georgia Tech. Please note, this list does not include all facilities or programs available in metropolitan Atlanta. For more information, please visit the websites listed above.
All Saints Day Care
Address: 644 West Peachtree (corner of North Avenue)
Tel: 404 881-3790
First Presbyterian Preschool
Address: 1328 Peachtree St. NE
Sheltering Arms at Centennial Place
Address: 385 Centennial Olympic Drive
There are several YMCA locations in the metropolitan Atlanta area. For a complete listing, visit the website listed below. The nearest YMCA branch to Georgia Tech is:
Centennial Place YMCA
555 Luckie Street, Atlanta, GA 30318
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning provides a complete list of all child care and pre-kindergarten programs in the state.
The school year starts in August and ends in May. Georgia state law requires that all children attend school (or a home study program) from their 6th to 16th birthdays. Public kindergarten is available in every school system, but is not mandatory. Generally, a child must be five years old on or before September 1 to enter public kindergarten, and six years old on or before September 1 to enter first grade. Georgia also operates a public pre-kindergarten program for children who are four years old on or before September 1.
Many schools provide specialized programs for international students, such as programs for English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
In general, a child’s parent or legal guardian must be a resident of the school district in order for the child to be enrolled in the school. Most students living near Georgia Tech will attend the Atlanta Public Schools, City Schools of Decatur, Fulton County Schools, Cobb County Schools, or Dekalb County Schools. Students living further from Georgia Tech may live in another district.
Each county/city school district has its own requirements and process for registration. Visit the website for your school district to learn what documents, immunizations, and screenings are required:
- Atlanta Public Schools Registration Information
- Fulton County School District Registration Information
- Cobb County School District Registration Information
- DeKalb County School District Registration Information
- City Schools of Decatur Registration Information
Organizations and Volunteer Opportunities
Below is a description of various organizations that provide international programs and services in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The resources available may include: volunteer opportunities, public events and lectures, English as a Second Language training, and educational services. The listing is in alphabetical order.
AMIS offers many opportunities for international visitors including a city tour, a friendship program, a Thanksgiving and Christmas program, and a speaker's bureau. International students and scholars are given information about AMIS during orientation. For further information, please contact AMIS at:
Address: 3434 Roswell Road, NE, Atlanta, GA, 30305-1202
Association of Chinese Professionals
As the largest Chinese professional talent association in Atlanta, U.S., the Association of Chinese Professionals (ACP) is an independently registered, non-political, non-profit professional organization. ACP promotes cultural, economic, and technological cooperation and exchange between the US and China by providing services and opportunities for friendship, networking, and collaborations among its members and between members and their communities.
Address: P.O. Box 922436, Norcross, GA 30010-2436
The Bridging the Gap Project, Inc. strives to improve the quality of life in Georgia`s ethnically diverse communities by forming partnerships that overcome cultural barriers and promote understanding between residents, law enforcement, educators, and other service providers. Services include the following: interpretation / translation services, working with at-risk youth and gang prevention, diversity training, orientation sessions, and English classes.
Address: 2100 Parklake Drive, NE, Suite H, Atlanta, GA 30345
Center for Pan-Asian Community Services, Inc. (CPACS)
Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc. (CPACS) is a private non-profit organization. Its clear mission is to create comprehensive and culturally competent social and health services to counter-act problems that immigrant, refugee, and minority face. CPACS services Asian Pacific Islander communities in the Greater Atlanta area and the rest of the Southeast region in the United States.
Address: 3760 Park Avenue, Doraville, GA 30340
The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn. The Center is guided by a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering; it seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health. The Center offers volunteer opportunities, as well as a variety of programs that are free and open to the public. For more information, visit the “News & Info” section of the website or email the Center.
Address: One Copenhill, 453 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30307
Tel: 404-420-5100 or 800-550-3560
Friends Among Nations organizes an International Women's Club. The Club offers free English classes, and special programs. The Friends Among Nations’ website and calendar can be found at www.fanatlanta.org. For more information, please contact Adria Motiwalla at 404-376-2249 or email@example.com for more information.
MOVE (Mobilizing Opportunities for Volunteer Experience) is an organization at Georgia Tech that provides community service and volunteer opportunities. The organization consists of 16 committees that address a plethora of issues in addition to providing service opportunities throughout the year. The website provides a calendar of events, service links, and description of the various committees.
The Georgia Tech Women's Resource Center welcomes students' spouses to participate in our programs and services. The Center offers programs such as a leadership conference, discussion groups, and graduate student lunches. WRC also offer several outdoor activities each semester to introduce women to sports such as sailing or hiking. An informal dinner group for student spouses will be formed if there is enough interest. Spouses are also welcome to spend time at the center volunteering, helping with programs, reading books, magazines or using our internet/computers.
Hands on Atlanta is a non-profit organization that helps individuals, families and corporate and community groups find flexible volunteer opportunities at more than 400 service organizations and schools. Hands on Atlanta volunteers are at work every day of the year building community and meeting critical needs in schools, parks, senior homes, food banks, pet shelters, low-income neighborhoods and more. Hands on Atlanta provides a variety of volunteer projects including adult education and literacy, animal support, children and youth mentoring, disaster relief services, and environmental issues.
Address: 600 Means Street, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30318
The International Community (DeKalb County Charter) School provides refugee, immigrant and local children with a remedial to advanced international education at the elementary school level. The school explores and celebrates cultural differences in a challenging, nurturing and intentionally multi-ethnic environment. The students represent 30 countries and over 40 different language groups. IBPYP enables students to employ an investigative, inquiry-based approach to learning.
Address: 3260 Covington Highway, Decatur, GA 30032
Latin American Association
The Latin American Association is a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive transitional services for Latinos as they strive for self-sufficiency and an enhanced quality of life. The Latin American Association offers programs for family issues, housing, youth development, employment assistance, English language training, computer classes, and more.
Address: 2750 Buford Highway, Altanta, GA 30324
The Southern Center for International Studies (SCIS), founded in 1962, is a non-profit educational institution based in Atlanta, Georgia. The primary mission of SCIS is to internationalize the thinking of the American public. SCIS conducts conferences, provides information packages on various regions of the world, coordinates teacher training workshops, and provides information on international events. SCIS also offers volunteer opportunities and programs that are open to the general public.
Address: 320 W. Paces Ferry Road, NW, Atlanta, GA 30305.
Westminster International Friends
The Westminster Christian Fellowship Center offers many programs for international students and their families. Their website also includes a page about American manners and customs.
* Information compiled by using websites of international organizations and references from Globalizing Georgia; Atlanta Ethnicity Atlas and Multicultural Directory of Georgia 2003-2004. Duchon, D.A., Hallisey Hendric, Elaine, Walcott, Susan M., Kart, Jeremy S. Georgia State University. CARA Publications. 2003.
Atlanta News & Events
The AJC provides daily coverage to events in the local Atlanta area as well as nationally and internationally. Every Thursday, the AJC publishes an “Atlanta and the World” section inside the newspaper that details international events taking place in the metropolitan area. For more information, contact the AJC.
Address: 72 Marietta Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
Tel: 404-526-5151 or 800-846-6672
The Creative Loafing is a weekly newspaper that provides information on events taking place in the metropolitan Atlanta region. The coverage includes theatre and performing arts, live music, visual arts, speakers, and other special events. The Creative Loafing is free, and can found at many local restaurants and shops in the Atlanta area.
GT Parking & Transportation is the department responsible for all transportation within the Georgia Tech campus. The Stinger Bus,Tech Trolley, and the Stingerette are the primary transportation services used on campus.
The Stinger Bus service offers three routes on campus – the Red Route, the Blue Route, and the Green Route. The Red and Blue Routes generally service the core of the Georgia Tech campus, while the Green Route extends both north and south of campus, including areas such as Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and Techwood Parkway. The Stinger Bus offers a special grocery shuttle service to Atlantic Station on Saturdays and Sundays where students do their weekly grocery shopping or engage in other leisurely activities.
The Tech Trolley provides a linear service between the transportation hub, the Campus Recreation Center (CRC), Technology Square, the Midtown MARTA Station, and a select few locations on the main campus.
The Stingerette provides after-hours transportation for Georgia Tech students and employees. The shuttle services on-campus housing accommodations, on-campus facilities, academic buildings and the MARTA Midtown Station. The Stingerette is available Monday through Sunday from 6:00pm to 7:00am, excluding Institute holidays. Call 404.385.RIDE(7433) or visit www.stingerette.com to request a ride from the Stingerette.
The Stingerette also offers a Paratransit Service, which provides transportation assistance to members of the Georgia Tech community with permanent or temporary mobility impairments. This service operates Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Authorization to use this service must be obtained from the ADAPTS office, located in the Student Services Building (404.894.2561).
Students living in the Home Park and Centennial Place communities may purchase a Safe Ride Home Punch Card. Each card allows 10 safe rides home via the Stingerette Nighttime Shuttle. Cards may be purchased at the Parking and Transportation office (828 West Peachtree St.) for $20 each.
Georgia Tech’s campus is accessible by Atlanta’s public transportation system, MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority). MARTA offers rail and bus service throughout metropolitan Atlanta. The trains stop throughout the city, with two stops convenient to the Georgia Tech campus: North Avenue Station and Midtown Station. More than 90 bus routes service the city; buses 1 and 26 stop on the southern edge of campus, and bus 12 stops along the northern edge.
The Breeze Card is used for payment on all MARTA trains and buses. The Breeze Card itself costs $1.00 (it is reusable and rechargeable – you don’t have to buy another one unless you lose yours) and a one-way fare on a bus or a train costs $2.50. You need to add additional fare/value to your Breeze Card when you buy it. The Breeze Card allows you to transfer for free between buses and trains.
MARTA offers discounted monthly passes to students for $58.50, which is much cheaper than a regular monthly pass purchased directly through MARTA. You can purchase these passes from the Buzzcard Center, located on second floor of Barnes & Noble @ GT in Tech Square.
Georgia Tech has been recognized as a Bike Friendly University, and many students use bicycles to get around campus and Atlanta.
The BuzzBike program offers an inexpensive, fun, healthy and eco-friendly transportation option for Georgia Tech students. Students can rent bikes each semester to traverse the campus and surrounding areas while reducing traffic congestion on area streets. Twenty-five bicycles will be available for rental to students for the summer, fall and spring semesters. BuzzBikes are available on a first come, first serve basis. To apply for bike rental, please complete the Semester Bike Rental Application. Remaining applicants will be placed on a wait list and contacted when a bike becomes available.
Starter Bikes is a collaborative project that provides low-cost used bikes to students and community members. They also guarantee buyback when you no longer need the bike. To learn more, stop by the parking deck of the Campus Recreation Center on Fridays between 4pm and 6pm. Click here for more information.
Atlanta also has several bike shops where you can buy a new or used bike or get a bike repaired. Visit the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition's website for information about local bike shops, commuting by bike, bike-related news and initiatives, and more.
Parking on Campus
All Georgia Tech students, including freshmen, are eligible to purchase parking permits beginning in August of each academic year at the Parking and Transportation office. All student parking permits will be charged to the student's Bursar account and must be paid through the Bursar's Office.
There are also several visitor lots where you can park for an hourly fee.
Obtaining a GA Driver's License
If you will get a Georgia License, you must apply in person to the Department of Driver Services (DDS). All drivers from other nations (including Canada and U.S. Territories) must pass Georgia’s written, road, and vision tests in order to be issued a Georgia driver license.
For general requirements and the most convenient location for written and driving exams, please visit the Department of Driver Services website. For specific information and requirements for non-US citizens, please visit the DDS webpage for non-U.S. citizens.
Note: You are not required to have a social security number (SSN) to obtain a GA state driver’s license or identification card. If you do not have a SSN and would like to get a license or identification card, you should obtain a Form SSA-L676 (Social Security Card Denial Notice) from the Social Security Administration. Bring your passport, printout of your I-94 electronic record or I-94 card and I-20 or DS-2019 to the Social Security Administration and request a denial notice. The issuance of this form does not prevent you from being granting a SSN in the future. It simply states that you are currently not eligible for one.
Please see OIE's driver's license handout for information about what documents to bring in order to get a GA driver's license.
Follow these 4 Steps to Make the Process Smoother & Save Time:
- Wait 10 days after you arrive in the United States: You may want to apply for a driver’s license or SSN right away, but be patient. The 10-day wait allows time for all the government databases to update with your arrival information.
- Make sure your record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is up-to-date and in Active status.
- Check your forms: Check all your forms to make sure your information is correct. This is data integrity which is very important because having different information on different forms may cause delays.
- Wait two days after your ISSS activates your record in SEVIS.
Buying a Car
Buying a car is a serious financial matter. You are advised to be careful when purchasing any car, especially a used car. While most car dealers are reputable, some try to deceive customers by selling defective cars. You may want to find a friend who knows a lot about automobiles or read a magazine like Consumer Reports to help you decide which model of car will be best for you. It is wise to test-drive the car and to have a mechanic inspect it before you buy. This is to ensure that there are no major defects. For a small fee you can also purchase a vehicle history report from carfax.com by providing the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) from the car.
Once you have negotiated a buying price, make sure that you receive the title certificate for the car and that the seller has signed over the car’s ownership to you. If you are buying a used car, when you pay the money and sign the papers, the vehicle is yours. You do not have the right to return the vehicle and ask for your money back if you find something wrong.
Owning and operating a car is no simple matter. Besides the cost of buying the car, there are other costs involved:
- Automobile insurance (required by State of Georgia Law)
- Gasoline, regular motor oil changes, and other car maintenance and repair costs
- Annual emissions inspections, registration, and taxes
- Parking fees on campus and in some apartment complexes
You should seriously consider the costs associated with owning a car before deciding to buy one.
There are other options for people who need access to a car occasionally, but not on a daily basis:
Zipcar provides 24 hours a day/7 days a week access to Zipcars parked on campus to borrow for short-term use. Once you join, you can reserve a car online, let yourself in with your Zipcard, and drive. Hourly and daily rates are available, and include gas and insurance. Please refer to the website for more information.
Atlanta has many attractions and events year-round. Listed below are some of the most popular places to visit.
For an up-to-date listing of events in Atlanta, visit: www.accessatlanta.com/events
Atlanta Botanical Garden - www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org
The Garden features 15 acres of outdoor display gardens, the Upper Woodland showcasing five acres of shade-loving ornamentals from around the world and the 10-acre Storza Woods with natural undergrowth and walking trails. In addition, the Conservatory green-house contains rare and endangered plants from the tropics to the deserts.
The Atlanta History Center - www.atlhist.org
Learn about the rich history of the city of Atlanta from pre-civil war to today. Tour the 1928 Swan House mansion, explore the lush gardens, and visit an 1840’s southern farmhouse to understand how southern farmers worked.
Atlantic Station - http://atlanticstation.com/
Located near campus, it provides many attractions such as restaurants, movie theater, shopping and often times live entertainment. It is also home to Dialogue in the Dark and the Bodies Exhibition. Grocery shops such as Target and Publix is located here and IKEA (where you can find all sorts of furniture and appliances) is located just a short walk from here.
The Carter Presidential Center - www.cartercenter.org
The Carter Presidential Center, located on 30 acres of land, features a museum detailing Jimmy Carter’s life and presidency through films, videos, and displays. A restaurant and Japanese garden with a view of the Atlanta skyline are other features of the center.
Chattahoochee Nature Center - www.chattnaturecenter.com
A community center for the understanding and enjoyment of nature, the center offers forest and marsh trails, wildlife exhibits on and around the Chattahoochee River, educational programs, and the Nature Store.
Cyclorama - http://www.atlantacyclorama.org/
The Cyclorama is a 20-foot high cylindrical painting depicting the 1864 Battle of Atlanta during the American Civil War. The painting was completed in 1866 and has now become the centerpiece of an interactive museum describing the Civil War in Atlanta. It is a good idea to combine the Cyclorama with a visit to the Atlanta Zoo since they are right next to each other.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History and Science Center - www.fernbank.edu
Home to a world of dinosaurs, artifacts, science interactives, shells, wildlife, IMAX® films and more. Unique permanent exhibitions, such as “A Walk Through Time in Georgia, Sensing Nature and Giants of the Mesozoic,” combine with distinctive special exhibitions and special educational programming and unique travel opportunities to teach visitors about the earth's history, the physical universe, the environment, and human culture.
Fox Theatre - http://www.foxtheatre.org/
The historic Fox Theatre is one of Atlanta’s premiere venues for live entertainment. The Fox’s 4,678 seat theatre is booked more than 300 performances a year ranging from Broadway to rock to comedy to movies.
Georgia Aquarium - www.georgiaaquarium.org
The World’s Largest Aquarium, housing more than 100,000 animals representing 500 species from around the globe, including two whale sharks – the largest fish on the planet. Also located at the aquarium is the popular 4-D theater, café and gift shop.
High Museum of Art - www.high.org
The High Museum of Art is a leading art museum in the Southeastern United States. The High Museum holds more than 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection. Included in this collection are 19th and 20th century American art, European art, decorative arts, African American art, modern and contemporary art, photography, and African art.
Lake Lanier Islands - www.lakelanierislands.com
Four islands on the southern shore of Lake Lanier, one of the most popular lakes in the country, offers water sports and many other outdoor activities. The main attraction is the Lake Lanier Islands Beach and Water Park. A great day-trip for a hot summer summer’s day!
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site - www.nps.gov/malu
This national historic site is a memorial to America's most revered civil rights leader and the place where Dr. King was born, lived, worshipped, and is now buried. National Park Service rangers provide guided tours of Dr. King's birth home.
Stone Mountain Park - www.stonemountainpark.com
Home to the world's largest relief carving on the world's largest mass of exposed granite. Visited by over 4 million visitors annually, it is one of the most popular attractions in the country. Visitors can explore 3,200 acres of beautiful scenery, pristine lakes, forestland, spectacular flora, & miles of nature trails. In addition, it offers a great variety of recreational & entertainment activities including unique attractions, tennis, golf, fishing, hiking, & camping. The nightly summer Laser Show & fireworks display are not to be missed.
World of Coca-Cola - http://www.worldofcoca-cola.com/
Dedicated to the history and future of the Coca-Cola drink. Explores the 100 year-old relationship between Coca-Cola and its consumers. Features the world’s largest collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia. Taste every drink that Coca-Cola makes worldwide, and learn how Atlanta contributed to the success of this dark, sugary drink.
Zoo Atlanta - www.zooatlanta.org
Zoo Atlanta is home to nearly 1,000 animals - large, small, furry, scaly, feathered, hoofed, winged, striped, horned. They live among the trees, in the hills, alongside streams and watering holes, in naturalistic habitats that look and feel like their homes in the wild. This encourages the animals to "act naturally". This is one of the top zoos in the country.
$ = $15 or less | $$ = $25 or less | $$$ = $50 or less | $$$$ = $75 or less
- Moya | 1371 Clairmont Rd, in Decatur | 404.633.6692: $
Specializing in traditional Ethiopian cuisine.
- 10 Degrees South | 4183 Roswell Rd NE, near Buckhead | 404.705.8870 $$
Atlanta’s first South African restaurant combining intriguing specialties of the South African grill with home-style stews and exotics casseroles.
- Metro Fuxon | 1371 Clairmont Rd, in Decatur | 404.996.2485 $$
Brick Store Pub | 125 E. Court Square, in Decatur | 404.687.0990 $$
Updated pub with an old-fashioned feel, featuring a sublime beer selection and a smart, reasonably priced menu that’s perfect for sipping and sampling.
The Varsity | 61 North Ave, near GA Tech | 404.881.1706 $
With staff at this Atlanta landmark yelling, “What’ll ya have?” be sure to try onion rings & frosted orange.
The Vortex | 878 Peachtree St NE, in Downtown | 404.875.1667 $
Features a rowdy biker bar décor and some of the best burgers in town.
Fat Matt’s Rib Shack | 1811 Piedmont Ave NE, near Buckhead | 404.607.1622 $
This cash only hole-in-the-wall hosts live blues nightly & has been featured on several recent TV shows for its BBQ.
Daddy D’z | 264 Memorial Drive SE, in Cabbagetown | 404.222.0206 $$
The ribs are bad to the bone, and so are the live blues on Friday and Saturdays nights at this rugged dive.
Canton House | 4825 Buford Hwy NE | 770.936.9030 $
Best dim sum in the city!
Mu Lan’s | 824 Juniper St NE, in Midtown | 404.877.5797 $$$
An artistic-looking venture in a converted Midtown Victorian serving upscale Chinese food.
Nam Chun Hong | 5953 Buford Hwy, Suite 105 | 770.454.5640 $$
While most of the dishes at this Korean Chinese restaurant merit high praise, it’s worth a trip just to watch the noodle master.
Papi’s East Cuban Cuisine | 216 Ponce de Leon Ave, in Midtown | 404.607.1525 $
The cheapest and most flavorful route to East Cuba in the ATL. There's a revolving menu with daily specials, and the plantains are syrupy morsels of glee.
Kyma | 3085 Piedmont Rd NE, in Buckhead | 404.262.0702 $$$$
This lavish Greek restaurant is one of the best dining experiences in the city, with great service and authentic food. Save room for their desserts!
Madras Saravana Bhavan | 5490 Buford Hwy, Doraville | 770.457.8811 $
This wonderful South Indian vegetarian restaurant is known for its huge masala dosai.
Café Bombay | 2615 Briarcliff Rd, Atlanta | 404.320.0229 $
For lunch, when most of the patrons are Indian, a large buffet serves a wide variety of vegetarian and meat dishes.
Sotto Sotto | 313 N. Highland Ave NE, in Inman Park | 404.523.6678 $$$
A top choice for classic pasta dishes served with flair. Don’t miss the risotto, homemade pastas, chocolate soup dessert, or the impressive wine list.
Dolce | 261 19th Street NW, in Atlantic Station | 404.872.3902 $$
A modern Italian restaurant and lounge that embraces the flavor of the old world Italy while catering to a hip and sophisticated clientele. Taking a cue from the popularity of Italy’s food and wine enotecas, Dolce serves Italian tapas as well as traditional Italian dishes with a contemporary spin. 50% off food Sunday and Monday
MF Sushibar | 265 Ponce de Leon Ave, in Midtown | 404.815.8844 $$$$
There's loads of creativity on the menu, but don't overlook simple classics in this sushi palace.
Ru San’s | 1529 Piedmont Rd NE, in Midtown | 404.875.7042 $
Casual Japanese restaurant with a large sushi menu.
Cho Dang Tofu House | 5907 Buford Hwy NE, Doraville| 770.220.0667 $
Offer’s a variety of Korean food, including its famous Tofu soup made just the way you want it. If you’re not in the mood for Tofu soup, cold noodles and Korean BBQ, along with many other things are available too!
Golden Buddha | 1905 Clairmont Road, Decatur | 404-633-5252 $$
Though a Chinese Restaurant, it is known for its Korean-Chinese menu. They pride themselves on fresh meat and seafood and crisp vegetable for every meal.
Stone Bowl House | 5953 Buford Highway, Atlanta| (678) 530-0844 $$
Offers all form of traditional Korean food, and highly recommended by all. When looking for that home cooked meal made by your grandmother, this is the place to go.
Penang | 4897 Buford Hwy | 770.220.0308 $$
This Malaysian standout has a full menu of authentic dishes that will have you coming back again and again.
Nuevo Laredo Cantina | 1495 Chattahoochee Ave | 404.352.9009 $$
This hard-to-find restaurant serves authentic home-cooked Mexican food, and is consistently rated the best in town. Don’t miss their mole sauce!
Loca Luna | 550 Amsterdam Ave NE | 404.875.4494 $$
The food is better than ever at this funky Latin American tapas bar fashioned from a garage!
Tierra | 1425 Piedmont Ave NE, in Midtown | 404.874.5951 $$$
Foodies come for the diverse, pan-Latin menu (Mexico to Peru), regulars keep coming back because everything just tastes so good.
Nicola’s Restaurant | 1602 Lavista Rd NE, near Emory | 404.325.2524 $$
The Lebanese owner dishes out delightful Middle Eastern staples plus a few clever concoctions of his own.
Imperial Fez | 2285 Peachtree Rd NE, in Buckhead | 404.351.0870 $$$$
A special occasion Moroccan restaurant that's as much about the atmosphere and entertainment as the food! Features nightly belly dancing.
Antico-Pizzera Napoletana | 1093 Hemphill Ave NW, Atlanta | 404.724.2333 $$
Want that traditional Italian pizza that everyone talks about? You don’t have to look far, as they offer traditional Italian pizza made exactly the way they made it in 1905.
Baraonda’s Caffe Italiano | 710 Peachtree St NE, in Downtown | 404.879.9962 $$
A Neapolitan spot with Italian-style sandwiches, fresh salads & simple pastas, & wood-brick oven pizzas.
Savage Pizza | 484 Moreland Ave NE, in Five Points | 404.523.0500 $
Expect the unexpected at this independent storefront offering pizza, pasta and Italian dishes.
Atlanta Fish Market | 265 Pharr Rd NE, in Buckhead | 404.262.3165 $$$$
This Atlanta classic continues to expand its vision of what it takes to be the biggest, baddest seafood joint in town.
Six Feet Under | 415 Memorial Drive, in Downtown | 404.523.6664 $$
This lively restaurant and pub located across the street from Atlanta’s famous Oakland Cemetery serves eclectic seafood and Southern fare.
Mary Mac’s Tea Room | 224 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, in Midtown Atlanta | 404.876.1800 $
This Atlanta institution has served classic Southern food since 1945.
The Busy Bee | 810 Martin Luther King Dr SW | 404.525.9212 $
Go early for lunch, or you may stand in line at this busy soul food spot in the West End. Since 1947.
Agnes & Muriels | 1514 Monroe Drive NE | 404.885.1000 $$
Great new southern food served in a fun, retro atmosphere that includes an extensive Barbie collection!
Wisteria | 471 N. Highland Avenue NE, in Inman Park | 404.525.3363 $$$
A destination restaurant serving contemporary Southern cuisine, including its signature black-eyed pea hummus.
Bone’s | 3130 Piedmont Rd, in Buckhead | 404.237.2663 $$$$
One of the best steak houses in the south, Bone’s boasts a testosterone-charged atmosphere and steaks that are a thing of glory.
Nan Thai Fine Dining | 1350 Spring St | 404.870.9933 $$$
Dress up, budget appropriately, and enjoy the glamorous setting and rich curries of beef short ribs, lobster and duck.
Surin of Thailand | 810 N. Highland Ave NE | 404.892.7789 $$
Located in the lovely Virginia Highlands neighborhood known for its fun eclectic shops, Surin is a consistent Thai favorite.
Top Spice | 3007 N. Druid Hills Rd NE | 404.728.0588 $$
Serves sophisticated Thai and Malaysian dishes in a lovely setting with great service.
Soul Vegetarian | 652 N. Highland NE | 404.875.4641 $
Fresh, flavorful vegetables and vegan entrees.
What the Pho | 2442 Pleasant Hill Rd, in Duluth | 770.814.9396 $$
Serves up really good pho (noodle soup), bun (dishes made with rice vermicelli noodles), fried egg roles & soft spring rolls.
Co’m Vietnamese Grill | 4005-E Buford Hwy | 404.320.0405 $$
A hip little eatery serving flavorful food that embraces the intricacies of Vietnamese cooking.