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Coming to the U.S.

Get Ready: An Exciting Adventure Awaits

Whether you’re excited, anxious or a little bit of both, proper planning goes a long way. From how you’ll get here to what to wear when you do, we’ve got checklists to help you arrived well prepared.  

You’ll Be in Good Company

Each year our campus becomes the home-away-from-home for lots of international and domestic students and we can’t wait to welcome you. Before then, you’ll need to make your travel and housing arrangements and ensure that you bring what you need for your stay.

Before You Leave

Prepare for Your Stay in the United States

Remember, you should arrive in the United States no earlier than 30 days prior to and no later than the reporting date listed on page 1, section #5 of your I-20. Students arriving at the port of entry more than 30 days prior to their reporting date, or any day after their reporting date run a high risk of being denied entry to the United States, and sent back home immediately.  Please contact OIS if you will not be able to arrive by the reporting date listed on your I-20.  

PLEASE NOTE THAT DATES ARE WRITTEN month/day/year.  If your I-20 has an arrival date of 04/01/17, your arrival date would be April 1, 2017.

1. Flight
You may arrange and purchase any flight of your choice according to your needs. Arranging and paying for your flight is your responsibility!

2. Housing
Urbana University offers on campus housing. Please see our housing page for more information.

3. Transportation
Unless otherwise arranged with Urbana University prior to arrival, you are responsible for your transportation from the airport to wherever you need to go when you arrive. You must make arrangements for someone to pick you up from the airport and have a place to stay. 

While you are traveling, if you are delayed or your flight schedule changes, be sure to notify Urbana University or the person picking you up from the airport so that they can appropriately meet your flight.

4. Packing
Finally, after you have made all of your arrangements, please be sure you are packing everything you will need while you’re in the United States. Weather in Urbana, Ohio, varies depending on the season you will be here and can fluctuate frequently. We suggest you consult our packing suggestion list. 

Arriving in the U.S.

Know Your Documents and Keep Them Handy 

Before you leave for the United States, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different kinds of documents you might need. It is always a good idea to carry your original documents with you at all times while you are traveling. Do not put them in your checked baggage.

It is also a good idea to make at least two sets of copies of these documents: one copy to leave with your family or friends before you depart and one copy to give to your school officials. Here is a list of the important immigration documents:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Form I-20/Form DS-2019

As you are entering the United States, you will provide your passport and visa in order to get:

  • Form I-94

NEVER throw any of these documents away. It is important for you to always keep the original copy.

Arriving at Urbana

Mark Your Calendar for International Student Orientation

Arriving at Urbana

  1. Start planning your arrival!  Plan to arrive in time for our mandatory international orientation; the orientation date will be given to you in your arrival information.
  2. Report to OIS when you arrive to complete your immigration check in.
  3. Call or email us to schedule an appointment with OIS to plan your first classes.  Some students may need to take placement tests before registering for classes.  If you are in another immigration status, such as H-1B, H-4, B-1/B-2, or J-1, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with OIS to discuss your immigration status requirements and options before registering for your first classes.
  4. Attend the OIS orientation for new international students more information will be given to you closer to the date of orientation.

International Student Orientation

International student orientation is an opportunity for new students to learn more about Urbana University within the context of being an international student. Students are introduced to immigration-related regulations, University policies, and resources available for your support. 

Learn more about the office, your peers, and how to be successful at Urbana in this one-day session.

Packing Essentials

Pack Smart: Tips to Help Your Anticipate What You’ll Need

Wondering What to Wear in Ohio?

The weather in Ohio runs the gamut from sweltering summer days to frigid winter nights and  is well-known for changing frequently. The United States uses the fahrenheit temperature scale, in which case: 0°C = 32°F. Be sure to pack appropriate clothing for the many seasons.

Month Average High (°F) Average Low (°F)
January 36 20
February 41 23
March 53 32
April 64 40
May 74 51
June 82 60
July 86 64
August 84 62
September 78 55
October 67 43
November 53 34
December 41 25


  • Jeans/Pants/Shorts/Skirts/Dresses
  • Traditional dress/outfit from your home country
  • Sweaters/Sweatshirts
  • T-Shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • Short-sleeve shirts
  • Underwear
  • Pajamas
  • Socks
  • Workout clothes (if you plan to)
  • Coat/Jacket (water resistant or for cold weather)
  • Nice outfit (dress pants/skirts/dress/ slacks/ nice shirts for special occasions)
  • Walking shoes/dress shoes 


  • Bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths (Towels are not provided.)
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Brush/Comb (hair ties if you have longer hair)
  • Feminine products
  • Medications with proper documentation from your doctor 
  • Contact lenses and solution/eye glasses

Miscellaneous Important Items

The following checklist will help you make sure you haven’t missed anything important.  

  • Important documents (passport, visa, I-20, plane tickets)
  • Local currency/ATM card (Be sure to notify your bank, in advance, if you plan to use your bank card.)
  • Computer with charger
  • Camera with cords and charger
  • Adapters (if needed)
  • Cell phone (Confirm that you will be able to use it internationally, or you may purchase a cell phone in the United States.)

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