Arrival information

As an F-1 or J-1 student, you are permitted to enter the United States up to 30 days before the start of your program. For Spring 2018, this means that you may arrive in the United States on or after December 10, 2017.

Please note: this is the peak of the Holiday season when hotels are expensive and host family availability is limited. You may prefer to arrive after the Holidays, in early January, closer to the start of classes. You should also be aware that the entire University, including the International Center, will closed from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.

Please let us know when to expect you. Please complete this travel form by Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.


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Flying to Akron

Transit visas: If you are traveling through Canada you will need to secure a visaAll visitors, except Canadian or U.S. citizens, require a visa to enter or to transit Canada. This applies even if you are not planning on leaving the Canadian airport. Be sure to check any other country you plan to transit on your way to Akron too - you may need additional visas.

The two closest airports to campus are:

  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) – 40 miles north of campus
  • Akron/Canton Regional Airport (CAK) – 17 miles south of campus
  • The University of Akron offers a free transportation service which will be available January 8th and 9th only. CONFIRM YOUR PLACE ON THE SHUTTLE BY JANUARY 1, 2018

There will be limited space on the shuttle for family members who may be travelling with you. Please be sure to include ALL traveler information on our travel form as ALL family members who need a ride must have reserved seats in advance. We will NOT be able to provide a shuttle for any family members who will need to return to the airport.

The shuttle bus will leave at the airport at the following times:

    • From CLEVELAND: January 8 at 9 am, and January 9 at 9 am,
    • From AKRON-CANTON: January 8 at 10 am, and January 9 at 10 am.

Please be sure to book your flight so you’ll be at the airport in advance of that time. Otherwise you will need to plan to make your own way from the airport to campus.

    • If there is inclement weather, we will adjust shuttle times accordingly.
    • We will confirm your shuttle and also will advise the pickup location at each airport closer to the date.

If you arrive late in the evening you may wish to stay overnight in a hotel before the shuttle arrives to get you the next day. Per airport rules, you are not allowed to sleep in the airport overnight. Airport accommodation information is available online. The University of Akron does not recommend any specific hotel, although we do suggest that you select one that has a free shuttle to/from the airport:

  • If you arrive on another date, you will need to make your own transportation arrangements from the airport.

Private Taxi or Shared Shuttle (Please note: these services can be very expensive).


Housing

Temporary Housing:
We are fortunate to have community partners that can match you with a host family for your first few days in Akron while you look for permanent housing. Some (but not all host families) will pick you up at the airport too. However, as noted above, this is the Holiday season and host families are very limited at this time of year. If you would like to live with a host family while searching for permanent housing, please apply early.

  • Akron Internationals – FREE LIMITED Temporary Housing is available during the first few days after arrival.       

A 10-day advance notice is required for host families.

  • Global Ties – First Weekers’ Program provides a limited number of host families for your first few days in Akron for a fee of $75 and requires at least a two-week advance registration
    Contact Michelle Wilson by email or +1-330-612-4693 for more information.
  • Local hotels are also available. If you arrive on campus and do NOT have housing for your first night, we will direct you to a local hotel for the night. You will be responsible for the cost of the room and any other fees.

Permanent Housing: On-Campus Residence Halls
All undergraduate students under the age of 21 are strongly encouraged to live on campus in one of our award winning residence halls. Residence Halls fill up very quickly. Living on campus will help you acclimate to campus sooner and make friends. The Residence Hall handbook has more information.

Residence halls will re-open after the Winter Break on January 8th 2018. If you plan to live in a residence hall you will need to apply in advance so your room can be made ready for you. If you arrive before January 8th and are planning to live on campus you will need to find alternative accommodation until the Residence Halls re-open. Local hotels are available.

To complete the online housing application:
STEP 1: Sign on to My Akron HERE using your UA credentials (UANet ID & password).
(This link can also be found under “complete the housing application”)
STEP 2: Select the “My Experience” tab at the top of the page/window.
STEP 3: From the left hand menu, select the “Manage Housing” icon.

Off-Campus Housing
If you choose to live off-campus in the surrounding neighborhoods, Off-Campus Student Services assists students who choose to live off campus and also offers a list of available apartments. This is not an exclusive list and many apartments that are for rent may not be listed online. If you choose to live off-campus, we strongly encourage you to thoroughly inspect your apartment/house and make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of the lease before you sign the legal Lease Agreement. The UA Police Department offers a free apartment safety inspection for UA students.

The Off-Campus Housing Facebook page provides some options if you will only be at UA for a short period of time or are looking for a roommate to live with off campus. Please note: this is a public Facebook page (it is monitored by the Off-Campus Housing team) and you should be careful about the information you share directly on the page. We suggest you message someone privately with your contact information if you are interested in finding out about one of the houses or apartments advertised.


When you arrive

MANDATORY IMMIGRATION CHECK-IN: WHEN YOU ARRIVE, FOR ALL INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

This applies whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student: Check-in is required by federal immigration regulations as one of your primary responsibilities upon entering the United States. Failure to check-in will result in termination of your I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 students) record.

Check-in will take place at the International Center in Buchtel Hall, Suite 202, during business hours (M-F from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). Be sure to bring your immigration documents with you!

MANDATORY INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ORIENTATION: JAN. 10, 2018, FOR ALL STUDENTS

Orientation will be held on JAN. 10, 2018, for ALL international students. You must attend orientation at the Student Union Ballroom, University Main Campus. Attendance is mandatory for all international undergraduate and graduate students, including transfer students, and attendance will be taken at the sessions. Attendance is highly recommended for all global nomads (with US citizenship).

New International Student Orientation is designed to meet the needs of new international students. At Orientation, the International Center staff and student leaders will help you get acquainted with the campus and will cover important topics such as immigration regulations, registering for classes, services offered at UA, campus safety and how to get involved on campus. There are also activities that provide you with the opportunity to connect with other students and people in the community.

Undergraduate students: During Orientation on Jan. 10, you will sign up for advising appointments. You will also need to schedule time to take the mandatory math placement test, if you have not already taken this test, so that you can register for classes. During your advising appointments you will meet with your academic advisor and will register for your classes.

Graduate students: Some graduate departments will offer their own Orientation programs which you should attend. You are expected to also attend the mandatory International Student Orientation. You will need to contact your department for help with registering for classes.

View Orientation Schedule

BEFORE CLASSES START

If you have not already completed the tasks below you will need to complete them as soon as possible.

  • FIND SOMEWHERE TO LIVE!
  • MANDATORY FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: take the required math placement test if you have not already done so.
  • MANDATORY FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: See an academic advisor to register for classes (you can make an appointment at Orientation on January 10 or by stopping by the Advising Office in Simmons Hall, Room 205).
  • MANDATORY FOR ALL GRADUATE STUDENTS: Meet with your academic advisor in your academic department to establish a class plan.

Other information

MANDATORY ENROLLMENT FEE

All international students will be charged a $145 enrollment fee (this is sometimes called the “Orientation Fee”). U.S. students are charged a similar amount. We are in process of setting up a portal to allow you to safely pay online and when this information is available we will email you the link. If you do not pay it in advance, we will add the fee to your first bill. We regret that this fee is non-refundable.

MANDATORY HEALTH INSURANCE, FOR ALL STUDENTS

The University of Akron requires that all international students have major medical health insurance. When you register for classes, the mandatory health insurance fee will be automatically added to your student account unless you have a comparable alternative plan. More information about the UA plan and the requirements for a waiver can be found online.

If you feel that you qualify for a waiver, please send your waiver request, a copy of your alternative plan, your name and UA ID to Matt Beaven.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION, FOR ALL STUDENTS

You will have many immediate expenses upon arrival, including housing, food, insurance, tuition and fees. Please plan accordingly. It is not advisable to carry large sums of cash: traveler’s checks and credit/debit cards are more secure (be sure to know your pin!) There are banks on and near campus where you can open an account. Note: we recommend that you do NOT pack your cash in your checked baggage while in transit.

The estimated cost of tuition and room and board for the residence halls is available online. For a small fee, the Installment Payment Plan (IPP) allows you to pay your fees over a few months instead of all at once.

ACCESSING YOUR UAKRON EMAIL & SETTING UP YOUR PASSWORD

Once you receive your University of Akron email address you will need to set up your password so you can check your email. Please send a message to footprints@uakron.edu – this will create a ticket with our Help Desk. Inform them that you are an incoming international student for the spring semester, that you are currently abroad, and your UserID is <first part of your UA email>. Ask the Help Desk to email instructions (to your personal email account) for creating a MyAkron password.

WEATHER

January in Akron is usually COLD. The average January high temperature is about 26F (-3C), although it can be significantly colder (or warmer). There will probably be snow. And ice. Be ready! Some hats and gloves will be available for purchase in the bookstore, but we recommend you bring a winter coat as well boots or shoes that can deal with snow and cold temperatures.

BEDDING/TOWELS/PILLOWS ETC

We understand that space in your suitcase is limited, so for your convenience we offer a selection of bedding and bathroom items for you to order through the university bookstore. You can conveniently order online before you leave for the United States even if you do not have a local address or a US-based credit card.
All orders can be picked up from the university bookstore (located in the Student Union) after you arrive.

Bedding is available in several sizes: please note that beds in our residence halls are Twin XL.

This service is for any international student who does not yet have a local address in the Akron area (you do not need to live on campus to make use of this service). If you have a local address you can use any online retailer and have them ship to your new home.