International Students Pre-Arrival Information

Section 1 – Before you arrive

  • Please note: If you are admitted but have not let us know you plan to come, please confirm your decision now in this "intent to enroll" form.


STEP 1 - Submit documents

You will need an I-20 or DS-2019 to apply for your student visa.

  1. Submit the following documents, so that we can create your I-20 or DS-2019.
    • Passport biographical (photo) page
    • A bank statement or letter showing that you have enough funding to cover your education and living expenses
    • Complete the correct Declaration and Certification of Finances form for your degree level, found under the "Incoming Students" tab.

  2. Submit your documents as PDFs (and any questions) to immigration@uakron.edu.

STEP 2 - Apply for your visa

Before you apply for your F-1 or J-1 student visa you must submit Form I-901 and pay a $200 SEVIS fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

  1. Schedule your visa interview by going to a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.
  2. Prepare for your interview.
  3. Collect required documentation for your interview:
    • Your passport
    • I-20 or DS-2019
    • Letter of Admission
    • Financial documents
    • Proof of your ties to your home country.

NOTE: More information about the visa application fees, process, and interview is available in our online orientation.


STEP 3 - Only for students who are already in the US

If you are currently studying in the U.S. in F-1 status,

  1. Submit by email to us the following documents:
    • Declaration & Certification of Finances (DCF) for the program level you plan to join. You will find these forms under “incoming students” and select the correct form for your program.
    • Supporting financial documents (see the DCF for details);
    • Copy of the biographical page of your passport;
    • Copies of all I-20s issued to you by your current school; and
    • Transfer-in Form completed by you and the Designated School Official (DSO) at your transfer-out school.

NOTE: Please also ensure that your current school’s DSO is aware that your SEVIS record must be transferred. We cannot create your I-20 until this is done.

If you are FLYING to Akron

If you are DRIVING to Akron


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU ARE FLYING TO AKRON

TRANSIT VISAS

  • If you are traveling through Canada you will need to secure a visa
  • All 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.


AIRPORTS & TRANSPORTATION TO AKRON

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 will provide FREE transportation

  • If you choose NOT to use the UA shuttle or arrive on a different date, you are responsible for finding your own way to campus.
  • Shuttles are only available from Cleveland (CLE) and Akron (CAK) airports.

Register for FREE transportation from CLE/CAK airports to The University of Akron

Students arriving to start classes in Summer 2019:

  • Pick up will be on May 16, 2019 only, for summer.
  • If you require an airport pick up, please contact the International Center as soon as possible with your travel information.

Students arriving to start classes in Fall 2019:

  • Pick up will be on August 19, 2019 only, for fall semester.
  • Limited shuttles will be available, so we require that ALL travelers must register in advance (including family members traveling with students).

Note about shuttles:

  • If there is inclement weather, we will adjust shuttle times accordingly.
  • We reserve the right to cancel a publicized shuttle that no one signs up for.
  • We may adjust the stated shuttle pick up times in order to best accommodate as many people as possible.
  • We confirm your shuttle time and pick up location about a week prior to your arrival.
  • For returning to the airport, we regret that we are not able to provide a shuttle for family members who need to go back to the airport.

Hotel information:

  • If you arrive late in the evening, you may wish to stay overnight in a nearby hotel before the University shuttle arrives at the airport to get you the next day.

Other transportation options:


    WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU ARE DRIVING TO AKRON

    Directions and parking:

    The University of Akron campus map: 

    If you need TEMPORARY housing in Akron

    If you need PERMANENT housing in Akron


    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 host families, but not all, will pick you up at the airport.
    • If you would like to live with a host family while searching for permanent housing, apply early.

    Akron temporary housing resources/options:

    • 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.
      • Global ties does charge a fee of $75.
      • Requires at least a two-week advance registration.
      • Contact Michelle Wilson by email or +1-330-612-4693 for more information.

    • Local hotels are 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.

    • AirBnB options are available.

    PERMANENT HOUSING

    ON-CAMPUS HOUSING

    On-campus residence halls requirement:

    • All new undergraduate and new English Language Institute students are required to live on campus in one of our award-winning residence halls for the first two years of their time at Akron.
    • Living on campus will help you acclimate to campus and make friends.
    • See your on-campus housing options
    • While budgeting your accommodation costs, please be aware that there is an additional charge to remain in the residence halls over winter and over summer breaks.

    Apply to live on-campus

      1. Sign on to My Akron using your UA credentials (UANet ID & password).
      2. Select “My Experience” at the top of the page/window.
      3. Select the “Manage Housing” icon from the left menu.

    Residence halls

    Summer students: 

    • If you plan to live in the residence halls, please contact the International Center with your expected arrival date as soon as possible. 
    • If you arrive early it is possible that current students will be taking final exams, so we will need to check the availability of your room with Residence Life.

    Fall students:

    • Residence halls will open for international students on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.
    • If you need to access your room between August 14 - August 23 (the move in date for US students), complete the early arrival form in the My Housing portal in your My Akron, so that Residence Life knows you are coming and get your room ready for you.
    • You must let Residence Life know to expect you by filling out the early arrival form and be sure to tell them you are an international student.

    *Arriving before August 14, 2019

    OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING

    If you choose to live off-campus, Off-Campus Living assists students with finding housing in the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as many other services.

    • Off-Campus living connects many landlords and renters, but please note, there are many available places for rent that may not be listed through their website.

    Choosing an off-campus residence

    • When choosing a place we strongly encourage you to thoroughly inspect your apartment/house prior to committing legally.
    • Make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of the lease before you sign a legal contract/agreement.
    • Off-Campus Living's Facebook page provides some other options like short term housing (ie: one semester) or if you are looking for a roommate.
      • Please note: this is a public Facebook page, although monitored by the Off-Campus Living you should always be careful about what 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.

    Safety off-campus

    BEDDING & TOWELS

    The deadline to pre-order bedding and to have it ready for your arrival on campus, at the Student Union, is August 7, 2019.

    Pre-order your necessities

    For your convenience we offer a selection of bedding and bathroom items that you can order online that will be ready at the university bookstore when you arrive to campus, so you do not have to bring bulky or extra items with you.

    • Conveniently ORDER ONLINE before you leave for the U.S.
    • You do not need to have a local address or a U.S. based credit card.
    • All orders can be picked up from the university bookstore (located in the Student Union) after you arrive.
    • Please note: Bedding is available online in several sizes, but in our residence halls beds are size 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 use of this service.
    • If you have a local address you can use any online retailer and have them ship to your new home.

    Shopping for dorm essentials bedding.

    Shopping for dorm essentials pillows.

    Shopping for dorm storage and trunks.Shopping for dorm essential rugs.

    SET UP YOUR UNIVERSITY EMAIL

    First, you will receive your University of Akron email address, then, you will need to set up your password to access and check your email.

    To set up your password:

    1. Send a message from your personal email to footprints@uakron.edu – this will connect you to our "Help Desk".
    2. In your emai message, say that:
      • You are an incoming international student starting the next semester
      • You are currently abroad
      • Give your UserID which is the first part of your University email.
      • Ask them to email instructions (to your personal email account) for creating a "My Akron" password.

    Example university student email address: jds55@zips.uakron.edu

    Example UserID: "jds55"

    FEES

    All new University of Akron students are charged a "Confirmation Fee," that is sometimes referred to as an "Orientation Fee."

    The fee you are charged allows us to provide orientation, and many other specialized services we offer to students and specifically international students, including immigration support, and programming.

    INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FEES BY TYPE OF STUDENT

    All undergraduate and transfer students (not exchange students):

    • $500 per year ($250 in the Fall and $250 in the Spring).
    • Payable annually or bi-annually, beginning the first semester you are on campus.
    • Known as the “International Undergraduate Student Services Fee.”
      • Please note: If you begin classes in the Summer, you will pay this fee at the time you begin and it will cover your Summer and Fall semesters.
      • The next installment will be due in the Spring semester, and every semester thereafter.

    Graduate students:

    • $145 a one-time fee.
    • Payable the first semester you are on campus.
    • Known as the “International Student Confirmation/Orientation Fee.” 

    Law students: 
    Note: this fee is for ALL law students not just international students

    • $350 one-time fee.
    • Payable the first semester you are on campus.
    • Known as a "Seat Fee." 

    English Language Institute students:

    • $145 one-time fee.
    • Payable the first semester you are on campus.
    • Known as the “International Student Confirmation/Orientation Fee.”

    Transient students – no fee.

    Exchange students – no fee.

    Global nomads, DACA, students on visas other than Fs or Js

    • $145 one-time fee.
    • Payable in the same way that US students pay their confirmation/orientation fee.
    • Known as "New Student Orientation Fee."

    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.

    UNDERGRADUATES ONLY

    Akron Experience classes

    Akron Experience classes are designed to help students transition from high school to college, and to become aware of various support resources. We highly recommend that all new international students take one of these classes.

    There are several Akron Experience classes offered each fall semester, including one designed just for international students and taught by the International Center team, and several colleges have Akron Experience classes as well.

    You can choose one that is right for you. Ask your academic advisor or the International Center for more information.

    • Note: Currently Akron Experience classes are only offered in the fall semester, although if there is demand we may add a section in the Spring.

    The Food Voyage (available Fall 2019 only) – 1 Credit

    This class is a collaboration between the International Center, the College of Nutrition and Dietetics and Aramark Dining Services.

    • An introduction to the UA diet for international students. Students will learn to navigate the dining hall and dining establishments on campus, making healthy food choices.
    • Students will meet with the campus chef and will learn about ethnic food options that are available.
    • The class will culminate with an International Food Fair in the dining hall, with recipes and dietary information for students’ countries.

    The class is open to all students and all majors and will meet on five Fridays during the fall semester.

    Talk to your academic advisor to sign up.


    International Friends program

    Connecting international undergraduate students with local families to provide opportunity for the development of meaningful intercultural exchange, friends and support while in the USA.

    See details and sign up!

    • Open to all families in the Akron area who would like to make friends with an international student, and to all new undergraduate international students, including transfer and exchange students.