WELCOME LETTER

Congratulations on your admission to the University of Akron!

Everyone in The International Center is excited to meet you and to welcome you to Akron. The University of Akron (UA) and our community will be your new home.

We are here to assist you during your time at UA, from helping you settle in to working with you as you achieve your academic goals.

This page has important information that will help you transition to University life:

  • Arrival
    • Transportation
    • Hotel
  • Housing
    • Temporary
    • Permanent on- or off-campus housing
  • Once you arrive
    • Immigration check-in
    • Orientation
    • New Roo Weekend
  • Other
    • Health Insurance
    • Financial 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 the Fall 2017 semester, you may arrive on or after July 23, 2017, if you wish.  This will give you time to check-in with Immigration Services and to get settled before the start of classes.

Please let us know when to expect you – uakron.edu/travel-information - Complete this travel form by Friday, August 11, 2017.

 The two closest airports to campus are:

  1. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) – 40 miles north of campus
  2. Akron/Canton Regional Airport (CAK) – 17 miles south of campus
  • The University of Akron offers a free transportation service which will be available August 17 and 18, from both airports. All pickups will be by the Baggage Claim area in the airports.

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. 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 other than August 17 and 18, 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).

 

A Note about Transit Visas:

If you are traveling through Canada you will need to secure a visa (Canadian immigration rules have changed. All visitors, except Canadian or US citizens, now require a visa to enter or to transit Canada. This applies even if you are not planning on leaving the airport). Be sure to check any other country you plan to transit on your way to Akron too - you may need additional visas.

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.

  • 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. Go to: http://thechapel.life/whenyouarrive

  • 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 (http://globaltiesakron.org).
    Contact Michelle Wilson at globaltiesakron@gmail.com or +1-330-612-4693 for more information.

  • Local hotels are also available - http://tinyurl.com/AkronHotels

Permanent Housing

On-Campus Residence Halls

All undergraduate students under the age of 21 are strongly encouraged to live on campus in a residence hall.  Residence Halls fill up very quickly. For more information on all of Akron’s award winning residence halls please go to uakron.edu/reslife  or +1-330-972-7800.  Living on campus will help you acclimate to campus sooner and make friends. Note: You will be responsible for obtaining bedding (extra-long twin size 36” x 80” sheets, pillows etc) if you choose the option of living in a Residence Hall.

For first year undergraduate students only: you might want to consider living in our Global Connections Living Learning Community.  This community consists of both international and US students who have an interest in engaging with intercultural experiences. For more information about this program please contact the Office of Residence Life and Housing at reslife@uakron.edu.

 

Off-Campus Housing

If you choose to live off-campus in the surrounding neighborhoods, Off-Campus Student Services offers assistance to students who choose to live off campus. uakron.edu/offcampus.

Many apartments in the neighborhoods near the University are listed online. 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. More information regarding this will be given at orientation.

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 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).


MANDATORY INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ORIENTATION: AUGUST 22, FOR ALL STUDENTS

Orientation will be held on August 22, 2017, for ALL international students. Download the tentative schedule. You must attend orientation at Student Union Ballrooms, University Main Campus. Attendance is mandatory for all international undergraduate and graduate students, and attendance will be taken at the sessions. Students who do not attend orientation are in violation of the UA Student Code of Conduct.

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 many social events and activities during orientation week that provide you with the opportunity to connect with other students and people in the community.

For undergraduate students:

During Orientation on August 22 you will sign up for advising appointments on Aug. 23 or 24. 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 on Aug. 23 or 24 you will meet with your academic advisor and will register for your classes.

For graduate students:

Various Graduate School orientations will be held on Aug. 22-26, 2017.

If your college or program is not listed below, please contact them directly for more information.

It is recommended that you also check the respective departmental websites as this information is liable to change at short notice.

  • College of Business Administration Graduate School Orientation: Saturday August 26, from 9 – 10:30 a.m.
  • College of Business Administration Graduate School Orientation “American Experience Workshops”: Monday August 28, from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Law School Orientation: Tuesday, August 22 at 2:30 p.m. (new international students only) and Wednesday, August 23 to Friday, August 25 (all new law students)
  • Department of Polymer Science Orientation: Friday, August 25, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. in GDYR (Goodyear Polymer Center), room 229.
  • Department of Polymer Engineering Orientation: Friday, August 25, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. in PEAC (Polymer Engineering Academic Center) Lobby.
  • Department of Chemistry Orientation: Wednesday, August 23, 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in KNCL (Knight Chemical Laboratory), room 314.
  • Department of Chemistry additional meeting for graduate students with assistantships – following Orientation, at 1:30 p.m. on August 23.

AUGUST 23-24, 2017

If you have not already completed the tasks below you will need to complete them as soon as possible. We have left time on August 23 and 24 for you to do this before classes begin.

  • FIND SOMEWHERE TO LIVE!
  • MANDATORY FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: take the required math placement test, if you have not already done so (see above).
  • MANDATORY FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: See an academic advisor (you can make an appointment at Orientation on August 22 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.

There are also a number of optional, but recommended, activities planned for Aug. 23-24:


NEW ROO WEEKEND: AUG. 25-26, 2017, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Attendance at New Roo Weekend is optional, but we highly recommend that you participate in the events.

New Roo Weekend is a time to meet the new U.S. students, and faculty members and staff too. It’s a great way to begin your Akron Experience! You can find more information about New Roo Weekend at uakron.edu/weekend, and a video of the 2016 weekend and the full schedule of Welcome Week events (available later this summer) is at uakron.edu/week-of-welcome.

If you would like to attend please let us know at international@uakron.edu and we will add your name to the attendance list. If you decide to participate once you arrive on campus, don’t worry – we can add you once you are here.


CONVOCATION: AUGUST 25, 2017, FOR ALL STUDENTS

Don’t forget to attend Convocation. This is the official welcome to YOU, the incoming class, held in E.J. Thomas Performance Arts Hall (your Graduation festivities will be held in the same location). Convocation is a formal event to mark the start of your new academic journey.  It provides an opportunity to introduce new Zips to our UA community and to celebrate our rich traditions and Akron pride, and also affirms the University’s commitment to support your academic aspirations.  Plus, you will receive a Zippy pin welcoming you to the UA family!

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 at: uakron.edu/international/after-you-apply/insurance.

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 at oip-insurance@uakron.edu

 

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.  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.

You will find the estimated cost of tuition online at uakron.edu/international/forms. For a small fee, the Installment Payment Plan (IPP) allows you to pay your fees over a few months instead of all at once.

Questions? Contact us!

The University of Akron - International Center
Buchtel Hall, Suite 202
Akron, OH 44325

Email: international@uakron.edu
Phone: +1-330-972-6349
Fax: +1-330-972-8824