WELCOME TO UA!Welcome to the University of Akron

We are eager to welcome you to Akron and assist you in achieving your academic and career goals.

The University of Akron and our region will be your new temporary home and we will do all we can to assist you during your time here. Go Zips!

Arriving in Akron:

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 2019, this means that you may arrive in the United States on or after December 9, 2018.

The University of Akron will be closed beginning on Saturday, December 23, 2018 and reopening on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. We strongly suggest you arrive either before December 23, or after January 1.

If you choose to arrive while the university is closed:

  • There will be no one available on campus to help you move in or find your way around.
  • If you will be living off campus, please confirm your arrival date with your landlord in advance, as some may not permit you to move in during this time. 

Note: On campus orientation is mandatory for ALL new International Students INCLUDING those transferring from another US institution. On-campus orientation will be Wednesday January 9, 2019. Please purchase your flights accordingly.

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 will offer free transportation from CLE and CAK ONLY on Thursday August 16, Friday August 17, and Monday, August 20. Airport shuttles will be available ONLY at the following times:

Thursday, August 16

  1. From Cleveland-Hopkins to The University of Akron campus: leaving the airport (CLE) at 9 am
  2. From Cleveland-Hopkins to The University of Akron campus: leaving the airport (CLE) at 1:30 pm
  3. From Akron-Canton to The University of Akron campus: leaving the airport (CAK) at 2:45 pm

Friday, August 17

  1. From Cleveland-Hopkins to The University of Akron campus: leaving the airport (CLE) at 9 am
  2. From Cleveland-Hopkins to The University of Akron campus: leaving the airport (CLE) at 1:30 pm
  3. From Akron-Canton to The University of Akron campus: leaving the airport (CAK) at 2:45 pm

Monday, August 20

  1. From Cleveland-Hopkins to The University of Akron campus: leaving the airport (CLE) at 9 am
  2. From Cleveland-Hopkins to The University of Akron campus: leaving the airport (CLE) at 1:30 pm
  3. From Akron-Canton to The University of Akron campus: leaving the airport (CAK) at 2:45 pm

If you choose not to use the UA shuttle you are responsible for finding your own way to campus.

There is limited space on the airport shuttles, so please reserve your space early. You MUST reserve your seats in advance by AUGUST 8 at midnight (EST- Ohio time).

(We reserve the right to cancel any shuttle that has no one scheduled for pick up. Also, we may combine planned shuttles if necessary. If this is necessary, we will let you know in advance)

Reserve your seat on the shuttle by completing our Travel and Arrival Form.
Deadline for reserving your spot on the shuttle is AUGUST 8 at midnight (EST- Ohio time).

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.

There will be limited space on the shuttle for family members 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.

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).


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. 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.
  • AirBnB options are also available.

Permanent housing: On-campus residence halls

All new undergraduate and new English Language Institute students starting from fall 2018 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.

Residence halls will re-open for international students on August 16, 2018. You will need to apply in advance so your room can be made ready for you. If you arrive before the residence halls open and are planning to live on campus, you will need to find alternative accommodation until your residence hall opens. 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


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 and F-2 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 and J-2 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!


Orientation will be held on August 21, 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 U.S. citizenship). Students who will be attending the English Language Institute are invited to join us at this orientation, although it is not required. The mandatory ELI orientation is August 31, 2018.

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.

Mandatory orientation for students attending the English Language Institute: Aug. 31, 2018

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


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

    • Undergraduate Students: Take the required math placement test if you have not already done so.
    • Undergraduate Students: See an academic advisor to register for classes if you have not already registered for classes before you arrive.
    • Graduate Students: Meet with your academic advisor in your academic department to establish a class plan.

Tuberculosis screening

All newly enrolled international students (on F visas) are required to be screened for Tuberculosis (TB). Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious illness that most commonly affects the lungs, but can involve any major organ system. The cause is a bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

What do I need to do?

  • All new international students are required to complete the self-assessment TB screening form included in the online orientation.  Pressing submit at the end of this form will send your information confidentially to the Student Wellness Center where it will be reviewed by a nurse.  Your form will not be sent to the International Center.  
  • Depending on the answers to your questions, you may be required to receive TB skin testing when you arrive on campus.  If this is necessary, you will be assigned a time to report to the Student Wellness Center during orientation. Depending on the results of your skin test, you may be required to undergo blood testing and/or X-rays. If the skin test is negative the process is complete.
  • Any necessary treatment indicated by positive test results will be planned on an individual basis, with respect to your rights, feelings, and beliefs. 

What will it cost me?

  • The skin testing (if required) will be free, although if you do not return to have the results of your skin test read in a timely manner and need to retake the test there will be a $20 charge to cover the cost of the test.
  • If you are required to have a blood test there will be no cost at the time of testing. The cost of the laboratory work will be submitted to your health insurance for consideration. 
  • If your blood testing is positive, you will be required to have a chest X-Ray completed to determine if the TB is latent or active. The cost of a chest X-Ray will also be submitted to your health insurance at the time of service.
  • You will be responsible for any costs not covered by your insurance. We estimate that the cost (to you) of any required blood tests may be around $50.  The cost of any additional required treatment will vary.


  • TB screening is not an implication that you have the disease, but is a tool used by healthcare professionals to promote and protect public health.
  • While personal medical information will remain confidential, individuals who do not complete testing as required will be identified by Student Health Services and will be reported to the International Center. Issues of non-compliance will result in a hold being placed on your ability to schedule classes the following semester.

Registering for classes

  1. Undergraduate students: Information about meeting with your academic advisor and signing up for classes is coming soon!
  2. Graduate students: please contact your academic program for instruction on registering for classes.


All new international students will be charged a $500 Confirmation Fee (amount is subject to change). This is sometimes called the “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.


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.


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.

Set up email

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 starting the next semester; that you are currently abroad; and that your UserID is <first part of your UA email>. Ask the Help Desk to email instructions (to your personal email account) for creating a My Akron password.

Bedding and towels

We understand 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.

Conveniently ORDER ONLINE before you leave for the United States. You do not need to 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.

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.

Deadline for ordering in advance of arrival is July 10th

  • All bedding packs, etc. will be delivered to the bookstore on July 19th and available for pick up starting on July 20th

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

Shopping for dorm essentials bedding.

Shopping for dorm essentials pillows.

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