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

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 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 (optional, but recommended):

  • Airport pickups will be only on Monday, January 6, 2020 and are only available from Cleveland (CLE) and Akron (CAK) airports.
  • Registration for the airport shuttle is required, otherwise you need to find your own way from the airport to campus.
  • The final deadline to request a ride on the free shuttle is January 1, 2020
  • If you do not use the free UA shuttle you are responsible for arranging your own way to campus.


Confirmation of your reservation:

  • If you register for our shuttle, we will confirm all details before you arrive (including alternative arrangements in case of bad weather).
    • Please be patient: we will get back to you as soon as we are able.
  • If you register before December 16, we will confirm details with you before the University closes for the winter break on December 20.
  • If you request a ride after December 16, we will confirm details with you when we return in January.

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 residence halls for their first year at Akron.
    • 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.

    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 is January 8, 2020to pre-order bedding and to have it ready for your arrival on campus, at the Student Union.

    • Please remember, the University (and the bookstore) will be closed during the Holiday time period, so you will be unable to pick up any shipments during that time.

    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

    To set up your password:

    1. Send a message from your personal email address to – this will connect you to "Footprints" which is our "Help Desk".
    2. In your email message, say that:
      • You are an incoming international student starting the next semester
      • You are currently abroad
      • Provide your 7 digit UA student ID (you will find this in your admission letter).
      • Ask them to email instructions (to your personal email account) for creating a "My Akron" password.
    3. Be sure to check your spam email folder in your personal email account for the replies from Footprints.
    4. Questions: contact 

    The University of Akron will never e-mail you and ask you to disclose or verify your UA password. If you receive a suspicious e-mail with a link to update your account information, do not click on the link--instead, report the e-mail to The University of Akron for investigation.


    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.

    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.