International Students Pre-Arrival Information

Section 1 – Before you arrive

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. The financial statement (DCF) is important documentation that proves your ability to support yourself for at least the first two semesters that you are here, and that you have a financial plan for the balance of your studies. You may need to provide the same documents at your visa appointment.
      • The funds you showed to get your immigration support documents should be considered a minimum, not a maximum amount you'll spend per academic year. There are many things that the cost of attendance estimate does not take into account, including room and board during academic breaks, international travel expenses, entertainment, furnishing an apartment, or storage of your things over summer breaks. If your funding includes an assistantship or scholarship, the cost of attendance does not factor the reduction in stipends for taxes. Nor does it factor emergencies: unplanned expenses like medical bills, car repairs or flight changes can happen to anyone. Students need a backup fund to avoid debt. It is important for you to be prepared as few options exist for additional financial support once you arrive in the United States.
    • Please choose the appropriate degree level and provide financial support documents as needed.
      • If you have conditional admission and are admitted to the English Language Institute please use that cost, not the cost that corresponds to your anticipated academic degree.
      • We cannot process your I-20 without a signed DCF, even if you have a graduate assistantship that provides full funding.
      • See the DCF for information about acceptable documents.
      • See the Enrollment tab for more information about paying your bills.
      • Please note, if we have concerns about the authenticity of your documents, we may not be able to issue your I-20.
  2. Submit your documents as PDFs as below. Any questions, contact
    • Undergraduate students: upload your documents in your portal
    • Graduate students: email them 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. Prepare for your interview.
  2. 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 your application portal.

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. Select the form corresponding to your educational level (undergraduate, graduate, or law) under "incoming students."
    • 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;
    • Your most recent I-94 Arrival/Departure record; 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.

Important dates:

Spring 2024

  • Classes start – January 16, 2024
  • Orientation (required) – January 10, 2024
  • Residence halls on campus open for international students – January 8, 2024
    (Early arrival form required. Available in your My Akron account) 
  • All late arrivals must be approved in advance

Fall 2024

  • Classes start – August 26, 2024
  • Orientation (required) – August 21, 2024
  • Residence halls on campus open for international students – TBD 
    (Early arrival form required. Available in your My Akron account) 
  • Anyone participating in the Emerging Leaders Program is required to move in on TBD
  • All late arrivals must be approved in advance

Special note:

We cannot provide transportation from the airport unless you are an unaccompanied minor (under the age of 18 and travelling alone), or you have a disclosed reason for assistance. If you need assistance, please complete our arrival form.

Our recommendation is to take a taxi, Lyft, or Uber from the airport.

    Flying to Akron — What you need to know:

    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

    Hotel information:

    Transportation options:

      Driving to Akron — what you need to know:

      Directions and parking:

      The University of Akron campus map:

      Short-term temporary housing is not currently available.

      Permanent Housing

      On-Campus Housing

      On-campus residence halls requirement:

      • All new undergraduate students are required to live on campus in one of our residence halls for their first semester 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.
      • You can apply for a housing waiver to live off-campus in your My Akron account. All waiver decisions are made by Department of Residence Life

      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.
      • If you will arrive before the residence halls open for all students you will need to complete an early arrival form so we can be sure to have your room ready for you.  You will find this in your MyAkron.

      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.
      • Note for those that travel between fall and spring semesters
        If you choose to arrive during the holiday period at the end of December, be sure to confirm your arrival date and time with your landlord. They may have limited availability at that time of year.

      Choosing an off-campus residence

      • When choosing a place to live we strongly encourage you to thoroughly inspect your apartment/house prior to committing legally by signing a contract.
      • 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

      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.
      • 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.

      Set up your university email

      To set up your password and/or to receive your UAnetID:

      1. Complete this formThis will go to our IT Helpdesk. They will be able to help you activate your UA email from home over email.
        • You will need your 7 digit UA student ID to complete the form. You will find this in your admission letter.
      2. Be sure to check your spam email folder in your personal email account for the replies from the UA IT Helpdesk.
      3. 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." 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 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, graduate and transfer students:

      • International Student Confirmation/Orientation fee
      • $145 one time fee
      • Payable the first semester you are on campus

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

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

        Transient students – no fee.

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

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