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.

  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. 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 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. 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.


If you do not need to quarantine:

  • Your recommended arrival date is August 16 * (orientation is on August 17). However, you can arrive earlier if you wish, but no earlier than the Earliest Admission Date listed in your I-20.
    • An early arrival form is required. This is in the Housing portal of your My Akron account. The form will be available June 15.
  • If you will be living in the residence halls and do not need to quarantine, you will be able to move into the residence halls beginning August 11
    • An early arrival form is required. This is in the Housing portal of your My Akron account. The form will be available June 15.

Are you under 18 years old?

If you are under 18, traveling alone and will need a ride from the airport, your move-in date to the residence halls will be August 15.

  • We will confirm details of your airport pick up as soon as we are able.
  • We regret that due to driver shortages we are only able to pick up unaccompanied minors from the airport).
    • If you are under 18 and need to quarantine on campus, please contact the International Center as soon as possible so we can discuss your arrival and quarantine plans.
    • We require both an early arrival form for the residence halls AND all your flight details (flight arrival/travel form to follow asap)
  • If you have a graduate assistantship (teaching or research), you are expected to be on campus to perform your duties on the start date listed on your assistantship agreement.
  • Law students must arrive by August 7.

If you do need to quarantine:

  • We are only able to provide quarantine support for students who have a confirmed on-campus housing contract with the Office of Residence Life for the fall semester.
  • If you will be living off-campus you will need to manage your own quarantine accommodations.
  • If you will be living in the on-campus residence halls and need to quarantine on-campus, please arrive on August 9.
    • Be sure to complete our travel arrival form (available soon) and the Residence Life early arrival form in My Akron by DATE TBD so we can prepare a room for you. The Residence Life Early Arrival form will be available from June 15.
    • If you are under 18 and need to quarantine on campus, please contact the International Center asap so we can discuss your travel plans.
    • You will need to quarantine for 5 full days. A negative test on day 6 (August 15) will release you from quarantine in time to move to your permanent housing and join us at orientation.
    • If you arrive earlier than August 9 you will need to manage your own quarantine accommodations off campus.
  • If you have a graduate assistantship (teaching or research), your arrival deadline is 6 days prior to the start date on your graduate assistant contract, so you can exit quarantine and perform your duties on campus according to the agreement.


1. Do I need to quarantine?

Per CDC guidance for travel to the United States:

  • You must be fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to travel to the United States by plane. There are some exceptions to this requirement: see Table 4 on this page for the short list of countries that are exempt from this requirement.
    • You are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before you travel to the United States by air.
  • Check the CDC website for the list of approved vaccinations and the current definition of “fully vaccinated”.
    • If you have not been fully vaccinated yet you probably want to take care of that now, so that you are ready for your arrival.
    • If you are from one of the countries on the CDC vaccine-exemption list and are able to become fully vaccinated prior to travel, you will not need to quarantine on arrival.
  • If you have not been fully vaccinated before arriving in Akron you are REQUIRED to quarantine on arrival.

2. Do I have to quarantine on campus or in Akron or can I quarantine elsewhere in the USA with family or friends?

  • You may visit family or friends before coming to campus, including to complete any required quarantine.State, local, or territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place, including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements upon arrival. Follow all state, local, and territorial travel restrictions.

Special note for Fall 2022:

Due to driver shortages, 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.

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:

    • 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.

    Transportation options:

      Driving to Akron — what you need to know:

      Directions and parking:

      The University of Akron campus map:

      COVID updates:

      • Please see the Return to Campus page for information about arrivals, quarantines and housing.

      • We regret that during COVID there is no short term temporary housing with local families available.

      • The Host Family program is also temporarily on hold.  We hope to relaunch both programs once COVID is over.

      If you need temporary housing in Akron

      If you need permanent housing in Akron

      Please note: Short-term temporary housing is not available for spring 2022

      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 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.
      • You can also apply for a housing waiver to live off-campus in your MyAkron account.  All waiver decisions are made by the Office of Residence Life.
      • 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. You will use the same form to request quarantine housing if necessary.

      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 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

      Special note for Spring 2022:

      If you will be spending your required quarantine in one of our residence halls:

      • Please be sure to order your bedding at least 7-10 days prior to your planned arrival.  
      • We suggest that you consider purchasing both bedding and towels so that you will have what you need for your quarantine.
      • Please let us know when you place your order so we can have it ready for you.

      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.

      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 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 and transfer students:

      • $500 per year ($250 in the Fall and $250 in the Spring).
      • Payable annually or biannually, 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."

      Transient 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.

      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. In Spring 2022 the AE class designed just for international students will be offered 100% online. Several colleges have Akron Experience classes that will be offered using other course delivery techniques, so you can choose the 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

      Please note: The International Friends program is temporarily suspended for Spring 2022. Students who start their academic program in Spring 2022 will be given the opportunity to sign up for this program at a later date.

      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.