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.

Important dates:

  • Classes start – August 28, 2023
  • Orientation (required) – August 23, 2023
  • Residence halls on campus open for international students – August 17, 2023
    (early arrival form required. Available in your MyAkron account from June 16) 
  • Anyone participating in the Emerging Leaders Program is required to move in on August 17 or 18.

Arrival deadlines:
Be sure to check section 2b: COVID and quarantine information for information about who may need to quarantine.

  1. If you do not need to quarantine:
  • We recommend you arrive between August 17 and 22 (mandatory orientation is on August 23). You can arrive earlier if you wish, but no earlier than the Earliest Admission Date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019.  
    • If you will be living in the residence halls and do not need to quarantine, the earliest you can move into the residence halls is August 17th (An early arrival form is required and  will be found in the Housing portal of your My Akron account).
    • If you arrive before August 17th, you will not be able to move into the residence halls and will need to make alternative arrangements until residence halls open.
  1. If you do need to quarantine:
  • Please arrive on a date that will allow you to complete your quarantine before orientation.
    • If you will be living in the residence halls and need to quarantine, you must let us know ASAP. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate students who need to quarantine on campus.

  • If you have a graduate assistantship (teaching or research) and need to quarantine: 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.

Please be aware that this information may change on short notice.

See all COVID-19 info and policies at UA

  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 webpage for the short list of countries that are exempt from this requirement.
    • If you are from one of the few exception countries
      • And have NOT been fully vaccinated before arriving in Akron, you are required to quarantine on arrival.
      • And ARE fully vaccinated prior to travel, you will not need to quarantine on arrival.
  • Check the CDC website for the list of approved vaccinations and the current definition of “fully vaccinated”.
      1. I’m coming from China, are there different requirements? 

          • If you are flying to the U.S. from China, Hong Kong, or Macau, or have been in these areas in the past 10 days and are flying from certain airports, you are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before you board your flight to the U.S.  

            * See CDC website for more details.

      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 spring 2023:

      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:

          COVID updates:

          • 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.

          If you need temporary housing in Akron

          If you need permanent housing in Akron

          Please note: Short-term temporary housing is not available for Fall 2023

          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.
          • You can apply for a housing waiver to live off-campus in your MyAkron account.  All waiver decisions are ma

          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 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.