Departure Checklists for International Students
These checklists are designed to help new international students preparing to travel to the United States for the first time.
Things to Do Well Before Leaving
- Read the Visa and Immigration Information for admitted students.
- Make Connections with people at UI organizations that may be able to offer tips and assistance upon your arrival (also review the list of multicultural student organizations to find students from your region).
- Arrange for Housing.
- If you are an undergraduate student, take any required placement tests shown on your Admissions Profile in ISIS.
- Fax or scan and send your Immunization & Medical Information by email to the UI Student Health Service at least one month prior to arrival in the United States.
- Make your airline reservations based on the reporting date on your I-20 or DS-2019.
- Purchase travel insurance to cover you until August 1 or January 1, depending on your arrival date.
- Arrange for Transportation to Iowa City from the Eastern Iowa Airport.
- Check the Important Dates on the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) website to determine when early check-in sessions begin.
Items to Carry with You on the Plane
- Your I-20 or DS-2019 for the University of Iowa
- A valid passport
- A U.S. visa for the University of Iowa
- Your admission letter from the University of Iowa
- Your financial support documentation
- Your airplane ticket(s)
- Cash, traveler's checks, or any international bank card (ATM or debit card); $800-$1,000 in U.S. currency for travel emergencies and settling-in expenses. (Problems with flight connections could make it necessary for you to spend the night in a hotel, which could cost $100 or more. Try to prepare for all unexpected expenses associated with international travel.)
- Phone numbers and e-mail addresses of emergency contacts at home and in the United States
- Phone numbers and e-mail addresses of relatives, friends, your University of Iowa academic department, the ISSS (319-335-0335 during regular business hours), and any contacts you have at the university
- Documentation of treatment you have received for chronic medical problems
- An English translation of your medical history and documents
- Prescriptions for medications you take and a fresh supply of prescription medicines
- Medical records (including vaccination records) for your accompanying spouse/children (if applicable)
Other Items to Pack
- Your marriage license (if applicable)
- Your academic transcript
- Clothing appropriate for the season of your arrival in Iowa (summer is hot and humid with average high temperatures around 85°F/30°C; winter is cold and dry with average low temperatures around 15°F/-10°C and significant amounts of snow)
- Adapters for electrical appliances (U.S. standard outlets use 110 volts)
- Favorite recipes and items for sharing your culture with others; music, video tapes, postcards, photographs, or traditional dress (if you have room)