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UT Austin International Office International Student and Scholar Services

Pre-Arrival Checklist

Make travel plans to attend IBC, International Student Orientation and Welcome Events

Please plan to arrive early and attend the International Student Orientation program. You will need time to make housing arrangements, attend an IBC session, complete immunization and tuberculosis testing requirements, and tend to other matters before registration. Arriving right before classes begin will delay your registration and can limit availability of classes. See the International Student Orientation & Welcome Events schedule for more details.

Freshmen and Undergraduate Transfer Students: Attend UT Orientation

All Freshmen students are required to attend a UT Orientation program led by New Student Services. You will not be able to register for classes until you have attended UT Orientation. UT Orientation is optional for undergraduate transfer students but highly recommended as it presents the earliest opportunity to register for classes. Visit the New Student Services website for more information on orientation dates, and when and how to register for a session.

F-1 & J-1 students: If you will be arriving from outside of the US (non-transfers), you may attend the UT Orientation session in August only. If you are already in the US in F-1 or J-1 status, you may attend UT Orientation in June, July or August.

Make financial arrangements

Bring enough money with you to cover your first semester tuition, fees, books, and three months of living expenses. Tuition amounts depend upon your degree level, program of study, and the rate (Texas resident vs. nonresident) that applies to you.

Please note that you must pay your first semester tuition after registration.  If you plan to pay by check or bank transfer, you must use a U.S. bank account.

For more information about living expenses, tuition amounts, tuition deadlines, and payment methods, please see the Financial Requirements page.

For information about declaring money when you enter the U.S., see the Customs & Border Protection website.

Obtain your visa

If you live outside the U.S., you will have to obtain a visa from your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. In order to make an appointment, you will need your SEVIS ID number. When preparing for your appointment, you will need a valid passport, Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, evidence of adequate financial resources and your SEVIS fee payment receipt. You may also need to provide proof of ties to your home country, such as job offers, evidence of ownership of a residence or property in your home country, or copies of bank statements from a bank in your home country. For more information about immigration matters, see the immigration for new students page.

Find resources about living in the United States

There are numerous international student organizations at UT Austin that are eager to be in contact with new students and answer questions about life at UT Austin. To access a list of these student organizations, visit the Dean of Students website and search by keywords such as “International."

Education USA

A very helpful website developed by the U.S. Department of State which includes information about undergraduate and graduate study and pre-departure information and resources.

For Students from China

Visit the Pre-Departure Orientation for Chinese Students website developed by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. This is an excellent resource that answers many questions about: Academics, Improving English, Cultural Matters, Social Life in the U.S., Health & Safety, and Rights & Responsibilities.

Consider your short-term and long-term housing needs

See the Housing in Austin page for short and long-term options as well as suggested ways to seek off-campus housing. We are unable to reserve off-campus housing on your behalf. Bring an extra copy of your evidence of financial support with you to Austin; it is required for certain housing options.

Prepare Proof of Immunizations

International students will not be allowed to register for classes until University Health Services has received proof of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella and proof of a tuberculosis screening test. Entering students who will be under age 22 on the first day of classes of the semester they are entering must also show proof of a meningococcal vaccine.

BE AWARE that there are specific requirements for the types of documentation that are acceptable and that vaccines/screening tests must be administered within specific timeframes to meet medical clearance requirements.

Read the information at Medical Clearance Requirements for International Students carefully before obtaining vaccines or screening tests or submitting documentation. It provides details about requirements, timeframes for vaccines/screening tests, acceptable documentation and instructions for submitting or bringing your information to University Health Services.

Plan Your Arrival

If you arrive on a Saturday or Sunday, you will find that the University, and many businesses, are closed. 

The local airport, Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), is located approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the campus. Unfortunately, we are unable to make arrangements to meet you at the airport. However, there are several transportation options:

  1. BUS (Airport Flyer) - Capitol Metro's Route 100 Austin-Bergstrom Airport. Fare is $1.75. The UT Campus stop is at 23rd Street and Robert Dedman Drive.
  2. SUPERSHUTTLE - Private provider. Approximate fare to the university area is $13-19 for one person, $10 for each additional passenger, not including gratuity/tip. Phone: (800) 258-3826. Prior reservations are not necessary. Follow the signs in the airport to the Supershuttle (Blue Van) reservation desk.
  3. TAXI - Approximate fare to UT Austin is $25, not including gratuity/tip.