Please communicate your arrival plans with either the Office of Admissions
or the Office of International Programs
Many international flights are direct to Tampa International Airport, which is a short distance from the University. Taxis are available outside the baggage claim area, and the fare is approximately $20. Some hotels may offer free airport-shuttle service to registered guests. The Orlando International Airport is approximately 100 miles from Tampa and has no shuttle service to Tampa.
For those students traveling alone who would like to request airport arrival assistance, please return the appropriate arrival form to the Office of International Programs at least three weeks before the term begins.
- Visa: Allow plenty of time to obtain a student visa at the nearest American Consulate or Embassy. See Obtaining a Visa.
- Important Documents: Bring driver’s license, academic records, birth certificates and medical records (including vaccinations). Make sure your passport is current and will be valid six months after arrival in the U.S.
- Travel Arrangements: Book flights early in order to arrive on time for the International Orientation. (Note: Students may not enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the initial start date on the I-20.)
- Clothing: Heavy winter clothing is not needed. Dress for class is casual; jeans, shorts and tennis shoes are acceptable.
- Money: Make all necessary arrangements for payment or transfer of funds. Your tuition, fees, room and board are due prior to the first day of classes. Late payments can affect timely immigration reporting and implementation of your health insurance. See Monetary Issues.
- Baggage: To ship unaccompanied baggage, find a shipping agent in your country with a corresponding agent in the U.S. Bring the name of the agent or brokerage firm in the U.S. Ship all baggage to TAMPA, FL. Insure your baggage for "all risk" coverage. Do not ship valuables. Carry your passport, I-20 and immigration documents with you at all times.
- Customs: Visit a U.S. consulate in your home country for a copy of “United States Customs Hints for Visitors.” This pamphlet explains customs regulations and could help you avoid unnecessary expense.
- Housing: If you plan to live off campus, you should arrive in Tampa a week or two early to look for housing. You will need to stay in a hotel during your search. It is best to reserve a room before arriving. See Housing Arrangements.
- Native dress or festival costume: The University sponsors international events during the year and encourages students to share their culture by bringing dress or other items from home to wear or display.
- Class Registration: Register for classes if not already pre-enrolled.
- Post Office Box: Undergraduates should check with the UT Campus Post Office and obtain a Post Office box if one has not been assigned, even if living off campus. Graduate students will not receive an on-campus box unless they are living in a residence hall.
- Review Payments: Make sure your payments were received and all financial obligations have been met prior to the first day of class.
- Textbooks: Purchase textbooks and supplies in Campus Store after receiving a class schedule.
- Driver's License and Parking Permit: If you have an automobile, obtain a parking permit from campus security. Make sure that you have a valid driver’s license and the minimum auto insurance required in Florida.
All new international students must complete the clearance process through the Office of International Programs before classes begin. Bring your passport, I-20 (or DS-2019), I-94**, and any other immigration documents, including any I-20's from prior schools. Immigration regulations require that a local address and telephone number be on file at all times. Students transferring from another U.S. institution have 15 days from the first day of class to submit documents or they will be considered out of status.
**As of April 30, 2013, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began implementation of the electronic version of the I-94. Travelers will no longer receive a paper copy of the I-94 when entering the United States at all air and sea ports. CBP will stamp admission category, date of entry and duration of status in passports. Travelers may print out a paper copy of their I-94 card by accessing their record online at: www.cbp.gov/I94