Welcome Guide and Pre-Arrival “To Do” Checklists
ISSS New Student Webinars
See https://isss.uconn.edu/webinars/for a detailed schedule, to submit questions in advance, and to watch video of previous webinars.
Health Forms and Immunizations
All enrolled UConn students must submit a Student Health History Form to Student Health and Wellness by August 1 (fall admits) and January 1 (spring admits). You and your doctor/physician complete this form, which documents your immunization history and risk for Tuberculosis. The state of Connecticut requires students to have been immunized against certain diseases, and if you do not meet the immunization requirements by the 10th day of classes, a hold will be placed on your student account that prevents you from enrolling in future classes. When possible, you should obtain the required immunizations prior to departing your home country. Visit Student Health and Wellness for information about how to fill out the Health History Form and how to use the Student Health Portal.
Visit Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) for more information for international students on the Student Health History Form, Immunization Requirements and How to Navigate the Student Health Portal including videos on how to upload your documents.
Storrs: Orientation Health Screening Storrs campus students with incomplete Student Health History forms must attend a Health Screening during orientation. During this health screening, Student Health Services can provide immunizations you are missing and administer TB and other lab tests, but you will have to pay for these services and tests if your health insurance has not yet become effective. See Health Insurance for International Students for further information. Graduate Assistant health insurance is not effective until the first day of the month after your assistantship begins (most commonly September 1 or February 1), which is after the health screening, and most temporary travel insurance plans do not cover immunizations. Regional campus students who need required immunizations after arrival must visit a local healthcare provider to obtain any missing requirements; this will not be provided at orientation.
Visiting Research Scholars and Professors: The University does not require you to have specific immunizations, or to complete the Student Health History Form. However, your visa does require you to maintain insurance meeting specific requirements. See Medical Insurance: Scholars for further information.
What to Bring
Students should plan to bring some cash in U.S. dollars with them, to pay for small expenses that can occur directly after your arrival. We suggest you bring about $100 U.S. dollars with you in cash. Bradley International Airport (the closest airport to UConn Storrs) does not have a currency exchange kiosk.
We recommend that you pack any items that you would need immediately upon arrival in your carry-on bag in case your checked-luggage is lost (for example, toothbrush/toothpaste, identification, money).
UConn advises students who live on campus to bring these items; however, international students may need to purchase most of these items upon arrival due to packing limitations. ISSS plans to offer shopping trips to newly arrived international students August 24. More details to come.
Connecticut is a four-season state, meaning we experience both very cold and very hot weather, as well as weather in-between. Please pack accordingly. You should plan to bring or purchase winter clothing by October.
Travel to the U.S.
Students and exchange visitors may arrive in the United States up to 30 days before the program start date listed on your Form I-20/DS-2019.
If flying to the U.S., remember that you will be required to declare all goods that you are bringing with you, and their estimated value. If you are carrying $10,000 USD or more cash (including cash carried by any family members you travel with) this must be declared to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Most students and exchange visitors will pass through U.S. immigration at the first airport they land in the U.S. Some travelers might go through U.S. immigration at an overseas airport.
You must present to the U.S. immigration officer your:
- Passport with valid visa
- Form I-20 or DS-2019
- Students and exchange visitors who are Canadian citizens do not need a visa stamp, but must present the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer with your passport.
If you do not present your Form I-20/DS-2019, you could be admitted to the U.S. in the wrong visa status.
You should also keep in your carry-on bag (not your checked luggage) additional items to show the officer in case they have further questions about your activity in the United States. Do not present these to the officer, unless asked for them. This may include:
- I-901 SEVIS Fee payment receipt
- Financial documents to show how you will support yourself
- Admission or invitation letter to UConn
- ISSS phone number: 860-486-3855 (in case they need to verify information with the University).
The immigration officers may stamp your passport and write-in your visa classification (F-1, J-1, F-2, J-2) and the letters “D/S”, but this practice is becoming less common at ports of entry. If they do stamp your passport but do not write in D/S, you should ask to have this corrected before leaving the immigration window.
If you are missing any documents, or if the immigration officers need to investigate whether you can be admitted to the United States, they might ask you to go to Secondary Inspection. In Secondary Inspection, the officers may ask further questions, look at your SEVIS record, and possibly inspect your other documents. Customs and Border Protection officers may ask to see your cell phones, laptops or other electronic devices. It is recommended that you try to book your flight to arrive in the U.S. during U.S. office hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mon – Fri) in case Customs and Border Protection needs to contact ISSS.
Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Windsor Locks, CT is the closest airport to Storrs and Hartford. Students also fly to JFK airport (JFK) in New York City, Newark Airport (EWR) in New Jersey, or Logan Airport (BOS), in Boston.
Transportation to UConn
From Bradley International Airport (BDL): Sign Up for ISSS Airport Shuttle (Storrs Campus Students)
Taxis: The closest airport to UConn Storrs and Hartford campuses is Bradley International Airport, located in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Taxis are available outside of the airport. If there are no taxis at the airport please go to the Ground Transportation desk and they can arrange a taxi for you. The current taxi rate to Storrs is $79. Tipping is customary for taxi services, at a rate of 15-20% of the fare. See http://www.bradleyairport.com/directions/rental-taxi-limo/ for more information. Ride share services like Uber and Lyft are also available in Connecticut.
Public Transportation: Take the 30-Bradley Flyer bus from Bradley Airport to Union Station in Downtown Hartford (fare $1.75). Pick up is from Terminal A, and the International Arrivals terminal. Have exact change ready. https://www.cttransit.com/services/bradley-flyer
From Downtown Hartford:
CT Transit Bus 913 (search for '913') from Storrs > Manchester > Downtown Hartford - Free for students with UPASS. New students will not have a UPASS - the fare from Hartford to Storrs is $5.00. Cash payment only, you must have the exact amount (the driver does not give back change). This hourly bus service runs from 6:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. stopping in Manchester at Buckland Hills Mall and Union Station Bus and Train Station in Hartford.
From New York City - JFK:
- Option 1 From Kennedy International (JFK) in New York take the Air Train to Jamaica Station (the last stop). At Jamaica Station transfer to the "E" line (Blue Line). Take the "E" Line all the way to Manhattan and exit at "42 Street - Port Authority Bus Terminal".
- Take the Peter Pan bus from New York Port Authority Bus Terminal to Hartford, Connecticut. Ticket prices vary but is around $36.00. From Hartford, follow the "From Downtown Hartford" instructions listed above.
- Become familiar with a NYC Subway Map: http://web.mta.info/maps/submap.html
- Option 2 Take a Taxi from JFK Airport to New York Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd St.
- Take the Peter Pan bus or a Greyhound bus from New York Port Authority Bus Terminal to Hartford, Connecticut. Ticket prices vary based on how many seats have been sold, but are around $20-$40. From Hartford, follow the "From Downtown Hartford" instructions listed above.
- Shuttle companies offer door to door service from the airports to your home.
From Boston (Logan Airport):
- From Logan Airport (BOS), take the Silver Line T (subway) to South Station (free). From South Station take a Peter Pan bus or a Greyhound bus to Hartford, Connecticut. Ticket prices vary based on how many seats have been sold, but are around $30-$40. From downtown Hartford, follow the directions from Downtown Hartford listed above.
- Shuttle companies offer door to door service from the airports to your home. Some students have even used ride share services like Uber or Lyft to get to Storrs from Logan Airport.
Take the 30-Bradley Flyer bus from Bradley Airport to Union Station in Downtown Hartford (fare $1.75). Pick up is from Terminal A, and the International Arrivals terminal. Have exact change ready. Drop off is at Union Station and the Connecticut Convention Center (both downtown). https://www.cttransit.com/services/bradley-flyer
- Option 1: From Kennedy International (JFK) in New York take the Air Train to Jamaica Station (the last stop). At Jamaica Station transfer to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Take the LIRR all the way to Penn Station, W. 34th Manhattan. From Penn Station take the Amtrak train to Hartford, CT. www.amtrak.com
- Option 2: From NYC take the Metro North Railroad (MNR) -New Haven Line travels from Grand Central Station to Stamford, and New Haven, CT. In New Haven switch trains to CT Rail - Hartford Line traveling from New Haven to Hartford.
- Option 3:From Kennedy International (JFK) in New York take the Air Train to Jamaica Station (the last stop). At Jamaica Station transfer to the "E" Line (Blue Line). Take the "E" Line all the way to Manhattan and exit at "42 Street - Port Authority Bus Terminal". Take the Peter Pan or the Greyhound bus from New York Port Authority Bus Terminal, to Hartford. Ticket prices vary based on how many seats have been sold, but are around $20-$40. NYC Subway Map.
- From Logan Airport take the Silver Line T (subway) to South Station. At South Station, take the Peter Pan or the Greyhound bus from Boston South St Station to Hartford. Ticket prices vary based on how many seats have been sold, but are around $30-$40.
- Option 1: Take the Airtrain to Jamaica Station, and from there, take the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station (Manhattan). From Penn Station, Amtrak travels to Stamford.
- Option 2: Take a taxi from the airport to Grand Central Station, and from there, take the Metro North Railroad(MNR) to Stamford.
- From Stamford Transportation Center, take the Harbor Point Trolley around Stamford to get to UConn.
Helpful Resources for Arriving in Boston-Hartford-New York City
Metro North Railroad (New Haven Line travels from Grand Central Station to Stamford and New Haven Conn from NYC)
CT Rail Hartford Line (New Haven to Hartford to Springfield, MA)
Amtrak Railroad (to Stamford and Hartford, Conn from NYC and Boston)
Temporary Places to Stay
Temporary Home Rentals (all Campuses):
Graduate Hotels Storrs: On-campus hotel in Storrs. Discounted Student Rates 1-14 days $90/night +15% tax, 15-29 days $80/night +15% tax, 30+ days $60/night +15% tax for a king room. Book a room here to secure student rates
If you are under 21 mention you are an international student under 21 in the comment section so that you can check in without a parent.
Accessible by bus:
Hartford: Downtown Hartford hotels are all in walking distance to the Graduate Business Learning Center and UConn Hartford. Law School students can use CT Transit Bus System routes 60, 62, 64, 66 and 72 from downtown. There is also the Sheraton Hartford Hotel at Bradley Airport outside of Hartford.
When booking at one of the hotels below please indicate you are a UConn international student and you may be eligible for a discount depending on the terms of your stay.
The Lloyd Downtown Stamford (Across from the 900Washington Boulevard residence hall) 909 Washington Boulevard ~ (203) 363-7900 ~ https://thelloydstamford.com/
Courtyard by Marriott Stamford Downtown ~ 275 Summer Street ~ (203) 358-8822 ~ marriott.com/stfcy
Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa ~ 243 Tresser Boulevard ~ (203) 357-9555 ~ marriott.com
There are a number of other hotels in downtown Stamford. Check an online map to see walking time to UConn Stamford.
Student Organizations: UConn hosts many active student organizations that have a specific culture or country focus. Some groups can provide support and information to new students and can be helpful if you are looking to connect with people or ask questions from a specific world region or cultural perspective. Search for organizations in the “Cultural” category.