Travel Arrangements

Timing Your Arrival - Booking Your Flight - Transport to Campus

After you have started the visa application process (or ideally after you have your visa in hand), make your travel arrangements, and consider whether to purchase travel insurance to supplement your health insurance.

Timing Your Arrival

Before making your travel arrangements, confirm the dates of your international student and first year student orientations. Your student visa will allow you to enter the country up to thirty days before the start of term. This allows you to attend orientation and, if desired, travel in the US beforehand. The university will set the date they consider to be the start of your course, which will dictate when you are permitted to enter the country. Your American institution may require that you are up to date with the latest vaccinations, although please check with them beforehand.

If you are living on campus, you should avoid arriving at your school during the evening, on a Saturday or Sunday or during a US national holiday such as Labor Day (the first Monday in September), since university offices are usually closed at those times. Please note that university residence halls do not open until a few days before registration. Students who arrive early with reservations to live in a residence hall may not be able to move into their assigned room if campus housing facilities have not yet officially opened for the semester or academic term.

The international student office or campus housing office may be able, however, to make other arrangements for temporary dormitory lodging (paid for on a daily or weekly basis). As you schedule your international travel, you will want to look into student discount rates. Websites such as offer discounts on various modes of transportation. Also, investigate travel insurance to cover cancellations or lost luggage, as well as the costs to change your ticket if needed.

*Please note that the US-UK Fulbright Commission does not recommend or endorse any product or company. These are merely starting points for research.

Booking Your Flight

Popular carriers with international flights to the US:

Flight search website:

If you are on a short-term study abroad programme from a UK university, after you book your flight, make sure you keep all booking confirmations by email as Student Finance England may reimburse your travel costs at the end of the year if you apply with sufficient evidence. You should also provide the international student advisor with your arrival information, such as the airport at which you will arrive (or train station/bus terminal), your flight number, name of airline and last point of departure. If university housing is available, correspond with the international student adviser, and ask about other temporary housing opportunities in the area. Unlike Europe, hostels are not as readily available, but some can be found more prominently in larger cities such as New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. Do check in advance as many will need to be booked and reserved prior to arrival. (See our Travel in the US page for details on accommodations.)

Transport from the Airport to Campus

In some major cities, the airport is well connected to the centre of town via public transport (buses, subway and overland train services). However for suburban and rural areas, you may need to take a private shuttle service or taxi to campus. Services such as Super Shuttle provide transport from the airport directly to your campus or address of your choice. You can also check your airport’s website for local transportation information or ask your international adviser about whether or not a ride from the airport may be provided.

Contact the international student advisor and look at the airport’s website about the best way to get to campus from the airport, and ask for a cost estimate. It would be wise to have this amount in the correct currency when you arrive.

*Please note that the US-UK Fulbright Commission does not recommend or endorse any product or company. These are merely starting points for research.