Upon receiving your I-20 (F-1 Students) or IAP-66 (J-1 Students) from the Office of Admissions and Records (OAR), review your I-20 or IAP-66 carefully. If you find any mistakes, please contact OAR for correction.

Phone: 1-312-996-4350; Fax: 1-312-413-7628; e-mail: uicadmit@uic.edu

Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest your home to obtain your U.S. entry visa. In most countries, first time student visa applicants are required to appear for an in-person interview. However, each embassy and consulate sets its own policies and procedures. Take your valid passport, the documents you received from UIC, and evidence of financial support. Be ready to prove to the consular officer that you intend to return to your home country once you complete your academic program at UIC. For specific application instructions call the embassy or consult the embassy website.

You can visit the Department of State’s homepage at http://travel.state.gov.

Chicago’s weather is unpredictable and frequently extreme. The average temperature is about 52° Fahrenheit (11° Centigrade). Summer is very warm and humid; temperatures can reach a high of 95° -100° Fahrenheit (35° -37° Centigrade) during July and August. The coldest days are usually in January when the temperature can drop below 0° Fahrenheit (-20° Centigrade). Snow and strong winds characterize Chicago winters. Autumn (fall) and spring weather can be rainy and changeable but typically include many sunny and moderate days. You will need appropriate clothes for these distinct seasons.

If you already have warm winter clothing (coats, boots, etc.) you may wish to bring it with you. Although these can be purchased in the US, they may be expensive (especially for designer brands). If you are coming from an area where these items are expensive or hard to locate, you may prefer to wait until you arrive in Chicago.

Medicine and Prescriptions:

If you have any medical conditions or special prescriptions we recommend that you get them filled before your departure. Bring the prescription with you so it can be refilled in the US (you should also have this available when INS inspects you in case they have any questions). We also recommend that you have a dental and eye examination before you come to Chicago. Doctors are expensive in the US and these may not be covered by your insurance.

Other Items to Pack

If there are special items from home that you wish to bring, please do so. We do not recommend that you bring towels, toiletries, dishes, cookware, etc. as they can be found easily and often inexpensively in the US.

A large variety of ethnic food can be located in Chicago, so you should only bring those items that you will really miss!

Please be sure to make copies of all important documents that you plan to carry with you (Passport, I-20 or IAP-66, etc). We suggest that you leave one copy at home with you family and carry another with you.

Bring any documents that you think you may need. (e.g. documents from previous institutions, birth certificate, translations of important documents, etc.).

It is important that you make housing arrangements far in advance of your arrival. If you do not have permanent housing arrangements, you should make plans for temporary housing.

If you want to live on-campus, submit your housing application as soon as possible; these rooms fill-up quickly. For information and/or applications write to Campus Housing (M/C 579), University of Illinois at Chicago, 818 S. Wolcott, Chicago, Illinois 60612.
Phone: (312) 355-6300; e-mail: housing@uic.edu.

For a list of off-campus sources for temporary and/or permanent housing, please visit the “Housing” link on the OIS homepage: http://www.uic.edu/depts/ois.

If you already have your own health insurance and wish to waive UIC’s student insurance, please bring proof of your coverage. You must submit a student health insurance fee waiver form and a copy of your insurance card to the Student Health Insurance office to be exempt from the fee.

Please have your doctor complete the Medical Records form that was included with your admissions packet before you leave. ALL students are required to fulfill the immunization requirements. If you fail to comply, you will not be able to register for the following semester.

You should carry some basic information and documents on your person. It is also a good idea to carry some essentials with you (change of clothing, medications, toiletries, etc) just in case your luggage is misplaced.

  • Passport
  • Contact information for UIC
  • I-20 or IAP-66
  • If someone is meeting you at the airport, bring the contact information
  • Airplane tickets
  • Emergency contact information (your family, etc)
  • Proof of Financial Support
  • Address of where you plan to stay
  • Prescriptions
  • US Currency and/or Travelers Check to pay for initial expenses

The University is not able to provide transportation from the airport to the campus. Keep our telephone number available in case of an emergency: (312) 996-3121. University offices are open on Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. University offices are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Try to avoid arrival on these days unless you have someone meeting you at the airport.

Upon arrival you may need about $75.00-$150.00 in cash for initial expenses and slightly more if you arrive on a weekend. Additional funds may be brought as a Bank Draft or in Travelers Check; it is unwise to carry large sums of cash. If you wish to bring your funds in draft form, have the check drawn at a US bank as it may take several weeks for foreign bank drafts to clear. Otherwise, bring several hundred dollars in Traveler’s Checks to cover initial expenses.

There is a foreign currency exchange in the International Terminal at O’Hare that is open every day from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Arrival to University from the Airport
A train runs from O’Hare to UIC for $5. To reach the east side of campus take a “blue line” train and get off at the UIC Halsted stop.
A taxi ride will cost you about $35-40 to reach campus. Please have the address of your accommodations ready to provide to the driver. If you wish to go directly to campus, tell the driver that you wish to go to University Hall at Harrison and Morgan (East Side of Campus). Be sure the taximeter is on during your ride and that you pay only the amount displayed on the meter plus a 15%-20% tip (more if you have luggage).

The Continental Air Transport bus (lower level — O’Hare) costs $16.00 and takes you directly to the business district, “The Loop.” From there a taxi can take you to the campus for about $5.00 or you may take the blue line train to campus. This is the same train that comes from the airport. If you arrive at Midway Airport, southwest of the Loop, you may take a taxi directly to the campus. You may take the “orange line” train from Midway to the Loop and transfer to the “blue line” at Clark station. You can also avail the Continental Air Transport bus to the business district and then to the campus, as described above.

You might also try: http://www.airportshuttles.net/il_chicago.shtml

For more details on public transportation in Chicago, please visit the CTA homepage: http://www.transitchicago.com/