Prepare: One-Week Out

Here we discuss final preparations for successful travel to the United States. 



Bring with you in your hand luggage:

  1. Passport with valid nonimmigrant visa
  2. Printed, signed and date I-20 (for F visa holders) or DS-2019 (for J visa holders) 
  3. Copies of financial documents submitted with your Personal Information & Financial Verification Form
  4. UO admission letter (available in your application status portal
  5. Proof of SEVIS Fee Payment

Other carry-on essentials:

  • Snacks—food costs in US airports are significantly higher than grocery stores. If you arrive at your destination later than 8 p.m., there may also be limited food options
  • Water bottle—the cost of bottled water in most US airports is high. Traveling with an empty water bottle will allow you to fill up at water fountains (usually close to the restroom facilities)
  • Warm layers—most US airports are air-conditioned and can get quite cold

What not to bring:

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AIRPORTS & Transportation

Eugene Airport

The Eugene airport is located 20 minutes from the Eugene campus. To reach your destination, refer to this list of taxi, hotel shuttles and ridesharing companies available to you at Some hotels also provide free shuttle service from the airport. Please ask the hotel before you arrive to arrange transportation.

Portland Airport

Ground transportation information for Portland Airport can be found at . If you are planning to go to Eugene from the Portland airport, we recommend using the following airport shuttle service: from your arrival terminal exit to one of the four Eugene stops.

Airport Pick-Up

Airport pick up is not generally offered, but you may contact your program, advisor, or ISSS to see if they can help you to arrange this. Ask to be connected with current graduate students who may be available in the area to help. Have a plan for alternative arrangements in case no one is available during the time of your arrival.

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During the first days after your arrival, you may be overwhelmed with jet lag, settling into a new house and culture, while also understanding how to navigate in the city and prepare for the beginning of your program. Here are a few items and advices to take into consideration to make the start of your journey a smoother and exciting time:

  • Check the weather. August and early September can be a period of intense wildfires. Be prepared for possible extreme air conditions and evacuation plans:
  • The fall season is wet and cold starting as early as October. Bring warm clothes, a rain jacket, an umbrella, water-proof shoes. You can also find very cheap second-handed clothing at thrift shops around town, such as Goodwill.
  • Bring currency in dollars. During your first days you might not have a bank account, so it is wise to bring some dollars to spend on furniture, transportation, grocery and other emergences while you wait for bank cards to arrive.
  • Check the main grocery shops and pharmacies around you. Some markets can be more expensive than others, such as Sundance and Market of Choice. Usually the cheapest markets, such as Winco and Walmart, are located in the edges of the city, far from campus, but they can be accessible by bus. Safeway and Albertsons are an average-cost market you can find nearby.
  • Get a phone carrier. Some options, such as Mint Mobile, are cheaper and prepaid and do not require “family plans” with U.S. citizens with credit history.
  • Outlet converters are very useful for adapting the chargers and electronics you brought from home.
  • Check out the Eugene bus system and prepare to get a bike if you are able to. Eugene’s central areas are very bike-friendly. Get a strong bike lock and avoid leaving your bike outside because bike thefts are common in town. Used bikes and other items such as furniture can be a cheaper option and may be found at Facebook market, craigslist and local bike shops.
  • Contact your cohort, your advisor, other grad students in your department or the GEs at the Division of Graduate Studies. Having a network of support is very important in the first months. You may need a ride or advice on restaurants, health services, and grad student life.

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What to bring when traveling with children

  • Make sure you bring your child’s passport as minors under the age of 18 must present the same travel documents as the adult.
  • Proof of relationship: Such as the child’s birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.
  • Bring a Car Safety Seat: Anyone riding in a moving car in the US must wear a seat belt. Children must be secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint (safety seat or booster seat) until they are at least 6 years old or weigh at least 60 lbs. Infants under 20 lbs. must be secured in a rear facing car seat. 

Carry-on essentials for the family

  • Diapers and wipes—most US airport restrooms are equipped with a changing table for infants.

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