Prepare: One-Week Out

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

All Students: PACKINGTRANSPORTATION | FIRST DAY ESSENTIALS   Additional info for: GRADUATE EMPLOYEES (GEs) | FAMILIES

PACKING

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:

Back to Top 

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 eugene-or.gov/1075/Ground-Transportation. 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 flypdx.com/GroundTransportation . If you are planning to go to Eugene from the Portland airport, we recommend using the following airport shuttle service: groometransportation.com/portland-airport/ 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.

Back to Top 

FIRST DAY ESSENTIALS

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: https://wildfire.oregon.gov/prepare.
  • 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.

Back to Top 

ADDITIONAL INFO FOR GRADUATE EMPLOYEES (GE)

The following list should be completed upon your arrival on campus.

Activity when you arrive Details
Sign up for GTFF GE Health Insurance

International GEs are automatically enrolled in and billed for the UO Student Health Benefits Plan. However, note that you can waive this Plan as you are eligible to sign up for the GE Health Insurance administered by the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF) labor union.

  • Sign up for GTFF GE Health Insurance when you arrive on campus
  • Note: New GEs will be waived out of the UO Student Health Benefits Plan upon enrollment in the GTFF plan. You do NOT need to use the online waiver request form in DuckWeb to waive out of the UO Student Health Benefits Plan. Email benefits@gtff.net with questions.
Complete Mandatory GE Training

The required GE training will address employment topics such as inclusive work environments, discrimination and sexual harassment policies, and other employee-related policies. This will be provided online in Canvas. GEs will be sent an invitation to join the Canvas class at the beginning of the first term of GE employment. Click here for more information on how to access the training.

Complete GE English Language Proficiency*

*This items is for international graduate students who accept teaching-related GE appointments

Students whose native/primary language is not English who accept teaching-related Graduate Employee (GE) positions must submit a test score demonstrating their proficiency in speaking English. Students for whom the TOEFL/IELTS is waived for admission to their graduate program are still subject to these requirements if they are placed in teaching-related GE assignments. Click here for information on minimum test scores, alternatives to submitting scores, and more.

Attend the Day of Teaching (Optional) The annual GE Day of Teaching takes place on the Wednesday prior to the start of fall term. This opportunity provides new GEs access to high-quality teacher training.
Attend the International Graduate Student Orientation (Optional) The Division of Global Engagement coordinates an international orientation for all incoming international students. Incoming international graduate students are not required to attend, but are encouraged to attend if available. More information is available here

 Back to Top

ADDITIONAL INFO FOR FAMILIES

activity detail
When you arrive

Use Car Safety Seats: 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. 

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.
Carry-on essentials for the family
  • Diapers and wipes—most US airport restrooms are equipped with a changing table for infants.

    Back to Top