Welcome to the UVM community. We look forward to meeting you on campus soon!
There is a lot of preparation between acceptance into a program of study and your arrival on campus. This page has lots of information, and you should read it carefully. In many sections, it will have different information based on the "type" of student you are. If you are not sure which type of student you are, check your acceptance letter to UVM.
Save The Date For Orientation
Before the start of your semester at UVM, you will attend International Student Orientation. Orientation is required for all new international students and includes information about immigration, student life, cultural adjustment, course registration, health and safety procedures, housing, and meal plans. It also offers activities like campus and library tours, social events, and trips to help set up US cell phones and bank accounts.
See International Student Orientation for dates and more information. Students who do not attend orientation may be unable to begin their studies at UVM.
Complete Immigration Tasks
To study in the US, you will probably need an immigration document for a student immigration status. This is usually an F-1 status, but exchange students come as J-1 students. If you are a US citizen or Permanent Resident (Green Card holder), then you will not need a non-immigrant status.
The first step is to get your immigration document from UVM. How this happens depends on your student type.
- Undergraduate and Graduate Students: After you have confirmed that you will enroll at UVM, you will receive emails from the Office of International Education (OIE) with instructions about how to request an immigration document in iStart or tell us about another immigration status you might already hold. Pay attention to the deadlines for requesting this document. We cannot accommodate late requests.
- Exchange Students: Your immigration document will be automatically mailed to your home university in the months after your acceptance to an exchange to UVM. This document will come either from UVM or from your J-1 exchange sponsor, such as ISEP.
After you receive your I-20 or DS-2019, you will pay your SEVIS fee to activate the document. Most students can pay this fee online.
Then, you should apply for your entry visa to enter the US as an F-1 or J-1 student. Citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not need a visa but must pay the SEVIS fee. You apply for this at a US consulate or embassy. Read more about this process on Applying for Your F-1 or J-1 Visa. You must plan ahead for this step - it could take several months, and you will need it to enter the US.
Set Up UVM NetID Password
You will need your student ID number (also called your “95 Number”) to open your UVM student and email account. You can find this number in your official UVM admissions letter or exchange student pre-arrival email. Visit UVM’s Information Technology website and click on ‘Set up your NetID’.
IMPORTANT: When you set up your password, you MUST remember it. If you forget it, it is very complicated to reset your student account from outside of the US. You will need your NetID and password for many things at UVM, including accessing your email, registering for classes, and logging into UVM’s wifi network.
Where you live is important, and often requires advanced planning.
- Undergraduate students are required to live on campus for their first four semesters at UVM, but this does not apply for transfer students. Residential Life will contact you to complete a housing and meal plan contract. Do not try to complete the housing contract online before Residential Life contacts you.
- Graduate students do not live on campus unless they are students in the HESA program and assigned to work in Residential Life. All other graduate students can learn about housing in Burlington by visiting our International Student Housing website. We strongly recommend that you arrange for your housing before arriving in the US.
- Exchange students must live on campus. Residential Life will contact you to complete a housing and meal plan contract.
The University of Vermont is committed to maintaining the health of our individual students and our campus community. Because of this, UVM has vaccination requirements both for COVID-19 and for other illnesses. These should be take care of before ever traveling to Vermont.
All Students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and must register this information with UVM before their programs begin. Fully vaccinated includes a booster vaccine. Details are available here. The COVID Vaccine requirement is handled differently than other UVM vacccines. Pay close attention to the timeline for requirements as non-compliant students will not be able to remain enrolled.
Undergraduate and Exchange students are required by the Vermont State Health Department to show proof of required vaccinations before arriving in Vermont. These vaccinations may not be required in your home country, but they are required by law in Vermont. These are the steps for meeting the requirement. If you have questions, email ImmunizationCompliance@uvm.edu.
- Visit the Center for Health & Wellbeing’s website for the requirements and get any immunizations you do not already have from a doctor in your home country.
- Get Proof of Immunizations so that you can prove you have the immunizations. There are two ways you can do this - either have your doctor complete and sign the Paper Immunization Form, or you can scan other documentation (immunization booklets from your home country, past immunization forms, etc.). Any records must be in English, or include a translation of each immunization and date it was given.
- Give this proof of immunizations to UVM. You do this through your MyWellbeing account, where you will upload your documentation of immunizations and enter the dates of your immunizations into the system. This form will become available in early August for students starting in the fall or in late December for students starting in the spring.
Graduate students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to get vaccinations (other than the COVID-19 vaccines, which are required for all students). Additional departmental/lab requirements may require vaccinations for graduate students. Check with your department for details. Visit the Center for Health & Wellbeing’s website for the recommendations.
Complete Other Health Tasks
In addition to visiting your doctor at home for any vaccinations you might need, we recommend that you visit a doctor for a general check-up before leaving home as well. UVM’s Student Health Insurance Plan (which all international students, except exchange students, are automatically enrolled in) does not cover most dental care or services related to vision care. For more information about healthcare in the US and at UVM, please see Health Care at UVM.
If you have any prescription medications, we recommend that you bring a supply with you, as well as copies of your prescriptions translated into English and the checmical name of the active drugs in the medicine. This will make it easier for UVM doctors to help you continue those medications in the US. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, consider bringing extra pairs in case something gets lost or broken, and bring a copy of your recent eye exam prescription.
UVM student insurance begins on August 1 for students beginning in the fall semester and January 1 for students beginning in January. If you will arrive in the US before these dates (but not earlier than the 30 days before your F-1/J-1 grace period!), we recommend purchasing a supplemental insurance to cover you from when you arrive in the US until your UVM insurance begins.
Finally, before you visit the Student Health Services at UVM, you will need to complete a Health History Form which helps UVM doctors understand your medical needs, such as chronic conditions or past surgeries. This can be done prior to arrival or during orientation. You need to be registered for six credit hours before the form becomes available, and it is only available online a few weeks before arrival to campus.
Register For Classes
Most students begin their course scheduling before arrival so that you can build the best possible selection of courses for your first semester. Class availability is limited in the week or two before the semester starts and it is best to schedule classes early. If you have questions about which department to contact please contact the OIE. More information about enrollment requirements is available on our Full-Time Enrollment webpage.
- Undergraduate Students will begin course selection over email or the phone with your academic department before arrival. This usually happens in late June or July if you are arriving in August or in November or December if you are arriving in January. Some students will then additionally meet their academic advisor during orientation week.
- Exchange students should read the information on course registration in Preparing for Your Exchange before beginning enrollment.
- Graduate students should contact their program to understand the enrollment process. Some graduate programs do not enroll students until they are on campus – if this is the case for your program, do not worry – they will help you upon arrival. The important thing is to contact your department and ask.
Plan Transportation To Burlington
You must arrive in Burlington in time to attend International Student Orientation. There are several ways to get to Burlington, but most students arrive by plane or bus.
- Air: Several airlines serve Burlington International Airport (BTV). Burlington International Airport is just 4km from campus.
- Bus: Please note: Bus service to Burlington may be suspended due to COVID-19. Greyhound Lines and Megabus can connect you to Boston, Montreal, and New York City. Sometimes the buses stop on campus. At other times, they stop at the airport or in downtown Burlington.
- Train: Please note: Amtrak service to Burlington may be limited due to COVID-19. Amtrak trains serve Burlington from New York City, Washington DC, and other major cities. All trains arrive in Essex Junction. The Essex Junction train station is about 10km from campus.
If you are arriving on campus before your housing begins, you will need to have a place to stay. UVM does not offer temporary housing. We do not recommend any particular hotel or accommodation, but strongly encourage you to find something downtown or within walking distance of campus if you will arrive early.
Pay Your Bills
You may have a bill to pay to UVM - this could be large or small, depending on your student type.
- Undergraduate and Graduate students will pay all costs directly to UVM. UVM will email you when your bill is ready.
- Exchange students are billed by UVM only for costs not covered in their exchange contract. Details are available on the Preparing for Your Exchange page.
If a bill has been charged to your UVM account, you will be notified by Student Financial Services via your UVM email. If you have questions about payment options or bill due dates, please contact Student Financial Services directly.
Important: Your name and ID Number must be on all correspondence with Student Financial Services. You should also pay the exact amount that is listed on your bill, not what is listed on your I-20 form.
Connect With UVM!
There are so many different ways to get involved on campus and to connect with other students. You can start checking them out now and contacting other students! The OIE’s Getting Involved page has many ideas of how to connect with other students, including contact information for some of our international student clubs on campus. You can also start connecting with new students now through social media. All international students are invited to join our Instagram page as well as our International Community Facebook group. Lastly, GradNet is a listserv that is an excellent resource for graduate students.