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 International Student 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 could also be a J-1 status. If you are a US citizen or Permanent Resident (Green Card holder), then you will not need a non-immigrant status.
- Request your I-20 or DS-2019: 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.
- Pay your SEVIS fee: After you receive your I-20 or DS-2019, you will use the information listed on the document to pay your SEVIS fee. This activates your document. Most students can pay this fee online.
- Apply for your F-1 or J-1 visa: 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 activate your UVM Network Identification (NetID). You can find this number in your pre-arrival email. Once you have this number handy, click here to set up your NetID password.
When you set up your NetID password, you must remember it. If you forget it, it is very complicated to reset from outside 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.
Beware of phishing scams
Once you start using your UVM email you may start receiving phishing scams. UVM phishing scams are messages that go to your UVM account that attempt to steal your UVM credentials or other important personal information. Many of these emails appear to come from UVM addresses. You might have a phishing email if it:
- Has a subject line similar to: “ATTENTION!! Your Password Will Expire Today!” or “*Complete Survey to Claim Prize!*”
- Attempts to scare you with threatening language
- Has spelling and/or grammatical errors
- Offers a job, such as earning $400/week as a personal assistant, or some other fake employment opportunity that seems too good to be true
Remember, scammers pretend to be from an organization that you know and trust. They often claim that there is a problem or a prize, and they will try to pressure you to act immediately. They also may tell you to pay in a specific way. If you think you received a UVM phishing email, check out the UVM Phishbowl where you can identify common phishing scams and report suspicious messages. Never click on suspicious links or provide personally identifying information through these emails. Talk to the OIE if you're not sure what to do.
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.
- If you are seeking on-campus housing accommodations due to a documented disability, please contact UVM Student Accessibility Services (SAS) as soon as possible. There are deadlines for housing accommodation requests which you can view here.
- 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 your housing before arriving in the US.
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. Follow the steps here to upload proof of your COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 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 students are required by the Vermont State Health Department to show proof of other required vaccinations before arriving in Vermont. These vaccinations may not be required in your home country, but they are required by law in Vermont. Follow the steps here to upload proof of your other vaccinations. If you have questions, email ImmunizationCompliance@uvm.edu.
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 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.
Important change: UVM is moving from a 3-digit course numbering system to a 4-digit course numbering system beginning with Fall 2023 registration. To help with this transition, try using this course renumbering tool. Enter in an old 3-digit course and the equivalent 4-digit course will be returned. In addition to course renumbering, a few subject codes have changed for Fall 2023: AS > CAS, BSAD > BUS, CE > CEE, EC > ECON, ENG > ENGL.
- 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.
- 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.
If you are seeking academic accommodations due to a documented disability that substantially limits your ability to learn, please contact UVM Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to learn more about their services and to get started. We recommend that you reach out to SAS as soon as possible; ideally students are registered in their system before the semester begins.
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). BTV is just 2.5 miles (4km) from campus.
- Bus: Greyhound can connect you to Burlington from Boston, New York City, and beyond. Megabus offers connection to Burlington from Boston.
- Train: Amtrak offers daily service between New York City and Burlington.
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. Undergraduate and Graduate students will pay all costs directly to UVM. UVM will email you when your bill is ready. 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!
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Connect with International Student Clubs and Organizations: UVM has student groups and associations that bring together students from different countries and cultural backgrounds. Some of these are tied to specific countries, others to regions of the world, and we have organizations at both the undergraduate and graduate level that are for anyone who identifies as an international student. Check out the whole list of international student organizations on our website.
Plan activities you want to try: You can start by reading our Life in Burlington and Getting Involved pages. Bookmark the UVM Bored calendar for events happening during the semester on campus and in the Burlington community Check out information about UVM’s many clubs and organizations here, and think about what club(s) you may want to join.
Think about ways to stay healthy and take care of yourself: Look at the opportunities available at the Patrick Gym. Using the fitness center is free once classes start but some of the classes and intramural sports have an extra fee. Living Well offers other ways to reduce stress and stay healthy, such as meditation and yoga classes, drop-in conversations with counselors, therapy dogs, and more. Think about ways you take care of yourself and enjoy spending time at home – whether that is dance, music, exercise, or another activity – and how you might incorporate that into your life at UVM.