Pre-Arrival Checklist for Overseas Students

There are many things to do and think about before coming to the United States. Below is a checklist of things to do before leaving your home country.

  1. Join our Facebook Group for new students. Please check our welcome emails for the link to the appropriate Facebook group.Through this group you will be able to meet other new students, find room mates, and learn important information about coming to IUPUI.
  2. Activate your Onestart account. We invite you to create your student access account at IUPUI by visiting, which creates a network identification (Network ID). You will use your last name, date of birth, and full University ID number as authentication.

    Next, we encourage you to access the OneStart portal at Your new Network ID and password are used to log into this service.
  3. Read your Admission Letter. Your letter of admission includes important information about arrival, orientation, your visa status and the conditions of your admission. Read the letter carefully to make sure all of the information is correct. If it is not, please contact International Affairs.
  4. Take your Math Placement exam (if required). Please review page 2 of your admission letter. If you are required to take the math placement exam, this must be completed before you arrive in the US. You can find detailed instructions on how to compete your math placement exam (online) by visiting your iStart Pre-Arrival checklist. Log in to to view your checklist items.
  5. Register for your academic orientation.

    A. Undergraduate Students: You must plan to arrive by the Arrival Date listed on your admission letter (on page 2). OIA will sponsor an orientation program for you based on your admission status. More information on the OIA international orientation program will be sent to you via email, posted on our Facebook Orientation group, and posted to the OIA orientation website. As part of your orientation activities, plan to take the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) exam if required and attending an academic orientation. Please review your iStart Pre-Arrival checklist for details on how to schedule your academic orientation. Log in to to view your checklist items.

    B. Graduate Students: Check with your academic department to find out about course rotations, sequencing and future course selections. In addition, some graduate departments have their own orientations for students (in addition to the OIA International Orientation) that you may need to attend.
  6. Get a Mentor. If you are an undergraduate student you should consider joining the International Peer Mentoring Program. You will be matched with another IUPUI student who can answer your questions before you arrive, and assist you once you get to IUPUI. They can help you adjust to life in the U.S. and at IUPUI. To request a mentor, log in to and complete the peer mentor request form.

    Graduate Students: Please contact your academic department. They are often able to connect you with another student in your department who can assist you.
  7. Plan Ahead for Housing. Please click here for further information on your housing options. There is also more detailed information in the Welcome to IUPUI pamphlet you received with your letter of admission. Finally, you may check our Facebook group for new students to connect with other students that may be looking for roommates.
  8. Pay the SEVIS Fee. If you will be coming to the U.S. in F-1 Student or J-1 Exchange Visitor status, then you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and print out the receipt. The fee is paid at More information about the SEVIS fee can be found at You will be required to show proof that you have paid the SEVIS fee when you apply for your F-1 or J-1 visa.
  9. Get Your Visa. Check with the nearest U.S. consulate for required forms, fee payment procedures, and visa processing requirements. Most consulates provide information online; U.S. embassies and consulates are listed at If you need assistance preparing your application, contact the nearest EducationUSA office:
  10. Book your flight. Book a connecting flight all the way to the Indianapolis International Airport from your home country, but allow several hours between U.S. flights so that you have enough time to clear immigration and customs before going to your connecting flight. This is much easier than arranging a flight or other ground transportation to Indianapolis after arriving in another U.S. city. If you are coming to IUPUI for a Spring Semester, consider that many businesses and offices are closed in December/January for the holidays. Avoid arriving in the U.S. on December 25th, 31st or January 1st.
  11. Send OIA your Arrival/Flight Information. Please email us at
  12. Plan for Health Insurance. All F-1 Students and J-1 Exchange Visitors are required to be enrolled in a comprehensive health insurance plan for the duration of their academic program. The university provides a plan that students are automatically enrolled in. However, students may also apply for a waiver from the university's mandatory insurance plan if they purchase a different plan which meets the waiver requirements. Please check these requirements.
  13. Obtain an International Driver's License. If you plan to buy a car and drive in the U.S., then you will need both your home country driver's license and an International Driver's license. Neither one can be used on its own to drive in the U.S. You must have both.
  14. Prepare your medical records. Be sure to bring your record of immunizations and any other important medical records (translated into English, if possible) for health care providers here to reference. Students in clinical health care programs will be required to undergo health screenings before beginning their programs. Students who will live on campus are required to show proof of vaccination or immunity to Measles, Mumps, and Rubella. Information is sent to you with your housing contract. IUPUI is in the process of reviewing its tuberculosis (TB) screening requirements for international students; any new requirements will be sent to you in a separate communication or provided at student orientation.
  15. Make reservations for temporary housing. If your housing will not be available immediately upon arrival, or if you want to find a place to live after you arrive, make sure to arrange temporary housing while you are still in your home country. Details on your temporary housing options are available here.
  16. Pack for your trip. Please see information on what to bring to make sure you are fully prepared for living in the U.S. Place identification tags with your name and address inside and outside each piece of luggage.