J-1 Exchange Student: Arrival and Orientation
To feel comfortable in your new surroundings before the semester starts, all semester or year long exchange students should plan to arrive a day or two before the orientation, perhaps several days earlier if you will be searching for a place to live off-campus. Approximately one month prior to your arrval in the United States please complete and submit this arrival form with your arrival details.
For the Spring 2014 term, we will offer airport pick up service on Wednesday, January 15 (hours to be determined) at the Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE), or Milwaukee train, Coach USA or Greyhound bus terminals, or Chicago O'Hare Airport. There may be a fee for these services. If you have questions about your arrival, please email Sue Conway at email@example.com.
Entering the United States
In addition, on your flight to the United States, you will be asked to fill out a small white form known as the Arrival-Departure Document, Form I-94. There is an 11-digit number on the I-94. This is your non-immigrant number and will remain with you as long as you remain in J-1 student status. It will be stamped indicating the date you enter the U.S., your port of entry, the category (J), and how long you may remain in the United States. When you leave United States and return home, customs and immigration officers will take your I-94. If you later re-enter the United States, you will receive a new I-94. However, the 11-digit number will always remain the same. The I-94 should be stapled in your passport, opposite your visa stamp page. Take special care not to lose your I-94. If lost, it is expensive and takes a long time to replace. UPDATE - I-94 forms are now almost exclusively completed online! Do not be alarmed if you don't have a white card in your passport.
Duration of Status
On your arrival stamp (usually stamped near your Visa) there should be a notation which reads "D/S". This stands for Duration of Status. This means that as long as you follow the rules established for the J-1 student, you may remain in the United States legally.
Arrival and Getting to UWM
Whether you are traveling here alone or with fellow students, getting to the university is relatively easy. The Milwaukee airport is within twenty minutes driving time of downtown Milwaukee and thirty minutes driving time from the UWM campus. If you are arriving at Chicago O'Hare International airport with no connecting flight to Milwaukee, there is a direct bus service from O'Hare to Milwaukee offered by Coach USA.
In order to welcome you to Milwaukee, UWM tries very hard to have someone meet you on arrival in Milwaukee or Chicago, there may be a charge for this service and it is only offered at specific times. You will receive an email from Sue Conway letting you know when this service is available. All exchange students should fill out the Arrival Form even if they are not receiving our pick up service. Please complete and return this form to the CIE study abroad office by fax (1-414-229-4858) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) at least one month before your arrival in Milwaukee. Again, you must return this form whether you are requesting to be met by someone or not.
We will offer airport pick up service on Wednesday, January 15 (hours to be determined) at the Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE), or Milwaukee train, Coach USA or Greyhound bus terminals, and at Chicago O'hare airport. If you have questions about your arrival, please email Sue Conway at email@example.com.
If CIE pick-up is not possible, you have a couple options available for getting to UWM. You could schedule a door-to-door transportation service through GO Riteway ( http://www.goriteway.com/ ) for about $25. You could also ride a Milwaukee County public bus (Green Line north bound - which you catch at the airport about a 2 minute walk from the terminal). The Green Line goes very close to campus. If you are coming to the main campus (Sandburg Residence halls) you will exit the bus at the corner Oakland and Kenwood Avenues (tell the bus driver that you are going to UWM). It is about a 7 minute walk to campus from this corner. The ride takes about 1 hour, with a lot of stops throughout the city. The one-way fare with free transfer is $2.25 and you must have exact change. The service runs from approximately 4:00 am - 2:00 am (22 hours a day) on weekdays, with slightly shorter hours on the weekends.
If you arrive at the Greyhound bus or Amtrak train station in the city center, you can either walk 2-3 blocks north to Wisconsin Avenue and catch a #30 bus eastbound (same instructions as above), or you can take a taxi cab and pay approximately $20-$25 to get to campus from downtown. A taxi ride from the airport directly to the UWM campus will cost about $40-$45. Some taxis require cash payment, while some may accept credit cards.
You are required to attend a mandatory orientation session. Upon acceptance, information will be sent to you about the date, time, and location of the orientation. Orientation is designed to inform you and the other exchange students in attendance about immigration regulations, health insurance, campus employment, health and safety, to acquaint you with UWM, and to introduce you to the culture and life of the Milwaukee and some fun free-time activities.
Orientation for the Spring 2014 term will take place on Friday, January 17, 2014.
Classes begin for the Spring 2014 term on January 21, 2014.
All students who are studing at UWM on a J-1 or F-1 visa are required to have health insurance. In particular if you are on a J-1 visa you must have insurance that has specific coverage levels. The information can be found on this website. Click on the "Insurance" link for more details. If you would prefer to purchase insurance in the United States, you are welcome to purchase a policy that UWM has negotiated with an insurance company. For more information, please visit: http://www4.uwm.edu/cie/futurestudents/1053/