What to do NOW
Important Dates for Fall 2015 Newly Admitted Students
UWM Panther Pick Up:
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - Chicago O'Hare International Airport (intended for graduate students who have assistantships and need to arrive to UWM by the assistantship contract start date)
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - Chicago O'Hare International Airport
Saturday, August 1, 2015 - Deadline to submit early arrival form to University Housing
Thursday, August 20, 2015 - First day of early arrival to University Housing residence halls
**Graduate students with assistantships who will live in Kenilworth can arrive on August 19, 2015
Fall 2015 International Student Orientations:
Friday, August 21, 2015 - Full Day International Graduate Student Orientation 8:30 AM to 4 PM 4th Floor Library Conference Center
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - Full Day International Graduate Student Orientation 8:30 AM to 4 PM 4th Floor Library Conference Center
Thursday, August 27, 2015 - Just the Facts Orientation 1-4:30 PM Location TBD
Friday, August 28, 2015 - Full Day International Undergraduate Student Orientation 8:30 AM to 4 PM 4th Floor Library Conference Center
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 - Full Day International Graduate and Undergraduate Student Orientation 8:30 AM to 4 PM 4th Floor Library Conference Center
Social Security (for graduate students with assistantships):
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - 2 PM to 4 PM Meeting Location to be determined
Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 10 AM to 12 PM Meeting Location to be determined
*This calendar-list will be updated as fall 2015 events are announced*
If you plan to study at UWM on an F-1 student visa, we will issue you an I-20, a U.S. government document necessary for your F-1 visa application. Your I-20 indicates the school you are attending, level of education, area of study, expected graduation date and information on how you will finance your education.
After you are admitted to UWM, our office must have the following documentation in order to issue your I-20:
Proof of Funding: In order to receive your I-20, you must show that you have sufficient funding to support your studies for one academic year. Your proof of funding must be enough to cover tuition, room and board and health insurance. If you have not yet submitted your proof of funding, please email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEVIS transfer: If you are planning to attend UWM directly after studying at another U.S. institution (either as a transfer student or if you are moving from one level of study to another) you will need to arrange to have your SEVIS record transferred. Please fill out the first page of this form and give it to the Designated School Official (DSO) at your previous institution to complete. Your DSO will then return it to our office.
If this is your first time studying in the U.S., or you have returned to your home country after studying in the U.S., you will not need to transfer your SEVIS record.
I-20 for Dependent of Admitted Student: If your spouse or child(ren) will accompany you while you engage in studies at UWM, please submit the Dependent Information Form and, if necessary, submit any additional proof of funding so your family member(s) can apply for a F-2 dependent visa.
SEVIS Fee Payment
If you will be an F-1 or J-1 student for the first time, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee before your visa interview. When paying your SEVIS fee, please have your I-20 on-hand. Complete the I-901 form online, enter your credit card information and submit the form electronically. Print out a receipt and then call the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your country to make an appointment for your visa interview.
Please note, sometimes students who are not new students will still need to pay the SEVIS fee. Who does and does not need to pay the SEVIS fee?
If applying for an F-1 student visa for the first time, you must have a personal interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. This interview will most likely be conducted in English and will last about one or two minutes. You must be prepared because this interview will determine whether or not you are granted a visa.
To obtain a student visa, you must demonstrate to the official:
- that you are a prepared student with an educational plan
- that you have the financial resources to study for at least one year in the U.S.
- that you have strong ties to your home country
- that you will be returning to your home country after you have completed your studies
For a list of documents you will need to bring to your visa interview, please visit the U.S. Department of State website on Student Visas.
A Few Tips for the Visa Application Process:
- DO NOT wait until the last minute! Apply for your F-1 or J-1 student visa as soon as possible. It can take several weeks to get a visa appointment, depending on which country you live in.
- When filling out forms, always refer to the information as it is stated on your I-20 (i.e. the spelling of your name).
How to Prepare and Organize Materials for Your Visa Interview
- Dress neatly and/or professionally.
- Be prepared to inform the U.S. Consulate official about your educational goals. The official may want to know your major and why you chose it, what is important about that specific major to your future career opportunities, your graduate school plans, and why having a degree from abroad, specifically UWM, will enhance your education.
- Be prepared to inform the official about where and how you learned English and/or why you wish to study more English in the U.S.
Make sure that all of your paperwork needed for the interview is well organized. Group all appropriate papers together, such as: (1) your cover letter, (2) UWM documents, (3) academic credentials, (4) financial documents, and (5) all documents stating your ties to your home country.
If you will live in University Housing, you will need to complete an early arrival form. Because of international student orientation and placement testing, many international students must arrive in the U.S. before the residence halls are open for move-in. International students are eligible to apply for early arrival so they can move into the residence halls before they are officially open to all students. To apply for early arrival, you will need to fill out an early arrival form and submit it to the UWM University Housing Office by either fax or mail. It is wise to complete this form well in advance of the beginning fo the semester, about a month before.
Although new freshman are required to live on campus, many other students including undergraduate upperclassmen and graduate students choose to live off campus. The UWM Neighborhood Housing Office assists students in finding safe, quality off-campus housing and roommates. If you would like to live off campus in an apartment or house, this would be a great place to start.
UWM on-campus rooms are furnished but do not include basic necessities like bed linens and cookware. Most off-campus apartments will not be furnished. You should begin thinking about what you will need to bring with you from your home country and what you will purchase when you arrive in Milwaukee.
Items you need to bring with you:
- Passport with Student Visa
- Final transcripts, if you have been admitted on the condition that you provide final transcripts
- Documents showing financial support for visa
Items you may consider bringing with you:
- Warmer clothing for winter (winter coat, hat, gloves, scarf, winter boots)
- Traveler's checks
- Credit card
- Professional/Formal Attire
- Computer, printer, flash drive
- Medical records for existing illnesses, especially allergies
- Prescription medicines, as required
- Extra pair of contact lenses and/or glasses
- MP3 player
- Favorite CDs
- Musical instruments
- Traditional national clothing
- Picture album of your family and friends
- Telephone calling card
- Special spices/foods from home
What NOT to Bring:
- Weapons of any kind
- Space heaters
- Irreplaceable valuables
Items you may consider buying after you arrive in Milwaukee:
- Pillow, sheets, blankets, towels, and washcloths [see residence room packages below]
- Bedspread or comforter [see residence room packages below]
- Book bag or backpack
- Alarm clock
- Umbrella and/or raincoat
- School Supplies
- Dictionary and thesaurus
- Cold medicines, aspirin, vitamins, antacids, ointments
- Toiletries (razor, brush, comb, toothbrush, nail clippers, tweezers, deodorant, soap, etc.)
- Hair care products
- Small refrigerator (All residence halls have communal kitchens with a refrigerator and microwave. Also, Cambridge Commons does not allow small refrigerators because one is already provided for the entire suite)
- Laundry basket or sack
- Power strip (must be bought in the U.S.)
- Study Lamp (must have metal shade if you are living in the residence halls or Kenilworth Square Apartments)
- Sewing kit
- Sports/recreational equipment (tennis racket, tennis shoes, etc.)
- Throw rugs
- Cooking/kitchen equipment
Residence Room Packages
University Housing residence hall rooms do not come with bed linens, and many students like the peace of mind that comes with knowing they will be able to sleep with sheets, a blanket, and a pillow their first night in the U.S.
For the spring 2015 semester, University Housing has a limited number of OCM linen Paks for sale. You can buy the OCM pak when you arrive to your residence hall by cash, debit, or credit card. Currently, there are 7 Panther Paks ($299) and 33 Comfort Paks ($170) available for purchase at the residence halls.
**A common question new residents often have is what type of sheets to bring for a University Housing bed. The answer is simple: all UWM University Housing beds are extra-long twins. **
Once you have been admitted to UWM, it is a good idea to get in touch with your academic advisor as soon as possible. If you have not done so already, log into your PAWS account to find your academic advisor's contact information. You can log into your PAWS account here. You will need your UWM ePanther ID and password. If you have not created these, please visit the ePanther Account Activation website to set up your account. Here you will need your campus ID number, which was emailed to you right after you first applied to UWM. Once you have located your advisor's email address in your PAWS account, we suggest sending your advisor an email explaing that you would like to discuss registering for classes. Some students register before they arrive on campus and some wait until they arrive in order to meet with their advisor in person and take placement tests. If your adviors suggests registering for classes before you arrive, you can do so online through your PAWS account.
Here are a few helpful links on the topic of enrollment and class registration:
New Student Enrollment Checklist: This pdf document is geared toward new students. It will walk you through the entire enrollment process, including activating your Panther ID, checking for and clearing holds on your account, and searching for classes
Searching for Classes: This website focuses on the process of searching for classes through your UWM PAWS account.
Changing Your Class Schedule: This website focuses on the steps involved in enrolling in classes through your UWM PAWS account.
All international students are required to carry the UWM Health Insurance. More information on the UWM heath insurance requirements for international students can be found here.
Payment of tuition, fees and any charges that appear on your PAWS account can be done online through your PAWS account or at the Bursar Office. You may also wire your bank account in your home country to the Bursar Office, by contacting them at 414-229-4914.
Included in your tuition costs are mandatory/segregated fees. These fees go to support certain student services like the Norris Health Center, UPASS, B.O.S.S., the Klotsche Center and many more resources offered by UWM.
For exact tuition and fees information and more information on mandatory/segregated fees, due dates, payment methods and much more, please visit the Bursar Office website.
Medical Records and Immunizations
UWM strongly recommends newly admitted students submit an immunization record to Norris Health Center when they arrive on campus, so it is a good idea to locate your medical records now to be sure you have them when you arrive at UWM. Please refer to the 2014/15 University Recommend Immunizations to see which vaccinations are recommended.