Pre-Arrival Checklist

1. Do you have the proper documents for U.S. entry?
Check that you have the following documents needed upon arrival at a U.S. port-of-entry.
  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE) issued by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) -  Form I-20 (for F-1 students) or Form DS-2019 (for J-1 students)
  • Passport
  • Visa for F-1 or J-1 (Canadian citizens do not need a visa for entry.)
  • SEVIS Fee receipt (payment to U. S. Department of Homeland Security for your F-1 or J-1 record)
REMINDER: If this is your first entry for a new program, the earliest that you may enter the U.S. is 30 days before the start date of your program, as shown on the COE. If you have not received a COE from UHM, please contact the Admissions Office related to your program:

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Admissions Office Tel: (808) 956-8975 | Fax: (808) 956-4148 Email: manoa.admissions@hawaii.edu

Graduate Students

Graduate Admissions Office, Graduate Division Tel: (808) 956-8544 | Fax: (808) 956-4261 E-mail: graduate.education@hawaii.edu

Visiting and Exchange Students

Mānoa International Exchange (MIX) Program Tel: (808) 956-4728 | Fax: (808) 956-5076 E-mail: inbound@hawaii.edu

Professional Schools and Special Programs

Students admitted into programs at the William S. Richardson School of Law, John A. Burns School of Medicine, or graduate programs in the Shidler College of Business, or special programs handled by specific departments, should contact the admissions offices or programs directly.
2. Have you arranged transportation?

Flight to Honolulu, Hawaiʻi

If this is your first entry for a new program, the earliest that you may enter the U.S. is 30 days before the start date of your program.

Ground Transport from Airport

Pre-arranged airport pick-up services usually cost less than if you get a taxi once onsite. Some examples of reservation-based Airport pick-up services are:

Many Waikiki hotels also have airport shuttle services. Contact your hotel in advance and ask.

Free Service

If you would like to arrange for ground transport in advance, the International Ministries, located next to the UHM campus, handles airport pick-up for any international student who requests it. To request pick-up:

  • Email uhairportwelcome@gmail.com at least one week before arrival
  • In the email, given your full name, gender, arrival information (flight number and carrier, date and time of arrival) and address where you wish to be taken in Honolulu.
  • You will receive a response with instructions for meeting the volunteer at the airport arrival area.

Other Options

 

3. Do you know where you will stay upon arrival?

If you have received on-campus student housing, please check UHM Student Housing Services for dates that you can move in. Most dorms open on the Tuesday before the start of school, and then the rest open on Friday.

East-West Center Housing, although located on campus, is separate from UHM Student Housing Services, and has its own policies and dates for moving in.

If you arrive before campus housing opens or you have not found any housing, you will need to reserve a hotel room or other temporary lodging early to give you enough time to look for long-term housing.

4. Have you activated your UH account?

On your UH Mānoa admission letter, you should have received your UH username. With your UH username, you can activate your MyUH account that will give you access to email, registration and other functions. Activate your account here.

An activated account will also help when you arrive on campus and need to access a computer or the WiFi connection on campus!

5. Have you sent in your Health Clearance Form?

You must complete the university's Health Clearance Form, showing proof of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination, and clear a tuberculosis (TB) test. The Health Clearance Form can be sent ahead of your arrival.

Some students may have the MMR vaccination, but must still take a TB test with a U.S. licensed physician. Because such physicians may not be available in your home country, you must to take the TB test once you arrive in the U.S. Such tests can be taken at the Student Health Services clinic.

If you do not have the MMR vaccination, please know a TB test must be taken at least 4 weeks apart from vaccination.

Failure to complete the Health Clearance will prevent you from moving into student housing and attending classes, and you will have all of your registered classes dropped.

6. Have you purchased Health Insurance?

International students on F-1 and J-1 visas must prove that they have a minimum amount of insurance to cover the length of their program. The university sponsors its own Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), but students may purchase other options, as long as they meet minimum requirements set by the university. Health insurance may be purchased before you arrive in the U.S. Go to the ISS Health Insurance page to read about insurance minimums and proof requirements.

If you do not prove that you have adequate health insurance by the start of the semester, a hold will be placed on your registration and block you from adding or dropping courses.

7. Did you schedule an English Language Test?

On your UHM admission letter, it may show that you are required to take an English Language Placement Test through the English Language Institute (ELI).

The ELI Placement Test is given to new international students whose prior coursework and test scores indicate a possible need for additional English language instruction to succeed in a U.S. university.   Based on your ELI placement test results, you may be exempted from ELI, or placed into a series of required ELI courses.

Students who are required to take the ELI test will have the “ELI hold” placed on their student record at the time of admission and will not be able to register for courses until the hold is removed.  The ELI hold is removed when you register for any test, but will be reset if you fail to appear for the test.

By signing up early for an ELI Placement Test, you can avoid having the ELI hold stop your registration for courses.

8. Did you begin Visa Clearance and sign up for Orientation?

All new F-1 and J-1 students must undergo a visa regulatory orientation and check-in through International Student Services (ISS), which we call "Visa Clearance." Most of it can be completed online, and you finish by checking in at the ISS office at a pre-scheduled time after you arrive in the U.S. To start, go to Orientation and Visa Clearance. You may sign up for Orientation also.

If you do not complete Visa Clearance by the start of the semester, you will have a hold on your registration that will block you from adding or dropping courses.

9. Do you know of other orientations happening on campus?

Undergraduates might be interested in signing up for the New Student Orientation (NSO), organized by the Student Life and Development Office. Attendance is free, but you must sign up.

Graduate Division holds an orientation for new graduate students. Each graduate department or school may also hold their own orientations. If you have not received such information, check with your major department.

For a list of other orientations happening on campus, check the Week of Welcome website.

9. Have you registered for classes?

Check the UH Manoa Registration Time Table to know when you can register for classes. For registration help, consult the Registration Step-by-Step Guide produced by the Registrar's Office. Make sure you cleared any holds on your registration. You can check for holds by going to MyUH and clicking on "View Holds."

Checklist