Section: ISSS

Pre-Arrival Checklist

Student Reading

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  • PASSPORT. Before leaving your country, confirm that your passport and nonimmigrant visa are still valid for entry into the United States.  The passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected stay.   Example: If you return home on January 1, 2013, your passport needs to be valid to at least July 1, 2013.
  • VISA. A valid visa is required to enter the United States as a student (issued by the United States consulate or embassy in your country). Check to see that your visa accurately reflects your correct visa classification. If the visa states the name of the institution you will attend or identifies the exchange program in which you are participating, verify that this information is accurate as well.  If your review indicates any discrepancies or potential problems, visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to obtain a new visa.
  • I-20 or DS-2019. An I-20 or DS-2019 issued by UW-Platteville is required to enter the U.S. Verify that all the information (including your major, spelling of your name, financial information, degree level, program start date, etc.) on the document is correct. The name on your I-20 or DS-2019 should match the name exactly as they appear on your passport. If there is an error on your I-20 or DS-2019, please contact the ISSS Office at UW-Platteville.


  • Please fill out the ARRIVAL AND ORIENTATION ENROLLMENT form. You will have received this form in the mail with your I-20 or DS-2019.
  • The $260 orientation fee will be charged to your student account.


  • Please fill out the Residence Hall Rental Agreement form if you will be living in on-campus housing. If you meet the requirements to live off-campus, you may choose to fill out the Application for Exemption form.
  • A $150 housing deposit will be charged to your student account if you will be living on campus.


FLIGHT/Arrival to the u.s.:

  • Students and exchange visitors entering the United States for the first time under their respective nonimmigrant visa classification may only be admitted up to 30-days prior to the program start date.  
  • Book a flight to Chicago O'Hare Airport (ORD) in Illinois, the United States of America. Please check the ARRIVAL/ORIENTATION PROGRAM ENROLLMENT/PAYMENT FORM for information on the date/time you should arrive to meet the UW-Platteville staff to take the bus back to Platteville.
  • Make sure to have at least three hours in between arrival and bus departure to Platteville.
  • Please e-mail your flight information to
  • Review "Arrival Procedures" document to prepare for arriving at the U.S. Port of Entry
  • Please let the ISSS Office know as soon as possible if you are delayed. If you miss the bus to Platteville you will have to spend the night at a hotel in Chicago and travel by bus through Madison to Platteville the next day.
  • Have a working cell phone/coins/calling card available if you need to make a call.


  • Passport
  • Visa
  • DS 2019 or I-20
  • Other forms of identification (driver's license or ID card)
  • Cash or credit/debit card
  • Folder for all important documents
  • Cell phone/calling card
  • List of contact persons and phone numbers from both home country and United States
  • Your own insurance if you plan to come to the United States before orientation starts. UW-Platteville insurance coverage (required) will start on the program start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Medication, medical forms (if applicable)
  • Summer, fall, and winter clothing. Wisconsin winters can be very cold.
  • Voltage converter if you plan to use electronic devices from your own country
  • Translation Guide (electronic or paper dictionary)
  • Your bank account information (home country). Make sure you have access to your bank account online OR bring documentation. It is possible for international students to open a U.S. bank account in Platteville.


  • When you travel, you should carry your immigration documents (passport, visa, I-20, etc.) in your hand luggage.  Do not check them in your baggage!  If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will not be able to show the documents to the Customs and Border Protection Officer and, as a result, may not be able to enter the United States.
  • Keep all valuable items in your hand luggage.
  • Check with your airline about how many suitcases you can bring. Most airlines allow only 1 free suitcase per person.
  • Print out a list of hotels close to Chicago O'Hare in case your flight is delayed and you need to spend the night in Chicago.
  • Print out the bus schedules from Chicago to Madison and from Madison to Platteville.
  • Be prepared for the U.S. port of entry (POE) when you arrive at the airport in the U.S. by reading these arrival procedures.
  • Please note that U.S. Customs does not allow individuals to carry more than $10,000 cash (USD) into the United States.

health insurance:

Be aware that the start date of your health insurance through our university (Rust Associates) will be the same as your start date on your I-20. If you will be arriving in the U.S. before your I-20 start date, we strongly advise you to enroll in a short-term health insurance plan or make sure that your home country insurance will cover you until the start date on your I-20. After you begin your program at UW-Platteville, you will automatically be enrolled in the Rust Associates Health Insurance Plan each semester, and you will be covered over the summer months, as long as you are a student at UW-Platteville who is not on a scholarship from the governments of Kuwait or Saudi Arabia.The insurance fee will be added to the student bill at the beginning of each semester. For more information about the health insurance plan for international students and scholars at UW-Platteville, click here.


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