Plan to arrive at KU by your program start date. Prepare your finances and make your housing arrangements early as spaces may fill up. Meet with your doctor and complete the required health forms before you leave home and learn about the health insurance requirements at KU.
New Student Program Start Dates
New students must arrive on campus by the program start date below. If you are in F-1 or J-1 status, you can enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date (also listed on your I-20 or DS-2019).
Intensive English (Applied English Center) Students:
Before you arrive in Lawrence you should set up your living arrangements. As a student at the University of Kansas, there are a few options to choose from. Choose what is best for you based on your needs and preferences. Whether you plan to live on campus or off campus, it is your responsibility to make housing arrangements. The International Student Services office does not make housing arrangements for you. We encourage you to set up your housing early, as options may become less available as the semester approaches.
The KU Department of Student Housing offers a variety of on-campus living options, including residence halls, private room with bath, suite with semi-private bath, scholarship halls, or on-campus apartments. If you plan to live on campus, please work directly with the Department of Student Housing. It is important to make your on-campus living arrangements early because availability may fill up quickly. Apply as early as possible for the best chance to get on-campus housing. To find the best on-campus living arrangement for your needs and to learn more about on-campus housing, please visit the KU Housing website.
Lawrence offers a variety of off-campus living options, including apartments, townhouses, or houses. If you plan to live off-campus, it is your responsibility to make your own housing arrangements. It is important to make your off-campus living arrangements early because availability may fill up quickly. Costs for off-campus housing vary depending on types of housing and can vary between $300 and $1100 USD per month. Additionally, you may expect to pay extra for utilities that are not included in the cost of rent (such as electricity, water, internet, etc.).
Leasing housing in the United States can be confusing. For general tips on leasing in Lawrence, please view the Housing Legal Resources information provided by KU Legal Services for Students.
Searching for housing can be done online through a simple Google search of “Apartments in Lawrence, KS” or on specific housing webpages like the ones below. Most leasing companies will communicate with you by email and you can set up your housing before you arrive in Lawrence! However, be aware of scams and be sure that you only work with legitimate, safe webpages and leasing offices. You may browse current housing options on the following websites:
During orientation, you may sign up for temporary housing. Up to date information about temporary housing accommodations available during your specific orientation will be given to you when you pre-register for orientation.
Typical options for temporary orientation housing include:
Early Move In to On-Campus Housing: Some students who have already set up on-campus housing for their first semester might be able to move in early for an additional charge. This is available for some, but not all, orientations.
Temporary Housing at Naismith Hall: For students who do not plan to live on campus or who have not yet set up an on-campus housing option, temporary housing for orientation might be available at Naismith Hall (1800 Naismith Drive), an off-campus residence hall next to the KU campus for an extra fee. This is available for some, but not all, orientations.
No Orientation Housing: Students who would like to secure their own housing may do so. Keep in mind that orientation transportation is not provided for locations other than on-campus residence halls.
|Please review and select your housing options during your Orientation Pre-Registration. More information will be provided during pre-registration, usually about 2-4 months before orientation.|
If you need temporary housing before or during orientation or before you are able to move in to your residence hall, apartment, or home, Lawrence has a wide variety of hotels and motels available for short periods. Rates can vary greatly. Browse hotel options on the Unmistakably Lawrence webpage. When booking a hotel, mention that you are a new KU International student and you may receive a discount!
The below hotel has agreed to a special rate for our international student orientation participants.
Quality Inn (+001-785-842-5100)
801 Iowa St, Lawrence, KS 66049
- Single Room: $54.95 + tax per night*
- Shared Room (2 person max): $64.95 + tax per night*
- You must identify yourself as an international student coming for orientation
All international students are required to complete a Watkins Health Services Check-In after their arrival to Lawrence. There are two documents that you must prepare before your arrival for this check-in. They were mailed to you in your admissions packet, and can also be downloaded in PDF forms with the links below. You should bring the completed forms with you to KU.
- Immunization Screening Form (must be completed in English and signed by your doctor)
- Health History Form
Watkins Health Services (WHS) is located on campus, and provides high quality, affordable medical care to KU students through a team of dedicated professionals. WHS providers are experienced in the healthcare needs of international students. Learn more about KU’s Watkins Health Services.
A general health fee is added to your tuition to cover a variety of health services at Watkins Health Services. Special care may require additional charges, but the costs are usually lower than those charged by off-campus health services. Learn more about KU’s Watkins Health Services.
International students who are enrolled at KU with an F-1, F-2, or J-1 immigration status are required to have health insurance. The KU UnitedHealthcare StudentResources (UHCSR) insurance coverage for these students is a competitively-priced health insurance plan that meets the coverage requirements. You will be automatically billed for this coverage with your tuition. See below about the benefits of the KU Insurance, covering dependents, and possible waivers. Please read the requirements carefully before leaving your country.
NOTE: Because all J-1 Visitors are required to have health insurance for themselves and their J-2 dependents for the duration of their stay, regardless of enrollment, J-2s who enroll in KU classes are not automatically billed for the insurance.
All F-1s and J-1s are allowed to add the KU health insurance for their dependents by contacting the International Insurance Coordinator at email@example.com. Dependents must be added to the insurance within 30 days of arriving, but it is safest to have insurance in place before they arrive.
Most international students take the automatic KU insurance, but students who have an alternative insurance plan may request a waiver of the KU plan if their insurance documentation shows it meets or exceeds the Kansas Board of Regents Requirements. If the waiver is denied, the student will be required to take the KU insurance.
Insurance purchased elsewhere may or may not have the same benefits when used at KU Watkins Health Services Center, or pay for the required Check-In Clinic. Insurance waivers are due the first day of classes in fall and spring (summer deadline may be earlier).
Benefits of using the KU UnitedHealthcare StudentResources insurance at KU Watkins Health Services Center:
- There is no cost for your Check-in Clinic, required immunizations, or Tuberculosis (TB) test 1. For more information about the TB test, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- KU Watkins Health Services is a UHCSR Network Provider.
- There is no extra cost for seeing a doctor or nurse practitioner.
- Lab testing, x-rays, and generic prescription medicine are $5.
- 100% coverage for sickness and injury.
- See insurance policy for other costs and costs associated with off-campus providers.
For more information about KU insurance
Planning Finances & Bringing Money into the U.S.
Before you leave your country, you should plan for your finances. After you arrive to the U.S., you should set up a local bank account. Plan to electronically transfer funds from your home bank to your American bank account. It is very difficult to exchange money from your currency to United States dollars while in the U.S. and, even if it is possible, there may be a large fee. You should arrange to have enough money to cover at least your first month’s expenses AND your first semester of tuition, books, insurance, and housing.
- DO NOT underestimate the amount of money needed.
- DO NOT carry a large amount of cash with you.
- KU cannot accept cash payment for tuition and fees.
- Information on tuition payment can be found in the "Orientation" section of our website.
Bring your money to the United States in these forms:
- U.S. dollar traveler's checks.
- Have it electronically wired to your new American bank account.
- Get a bank card from your home bank to withdraw cash from your account through an automatic teller machine (ATM).
ATMs are very common in Lawrence and are even located throughout campus. If you access your bank account through an ATM card, we recommend the tips below:
- Make sure to contact your bank about any special procedures such as an international PIN number to access your account. Also notify them you will be using your card in the U.S.
- ATM cards should be tied to a checking (not savings) account.
- It is a good idea to give a family member access to your account at home in case of access problems or to add money to your home account.