Preparing for Arrival

Checklist for New F-1 International Students

This checklist provides you with important information as well as a reference list of items that need to be completed before and after your arrival on campus.

Download the checklist.


WSU is pleased that you selected our institution as your educational destination.  Arriving to a new country brings a lot of exciting opportunities.  As you prepare to arrive keep in mind that you can start arriving no more than 30 days before the I-20 program start date listed in Section 5 of your Form I-20.

We recommend that you plan to arrive at WSU one to two weeks prior to the first day of classes so you can become familiar with the campus and attend the mandatory new international student orientation.  This will give you greater accessibility to the OISS and other students from your home country who will be able to assist and welcome you.
You will need to check in at OISS, attend orientation programs and meetings in your college and/or department. You will also need to finalize housing arrangements, schedule classes, and pay fees.
You will have considerable expenses when you first arrive in Detroit - books and supplies, deposits for housing, telephone, and electricity; costs for basic furniture and housing items. In addition to money for tuition, we recommend that you bring $1,500- 2,500 to cover these expenses and temporary housing for a few days. You should carry some money in U.S. dollars for immediate use. This money should be in the form of travelers' checks, a cashier's check, or an international draft in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank.
What to Bring, or not Bring
Pack clothing appropriate for the Detroit climate. Summer temperatures are between 75° and 95°F (24°C and 34°C) and winter temperatures range from 15° to 45°F (-9° to 9°C). Winter clothing can be purchased in Detroit.

Bring your medical records and information (with English translation); information about any long-term health problems you may have; prescription medication and information; and information about any health insurance policy by which you are covered.

Carry your immigration documents with you on the plane (passport, I-20 or DS-2019, and verification of financial support).

Bring a translation dictionary.

Do not pack fresh fruit, produce, meat, prepared food, or spices (Bureau of Customs and Border Protection will not allow you to bring these items into the United States).

Most important, be sure to bring your patience and a good sense of humor. These will be invaluable resources as you deal with the challenges of adjusting to a new country and culture.

Getting To Campus

If you're driving to campus, directions can be found here.

If you're flying into Detroit:

Many international students new to Wayne State University have a friend or relative in the Detroit area to assist with transportation from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to the campus and temporary housing, if needed.

For students and scholars who do not have arrival and temporary housing assistance, we recommend that you either take a cab or hotel shuttle directly from the airport (distance to WSU is 20 miles - approximate cost $36--$50 ) to your destination.

The Above Excellent Transportation shuttle services provide transportation to and from the Detroit Metro Airport and their rates are much lower than regular cab services. In order to make your reservation you must contact the Above Excellent Transportation either by email or call them at. 888-264-2913.   More detailed information can be found on our Airport Pickup page.

You may make arrangements for a cab once you arrive at the airport by proceeding to "ground transportation" or by calling Metro Airport Taxi (24-hour taxi service) at 1-800-745-5191.

Shuttle service to major hotels in downtown Detroit, can be arranged by purchasing a ticket in the baggage claim area or by calling 1-888-854-6700.

Where to Stay

If you have not arranged housing prior to your arrival, there are many hotels around the campus and airport.

The hotel St. Regis has offered a special rate for WSU students.

Hotel St. Regis
3071 West Grand Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: (313) 873-3000
Fax: (313) 481-8408

If the Hotel St. Regis cannot accommodate you, can help you locate a hotel in the area and within your budget.  (Note, if the link doesn't bring up the list of hotels, you can enter Zip Code 48202 to search for hotels local to campus and Detroit.)

Information on more permanent housing can be found here.

Once you are here

New international F and J students must report to OISS for check-in.

Detailed Check-In information can be found here.

When you report to OISS for check-in, please bring:

  • Your I-20 or DS-2019
  • Your passport
  • Your I-94
  • Your letter of admission
  • Your graduate assistantship award letter (if applicable)
  • Funds to purchase health insurance (check, money order, or credit card only)

Note: If you have only a preliminary admission to WSU because you have not met the English proficiency requirements, report to the English Language Institute (ELI) at 351 Manoogian Hall, telephone (313) 577-2729.

Soon after you arrive in Detroit, please report to the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) to obtain an orientation schedule, purchase mandatory health insurance, and comply with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reporting requirements.

Please note that you will not be permitted to register for classes until University health insurance and OISS reporting requirements have been met.