University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

New Students

Choosing Your Arrival Date

Want to get started early?

The programs will help you learn about resources and make friends before the start of classes.

Global Gopher Events
International Buddy Program

*NOTE: Some programs are only for undergraduate and/or non-degree students.

When to Arrive

Undergraduate students starting in Fall 2020 are required to arrive at the UMN by Wednesday, August 26, 2020.

Graduate, Professional, and Non-Degree students should plan to arrive 10 days prior to the program start date on their I-20 or DS-2019.

Spring 2021 students should arrive in the USA 10 days before the program start date on their I-20 or DS-2019.

If you plan to live off-campus, we recommend arriving 3 weeks before classes start so you will have enough time to find housing.

Be Aware

You are allowed to arrive in the USA up to 30 days before the program start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019. You must enter the USA no later than the start date on your I-20/DS-2019. If you will be delayed, email as soon as you are aware of the delay.

Why These Dates?

Students who follow these arrival date guidelines will be more prepared to begin their studies, as they will have sufficient time to do the following:

  • Rest and recover from jet lag
  • Remove registration holds
  • Complete all of your ISSS New Student Requirements.
  • Attend any mandatory or optional orientations provided by their college or department
  • Register for classes
  • Take any necessary exams, such as a English proficiency test
  • (If applicable) Complete the requirements necessary to start your Graduate Assistantship including a training and paperwork

ISSS also strongly encourages new international students to attend Global Gopher Events and our other programs that occur before the start of the semester. Past participants said these events and workshops taught them important skills needed to succeed during their first semester and allowed them to make new friends and have fun while waiting for classes.

If You Have a Graduate Assistantship

Most graduate assistantships start one week before the start of classes, but some departments have an earlier orientation.

You will be required to do the following before you can begin work:

You should also travel to the Social Security Administration within 10 days to obtain a Social Security Number. Review our information about Obtaining a Social Security Number for more.

NOTE: Failure to begin working on your start date may result in a loss of salary and/or a portion of your tuition and health care benefits.

You Must Complete Important Paperwork On or Before Your First Day of Work

For all University jobs/assistantships, you must complete the I-9 form on or before your first day of work. When doing this, you will be required to provide documents to show that you are eligible to work in the United States (a list of these documents and more information is available at International student and non-student employees must go to Payroll Services in the Donhowe Building to complete their I-9.