Before you leave home Information
Now that you have been accepted to UNC you need to prepare for coming to the United States. The steps below will help you fully prepare for your arrival.
If you have questions at any time please contact the Center for International Education.
- When to Arrive
U.S. Immigration law allows students to arrive in the USA up to 30 days before the start of classes. CIE requires all students to attend our International Student Orientation, which generally takes place the Friday before classes. Please plan your travel arrangements accordingly.
- Activate your Ursa Account
Ursa is the secure, electronic gateway to real-time information and tools for University of Northern Colorado faculty, staff and students. Ursa makes UNC's day-to-day operations and long-range planning more efficient and more effective.
- Activate your Bear Mail Account
When you are admitted to UNC, an e-mail account called BearMail is automatically created. This account is the one used by faculty and university offices to communicate with you and it is important to use this UNC student email. This is the official form of communication between all parts of the university and you.
- Housing in the U.S.
One of your immediate concerns will be to find housing.
On-campus living offers many benefits for their residents. You’ll be just a short walk from classes, labs and libraries. You’ll have easy access to University Center events, the Campus Recreation Center and a variety of dining options. You’ll also be among the first to know about social events, sporting competitions, campus concerts and more.
Plus, you can’t beat the value and convenience of campus housing. Your telephone, cable TV and high-speed Internet access are included and you’ll save time, money and headaches not having to commute to campus.
For details on housing options available to you or to claim your space now visit the UNC Housing website. For specific questions you can e-mail Housing & Residential Education or call 1-970-351-2721. They will be more than happy to assist you in your search for housing.
error_outline You will be required to pay additionally for the housing during the days you arrive before the residence halls officially open. The Housing & Residential Education team can help arrange early arrival housing for those who need it.
Off-campus housing is also an option in Greeley. If you intend to look for somewhere to live off-campus, a great resource to start with is the UNC Off-Campus Housing website.
- Pay SEVIS I-901 Fee
To pay your required SEVIS I-901 fee, follow these instructions:
- Go to www.fmjfee.com
- Select Pay I-901 Fee at the top of the screen
- Enter the requested information. To find your SEVIS number, login to the international portal and select View All under your photo, or it is on the top of your I-20 or DS-2019
- Select form type or either Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
- You will need the school or program code
- I-20 School Code: DEN214F00137000
- DS-2019 Program Code: P-1-03948
- Submit payment
- U.S. Visa
Travel Reminders for international students and scholars traveling outside the U.S. (good for all international students regardless of the country of origin).
Recommendations for Successful U.S. Visa Processing:
A Visa is required to enter the United States. It can take from three days to two months to get your visa and so it is important to start right away. When you go to the U.S. Consulate for your visa interview you will need to take these items:
- Form DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application completed online.
- Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 from our office. The primary visa holder must sign all DS-2019's or I-20's. If under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must also sign the I-20 or DS-2019.
- Receipt proving payment of the SEVIS I-901 fee. View instructions on paying the SEVIS I-901 fee.
- Documentation of financial support for the period of your stay at UNC. This should
- An original statement or letter from your bank or
- Scholarship or grant awards from you school or
- Documentation showing the amount needed set aside for your use while in the USA
- Evidence of your residence abroad and your intent to depart the US after completion of your program. (This can be proof of enrollment for fall semester at your university, an employment contract, or other documents verifying your ties to your home country.)
- A valid passport. This is valid for a minimum of 6 months after the end of your stay in the USA.
Should you have any questions or concerns about your ability to enter or reside in the United States, please contact the Center for International Education.
- Immunization Records
All new UNC students born after 1957 must complete a Certificate of Immunization against measles, mumps and rubella. Please note that this certification must be signed by a physician, nurse, or school authority. If you do not have proof of immunization, you must either obtain the required immunizations (you can do this after your arrival on campus at the Student Health Center) or sign the exemption statement at the bottom of the immunization form. You can also review more information about immunization requirements on the UNC Immunization Requirements webpage.
error_outline You will not be able to register for classes until you submit this form.
UNC also currently requires proof of vaccination for Covid-19 (which you will also need in order to travel to the United States).
- Course Registration
Degree seeking students must receive advising from their academic or Departmental advisor before registering for classes. New and transfer undergraduates should contact their academic advisors. Graduate students should contact their department. Exchange students will work with their home school and CIE. Intensive English students will register after they arrive and have been assessed.
To register for classes online go to Ursa. Degree-seeking undergraduates must have a “PIN” number in order to register, and will receive it during their advising session. Be sure that you have enrolled full-time. For undergraduate, exchange and IEP students this is 12 credit hours; for graduate students this is 9 credit hours. For information about course requirements and for descriptions of courses, see the University of Northern Colorado Catalog. The Schedule of Classes for each term is posted several months before the start of each term, and provides the list of classes available for that individual term.
To search for offered courses in a specific term, please follow these steps:
1. From the Schedule of Classes page click on the Go to the Schedule of Classes button
2. Choose the correct term (Ex: Fall 2022) and to narrow down choices, the subject (Ex: ANT – Anthropology), and mark the checkbox for Only show courses with seats available.
3. Click Run.
NOTE: Students coming on a J-1 visa (non-degree-seeking exchange and dual degree students) are not eligible to enroll in online courses. When reviewing the course lists in the Schedule of Classes, students should check that the course they wish to take is listed as ‘Face to Face’ and not ‘Online’
If you do not know which courses to register for or have problems registering for classes, please contact the Center for International Education so they can refer you to the appropriate office.
- What to Bring
Colorado definitely experiences four seasons -- sometimes in the same week. While our climate is generally mild, it is certainly unpredictable, and you must be prepared for sudden changes of weather. Although the temperature rarely goes below 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C), it can be windy and feel quite cold. The normal temperature range for January is between 35 and 50 degrees F (2 – 10 degrees C). Snow falls occasionally, usually in small amounts of 2–3 inches and disappears within a few days. Bring cold-weather clothes. If you have warm-weather clothes, either bring them or have them sent to you later. If you come from a cold climate and don’t have warm weather clothes, it is better to wait and buy them here. Throughout the spring the weather will become milder, but snowstorms do occasionally occur in March and April. Summer temperatures average in the upper 80’s (30 degrees C) and may reach 100 degrees F, but evenings cool to comfortable sleeping temperatures.
CIE will provide opportunities shortly after arriving to purchase items that may have been forgotten or too difficult to pack. It is not necessary to pack bedding if you live on campus. A linen packet will be provided for a short time when you check in to your building
- Health Care and Health Insurance
Health Care and Health Insurance:
All UNC undergraduate students with 9 or more credit hours and all graduate students with 6 or more credit hours are required to have full medical insurance in effect. This includes all off campus students. All students meeting these credit requirements will automatically be set up in the UNC sponsored insurance plan. If you have other insurance coverage and do not want the UNC insurance, submit an online waiver through your UNC Global portal. Your policy must meet UNC's Minimum Requirements for International Students. International students cannot waive on the UNC URSA site. You must go through the UNC Global Portal.
Due date for waivers is the 10th class day of the semester. If waivers are not completed and submitted prior to the deadline, they will not be considered for approval, and you will automatically be enrolled in the UNC Student Health Insurance Plan for the current semester. The cost of the semester premium will be posted to your student bill each semester.
COMPARABILITY OF COVERAGE
To be eligible to waive participation in the UNC-sponsored health insurance plan, UNC’s Board of Trustees, generally speaking, allows for U.S.-based equivalent insurance coverage as a basis for waiver. In other words, such plans must be comparable with Gold or Platinum plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and provide coverage for all benefits and services included in the UNC SHIP plan (see UNCO 20-2021 Insurance Plan Brochure).
- Coverage must begin on or before the first day of the academic term in which the student is enrolled and extend through the entire term (or the duration of the Exchange Visitor program, if longer)
- The plan must include both accident and sickness coverage and offer unlimited annual benefit
- The plan deductible must be $500 or less per individual, per accident/illness per year
- The plan must have maximum out-of-pocket costs $6350 per benefit year
- The plan must include medical evacuation coverage of at least $50,000
- The plan must include repatriation coverage of at least $25,000
- The plan must cover in-network services at 80% or more
- The plan must include preventative services with no deductible or co-pay
The plan must provide the following benefits at a minimum:
- Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
- Emergency services
- Hospitalization (like surgery and overnight stays)
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
- Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care (but adult dental and vision coverage aren’t essential health benefits)
- Birth control coverage
- Breastfeeding coverage
- Your insurance coverage should also cover testing and treatment in epidemic and pandemic situations.
In addition, plans for J-1/J-2 Exchange Visitors “must be underwritten by an insurance corporation with an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-I" or above, a Standard and Poor's Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above. Alternatively, the sponsor may ascertain that the participant's policy is backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country (22 CFR 62.14).”
Note: Accident or traveler’s policies do not generally qualify as comparable insurance and cannot be used to waive the university insurance requirements. You must upload your proof of coverage and policy (in English) in this application in the Documents section for this application to be considered complete.
If your plan does not meet the above requirements, you will be enrolled in the UNC Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
Please contact the Center for International Education, located in the University Center, for further information regarding the health insurance requirements. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in termination of your study or research program.
- Arrival and Pick-up Information
CIE offers airport transportation at the beginning and end of each term, and will reach out to new and continuing students with details as dates and times become available. To get to or from Denver International Airport, there are still multiple options: The Greeley Shuttle has resumed services on a limited basis, Groome Transportation is also resuming services. There is bus service to Union Station with a changeover to rail or a second bus to the airport by Amtrak, and of course ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft are available. The Denver International Airport has updated lists of transportation providers on their website.
- Early Arrival Housing
Most international student will arrive before the residence halls officially open.
You must have completed a UNC Housing contract before we can arrange for Early Arrival Housing. The contract will state the official hall open date. We will work with the housing office to be sure you can move in before that date.
There is a $45 nightly charge for on-campus early arrival housing. This will be billed to your student account. You can sign up here on the Early Arrivals page.
If you have any questions about this process, you can contact UNC Housing and Residential Education at Housing@unco.edu for more information.
- Welcome Week
Our staff needs to review your immigration documents upon your arrival to the US. We will send a link for where to upload these documents:
- Your U.S. address
All incoming students are required to attend the mandatory orientation. For Fall 2022, details about orientation format and dates will be shared directly to your Bear Mail.
During the year, CIE organizes several events for students. These events include daily shopping trips to larger shopping centers and to cell phone stores. We plan ice cream socials, welcome BBQs, dinners with CIE staff, bowling, department store/mall shopping trips, ice skating, brewery visits and other fun events. These events depend on the season and change every semester.