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The Center for International Education staff is working remotely. You can reach us at cie@unco.edu, via phone at 970-351-2396, our virtual front desk open 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday - Friday via Zoom or schedule an appointment A CIE staff member is also available via the international emergency phone at 970-567-9572.  

Pre-Arrival 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 at 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:
    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 be either:
      • 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.

    Helpful Links:

    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. 

    Download Certificate of Immunization

    error_outline You will not be able to register for classes until you submit this form.

  • Course Registration

    All students must receive advising before registering for classes. New and transfer undergraduates will do this during New Student Orientation. 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. Undergraduates must have an Alternate “PIN” number in order to register. You will receive this during your advising session.  Be sure that you have enrolled full-time. For undergraduate, exchange and IEP students this is 12 credit hours; for graduate students is 9 credit hours. For information about course requirements and for descriptions of courses, see the University of Northern Colorado Catalog.

    All business courses must be approved by the School of Business. Please contact the Business Advising Center at  970-351-1233 to register for any classes beginning with a BA. 

    If you do not know which courses to register or have problems register 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. 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, an on-line waiver through your URSA account must be completed by the 10th day of classes every fall semester. 

    All international students must follow the waiver process through the Center for International Education website. For waiver instructions go to: https://www.unco.edu/cie/international-student-scholar-services/forms.aspx. International students cannot waive on the UNC URSA site. You must go through the Center for International Education.

    Waiver Information:
    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 $1410 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.