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Resources for Attending UC San Diego
In Person for Fall 2020


Welcome to UC San Diego! As you make plans to arrive to the U.S., UC San Diego is committed in supporting international students acclimate to their virtual classrooms with hopes of transitioning to on-campus instruction once conditions allow. The following checklist will help you embark on this new and exciting journey ahead. 


Arriving at UC San Diego:

Step 1: Have Your Immigration Documentation Read at Port of Entry

Be ready to present the following documents to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official:

  • Current passport (valid up to 6 months after your entry date).
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019 (electronic copies are allowed for Fall 2020).
  • Valid F-1 or J-1 visa stamp in your passport.



  • Travel support letter (available for download within the iPortal
  • Copy of enrollment in Tritonlink 
  • Copy of financial support that is no more than 6 months old 
  • ISPO Emergency Contact Card: in case you need a phone number to give to CBP to verify your student status

Step 2: Arrange Transportation to UC San Diego

Step 3: Print Electronic Form I-94

Your Form I-94 is an online arrival and departure record. It shows when you last entered the U.S., in what status, and for how long you are permitted to remain in the U.S. Visit to generate this document upon arrival.

Print or save a copy of it and keep it safe!

Step 4: Complete Document Self-Check

After arrival into the U.S., complete the International Student Document Self-Check within 15 days of your program start date at UC San Diego. 

Step 5: Attend Orientation

ISPO’s New International Student Orientation has gone online! Attend from the comfort and safety of your home.  All international students are required to register for a total of two sessions: one regulatory and one support session. However, you are welcome to register for as many sessions as you'd like! 


Important notes:

  • Undergraduate degree-seeking students must attend their mandatory College Orientation.
  • Graduate students are encouraged to attend the Office of Graduate Studies and department orientations.
  • Parents and family members of newly admitted international students are also encouraged and welcome to attend International Parent & Family Orientation.
  • These orientations are different from the International Student Orientation. 

Step 6: Plan for Self-Quarantine

On July 21, 2020, the San Diego County Public Health Services issued an Order that requires a 14-day quarantine period for individuals arriving or returning from travel from ALL international locations. In addition, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines recommend that individuals arriving in the U.S. from ALL international locations should stay home for 14 days after returning from travel (quarantine), monitor their health, and practice social distancing. Please reference the CDC guidance on Returning from International Travel.

Because of the San Diego County Public Health Services order requirement and CDC guidelines, newly admitted and continuing Fall 2020 students coming from international locations will be required to self-quarantine for 14-days after arrival in San Diego.     

  • Students with Fall 2020 on-campus housing contracts: Students can complete the quarantine period in specially designated on-campus housing with no additional housing fees. Students will be charged for meals that will be delivered to the housing unit during quarantine. The on-campus housing option will be available from August 27-September 3, 2020 in order to allow enough time to complete the required quarantine period before the beginning of the Fall term.
  • Students without on-campus housing contracts or those who arrive AFTER September 3: Students can complete the quarantine period at an off-campus location with family and/or friends. In addition, local hotel options will be available from Housing Dining Hospitality (HDH). More information from HDH on local hotel options will be available soon on the HDH COVID-19 FAQ Site. Students would be responsible for their own housing and meals costs.


For more information, please visit the HDH COVID-19 FAQ site.


Getting Started On Campus

Step 1: Set Up your UC San Diego Email and Printing Accounts

Every UC San Diego student is assigned a UC San Diego email account.  To activate your account, you may:

  • Visit Academic Computing Services (ACS) Applied Physics & Mathematics Building (AP&M) in Room 2113, or
  • Visit the ACS website and follow the directions. A Personal Identification Number (PID) is necessary to receive an e-mail account.
  • A PID is not the same as an application ID.
  • A PID is usually the letter A followed by 8 digits. Use your application ID to login through TritonLink to receive a PID. 
  • To set up a Laser Printing Account, follow the instructions at the Laser Printing Account Setup website. You may create an account or add funds to an existing account. The laser account will automatically be attached to the current ACS login account(s) and any future ACS accounts you obtain. 

Step 2: Register for 12 Units No Later than October 16, 2020

Undergraduate Students:


Graduate Students:

  • To access Web Registration (WebReg) and a variety of other TritonLink online tools you will need a User ID and password. You should have already received your User ID which is the Personal Identification (PID) number stated on the application status page of the online application. With your User ID you can now create your password. Create your password here.


EAP Reciprocity Students:

  • Enroll in classes via WebReg on TritonLink. Students must have their PID (Personal Identification) number to enroll in courses. To obtain a PID, go to MyApplication and click on "First Time User” to complete the required personal information for your student account.
  • Your UC application ID number is assigned to you by UCEAP. You can obtain it from your home university international office.  For detailed information on the enrollment process for EAP students, see the UCEAP website. Campus fees are automatically waived. If you receive a bill, contact ISPO at

Step 3: Apply for your UC San Diego Triton Card (Student ID)

  • Upon arrival at UC San Diego, obtain a UC San Diego photo ID card. It may be necessary to show an ID card to receive services at the university. A UC San Diego student ID card can also get you discounts at various attractions around San Diego.
  • All students enrolled for the school quarter are entitled to a UCSD Student ID Card. This is your official university ID card, and you are issued just one active card.  
  • Most undergraduate and graduate students may submit their photo electronically to the Campus Card office.
  • For more information visit the Campus Card information page.

Step 4: Stay Informed through ISPO's iStudent Newsletter

ISPO’s iStudents Newsletter is a listserv-based newsletter that provides important information to UC San Diego international students dependents temporarily residing in the U.S. The iStudents newsletter also announces critical deadlines, changes in regulations, and offers concrete advice.

International students’ UC San Diego email addresses are automatically subscribed to the ISPO listserv and all students are responsible for checking their UC San Diego email account. Please note that all important campus messaging is communicated mainly through UC San Diego email.

Step 5: Stay Connected through ISPO's Social Media

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to win free give-always, stay updated on the latest announcement and connect to our international community at UC San Diego!

Step 6: Review Eligibility to Accept and Begin Employment. Apply for your Social Security Card (if Eligible) to Work

Visit to learn about the different types of employment opportunities international students can engagege in during and after their program of study at UC San Diego.

Students who are engaged in paid employment will need to apply for a Social Security Number for tax purposes. Visit our Social Security Number information page, to learn more about Social Security Cards.

Step 7: Apply for your California Driver's License

Visit our  Transportation page to learn more about California driver's license.

Step 8: Arrange Banking and Financial Matters

In the U.S., it is customary to use debit/credit cards rather than using cash because it is easier and safer. It is best to open an account at a bank so that money can be taken out of the account when needed; it is not safe to carry large amounts of cash. 

Most banks are open Monday through Friday from morning until mid-afternoon, and some are open also on Saturday mornings. Upon opening an account, a debit card will be offered so you can withdraw money from automated teller machines (ATMs). A few ATMs are located behind the Price Center on campus and at the Student Center. Using an ATM at a different bank may cost additional fees. 


There are two main types of bank accounts: 

  • Checking Account: Allows checks to be written for purchases and for paying bills. 
  • Savings Account: Offers a place to keep your money and earn interest. 


Opening a Bank Account 

  • To open an account at most banks you will need one or two valid forms of identification and a local postal address to receive mail. A passport and a UC San Diego identification card are usually sufficient.
  • At least $25 is usually required to open an account, and there will be a monthly service charge for the account unless a “minimum balance requirement” (as much as $500 or higher) is maintained. There will also be a charge to have checks printed.
  • Banks often have “hidden” fees so be sure to inquire about all possible fees.
  • Not all banks require a US Social Security Number to open an account, however, bank services may be limited (no online banking etc.) if you do not have a Social Security Number. 


A list of banks and credit unions located on-campus or near UC San Diego:


Transferring funds from your home country 

Full-service banks with international banking capabilities sell international money orders and receive deposits from banks outside of the U.S. The best way to transfer funds from your country of origin to the U.S. is by electronic wire transfer directly from bank-to-bank. This method allows immediate credit and use of the money. Other methods of obtaining funds from abroad (example: money order, checks, etc.) will cause a delay of two weeks or longer in availability of funds.

Step 9: Cell Phone Service

In order to activate cell phone service in the U.S., it is helpful for customers to have a valid Social Security Number and established credit history. Customers without a Social Security Number and credit history may still activate service but may have to pay a security deposit at the time of application. 

Major US cell phone service providers:

Step 10: Housing Assistance

If you need assistance with off-campus housing, you may visit the Off-Campus Housing Office website to access an online database of available housing listings.

The International Students & Programs Office website also provides information regarding local host family programs, on-campus housing, short-term housing, and off-campus housing options.

Step 11: Meet Health Insurance Requirements

  • International students at UC San Diego are required to buy health insurance coverage. You will be billed for the UC San Diego health insurance policy each quarter (3-month period). Your UC San Diego insurance policy will begin on the first day of the quarter.   
  • If you arrive in the U.S. prior to the start of Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) coverage or plan to remain after SHIP coverage ends, plan to have your own travel insurance coverage up to the date of SHIP coverage start and/or after coverage ends.  
  • We also strongly recommend that you buy additional health insurance coverage for family members (spouse and children) who accompany you to the U.S. Remember that the U.S. government requires health insurance for all J-1s and J-2 dependents while in the U.S. 
  • Learn more about UC San Diego's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)

Step 12: Complete you Tuberculosis (TB) Screening and Immunization Reporting Requirements

All incoming students are required to complete a Tuberculosis Screening Questionnaire and immunization screening by the deadlines stated on the Student Health Services (SHS) website

If not completed and submitted prior to the deadline, a hold will be placed in your Tritonlink record, preventing you from adding or dropping classes. 

For more information about these requirements, visit the main SHS website.

Step 13: Take a Campus Tour

Explore UC San Diego through a campus tour!

Information for Families

Global Education at UC San Diego welcomes the spouses and children of new students and offers many programs for them including:

Two large volunteer organizations, the Friends of the International Center and the Oceanids, organize many of these activities. 


Global Education can also provide assistance to meet your family’s needs such as:

If you have any questions, please contact ISPO.


Get Involved and Check Out the Global Hub


There are so many ways for you to get involved virtually at UC San Diego! The Global Hub ( and our Globally Engaged Tritons Calendar ( feature all virtual events focusing on global engagement and our global community here at UC San Diego.

Want to learn more about campus wide events? Visit the Virtual Student Union ( for a calendar featuring virtual events hosted by all different parts of campus.  

The Center for Student Involvement

  • The Center encourages and facilitates student involvement in student organizations, campus-wide events, leadership and service opportunities.
  • The Center is committed to providing developmental opportunities for all UC San Diego students and challenges them to become empowered, motivated and experienced leaders and citizens through a comprehensive co-curricular experience.
  • Explore the Center for Student Involvement website ( to learn more about student organizations and see how you can get involved.