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STEP 2: Prepare for Your Arrival
to UC San Diego

Submit your pending Admissions Documents

If you have not yet taken action to submit your pending Admission Documents, please make sure you do so. Failure to complete your Admissions package can adversely affect your admission offer. 

JULY 1: Deadline to Submit Your Final Transcripts 

JULY 15: AP and IB Exam Results Due 

  • Please request results be sent to UC San Diego, school code: 004836. 
  • For more information, please refer to the Undergraduate Admissions Advanced Placement FAQs. 

If you have questions regarding your pending Admissions Documents, please contact Undergraduate Admissions. 

Watch Pre-Arrival Webinars

Pre-Arrival Webinars presented by the UC San Diego International Services and Engagement Office (ISEO) cover the following topics for newly admitted international students: the visa application process, programs and services, review of immigration documentation, arriving in the U.S., housing, health insurance, campus resources, frequently asked questions, and more. 

Visit and look under “2024 Pre-Arrival Webinars” to RSVP, attend, or review recordings and slides of our Pre-Arrival Webinars. 

Plan your travel to San Diego

The closest airports to UC San Diego are the: 

Important reminders for booking your travel: 

  • We strongly recommend you book your travel to the United States AFTER you have obtained both your Form I-20 or DS-2019 and your F-1 or J-1 visa stamp.
    • If you must book travel prior to obtaining both immigration documents (which are required for U.S. entry), please consider booking travel that is easily changeable and/or fully refundable. 
  • 30-day entry rule: F-1 and J-1 students who hold an Initial Form I-20 or DS-2019 (a new SEVIS ID number) may seek entry to the U.S. no more than 30 days in advance of the Program Start Date listed on their Form I-20 or DS-2019. 
    • This is known as your 30-day grace period. 
    • F-1 and J-1 students with an Initial Form I-20 or DS-2019 may seek entry to the U.S. during this time, but should not plan travel into and out of and back into the U.S. during this time. 
  • Plan for time at Customs: We strongly recommend students schedule at least 2-3 hours between connecting flights, or when crossing a land border, for SEVIS status verification processing at U.S. Ports of Entry. 
    • The place you first enter the United States (cross the U.S. border) will be your Port of Entry. Depending on where you are coming from, your Port of Entry may be an airport other than the two listed above. 
    • At the Port of Entry, your first entry into the United States, you will be required to go through Customs Inspection to verify your SEVIS status as an international F-1 or J-1 student. When booking your flights, please plan accordingly for this processing time. Note the 2-3 hours listed above is a standard processing time—actual experience at Customs may be shorter or longer for some students. 

Review Transportation Upon Arriving in the USA: U.S. Airline and Airport Guidelines (U.S. Transportation Security Administration).


Arrival at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 

 UC San Diego is located 112 miles (180 kilometers) south of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). If you are arriving at LAX, you will need to take a commuter flight, bus, train, or shuttle to San Diego.  

Bus service:

Commuter flights:

Shuttle & Ride Share Services:

Shuttle service from LAX to UCSD costs may vary. We strongly encourage you to make a reservation in advance. 


  • Amtrak (departures from LA Union Station) 
  • Metrolink (departures from LA Union Station) 


Arrival at San Diego International Airport (SAN)

UC San Diego is located 11 miles (18 kilometers) north of the San Diego International Airport (SAN). Cost for a taxi or rideshare to the UCSD area will vary.

Shuttle & Ride Share Services:

Make housing arrangements before your arrival

For on and off-campus housing options, please see our housing resources page. 

Complete health screenings and immunization requirements

DEADLINE: Complete prior to July 10 OR your arrival to campus, whichever is first 

The University of California is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our students. All the UC campuses, including UC San Diego, require that students be educated about and receive vaccinations to prevent potentially serious and contagious diseases. All incoming students are REQUIRED to obtain certain vaccines and undergo Tuberculosis testing. Failure to meet these requirements by the stated deadlines may result in the student receiving registration holds.  

Information on these requirements as well as important deadlines for meeting them can be found on theStudent Health Services website.

Enroll in classes

Per federal regulations, all international students are required to enroll full-time during the academic school year. At UC San Diego, the academic school year is the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. Full-time enrollment is considered 12 units or more each academic quarter. Ensure that by the end of each quarter's add/drop deadline, you are enrolled in at least 12 units!   

International students are also required to enroll full-time during their FIRST quarter. If you will be starting your studies during the Summer quarter, then you must enroll full-time for the Summer. Full-time enrollment requirements for the Summer term is defined as:  

Summer 1 Program Start Date 

  • Summer Session 1 (6 units minimum) and Summer Session 2 (6 units minimum) OR 
  • Summer Session 3 (6 units minimum) 

Summer 2 Program Start Date 

  • Summer Session 2 (6 units minimum) OR 
  • Summer Session 3 (6 units minimum)  



Note that students unable to maintain full-time enrollment due to medical, academic, or other reasons should speak to an international student advisor BEFORE dropping below 12 units to avoid any problems with their immigration status. 

Pay your tuition and fees

Ensure that you are up to date with the deadlines to pay your tuition and student fees. Review deadlines and learn how to pay your bill.

Register for and complete REQUIRED orientations (online and on-campus)

EVERFI Online Training

EVERFI Training is an online program that introduces you to our student community and your role in maintaining a welcoming campus environment. Undergraduate students are required to take two courses: Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduates and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) for Students. You will not be able to complete registration for courses until this requirement is met. For more information, including the deadline for completion, see the Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination (OPHD) website. 


iTriton Online Training

To help guide you through the adventure ahead, the International Services and Engagement Office (ISEO) has created an online training that will map out your journey as an international student here at UC San Diego. There are 8 modules which cover various topics. We have arranged these modules in the order you may encounter them during your program. Pay close attention as these modules demonstrate some of the top issues international students face with their immigration status.   

iTriton will open on June 1, 2024 for newly admitted students to begin the training.

All newly admitted Fall 2024 students must complete this REQUIRED training before September 1, 2024. 


iOrientation: New International Student Orientation Series

The UC San Diego International Services and Engagement Office (ISEO) is excited to meet you! ISEO’s iOrientation program is your first chance to learn about all that UC San Diego has to offer you through informational workshops and programs tailored specifically to international students. Everything is designed to ease your transition to campus and student life in the United States.  

iOrientation sessions and welcoming programming will be in September 2024. It is open to ALL new international students, and it is free of cost. 

Certain sessions during ISEO’s iOrientation program are required of all new international students in addition to your College or department orientation.

Visit to see the schedule from last Fall and get a sense of what to expect. This website will be updated during the summer with the Fall 2024 iOrientation schedule. 


Triton Weeks of Welcome (TWOW) and required College Orientation 

Get excited for Triton Weeks of Welcome (TWOW)! Your student experience at UC San Diego begins with Triton Weeks of Welcome (TWOW), a campus-wide series of introductory activities, special programs, and signature events at the start of each academic year – designed to engage, inform, and welcome all students to the Triton community. 

Required College Orientation:

All degree-seeking students must attend their undergraduate College’s mandatory orientation program. For questions about orientation programs and registration deadlines, visit your College’s orientation website: 

Gather documents needed for entry into the United States

Ensure that you understand your Earliest Date of Admission/Arrival into the United States and that you have your immigration documents in-hand and ready to present to Customs when entering the U.S. DO NOT pack these documents inside of your check-in luggage. They should be easily accessible in your carry-on bag and ready to present at the Port of Entry:

  • Valid Passport: Review your passport and ensure that it is valid for at least 6 months after your date of intended entry into the U.S. Review your passport profile and visa page. Your first name and family/last name should be the same on both documents. If there are any errors, contact the U.S. Embassy or Consular Post immediately.
  • Valid F-1 or J-1 Visa: Your F-1 or J-1 Visa page is inside of your passport. Ensure your visa is valid. Sometimes students who have two passports may need to carry both if their valid F-1 or J-1 Visa page is inside of their expired passport. Review your passport and visa page. Your first name and family/last name should be the same on both documents. If there are any errors, contact the U.S. Embassy or Consular Post immediately.
  • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 from UC San Diego: Ensure you use the most recent Form I-20 or DS-2019 issued to you by UC San Diego, printed, and signed by both ISEO (electronic or digital signature is OK) and by YOU (student signature must be a hand-signature/wet signature). You may only use an ORIGINAL Form I-20/DS-2019 from UC San Diego with a valid travel signature; photocopies of Form I-20 or DS-2019s will not be accepted. Additionally, you may not show an electronic version of your document; you must carry the original printed document with you.
  • Financial Statements and Supporting Documents: It is always a good idea to carry Financial Statements showing proof of financial support in addition to any supporting documents regarding your reason for visiting the United States. 

Learn more about what to expect when traveling by visiting 

Review 2023-24 COVID-19 Updates for International Students

ISEO's COVID-19 Updates for International Students page contains valuable, up-to-date information specifically for our international student population to help you make informed decisions about attending UC San Diego this fall. Topics include travel and reentry (including current travel restrictions), health and safety (including vaccination information), enrollment and visa status information, and campus resources.