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Pre-Arrival Steps

We are very excited that you are going to be joining us at the University of Tennessee (UT)! We have prepared a few helpful reminders that cover the things you need to be prepared for before travelling to Knoxville!

Double-Check Immigration Documents

Make sure that you have all of your documents in order. Most students will need a passport, a valid F or J student visa, and a form I-20 or DS-2019 in order to enter the country. You can review all of the information on these documents at Student Visas. 


  • If you cannot arrive by the start of classes due to any delay, you will need to defer your admission to a new semester.
  • Students on a Graduate Assistantship may be required to enter the U.S. several weeks before classes start.

Set up Vol Email and Net ID

UT will send official communication to your Vol email account. It is very important that you set this up right away and check it regularly. We use this email as your official contact for all immigration updates. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has a guide on setting up your email account at Are You New.

Complete Immunization Requirements

UT requires students to have serval different immunizations. You can view the requirements at the Student Health Center web pages:

Undergraduate Immunization Requirements

Graduate Immunization Requirements

In addition, visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website for more information about COVID-19 vaccination guidelines.

See our guide on Submitting your Immunization Records for additional help.

If you need more information about Insurance Waivers click here.

Register for International Student Orientation

International Student Orientation is REQUIRED for all new students on an F or J visa. At the orientation, we will review important immigration information and introduce you to the campus community.

Sign up instructions at Registering for International Orientation.

Remember, you may have other orientations to attend in addition to the mandatory International Student Orientation.

Plan Transportation

Based on your arrival date, book a flight and arrange transportation in Knoxville. We have some airport pickups available. You can register for these with the International House. It is also a good idea to plan for your transportation once you arrive.

Important, most students will not live within walking distance of campus, so you must plan for transportation.

We have created a helpful guide for you on Using Transportation in Knoxville.

Plan Housing

It is very important to plan housing before you arrive. If you do not arrange housing ahead of time, you may need to plan to stay in a hotel for several weeks while you find housing in Knoxville. We have a guide on Finding Housing in Knoxville that will help you get started with your housing search.

Important, on-campus housing is limited to first-year undergraduate students. All other students should plan to make off-campus arrangements.

Plan Initial Deposits and Costs

Your first few weeks at UT will require that you pay many initial deposits and make some initial purchases. It is very important that you plan to have $3000 to $5000(USD) available when you arrive. Most apartments will require a deposit, and you may need to put down a deposit for utilities as well.