Frequently Asked Questions
Have I been admitted?
The easiest way to check your admission status is to login to UAOnline.alaska.edu. You will need the Login ID and PIN you created when you applied for admission.
You can only check your status online if you applied electronically. If you applied using a paper application, you can call +1 907 474 7500 to check on the status of your application or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
When will I get my I-20?
Once you are admitted into a degree program at UAF, the Office of Admissions & the Registrar notifies International Programs & Initiatives so that we may being preparing your I-20. That process can take up to 7-10 business days days if all documentation, to include finances, has been received. Holidays, incomplete or incorrect documents, or bad mailing addresses can delay this process.
If you are an undergraduate student, IPI will mail your I-20 to the address you provided, and include your letter of admission to UAF and other information that you need to get started as a student.
If you are a graduate student, the department to which you were admitted will mail you your I-20, letter of admission, and informational packet..
Mailing can take a considerable amount of time, and is dependent on a variety of factors. Often, IPI or the graduate department can provide an online tracking number so that you can track that status of package online.
Can you e-mail my I-20 so that I get it more quickly?
No. The U.S. governmental agencies that oversee immigration and national security have identified e-mailing I-20s as a security risk. We cannot scan and e-mail I-20s under any circumstances. Also, you should never e-mail your I-20 to us or any other person.
If you need the information from your I-20 so that you can schedule your visa interview appointment, please contact us so that we can provide the information that you need. Please keep in mind, that even though you can schedule your visa interview appointment without your original I-20, you must have your original I-20 with you when you go to your appointment.
Can I check on the status of my friend's application or I-20?
Under the policy of IPI, we will not release any information about another student's record to you without express written permission from the student.
How do I schedule my visa interview?
1. Pay your SEVIS fee at least three days before when your interview would be held.
2. Find the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that has jurisdiction over your place of residence.
3. Follow the instructions for applying for a nonimmigrant visa as given on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate webpage (different embassies or consulates can have different procedures, so make sure you check with the one to which you will be applying).
4. Attend your visa interview, and be sure to bring your letter of admission, I-20, SEVIS Fee receipt, and any other documents the specific U.S. Embassy or Consulate may request.
Can I mail things to myself before I leave my home country?
Yes, you can, either through the U.S. Postal Service or a private courier service.
U.S. Postal Service:
If you already know your Post Office Box number, you can mail a package addressed to yourself at your P.O. Box number. Mail to the United States should be addressed like this:
P.O. Box 75XXXX
Fairbanks, AK 99775 USA
If you do not have a P.O. Box number, you can mail a package to the university post office, where it will be held for you to pick up (for up to 10 days). Address such a package like this:
Fairbanks, AK 99775 USA
Hold for pickup
If you know the date you will pick up the package, you can also write "Hold for pickup on [the date]" or "Hold for pickup after [the date]."
The university post office is open for package pickup from 10:00am to 4:00pm Monday through Friday.
Courier service (such as FedEx or UPS):
If you need to send packages not through the U.S. Postal Service but through a courier service such as FedEx or UPS, the Office of Residence Life will accept packages for you in their office in the Moore-Bartlett-Skarland Complex, where you can pick them up. For these packages, use this address:
Your Name, Residential Facility, Room number
732 Yukon Drive
Fairbanks, AK 99775 USA
When can I enter the U.S.?
You can enter the United States up to 30 days before the start of your program, as listed on your I-20. Your official program start date is the first day of classes; however, we expect to arrive a few days earlier so that you can attend the mandatory international student orientation. Please note, on-campus housing is generally not available before the beginning of orientation, so if you plan on arriving before orientation, you will have to arrange off-campus housing until on-campus housing opens.
It's cheaper to fly to Anchorage - can I fly in there and take a taxi or drive to Fairbanks?
That depends on how much time and money you have! It is 581 kilometers (361 miles) from the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to the UAF Campus, and it takes between 6.5 and 7 hours to drive. The drive is beautiful, and the trip takes you through Denali National Park, past Mt. McKinley/Denali (the tallest mountain on the North American continent), but going by taxi or railway will most likely cost you more than flying to Fairbanks.
Will someone pick me up at the airport?
There is no UAF transportation from the airport to campus. Taxis are available outside the airport arrival doors. The ride will cost about $20. Be sure to have cash available (in U.S. dollars), in case you need to take a taxi as not all taxis accept credit cards. Ask the driver to take you to UAF Bartlett Hall for Residence Life check-in.
The Fairbanks Northstar Borough MACS Transit System Yellow Line travels from the airport to the UAF campus Wood Center stop. Information about riding the bus may be found at http://www.co.fairbanks.ak.us/Transportation/MACS/howtoridebus.htm. Bus route information. A one-way fare is $1.50. From the Wood Center stop you may take the campus shuttle to Bartlett Hall and the Residence Life Office for check-in.
If you are a graduate student, you may e-mail your graduate department or supervising professor; it is not unusual for a faculty member or another student to volunteer to meet new students at the airport as a personal favor. That said, we cannot guarantee that there will be someone to meet you at the airport — but the sooner you start asking and letting people know your plans, the easier it will be to make arrangements. It's also very easy to take a taxi from the airport ot campus;
Do you have any other students from my country or who speak my language?
Check out the map "Where We're From and Where We're Going!" We update this map roughly once a semester, after our students have arrived from around the world. It will give you a sense of where our students, faculty, and researchers are from. Also, only people who are on visas sponsored by UAF are shown on the map. UAF also serves an immigrant population - people who are from other countries, but who have become permanent residents or citizens of the United States.
Even if your country is not represented, you will find people, both Americans and people from other countries, with whom you can relate and share experiences. Fairbanksans are known for their friendliness and hospitality, so we'll do everything we can to help you feel welcome and connected.
Can you arrange housing for me?
Please see our information on campus housing. You will need to fill out the housing application and submit it to UAF Residence Life. We strongly recommend that you apply for on-campus housing. Adjusting to a new country can be challenging, and the Department of Residence Life can help you make that transition. You'll be part of a community with other students, be close to your classes, and have 24-hour support from a highly trained professional staff. We recommend you apply early to ensure you secure a space on campus!
We cannot arrange off-campus housing for you. If on-campus housing is not available, or if you need to live off-campus for a compelling reason, you can try looking at the apartment rental or room rental listings on Craigslist, or you can check the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer rental listings. You can look for Fairbanks hostels and extended stay hotel rooms. Neither the University of Alaska Fairbanks nor UAF International Programs & Initiatives can guarantee the quality or safety of off-campus housing. You will need to carefully evaluate any prospective housing situation!
Do I have to sign up for a meal plan?
All undergraduate students living in Bartlett Hall, Lathrop Hall, McIntosh Hall, MacLean House, Moore Hall, Nerland Hall, Skarland Hall, Stevens Hall, or Wickersham Hall are required to purchase meal plans.
For all other students, the meal plan is optional. For more information about UAF meal plans, visit UAF Dining Services.
Can I legally work in the U.S.?
You are allowed to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. There is no hourly restriction for on-campus work during official vacation perios (summer and winter breaks).
If you are enrolled in a UAF degree program and are in F-1 status, you should talk with the Immigration Compliance staff. We will also need a copy of your job offer. After you have been enrolled for one full academic year, you are eligible for off-campus employment in your field of study. This is Optional Practical Training. You will apply to and received approval from the USCIS. The application processing time may take up to 3 months to receive approval. You will need to provide additional information to our office before the application is submitted to USCIS.
If you are a visiting student in J-1 status, you need to contact the Study Away Advisor and provide a copy of your job offer letter.