We realize that traveling to a foreign country is a huge event – it makes you excited and nervous at the same time. We hope to dispel some of your anxiety with the links below, outlining items and information you’ll need before your trip.

Pre-departure checklist for people admitted to a U.S. school

  • Obtain a passport for yourself and any dependents who will accompany you.
  • Obtain a student or exchange-visitor visa from a U.S. consular post.
  • Make arrangements for health and accident insurance that will cover you (and your dependents) during your travels and for the length of time before school begins. You cannot be covered by traveler's insurance as a student.
  • Give your family a contact number in the U.S., such as the number of OU International Student Services, (405) 325-3337, or CESL, (405) 325-2351.
  • If possible, apply for housing before you arrive in the U.S.
  • Include your immigration documents in your carry-on bag in case your checked luggage is lost.
  • Label your luggage, inside and outside, with your name and the CESL address:

Center for English as a Second Language
300 Kellogg Dr
Norman, OK 73072
Telephone: (405) 325-2351


There are many student-oriented apartment complexes located in Norman. If you would like to live on the OU campus in University Housing, explore your options at OU Housing and Food.

Student and Exchange Visitor Program

For more information regarding Sevis Requirements, visit the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) SEVIS I-901 fee processing website.


Other things to consider


We have an expression here in Oklahoma: 
"If you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes. It will change!"

  • June, July, and August are hot. Bring cool clothes like shorts, t-shirts, swimsuits, etc.
  • September and October are cool early in the mornings, with hot or warm afternoons. Bring a jacket.
  • November through February are cool or cold months. Bring a heavy coat, sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, etc.
  • March through May is our rainy season. Bring clothes for warm and cool days during these months because the weather changes quite a bit.

Bring a major credit card like Visa or MasterCard with you, if possible. Obtaining a credit card in the U.S. can be difficult or very expensive for an international student.

It is wise to have a budget (a plan showing how much money you will spend for each major aspect of your life while in the U.S.) and to know where that money will come from. In your application for admission and for a visa, you provided documents assuring that you have enough money for all of your expenses. If you do not actually have the money or access to it, you should not come to the United States.

Medical, dental, and vision care are very expensive in the United States. The student health insurance at OU does not cover dental and vision care. You can save money and get service in a more familiar setting if you receive medical, dental, and vision examinations and treatments before you leave your country.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security personnel at the port of entry are authorized to search you and your luggage when you seek admission to the U.S.

When you arrive at Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport (OKC), you will have access to many options to get from the airport to Norman. See options for transportation from the airport.