Welcome to UT Dallas! We're glad you're here! Traveling to a new country may seem difficult. Below are some tips to help guide the way.
Port of Entry Advice
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement provides information about what an F-1 student or J-1
exchange visitor can expect upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry. You may want to download and
print this information to carry it with you as you travel to the U.S.
What to Pack
On March 21, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security released Aviation Security Enhancements for
Select Last Point of Departure Airports with Commercial Flights to the United States. It
requires all passengers traveling from, or transiting into, 10 specific overseas airports to
place all personal electronic devices (PDE’s) larger than a cell phone or smart phone in checked
baggage. The measure remains in effect.
- Pack Light — Visit the U.S. Transportation Security Administration website
which items are prohibited for air travel.
- Clothes — The weather in Texas changes with the seasons. It is very hot
during the summer
(highs around 100 degrees Fahrenheit/37 degrees Celsius), and cold in the winter (lows around 32 degrees
Fahrenheit/0 degrees Celsius).
- Fashion — While there is no formal dress code at U.S. universities, most
casually, such as jeans and shirts. It is recommended that you bring at least one semi-formal
- Mementos from Home — You may want to bring items that remind you of home.
You may also want
to bring traditional dress from your country for festivals and/or special occasions.
- Household Items — Plan on purchasing most of your household items (small
appliances, kitchenware, bed sheets, towels, etc.) once you arrive.
- Valuables — We recommend that you put valuable items in your carry-on bag
in case your
suitcase gets lost or
misplaced during your flight. Carry your immigration documents with you during your flight.
- Important Documents — Consider having your important documents (school
license, medication prescriptions, etc.) translated into English before you leave your
To learn more information about what to pack for your trip to the U.S., watch the What to Pack
video on Youtube or Youku.
Traveling to Dallas, Texas
Train and Bus Services
- AMTRAK arrives at Union Station in downtown Dallas
(distance from campus: 20 miles/32 km).
- Greyhound arrives in downtown Dallas (distance
from campus: 20 miles/32 km).
- Megabus arrives in downtown Dallas (distance from
campus: 16.4 miles/26.4 km).
Transportation to the UT Dallas Campus
BigHowdy, a program run by students, community
volunteers and local churches, offers free
airport pick-up for new students (before fall and spring semesters). Visit their website to
Some other options are listed below. Approximate price and time to campus is from DFW
In addition, some UT Dallas student organizations provide transportation for new students
the DFW airport to campus. Contact these student organizations by reviewing the list on the
ICP housing webpage.
Driving in the U.S.
Driving in the U.S. requires a valid U.S. driver’s license and sufficient driver’s insurance.
Insurance requirements vary by state. Your insurance must meet the requirements for the state in
which you reside. If you own a vehicle, there are additional requirements.
- In Texas, driver’s licenses are managed by the Texas
Department of Public Safety.
- If you have a valid license from your home country and your country recognizes an equivalent
U.S. license as valid, you may drive up to one year on the out-of-country license.
- To get a Texas driver’s license, you will take written and driving exams and show proof of
NOTE: F-1 students whose Optional Practical Training (OPT) Employment Authorization Document
(EAD) has expired, but are pending approval of either a 17-month
OPT extension or H-1B
Relief, will be unable to renew their license until the new status is approved.
- For information about obtaining a Texas driver’s license, pick up a brochure in the International Student Services Office.
- See the Texas Department of Public Safety
website for driving laws.
- See the Texas Driver Handbook for
information about Texas insurance requirements.
- Car owners must
register their vehicle.
Parking at UT Dallas
You are required to purchase and properly display a valid UT Dallas parking permit if you plan to park a car on campus. This requirement also applies to parking at:
- University Village apartments.
- University Commons residence halls.