How exciting! We are pleased to invite you to the UMKC family, but before you leave home and start your trek to UMKC, there are many things to consider.  Review all of the information below to help prepare for the exciting journey that awaits.

Before check-in preparation checklist

  1. Review important pre-departure information
  2. Complete E-Orientation
  3. Travel to Kansas City
    You must arrive in Kansas City no later than the reporting date that is noted on your I-20 or DS-2019 as the start date of your study. You cannot arrive in the United States more than 30 days before the reporting date.

Travel Tips

Many students find international travel to be fun and exciting. We want your trip to Kansas City to be safe and pleasant. For this reason, please observe the following travel tips:

  • Hand-carry your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, admission letter, bank or funding verification, and any other official or original documents like transcripts or diplomas.
  • Reconfirm your flight at least three days before leaving your country.
  • To reduce jet lag, drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids on the plane, and get some rest. Refrain from eating a lot of food that contains a significant amount of salt and sugar.
  • Never carry a large amount of cash. Carry your money, passport, immigration documents, and important documents with you on the plane. You should have at least $1,500 in traveler’s checks when you arrive to cover initial expenses such as taxi or bus fare, meals, first rent installment, books and supplies. Bank drafts, other than negotiable traveler’s checks, will take one or two weeks before the money is available for you to use.
  • If you need help, ask an airport employee.
  • Never leave your luggage unattended.
  • Be cooperative, patient and courteous when waiting in travel lines (queues).

Arrival Information and Assistance

Kansas City International (KCI) Airport is served by large airlines including: American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Midwest Airlines, United Airlines, Continental Airlines and Northwest Airlines. Please make sure that Kansas City is your final destination (the airport code is MCI).

Luggage: Be aware that airlines have a maximum weight requirement per suitcase. Airlines charge a large handling fee for each piece of luggage you bring. If you have a great deal of luggage to bring with you to Kansas City, you may want to ship some items to the university before you leave your country.

Transportation from the Airport to UMKC

Super Shuttle:
The cost for one-way transportation on a SuperShuttle, for up to three people, is between $39 USD and $79 USD, plus tip. Please note that the rate quoted is dependent on destination zip code. Additional passengers on the same trip may not be discounted. All major credit cards, cash and International Traveler’s Checks are accepted. You can arrange for the SuperShuttle to pick you up by calling 1-816-243-5000, or you can make a reservation online.

The cost for one-way transportation via taxi is $40 to $100 USD, plus tip. Please note that final charge is based on miles traveled to destination.

Hotels near UMKC:

  • Best Western Seville Plaza Hotel, Tel: 816-561-9600, 4309 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
  • Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza, Tel: 816-753-7400, 1 East 45th Street, Kansas City, MO

The average cost per night at a local hotel with be $75 to $100 USD. (Identify that you are a UMKC student to get special rates.)

While tipping is not considered mandatory in the United States, it is customary and often expected for those that provide you with a service. (Example of a service provider: taxi drivers, waiters, bartenders, hair stylist). Tipping is a way to acknowledge good services. A fair tip for good service is around 15 percent of your bill.

Housing Information

Admission to the University DOES NOT guarantee you will receive university housing. You are responsible for arranging your own housing.

  • Students are not required to live on campus. We recommend you make housing reservations before coming to Kansas City.
  • You will need to contact Residential Life directly to reserve your on-campus housing or review student housing options on the ISAO website.

Financial Arrangements

It is important that you review all cost estimates listed on your UMKC I-20 or DS 2019.

  • These estimates are the minimum projections in most cases; actual costs will vary according to your lifestyle.
  • Remember the tuition amounts on your immigration document reflect full-time enrollment for fall and spring semesters only (12 credit hours per semester for undergraduate students and nine credit hours per semester for graduate students). You may choose to enroll in more courses; however, this means higher total tuition costs.
  • Do not expect or depend on financial aid or part-time employment to meet your educational expenses. On-campus employment is competitive and is not guaranteed.

Payment of Fees

  • All fees are payable at the time of registration. An International Student Services fee of $80 per 16 week semester (or $40 for summer sessions) is charged to all non-immigrant students on an F-1 or J-1 visa. This mandatory fee is billed to your student account during your first semester of enrollment, regardless of the length of your academic stay at UMKC.
  • UMKC students may also arrange a five-installment payment plan with the Cashier’s Office.
  • If a bill is to be sent to a government sponsoring agency or institution, please present your sponsor’s guarantee letter for payment to the university cashier upon registration.
  • For additional information about university fees, see the Cashier’s Office site.

Financial Aid and Employment

  • University funded financial aid is limited, and the aid that does exist is available almost exclusively to graduate students in the form of graduate assistantships.
  • Those graduate departments that have assistantships will generally not consider an international student for an award until after a semester or a year of study at UMKC.
  • International students awarded graduate assistantships that include teaching responsibilities must satisfactorily complete an English language screening and training program before undertaking teaching assignments.
  • Authorization for part-time employment on the UMKC campus is available. Although sometimes hard to find, on-campus jobs in various university offices and departments can be located if a student has work skills and experience.
  • Working off-campus without permission from immigration or ISAO is illegal for F-1 and J-1 students. U.S. Immigration law prohibits all U.S. employers from hiring anyone who does not have a verifiable, legal permission for employment, and international students cannot apply for such employment permission until they have completed one full academic year of study in the degree field (not including English as a Second Language).

Official Documents to Bring

Official transcripts or degree certificates – Many students are required to show their official transcripts, mark sheets, graduate certificates, and degree certificates upon arrival. Read your admission letter carefully to determine what documents we may need upon arrival. If we have requested documents in your admission letter, you will receive a hold on your student account. This hold will prevent you from enrolling in future semesters. The hold cannot be removed until we see official documents from the institution you attended in your home country.

Making Connections on Facebook

Visit the International Student Affairs Office’s Facebook page. Once you have liked the page, you can send messages to our ambassadors and post questions or comments. We look forward to hearing from you!