Travel Tips

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.

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. . You should have a means to cover initial expenses such as taxi or bus fare, meals, and initial housing.
    • 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 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).

Be aware that airlines have a maximum weight requirement per suitcase.  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.

Rideshare programs like UBER and Lyft may also be used from the airport, with the cost ranging from $25 USD to $85USD.

Black Car Services:
Prestige Transportation offers black car services with luxury vehicle line-up. Cost ranges from $100 to $275, depending on the time of day, choice of vehicle, and passenger and luggage capacity. You can receive estimates and make a reservation online.


Hotels near UMKC

The average cost per night at a local hotel with be $100 to $125 USD. (Call the suggested hotels directly and identify that you are a UMKC student to get special rates.)

Housing Information

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

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

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; 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 $200 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 where you can send messages to our ambassadors and post questions or comments. We look forward to hearing from you!

Many student groups, or RooGroups, are also active on social media! Explore RooGroups here and get connected!

Remember to read through your Pre-Arrival packet  – you can download the pdf for easy access to important contact information while you travel.