Travel Information

Travel Stress

It is common to become stressed and overwhelmed when traveling to a new country. To help make your travel easier:

  • Plan ahead. Organize your travels, arrival and transportation
  • Do research on life in Michigan and the American culture
  • Bring pictures of family and friends with you
  • Get plenty of sleep and drink extra water
  • Avoid heavy or irregular meals and alcohol before and during a long trip
  • Stretch your muscles and walk around before and after your flight
  • Massage your legs, feet, neck and shoulders to relieve tension from long flights

When to Arrive

It is best to arrive one to two weeks before classes start. Arrive in time to attend the mandatory International Student Orientation and check-in. You may not arrive more than 30 days before the program start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019.

If You Cannot Arrive Before Classes Start

It is best to arrive one to two weeks before classes start. If you are unable to arrive at campus prior to the day classes begin, please contact the Office for International Students and Scholars and your academic advisor. If this is a concern, please contact our office at [email protected]. The Office for International Students & Scholars strongly discourages late arrival for many reasons.

Where to Arrive and Getting to Campus

Arrive at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The airport is located in Romulus, Michigan, only a car ride away from Ypsilanti and EMU. Shuttle, taxi and car rentals are available at the airport. We recommend you have cash in hand as well as on travel/debit card to pay the taxi.

Luggage Advice

Label all of your luggage with your home country address and your US address. Various items, such as foods and medicines are not allowed in the U.S. For more information on restricted items, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Know Before You Visit website.

How Much Money You Should Bring

Exchange money at the airport or before you arrive. We suggest you obtain $100 in US dollars and coins. This can be used for cab rides, bus fares, tips, food and baggage carts. Exchange more if you are planning on staying in a hotel.

  • Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) are widely available
  • Open a local bank account as soon as possible to keep your money safe

If you are bringing more than $10,000USD in any form (cash, bank draft, or traveler's checks) you must declare it to US Customs on a FinCen 105 Form. Print this form. You will not be charged for bringing in these funds. Do not pack any money or traveler's checks in your luggage; it may be lost or stolen. Keep all money and traveler's checks with you at all times.

Documents Received Upon Arrival

On your flight you will receive a Customs Declaration Form (6059B) and information regarding the electronic I-94 form. Complete these forms before you land. Be sure to print your name, family name (last name), date of birth and country of citizenship exactly as shown in your passport. List your US address on the forms. Do not list the school's address or your home country address. Remember, in the United States the date is written as month/day/year. If you have questions while completing the following forms, please ask a flight attendant for assistance.

The Immigration Process

Please be polite and patient. You must state your reason for entering the country and provide information about your final destination. Tell the immigration officer you are studying in the United States. Be prepared to provide the name and address of the Eastern Michigan University, if asked. The immigration officers may ask the purpose of your stay and about the items on your entry documents (such as proof of funds). Have your documents ready. You will need:

  • Passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of arrival
  • F or J valid visa
  • SEVIS I-901 receipt, and I-20 or DS-2019. Do not enter the US on another school's I-20 or DS-2019 if you are going to study at EMU.
  • CF-6059 Customs Declaration Form
  • Evidence of Financial Support
  • Contact Information for OISS: 734.487.3116
    • Monday–Thursday, 9am - 4pm EST (Eastern Standard Time)
    • 240 Student Center, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
    • After-hours contact: EMU Police Department 734.487.1222

When your inspection is successfully complete, the immigration officer will:

  • Stamp your passport for the duration of status ("D/S") for F-1 and J-1 visas

Make sure you have all of your documents and the stamped dates are correct. Remember, in the United States the date is written as month/day/year. Welcome to the United States!


This is a registration system that tracks the entries and exits of nonimmigrant visa holders in the United States. Digital fingerprints and a photograph are usually taken during the visa application process and repeated upon arrival in the United States. More information on Biometric Identity Management.

The OISS does not endorse or recommend any of the above companies. They are provided merely as an informational resource.

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