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Preparing for Arrival

Prepare for your move by acquiring housing, necessary immunizations and health requirements, and more. Explore all of our pre-arrival resources. 

Before You Leave

Take the steps to obtain on-campus or off-campus housing and fulfilling health requirements, including getting immunizations and student health insurance. 

Fall 2024 housing move-in date and early arrival request (for undergraduate students)

The official housing move-in date for new first-year and transfer students is Tuesday, September 17, 2024. The Housing Early Arrival Program allows new first-year and transfer international students with a 2024-2025 housing contract the opportunity to move-in as early as September 15, 2024.  Please note International Wildcat Welcome programming will begin on September 16, 2024, so ideally new undergraduate international students will arrive on or by September 15th. 


The Early Arrival program is billed at a flat rate per night and is charged based on the number of days the student is on campus. For the 2024-2025 academic year, the flat rate is $50 per night for each night you arrive prior to the official move in date of September 17, 2024. The early arrival cost will be billed to the student account after the start of fall term for students who are not receiving financial aid or serving as International Peer Advisors. 

How to request early arrival housing

Any student who desires Early Arrival housing must apply by completing an online form in the Housing Portal. Requests will be accepted beginning August 12, 2024, and the deadline to apply for Early Arrival housing is August 23, 2024.

More information

Review full information from Residential Services at Undergraduate Early Arrival Request Policy: Residential Services - Northwestern University.

Fall 2024 OISS sponsored airport shuttle

OISS will provide shuttle transportation from Chicago O'Hare Airport to the Evanston campus on September 15, 2024 only. There will be 3 shuttles throughout the day offered on a first come  first serve basis. Check back closer to the date for information on where to meet and the shuttle departure times.

Plan Your Arrival

F-1 and J-1 students may not arrive to the U.S. more than 30 days before the start date listed on the F-1 I-20 or the J-1 DS-2019.  This requirement, as well as the student check-in and orientation dates, will need to be considered when arranging travel. Lean more about:

Learn about immigration documents

Learn about student visas, the Form I-20 and DS-2019 before you arrive on the Understanding Immigration Documents resource section.

COVID-19 Vaccine - No longer required for most students

Northwestern announced on April 26, 2023 that it will no longer require the COVID-19 vaccination for most students. All related registration holds have been released. The COVID-19 vaccination will still be required for students in most clinical programs to comply with clinical site requirements. 

Upon Arrival

Within 5 days of arrival to the United States, new and transfer F-1 & J-1 students must complete the tasks outline on the Arrival Checklist for New Students.