Arrange Your Travels

To help ease your travel, we have provided information below to help you prepare and arrive in the U.S. Additionally, we offer web resources, driving distances between cities in Ohio and the U.S., and lastly, information on booking your stay if you intend to stay in a hotel before you arrange your housing. 

Booking Travel Dates & Airport Pickup 

  • Book your flights in accordance with your Program Start Date. On your Form I-20 your Program Start Date is listed in the Program of Study box in the middle of the first page. The Program Start Date on the DS-2019 is listed in box number 3 as Form Covers Period. You are permitted to enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to your Program Start Date. It is crucial that you arrive to Kent State before the Program Start Date.  

  • Information about airports near us is located on our Airport/Arrivals webpage. We offer a subsidized rate for pickups to our new international students.  

Schedule Your Airport Pickup

Documents to Carry 

  • Form I-20 or DS-2019 

  • Valid Passport (valid for at least 6 months after arrival) 

  • Valid U.S. Visa (Exceptions include Canada and Bermuda, see Paying Your SEVIS Fee information

  • Recommended: KSU Admission Letter—if you do not have this, please contact for an electronic copy 

Packing Suggestions 

  • Clothing: Ohio has all four seasons, so it is important to prepare for this by packing the correct clothing. 

    • Winter—Temperatures during the winter months can sometimes get as cold as 20°F (-7°C) or lower. Snow can be common and abundant during the first few months of spring semester. We recommend that you bring appropriate clothing with you or acquire it immediately upon your arrival including hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, heavy winter coat (with hood), snow boots and other generally warm clothing. 

    • Spring/Fall—These seasons can be wet and have a varying range of weather from warm (75°F or 23°C) to cold (40°F or 4°C). Sweaters, jeans, waterproof boots, and light weight jackets are staple items to get you through these transitional seasons. 

    • Summer—The summer season can range between 65°F (18°C) and 95°F (35°C), we typically do not hit 100°F days too often. Shorts, tee shirts, and swimwear may be necessary if you intend to stay in Kent throughout the summer. 

  • Academic Documents: If you applied for an academic program or intend to apply for one after you complete ESL, it is important to pack your final and official academic documents such as transcripts, diplomas, degree certificates, and any other documents. International Admissions will need to verify these upon your arrival. Contact if you have any questions about what documents you should bring with you. 

  • Reminder of Home: You may experience home sickness in your initial months. For this reason, we always recommend bringing photos or trinkets to remind you of friends and family while you are adjusting to your new home at KSU. Cultural items are also great to bring and share while you are here for events such as our Cultural Cafes or the International Cook Off. 

  • Other Miscellaneous Items: Since your stay in the U.S. is most likely an extended one, it is not important to pack general hygiene items, bedding, etc. There are places to shop in the area where you can find affordable prices and we would rather you pack only the necessities. 

Port of Entry (POE) 

Arrive at the Port of Entry (POE) into the U.S. This is the place where you will go through U.S. Customs (typically in the first U.S. airport you land) and talk to a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officer.  Important note: Your visa shows that you have been approved to enter the U.S., but it is not a guarantee to get into the U.S. Having correct documentation at the POE is crucial for this reason. 

Web Resources to Use before Traveling 

Driving Distances to Cities in Ohio and the U.S. 

Cities in Ohio (Driving distance from Kent): 

Cities in the United States (Driving distance from Kent): 

Booking Your Stay in the U.S.