Before You Arrive

After you are admitted, you will receive a packet of information from the ELI with your acceptance letter and Form I-20. Please contact us at or +1 410-455-2831 if you have any questions as you prepare to begin your studies in the U.S.

You can read more instructions here and in the packet sent with your Form I-20.

Please contact the ELI after your visa appointment and tell us if your visa was approved or denied.

All students at UMBC must show proof of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccinations. You may ask your doctor to sign the Mandatory UMBC Health Form or bring copies of other medical records that show the dates of your immunizations (Please DO NOT MAIL the signed form).

All international students must get a TB (tuberculosis) test after arriving in the U.S. Please do not get the test in your country because it must be done in the U.S.

If you will be under age 18 when you arrive at the ELI, please have a parent or adult relative sign the Mandatory UMBC Health Form. Bring the signed form to ELI orientation (Please DO NOT MAIL the signed form).

You may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date on your Form I-20.  Carry your Form I-20 and I-901 fee payment receipt with your passport—do not put them in your checked luggage! You will need to show these documents to the immigration officials at the airport.

The closest airport to UMBC is Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).  BWI is approximately 10 minutes to UMBC by taxi.

Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD) is approximately 50 miles (90 km) from UMBC.  The trip by car takes 60 to 90 minutes.

If you will look for housing after you arrive in the U.S., we recommend that you reserve a hotel room for your first few days in Maryland.  There are many hotels near BWI Airport and Arundel Mills Mall.

If you want to live in campus housing, please apply before you arrive.  The ELI will inform you if space is available.

If you want to live off-campus, please read the information on our website about apartments near UMBC and transportation options.  Contact the ELI if you have any questions.

You are not required to report to the ELI before orientation (the program start date on your Form I-20).  However, you are welcome to visit if you want to see the facilities or ask any questions.  We are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Please bring the following documents to orientation:

  • Passport

  • Form I-20

  • I-94 card (if any)

  • Your current U.S. address, even if it is a hotel or temporary address

  • Mandatory UMBC Health Form or other immunization records

  • Funds to pay for ELI tuition