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FAQ

  • Global Education Office: 505-277-4032

  • International Admissions Office: 505-277-5829

  • Student Health & Counseling: 505-277-3136

  • Campus Housing Office: 505-277-2606

  • General University Information: 505-277-0111

  • To subscribe to the listserve:

    • Send a message from your email account to: listserv@unm.edu

    • Leave the subject field blank

    • Type in the body of the message: subscribe intlstud-L Firstname Last Name

  • To follow us on Facebook:

    • Search for the Public Group titled “World Student Alliance” and join!

    • Look out for event notifications on your homepage or find planned events and announcements on the group page.

Check out the International Couples and Scholars Organization! ICASO is an organization for international couples, students and scholars with children, and scholars at UNM who have an interest in meeting other mature individuals from around the world. ICASO provides opportunities for members to make friends with others from around the world, and provides a support network for all non-UNM spouses/partners and UNM students/scholars. Activities range from potluck dinner parties, to cooking demonstrations, to trips outside of Albuquerque. You can contact ICASO by:

  • New scholars should arrive in the U.S. no earlier than 30 days prior to the start date on their DS-2019.

  • You should get settled into your accommodations and then report to your department.

  • If your department hasn’t signed you up already, contact GEO to sign up for an International Scholar Orientation, which takes place every Wednesday at 10am. Attend the earliest possible orientation upon your arrival.

  • Review the Welcome Letter, Exchange Visitor Welcome Brochure, and Scholar Arrival Guide which you received with your DS-2019 for complete details.

UNM is about five miles from the Sunport (Albuquerque’s airport). You can contact volunteers at International Students, Inc. to arrange for free airport pick-up (see the welcome letter for more details). You may also take a shuttle or a taxi from the airport. The Sunport shuttle is located on the first floor across from the Southwest Airlines baggage claim. You can also take a taxi. Here is some helpful contact information:

  • International Students, Inc.: isiabq@isionline.org

  • Sunport Shuttle: 505-883-4966

  • Albuquerque Cab Company: 505-883-4888

  • Lowe’s Taxi Cab: 505-604-7185

  • If you have no made living arrangements prior to your arrival in the U.S., check your Scholar Arrival Guide (page 3) for a list of hotels, or research your own temporary accommodations online.

  • For information on finding permanent housing, see your Scholar Arrival Guide (page 3) or visit the Housing section.

Albuquerque’s climate is typically warm and dry, with low relative humidity. There are four distinct seasons, so you want to plan your wardrobe for each. The winters can be very cold or sometimes mild, depending on the year. Spring is usually windy and cool, with occasional snow-fall late in the season. Summers are usually hot, with annual monsoons (seasonal afternoon rain showers) beginning typically in July. Fall is mild, with cool nights and little rain.

  • Visit the City of Albuquerque website to learn about city’s structure and resources, as well as the history of Albuquerque and its unique culture.

  • It’s a great city if you love the outdoors! There are plenty of outdoor activities to engage in, whether you enjoy hiking, biking, skiing, fishing, climbing, or just walking.

  • Old Town Albuquerque is a great place to get acquainted with traditional New Mexican culture and architecture. It features many restaurants, places to shop, and museums, as well as the city’s Zoo, Aquarium, and Botanical Park.

  • The Nob Hill neighborhood, located along the historic U.S. Route 66 (Central Avenue), is home to many local restaurants, pubs, cafes, boutiques, dance/yoga studios, and shops. Check out the Guild Cinema, an independent movie theater; stop by Empire Board Game Library, where you can enjoy a café while renting out board games by the hour; or simply walk around and explore the various local eateries and stores.

  • Albuquerque is home to the International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air balloon gathering in the world. This is usually held in early October.

  • The annual New Mexico State Fair runs for approximately 3 weeks in September, with plenty of regional food, cultural events, art shows, and carnival rides to engage in.

  • The Sandia Peak Tramway is an aerial tramway that stretches from the northeast edge of the city to the top of the Sandia Mountains. It is the world's third longest single span tram ride. At the top of the mountains are several scenic trail heads for excellent hiking, mountain-biking, and skiing (in the winter).

  • J-1 scholars cannot work in the U.S. for any institution other than the one listed on their DS-2019, unless written authorization from an international advisor has been granted in advance. Consult an international advisor and see the scholar Immigration & Work section on this website for more information.

  • Note: working in the U.S. without authorization is a serious violation of your immigration status and can lead to termination of your program and deportation!

  • After attending orientation at GEO, you will be given a temporary Social Security number (SSN) and your UNM ID number.

  • Go to netid.unm.edu, click on “I am new – I need a NetID,” and follow the directions. Please note that your NetID is the same as your UNM email address and it cannot be changed once it’s created.

  • If unexpected events cause your arrival in the U.S. to be delayed until after the start date on your DS-2019, notify GEO and your UNM department immediately. A new DS-2019 with a postponed start date may have to be issued for you.

These questions can be complicated depending on your current status and specific circumstances. Coming GEO to speak with an advisor is a good place to start. However, our advisors specialize in F and J visas. We can give you basic information, but will ultimately refer you to immigration lawyers for specific filing assistance and application review. For a list of immigration lawyers, click here.

While international students/scholars sometimes choose this option, we strongly advise that you come and speak to a GEO advisor first, as it may be risky.

While immigration regulations do not require specific immunizations, UNM does. In most cases you will receive a letter from the University detailing this requirement after admission. If you did not receive it, or would like access to it again, see the following document on the Student Health & Counseling website for instructions: http://shac.unm.edu/medical-services/immunizations.html

  • Yes, health insurance is required for all international J-1 scholars and J-2 dependents.

  • It is recommended that you purchase travel insurance to cover you until you have arrived in Albuquerque and enrolled in an insurance plan.

  • If you will be paid by UNM, you may be eligible for UNM employee health insurance through your department. Otherwise, you must purchase health insurance from an external provider. See the scholar Health Care section for details.

  • Many international scholars encounter issues getting a credit card in the U.S. First, you need a social security number (SSN), which you’re only eligible for if you are being paid for a job in the U.S. In addition, many credit card companies require that applicants have a credit history in the U.S. before issuing cards. Thus, even if you have an SSN, you may have to check with different companies to see if they’ll issue a card to you.

  • A similar issue exists with cell phones. Most phone companies require you to have an SSN. If you don’t have a job/SSN, it is recommended you look into pre-paid cell phones that don’t require a contract. You can buy these at places like Walmart, Kmart and various other locations.

LawHelp New Mexico provides telephone advice, referral and information in civil legal matters such as divorce, paternity, custody, visitation; unemployment compensation; landlord/tenant evictions and repairs; advice for "pro se" cases; self-help materials; referrals to other legal services in New Mexico and help for all New Mexico residents regardless of citizenship status. Law Access New Mexico handles ALL cases over the telephone but does NOT provide ongoing legal representation or go to court. They can be reached at 505.998.4529, Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 3:45 pm or online at http://www.lawhelpnewmexico.org/abq.

  • You can visit the Law Access New Mexico website for information related to Housing issues. Be sure to view these useful handouts that are posted on the above website-

    • Landlord-Tenant: 10 Tips Every Tenant Should Know

    • Landlord-Tenant: Getting Property Back

    • Landlord-Tenant: Landlord's Rights and Responsibilities

    • Landlord-Tenant: Security Deposit Return

    • Landlord-Tenant: Cleaning & Repairs Landlords Can Charge For

    • Housing Discrimination

    • Landlord's Restitution (Eviction) Process

Welcome to the UNM community!

Don’t hesitate to contact us or come by our office with any questions -- we are here to help!

We encourage you to come out to GEO social events and get to know our staff as well as other international students and scholars. We would love to meet you!