New students can arrive in the US no earlier than 30 days prior to the start date on the I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 students)
You should get settled into your accommodations and then report to GEO to sign up for a check-in session.
Review your welcome letter and the international student brochure that you received with your I-20 for complete details. The welcome letter is also on this website (from the homepage, click on “international students” and “incoming students”)
UNM is about five miles from the airport. You can contact volunteers with 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 (airport) 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. email at: email@example.com or contact Joan Lasche by phone: 505-238-6064.
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 US, check your brochure (page 10) for a list of hotels, or you can research your own temporary accommodations online.
If you are signed up to live on campus, check your housing information for the move-in dates. Usually, the dorms open 1 week before the start of fall classes. You will need temporary housing (i.e. hotel accommodations) if you arrive before the dorms open.
For permanent housing, check page 11 of your new student brochure for details and visit this website for more information: http://och.unm.edu/.
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 less rain.
Visit the City of Albuquerque website to learn about the history of Albuquerque and our unique culture; click here
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 or just walking.
Old Town Albuquerque is a great “touristy” place to start, with great restaurants, places to shop, museums, the zoo and biological park.
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 and carnival rides to engage in.
The Sandia Peak Tramway is located at the base of the Sandia Mountain Range (east side of the city). This is the world’s longest passenger aerial tramway, taking you from the base of the mountains to the top – with some of the best views you’ve ever seen!
Yes. A “hold” is placed on your student account preventing you from registering for classes at the time of admission. You must complete both orientation and check-in to have the hold removed, to have your immigration record validated, and to prevent disenrollment from the University. You will also receive your ID numbers at this time, which will allow you to obtain your UNM ID Card and create your email account. New students should review their welcome letter and brochure for important dates and further information.
If you’re arriving late and the start date on your UNM immigration document is in the past, you should contact the university.
If you’re a graduate student, contact your department and ask for a letter giving you permission to enroll in classes late, and if you have an assistantship, the letter should indicate that your position will be held for you and that you can begin this late as well.
If you’re an undergraduate, you should contact the Dean of Students Office to report your late arrival and get permission for a late orientation session (you should have this in writing as well).
Immigration officials may ask for this documentation when arriving in the US when they notice your start date has already passed.
Note: The last day to register for classes for the semester is usually the end of the second week of classes, so if you’re arriving after this it may be too late to register for the semester. If you think you may be arriving later than this, please call GEO and ask to speak to an advisor for guidance.
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
Living in Albuquerque
International Admissions Office: 505-277-5829
Global Education Office: 505-277-4032
Student Health & Counseling: 505-277-3136
Campus Housing Office: 505-277-2606
General University Information: 505-277-0111
Housing assignments and information is usually sent out to all students (who have signed up for fall) around the week of July 4th every year.
GEO organizes regular events called “social hours” every couple of weeks throughout the school year. This is a great way to meet other students and participate in a variety of activities. If you’ve signed up for the GEO listserve and/or the (World Student Alliance) Facebook Account, you’ll receive information on all of our events!
You can also participate in University wide events throughout the year, or join a club or organization (UNM has over 300). To find out more information, visit http://sac.unm.edu/
To subscribe to the listserve:
Send a message from your email account to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave the subject field blank
Type in the body of the message: subscribe intlstud-L Firstname Last Name
Go to www.facebook.com
Enter your personal info and assign a picture to your profile
Click on “Groups” tab and search for “World Student Alliance”
Join this group
Look out for event “notifications” on your homepage or find planned events
Yes, health insurance is required for all international students and proof of insurance must be provided at the start of the semester (the deadline will be given to you at check-in). It is a good idea to purchase travel insurance to cover you until you have arrived in Albuquerque and enroll in an insurance plan.
If you have an assistantship, in most cases your insurance will be paid be your department. An advisor will explain your plan and give you an informational booklet at your check-in session.
If you need to purchase your own insurance, GEO has an International insurance plan you can purchase, or you may select from the two plans available at the health center. You can also select your own provider from another source. Information will also be given to you at check-in.
To start learning about the plans available to you at the University, return to our homepage and click on “Handouts” and “Health Information”.
Many international students have trouble getting a credit card in the US. First, you need to have a job and social security number (SSN). Many credit card companies want you to have some credit history in the US before issuing a card to you (but you can’t show credit history in the US without credit!!). So, for those students with an SSN, you may have to check with different companies to see if they’ll issue a card to you.
A similar issue exists regarding cell phones. Most companies require you to have an SSN in order to get a cell phone. If you have a job, then you’re eligible for a social security number. If you don’t have a job/SSN, it is recommended you look into the pre-paid cell phones that don’t require a contract. You can buy these at places like Walmart, Kmart and various other locations.
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