Skip to main content

Life at UC

Snow campus pavilion

New Student Arrival & Check-in

The University of Cincinnati looks forward to the arrival of all of our new students. All new students must complete the Pre-Arrival Checklist in iBearcatsGlobal before arriving in Cincinnati. Visit the link Click on the "Limited iStart Services" link and enter your UC ID number and date of birth. This will take you to our Pre-Arrival Checklist. You will want to review and complete all checklist items before coming to check-in.There are multiple Check-in dates for Fall Semester and a single check-in day for Spring and Summer semesters.

Immigration Check-In Schedule

All new international graduate students are required to attend Immigration check-in upon arrival. Failure to come to immigration check-in will  result in cancelling of your student immigration status. The schedule is as follows:

  • Spring Semester 2017

    January 4, 2017 

  • Summer Semester 2017     

    May 3, 2017 

New International Student Conference

All new international graduate students are invited to attend the new International Student conference. The conference features concurrent sessions and a resource fair. The schedule for next fall will be posted soon.

You must arrive in Cincinnati in time to complete a Check-in before classes begin and attend the New International Student Conference or College Orientation.

Online Orientation for International Students

All new international students are required to complete the Online Orientation. The University of Cincinnati's definition of an international student is a student who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. lawful permanent resident. The online orientation will provide you with important information that will help prepare you for applying for a visa and for living and studying in the U.S. It will also provide you with information about maintaining your immigration status, registering for classes, finding on-campus employment, health and safety, and many other topics.

The following groups of international students are required to complete the online orientation:

  • New international students beginning their first academic program at UC. You can access the Online Orientation any time prior to your first day of classes at UC. Completing the online orientation will not replace the requirement that you attend immigration check-in or the New International Student Conference.
  • Current international students who will change their non immigrant status to F-1 or J-1.
  • Returning international students who have taken a leave of absence from UC and wish to resume enrollment.

The Online Orientation consists of several sections, some of which have a quiz at the end of the section. You are required to review each section in the given order and answer 100% of the quiz questions correctly.

Click here to access the online orientation.

Off Campus Housing

Graduate and Family Housing

The Office of Off-Campus Housing is located on the West Campus in the Housing Office in the lower level of Stratford Heights (2634 Stratford Ave). The purpose of the office is two-fold: to assist students in finding appropriate housing in the community surrounding the Uptown campuses, and to provide resources and information that will facilitate a smooth transition.  Emphasis is on graduate students, students with families, and visiting scholars.

In terms of securing housing, it is of vital importance that students have the necessary knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions.  In this regard, the office maintains educational information such as Leasing Tips & Resources, Ohio Tenant Law, Transportation Services, such as the University sponsored Bearcat Transportation System (shuttle) and Metro (city bus service), and other Community Resources to assist your transition to Cincinnati on their website,

The university has compiled a comprehensive list of off-campus apartment buildings containing twenty (20) or more units, located in neighborhoods adjacent to campus – Clifton Gaslight, Clifton/Fairview/University Heights, and Corryville.  The majority of these rentals are within walking distance of the Uptown West and the Uptown East Academic Health Center Campuses.  However, if you would rather not walk, the university provides a free shuttle service during the academic year that traverses the surrounding neighborhoods, with numerous stops on both campuses.     

On a much smaller scale, private listings are posted that offer rental information to those seeking a more private accommodation, such as a home, two-family, duplex, a vacancy in a 4-unit building, or perhaps a bedroom in a shared house. The comprehensive list, corresponding maps, and the private listings are also available on our website

In addition, for degree-seeking graduate students, the offers an interactive off-campus housing program, Off-Campus Housing Needs, which provides an easy way for students to post and search for housing and/or roommate needs. To access this information students need your username (6+2) and Central Login password, as you are connecting to a UC website that requires authentication of your student status.  You may go directly to to access this information.

Should you need transitional housing upon your arrival, Housing & Food Services provides temporary accommodations from July 29 - August 8 for a nightly fee of $25.00 (includes a linen package).  See the “How to Request Temporary Housing” section for more details. 

Further questions about off-campus housing can be directed to

To Landlords

This office provides a venue for landlords to list their available apartments for free, where potential tenants can acess this listing.The list is updated on a regular basis. Landlords can apply for this service by clicking here.

To Students

Online Off-Campus Housing Listings is updated on a regular basis, so please check back regularly. Although we believe that the listing is accurate, neither the University of Cincinnati nor the Housing department endorse or guarantee any specific apartment or lease.

Great diversity exists in off-campus housing opportunities for University of Cincinnati graduate students. The Graduate School has developed an interactive web site that provides an easy way to post and search for housing and/or roommate needs. Whether you are looking for a roommate to split housing costs or looking for a new place to stay, you have come to the right place. UC’s Off-Campus Housing Needs site is the place to find answers to these questions and more.

Additional resources to find roommates and local apartments:

When you rent a room or an apartment you will be required to sign a lease. A lease is a written contract between you and the landlord (the owner of the rental property). When you sign a lease, you agree to pay a certain amount of money each month and to follow certain rules in exchange for the right to occupy the rental property for a set period of time. Most lease agreements require that you pay a security deposit which is usually equal to one month’s rent. This security deposit will be returned to you if you fulfill all the terms of the lease. Read the lease carefully and be sure you understand it before signing it.

Here are some key questions to ask any landlord when considering an apartment:

  • How many minutes does it take to get to UC walking? And driving?
  • Is there a bus line close by?
  • What type of apartment is it? A house? An apartment complex?
  • How many bedrooms does it have?
  • How much is the rent per month?
  • Is a security deposit required?
  • What type of lease is offered (monthly, 6 month, 9 month, year)?
  • Are children allowed?
  • Are pets allowed? Is an extra security deposit required for pets?
  • What kind of heat is used (gas, electric, oil, etc.)?
  • Who pays for utilities (heat, electric, water, etc.)?
  • Is the apartment furnished or unfurnished?
  • What type of flooring is there (carpet, hardwood, tile)?
  • Is there a stove? Is there a refrigerator?
  • What type of parking is available (garage, off-street parking, on-street parking)?
  • How soon will the apartment be available?

Once you have moved in, your main responsibilities are to pay rent on time (use checks only; do not pay with cash) and keep the property in a clean and safe condition. While you have responsibilities to pay rent and keep the property in good condition, your landlord has responsibilities, too. If you believe the landlord is treating you differently than he would treat an American student, or if the landlord is not keeping the property in working condition, tell the landlord to repair the property. Be assertive about the problems and required repairs. Do not accept negligence from your landlord. Demand that the apartment is in a safe, clean, livable condition. Otherwise, you are inviting the landlord to victimize you.

If you have problems with your landlord, it is a good idea to photograph the contested areas of the apartment which are in disrepair. In addition, put all of your complaints in writing, send your landlord a copy, and keep a copy of your complaints for your own files. Let the landlord know that you are willing to go to court if the problems continue. If the problems are not resolved, consider taking legal action. UC International Services maintains a list of legal counsels for this.

Frequently Asked Questions about Arrival, Check-In, & Housing

Who can use the airport pickup service?
Any new student who will be attending the University of Cincinnati.

How much does this service cost?
There is no cost for the airport pickup service, but you must make a reservation by submitting the Arrival information eForm in the Pre-Arrival checklist.

Who will be meeting me at the airport?
You will be able to use the transportation services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you arrive at the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, simply report to the Executive Transportation desk.  Please see the video, detailing this process.

Where will I stay for temporary housing and how long will temporary housing be available?
You will stay in an official residence hall on campus with 24-hour security features and staff available during business hours. Temporary housing may be available to support your post-arrival orientations and time needed to adjust to Cincinnati and the campus. This service is only available for Fall Semester arrivals.

Will someone help me find off campus housing?
Housing and Food Services provides numerous resources to assist you in finding off campus housing. The Off-Campus Housing has a master list and private listings for your use. The Master List contains rental information for nearby complexes consisting of 20 or more units. The Private Listings are geared toward smaller venues such as houses, or a room for rent in a house, two-family, or four-family unit. These lists will continue to be updated as new listings are added.

Links are available to UC Police, Crime Statistics for District 5 communities around campus and related information regarding Urban Living, Crime Prevention, UC’s NightRide Service, Bearcat Transportation Shuttle, Leasing Tips & Resources, Ohio Tenant Law, Community Resources and other services and facilities available at the University of Cincinnati.

When can I move into permanent on-campus housing?
Fall semester residence hall move-in for undergraduate international students is on Tuesday, August 12, 2014. Housing will accommodate any student who has signed a housing contract if there is an interim period of time before hall move-in and the date temporary housing ends.

What orientations do I need to attend?
The orientations you are required to attend will depend on your college/department of study and your degree objective.

Graduate students will have departmental orientation to attend and undergraduate students will have a college orientation to attend (typically two days of testing). When you go through the official “Check-in” process with UC International Services, you will receive a printout of your departmental/college orientations. All students should attend the New International Student conference in addition to college/departmental orientations. 

In addition, all new students will be scheduled for a Health Screening upon arrival. Students with teaching assistantships will also be required to take the Oral English Proficiency Test. You will be scheduled for both of these during “Check-in” as well.

Are there any special welcome events I can sign up for?
We will have a host of welcome activities for you to participate in, if you are arriving for fall semester. We do not have special events scheduled for winter, spring and summer arrivals. Some activities require no advanced sign up. Just show up and have a good time.  Other events do require a ticket and can be purchased at your Check-in.  The events include the Welcome Coffee Hour, a Reds Game at the Great American Ball Park, a movie night, a trip to the Jungle Jim's International market, a UC Football game at the Nippert Stadium and a City Bus Tour. Keep checking this space for the event dates and other details.