Congratulations on your admission to USD! We look forward to welcoming you in person and help get you acquainted with your life as an international student/scholar here at the university.
PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO SAN DIEGO
You may legally enter the United States up to 30 days prior to the program start date (indicated on your Form I-20 or DS-2019). Please DO NOT enter the US with a tourist visa.
Arriving to USD/greater San Diego area: The closest airport to USD is the San Diego International Airport (airport code SAN). USD does not offer arranged airport pick-up service. Taxi cab fare from the airport to USD should cost only about $25 including customary 10% tip. All taxis from the airport are registered and the driver must charge fare based on a standardized electronic meter. Though the driver will prefer cash, you may pay with major credit cards.
For more information on maps and directions, please click here.
MANDATORY CHECK-IN (Schedule your check-in HERE*)
It is important that you visit the Office of International Students and Scholars or OISS (Serra Hall, Room 315) shortly after you arrive to San Diego (ideally within 3-7 days).
At this time, bring all your immigration documents (and those of your dependents, if you have any):
- I-20 Certificate (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 Exchange Visitors)
- I-94 arrival/departure card
- Proof of comparable health insurance if you have your own provider
You must comply with this requirement to be able to register for classes.
A NOTE ABOUT HOLDS**
As a new international student, you will have an automatic international registration “HOLD” on your USD account that will be removed once you check in with the OISS upon arrival. Your academic adviser and the Health Center will also place holds that will be removed by these offices once requirements are met. Please know that you will NOT be able to register or undertake other school-related transactions if there is still an active hold on your account.
Freshmen: There is no need to worry about this hold as your courses will be selected and registered based on the online survey you will complete.
Transfer Students: You may be anxious to have this hold removed so that you can register for classes. To temporarily remove the hold so that you can register, you will need to have an advising session by phone with your academic adviser (in your academic major) and ask he/she to contact our office to verify that the session took place. We will temporarily remove the international hold for 24 hours so that you can register (this assumes that you have already removed your Health Center hold as well).
Graduate Students: As a graduate student, the International Hold will not serve as a significant obstacle as class registration for graduate students is typically not a competitive and time-sensitive process as it is for undergraduates.
*Exchange students and scholars will have their check-in schedule determined by their program adviser.
**Scholars will typically NOT have any type of hold on their accounts.
If you will be living off–campus and have not arranged housing, you may choose to book a hotel for a few days while you search for more permanent housing (see Housing section for more details).
The hotels on this website offer discounts to USD students and families (please make sure to mention upon reservation your affiliation with USD): http://www.usdpartnership.com/
For more hotel options, please see page 43 of the International Student and Scholar handbook
To get yourself better acquainted to the USD campus and the location of USD's various dormitories, please check out the USD campus map.
- Freshmen: As a new international undergraduate student, we recommend that you arrive early to allow yourself time to settle in. Students that will live on-campus may request to move in as early as Tuesday, January 22nd. but you must request to move in 3 weeks prior by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org If you choose, you may arrive as late as Thursday, January 24th. For more information on housing and residential life, please check out this flyer.
- Graduate and Law Students: Specifics for on-campus housing for graduate and law students available here.
If you plan to live off-campus, you may want to arrive a week early to locate off-campus housing. Our office keeps a list of off-campus postings but be aware that it can be difficult to secure an apartment while abroad as most landlords will want to meet you in person first. We encourage you to visit our Facebook page to connect with current/incoming USD students looking for roommates or are hoping to rent out their houses/apartments. In some cases, you may also want to book a hotel or hostel for a week once you've arrived in San Diego and are searching for more permanent accommodations.
Note: USD does not offer temporary accommodations.
Please check out this listing of off-campus housing options.
In addition, please see these popular sites for both temporary and more permanent accommodations:
PADMAPPER - a convenient apartment rental locator that uses a map interface with customizable filters
CRAIGSLIST - a popular online bulletin for rentals
AIRBNB - a website that hosts postings for temporary housing offered by locals