Hand-carry passport/visa and I-20 (DS-2019 if you are on the J-1 visa) on the airplane and make copies. Bring contact information of your family members, friends, or sponsors. Do Not Pack These Items In Your Checked Luggage!
Please also keep the following contact information with you:
International Student & Scholar Services
University of Washington Tacoma
Campus Box 358401
1900 Commerce Street
Tacoma, WA 98402-3100
Garretson Woodruff Pratt 102 (GWP 102)
Clothing and shoes
Since the climate in the Pacific Northwest varies greatly from day to day, we recommend that you bring a wide range of clothing with you. You will need items such as a heavy winter coat or jacket, boots, gloves, hats, and rain gear. You will also need lightweight items, such as shorts, sandals, and t-shirts for warmer weather. Most importantly, bring clothes and shoes that you are going to be most comfortable with. Students dress casually on campus.
It is never a good idea to travel with large sums of cash. We recommend that students bring a combination of cash and credit cards to meet the initial costs of getting to campus, and at least the first month’s expenses. Students should also plan to open a bank account once they are in the US. Then family members or visa sponsors can wire-transfer funds to the student's new US bank account.
If you require any prescription medication or eyewear, be sure to bring it with you. It is also a good idea to bring an extra supply of any medicines that you are used to using at home, an extra set of eyeglasses or contact lenses, and ask your doctor to provide a copy of your prescriptions. If you have any health concerns or medical conditions, bring a copy of medical, dental, and immunization records.
Depending on your educational plans, you may be spending a long period of time away from home. To help prevent homesickness, it is a good idea to bring personal items such as pictures of your family and friends, small gifts, traditional clothes, maps, posters, music, and items that represent you or your culture. These items will be helpful for you to introduce yourself and your country to the people you meet here. These items will also help you feel close to your home.
You may want to pack a few non-perishable foods, sweets, and/or cooking spices. Sharing your food is also a great way to make friends and to share part of your culture with others. There may be events on campus in which students are encouraged to share dishes from home!
Be aware that the United States has laws that prohibitor restrictcertain foods, plants, animals, and other agricultural items from other countries because they could be carrying damaging pests and diseases. Always declare and tell a customs official if you have any food, plants, and agricultural items when you arrive to the U.S. You won’t be penalized if you declare, but not declaring can result in a penalty of up to $1000.
Please do NOT pack fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, meats, dairy, wooded handicrafts, plants, seeds, soils, natural medicines, or other agricultural items.