Before You Arrive

Visa Information

If you have not already done so, prior to being notified of your acceptance to University of the Cumberlands, you should immediately apply for a passport.

After acceptance, UC will send the following items to you by International Courier (UPS or FedEx)

  1. A copy of your I-20.
  2. Your Acceptance letter(s)

Upon receiving these items, you should immediately:

  1. Pay SEVIS I-901 fee (Click Here)
  2. Apply for an F-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate (Click here for more information)
  3. Check the visa wait times in your country at The US DOS Visa Wait Times Website


Documents you will need for your Visa Application Interview

Prior to your visa appointment, you should gather and neatly organize all of your necessary documents, such as:

  1. All appropriate U.S. Department of State forms as required by the consulate in your country (Embassy/Consulate Web site)
  2. Valid passport for at least six months into the future
  3. I-20, signed by UC official
  4. Proof of SEVIS I-901 visa application fee
  5. Required number of “passport size photographs”
  6. The original Acceptance letter you received from UC
  7. Evidence of financial support
    1. Prove funds exist
    2. Show enough funds for entire study.
    3. Be familiar with document contents
  8. Potential documents to support your intent to return to your home country.
    1. Ownership of real estate
    2. Strong financial ties
    3. Job offer upon return

Nine Tips to Prepare for a Visa Interview (Abbreviated from NAFSA)

  1. Prove Ties to Your Home Country
    1. Proof of plans to return to your home country.
    2. Benefit of your academic program to your home country
    3. Ties with family or other relationships
    4. Previous overstays in the U.S., explain clearly with documentation
  2. Practice English for Interview
    1. Practice English conversation.
    2. Explain enrollment in Intensive English Program
  3. Speak for Yourself
    1. Do not bring parents or family members with you to the interview
    2. Be prepared to speak for yourself.
  4. Be Brief
    1. Interview may last only one minute
    2. First impressions are very important
    3. Keep answers short and to the point
    4. Assure the consular officer that your main purpose for coming to the U.S. is to study
  5. Know Information About Why You Want to Attend UC
    1. UC is a Christian University, which emphasizes discipline and good morals.  Most parents feel comfortable sending their children to UC (even if they are not Christians).
    2. UC is fully accredited to offer undergraduate and graduate programs.
    3. UC has a low student to faculty ratio of 16:1, this means more personalized attention in every class.
    4. UC has on-campus residence halls. Students are required to live on campus.
    5. UC is a very safe campus and is located in a small friendly community.
    6. UCcosts less that the majority of other four year U.S. universities, this will ease the burden on your sponsor.
  6. Prepare Documents
    1. Very short interview time
    2. Have documents organized
    3. Have brief explanations only
  7. Know Home Country Regulations
    1. Understand economic problems of your home country
    2. Research visa procedures in your home country
    3. Know future job plans
  8. Maintain a Positive Attitude
    1. Be confident
    2. Be prepared
    3. Speak clearly
    4. Give short answers
  9. In case your request is Denied
    1. Do not engage the consular officer in an argument.
    2. Ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal.  For more information, click here.
    3. Obtain the reason you were denied in writing.
    4. Make appointment for reapplication.
    5. Contact UC immediately.
  10. For More Information
    1. U.S. Department of State
    2. U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    3. Foreign Embassies of Washington D.C.
    4. U.S. Customs & Border Protection
    5. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    6. Special Registration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    7. U.S. Department of State - Visa Denials
Pre-Arrival Information

Take these steps before you arrive…

  • Have a Medical check-up and submit the Health Information form (all required immunizations) download here
  • Do any dental work that needs to be done
  • Get your eye-sight checked and new prescription if needed (eye glasses in the U.S. are
    expensive so a spare would be useful)
  • If you have not already paid the balance due for your charges in advance, these fees must be paid in full at the time of registration.  Arrange to send or take funds with you. DO NOT TRAVEL WITH LARGE AMOUNTS OF CASH.  Local banks do not exchange currency from different countries.  It is best to make arrangements to pay funds with Travelers Checks or by Credit Card.
    • NOTE – If you intend to pay your fees by Credit Card, be sure to check with your bank about raising the daily amount that can be charged to the credit card.  Many banks put daily limits on cards as a security measure for your protection.  With these limits in place, it is not possible to pay a large on-time payment on your account.  Please make the necessary arrangements to insure that you can make the payment on arrival.  If this is not possible, it would be best to pay the amount due in advance.  To make an advance payment by credit card, click here.


Expected Arrival Date
Your expected date of arrival on campus is listed as the Program Start Date on your I-20 form.  It is important that you make plans to arrive by this date so you can participate in any necessary placement testing, International Orientation, Orientation for all New Students, Academic Advising and completion of your course registration.  Since there are so many important issues that must be addressed during this time, the university will not issue any letters allowing for late arrivals past the Program Start Date listed on the I-20 form.  

If you have not yet received your I-20 form, you may want to contact the Office of International Relations to check on your expected arrival date by emailing:

As you make travel arrangements to insure that you arrive by the expected arrival date, be sure to also check the appropriate departure date for the end of the semester or the end of the academic year.
Your scheduled departure date should be the earliest opportunity after the last date of your final examinations for the semester.  Final exams are given during the week following the last day of class.  To view the academic calendar, click here


Airport Pickup

The University offers a free airport shuttle service to and from the McGhee-Tyson Airport (TYS) in Knoxville, TN.  The university will not provide transportation to other airports or on other dates.  The schedule below indicates the dates and times the shuttle will arrive at the Knoxville airport.  Students needing to use this shuttle service must complete an online shuttle reservation at least 14 days in advance of the date of the shuttle at:   If a student does not make a reservation, we cannot guarantee an available seat on a shuttle.  All departures should be scheduled after 12:00 p.m. and arrivals should be scheduled prior to 10:00 pm.  For questions, contact the shuttle coordinator at:

Note: If you will be participating on an athletic team, be sure to communicate with your coach before making your flight arrangements. Student athletes who will participate in fall sports are often required to arrive on campus for summer practice sessions a few weeks prior to the beginning of the school semester (which is prior to the Program Start Date on your I-20 form).


Other Transportation Options
There are two additional options for transportation to and from campus. Greyhound Bus Line, Inc.  has a terminal in London, Kentucky, (just 30 miles from campus), and travels throughout the US.  If you are considering using this service, you should expect to pay additional charges for taxi service from most airports to the local bus station, as well as from the London, KY bus station to campus.

Venture Cab, Inc (1-888-526-1211) is a local cab service that is endorsed by the university and offers discounted fares to university students.  Up to 6 students can travel to the same location and share the cost.  Many students use Venture Cab to assist with transportation to:

Nearby cities – for entertainment, dining and shopping opportunities
Greyhound Bus Line Terminal - London, KY.
Bluegrass Airport (LEX) – Lexington, KY
McGee Tyson Airport (TYS) – Knoxville, TN
Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) – Covington, KY
Louisville International Airport – Standiford Field (SDF) – Louisville, KY


Important Travel Information
The U.S. Immigration Service has an information sheet that provides useful information on
what an F-1 status individual can expect upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry. It is helpful to
download and print this form to carry with you as you travel to the U.S. Download Information Sheet
[All information is subject to change without notice.]


Directions to University of the Cumberlands
UC is located in Williamsburg, Kentucky.  Williamsburg is located at Exit 11 on Interstate 75.  If you are traveling from the north, then you will turn left after taking the exit.  If you are traveling from the south, you will turn right after taking the exit.  At the first traffic light, turn left.  Travel on this street to the top of the hill where you will come to a traffic light at Main Street.  Turn right at this light.  Travel a short distance to the main entrance to the university.  Turn right.  Immediately on the left is the Bock Security and Information Building.  You can stop at this building for additional directions to the buildings where you want to visit.  (Office of International Relations, Residence Halls, etc.)


Residence Hall Check In
Residence Halls open for international students on the expected date of arrival. Students who arrive before the residence halls open must make their own arrangements for off-campus housing until the residence halls open (see local hotel information below). Students are responsible for the cost of housing and their meals until the Residence Halls are open.

Residence Halls and room assignments are assigned on a first come first served basis, as Housing applications are received. In order to reserve a room, we must have the following forms completed as soon as possible, but not later than 2 weeks before you leave your home country:

NOTE:  Residence Halls and campus food services close for extended breaks between the fall and spring semesters (Mid December through Mid January), during the 1 week university spring break (Mid March), and throughout the summer (Early May until Mid August).  Students should make advance plans for their housing and meals during this time.  Depending on the length of the break, some students make the following arrangements:

  • Return home (extended breaks and summer)
  • Stay in a local hotel and eat at local restaurants at their own expense. (shorter breaks)
  • Travel to visit with friends or family in the US. (shorter breaks and extended breaks)


Packing for your trip...

  • Buy two good suitcases (as large as possible within size limitations)
  • Put identification marks and labels on the bags
  • Items to Have in Your Checked Baggage:
    • Copies of all certificates/documents
    • Medical history files
    • Essentials (soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc)
    • Clothing  (see What to Bring)
  • Items to Have in Your Carry On Baggage: (Having a carry-on bag is always a good idea, in case luggage is delayed or lost.)
    • Medicines (including air-sickness)
    • Reading materials for flight
    • Original important documents (I-20, visa, tickets, passport, etc)
    • Money and Travelers Checks (Arrange to send or take funds with you to pay for the
      tuition fees.)
    • Items needed to survive for a week (in case your luggage gets misplaced)
    • Camera
    • Computer (if you plan to bring one with you)
    • Eye glasses and prescription
  • Items to Keep With You (pocket, purse, etc):
    • Emergency contact list
    • Traveler's Checks and cash
  • Items to Leave at Home:
    • Address & phone number where you can be reached
    • Copies of all important documents (passport, I-20, medical record

A Week Before Your Flight...

  • Check your flight schedule to see if there are any delays or changes  (Notify the UC Office of International Relations if there are any changes)
  • Rest well for the long journey

On the Day of Your Flight...

  • Wear something comfortable  (visit to learn about weather/temperature)
  • Be at the airport 3-4 hours before departure
  • Collect $20-$30 cash at the airport (part of it in $1 bills)
  • Sleep as much as possible during the flight


Hotel Listing Information
If you arrive in Williamsburg before your expected arrival date, or need temporary accommodations during a break, you may wish to make a reservation at one of these local hotels:

Cumberland Inn - *(Generally, a reduced rate is available for university guests)
649 S. 10th Street
Williamsburg, Kentucky

Hampton Inn
510 Highway 92 W
Williamsburg, KY

Super 8 Hotel
30 Highway 92 W
Williamsburg, Ky

If you are scheduled to arrive later than 10:00 p.m. at Lexington or Knoxville airports, you will need to  check the airport websites for information about nearby hotel options.  Once you have made these arrangements, be sure to contact the Office of International Relations about where you are staying so they will know where to pick you up.

Arrival Form

Please submit the arrival form with your travel arrangements at least 2 weeks prior to your anticipated arrival.

Note: If you will be participating on an athletic team, be sure to communicate with your coach before making your flight arrangements. Student athletes who will participate in fall sports are often required to arrive on campus for summer practice sessions a few weeks prior to the beginning of the school semester (which is prior to the Program Start Date on your I-20 form).

If you have a friend or family member picking you up at an airport, please be sure to complete the arrival form so the Office of International Relations will know your arrival plans so your residence hall room will be prepared.


All international students are required to live on campus, in campus residence halls; however, University of the Cumberlands does not have one residence hall where all international students are assigned.

We believe that it’s best for domestic and international students to be fully integrated into every aspect of campus life.   Often International students are initially assigned a roommate from a similar culture, to assist with the transition to living in the US.  International students are encouraged to seek every opportunity to meet students from the US and other countries.  Once students have the opportunity to meet other students they may request changes to housing assignments, if desired. 

For more information on campus housing, click here.

What to Bring


  • Winter Coat (Heavy coat – cold weather)
  • Jacket (Lighter weight - mild weather)
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Umbrella
  • Sweaters
  • Sweatshirts
  • Dress Clothing
  • Jeans/Casual Pants
  • Casual shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Athletic Shorts
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Casual shoes
  • Athletic shoes
  • Dress shoes

Typical Temperatures:



Early Spring

Late Spring


Fall Semester:

Early Fall

Late Fall




46F / 8C

85F / 29C



85F / 29C

46F / 8C



24F / -4 C

42F / 6C



42F / 6C

24F / -4 C


  • Writing paper
  • Plain paper (for computer printing)
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Calculator
  • Calendar planner
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Dictionary/Thesaurus


  • Toiletries (Soap, shampoo, deodorant, 
  • toothbrush, toothpaste)
  • Plastic/Rubber sandals for use in the shower
  • Health Care items (Vitamins, bandages



  • Clothing hangers
  • 2 sets of Twin Sheets
  • Towels
  • Wash Cloths
  • Blankets
  • Pillow
  • Alarm clock
  • Desk lamp



  • Book bag
  • Camera
  • Radio
  • Sports Equipment
  • Hair dryer
  • Plastic storage containers



  • Do not pack these items. They can be purchased at a local department store.



  • Fireworks
  • Knives
  • Candles (Open flame – risk of fire)
  • Incense (Open flame – risk of fire)



Many items listed on this sheet may be purchased at a local department store.