Starting in Summer/Fall

Important Travel Tips

What should I know while packing?


When packing, plan to bring clothes that are comfortable in warm and humid weather with some appropriate clothing for cooler temperatures. Dressing for class is generally casual. Jeans, shorts and tennis shoes are acceptable. Please note that most buildings at USF are air conditioned.

Tampa has a humid subtropical climate with average high temperatures ranging from 65˚F to 95˚F and average low temperatures ranging from 50˚F to 74˚F. During the summer months (June - August) it is hot and humid with frequent rainstorms in the afternoons. Winter is somewhat cooler and less humid. Temperatures may occasionally drop to as low as 40˚F in the evenings and warm up during the day.

Electrical Needs

The U.S. uses an 110v electrical current. You may buy a travel voltage converter online or at stores like Walmart and Target. The Bullrunner is our on-campus bus system and is able to transport you to these stores. Download the myUSF app to get more information regarding the BullRunner.

Documents and Mementos

It is much easier to obtain services in the U.S. if the proper documents are available. You should bring your driver's licenses, academic records, birth certificates, medical records, scholarship notices, and employment recommendations which may be useful during your stay.

In addition, it is a good idea to bring cultural mementos to display or use at cultural or social gatherings.


International Services at USF cannot accept or store baggage. Please do not send any baggage or parcels to this office.

Money and Currency Exchange

It is strongly recommended that you bring at least $3,000 in the form of U.S. "traveler's checks" to cover expenses during your first four weeks in the U.S. This $3,000 does not include the cost of tuition and fees which also must be paid before the beginning of classes if you are a student. Foreign currency can typically be changed at banks in the area, but foreign checks require 4-6 weeks to clear the bank.


How Should I Plan My Travel Arrangements?

Flight and Airport Information

We strongly recommend that your travel itinerary concludes at Tampa International Airport (TPA). However, you will likely arrive to the United States through another airport such as Miami International Airport (MIA), New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), or San Francisco International Airport (SFO). If your itinerary includes a layover at another U.S. airport, such as the ones above, you should allow at least 3 or 4 hours for Customs and Immigration processing prior to your next flight time.

Flight Suggestions

Domestic U.S. carriers (such as Southwest Airlines or JetBlue Airways) may offer more competitive pricing for your flight to TPA once you arrive to the United States. You may want to compare prices for the flight from your port of entry to TPA.

Entering the U.S.

You should carry your passport with visa stamp and I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) in your carry-on luggage on the airplane. At the US Port-of-Entry, the inspection officer should put a BLUE & RED stamp in your passport near your F-1 or J-1 visa that includes the date of arrival, the visa status (F-1 or J-1) and "D/S". This refers to the duration of status/stay that is needed to complete your academic program. If the officer puts a date, you need to come to OIS so we can assist in correcting this error.

For more information about the arrival process, see the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website Study in the States.

Transportation From the Airport to Campus

We have partnered with an independent group, Friends of Internationals, which provides free airport pickup from Tampa International Airport (TPA). To request a free ride from Friends of International, submit a request online as soon as you know your arrival information.

If you prefer to arrange for your transportation upon arrival, a shuttle service and taxis are available at all area airports in the baggage claim area. For current costs and transportation options at Tampa International Airport, visit the TPA website's Ground Transportation information.

Arrival at the Embassy Suites USF Hotel

Your Glo-Bull Beginnings Week program will be hosted at the Embassy Suites USF Hotel, where you will also be living for the week.

Embassy Suites USF Hotel
3705 Spectrum Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612
Phone: (813) 977-7066

embassy suites