UKIC / International Student & Scholar Services / Coming to UK - What's Next?

Coming to UK - What's Next?

Welcome to the University of Kentucky! What's Next?

Congratulations on your admission to the University of Kentucky! Please make sure to read the information and finish the necessary tasks explained below. Many of the tasks can be done now while others you will complete upon your arrival in the U.S. All incoming international students have a registration hold, which will be lifted after you have finished these tasks.

Arrival Dates

  • January 2 – International Undergraduate and Graduate Student Arrival

Find the orientation schedule here.

Steps to Becoming a Wildcat

Activate Your Linkblue Account

Your linkblue account must be activated in order to access your UK email, register for classes and pay your tuition. It will also allow access to many of the computing services at the University of Kentucky – the student computing labs, the wireless network, discounted Microsoft Software, and much more.  

Carefully review and follow the instructions for activating your account here. After you activate your link blue account, set up your Universal Email Address so you will receive email from UK. Follow the step-by-step instructions at Once the account is active, you must log on to at least once per month to keep it active. 

For questions or problems regarding activating your link blue account, please contact IT Customer Service is available 24/7 via email at or by phone at (859) 218-4357.  To reset a forgotten password, please visit

Undergraduate Students: Confirm your “see blue.” U Orientation

New undergraduate students are required to attend the "see blue." U Orientation, where you will learn about UK, register for classes and meet other new students. To register for orientation, please follow the next steps:  

  1. Login to myUK using your link blue account:  
  1. Select the “Student Services” tab. 
  1. Select the “Admissions” tab. 
  1. Select “see blue.” U Orientation in the left page. 
  1. Register for either the "International Freshman" or the "International Transfer Non-Degree" orientation.

SEVIS Fee and Visa Interview

Pay the I-901 Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee prior to your visa interview at:   

Schedule your visa interview at: Canadian citizens are not required to have a visa, but they must pay the SEVIS fee. 

In preparation for your visa interview visit: 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa

Students currently in F-1 / J-1 status are not required to pay the SEVIS fee. Students wishing to change status may be required to pay the SEVIS fee. For more information visit:

Apply for Housing

It is strongly recommended to live on-campus during your first year at UK. The International Village is one of 13 Living Learning Programs (LLPs) on-campus where first-year international undergraduate students join American students to form a community that focuses on learning about the world from and with each other. Learn more about LLPs here:  

You must apply for on-campus housing by completing an application at:  

Living on-campus makes it easy to be part of UK’s diverse, intellectual community. You will also have easy access to services and facilities such as classrooms, labs and libraries. 


The only residence halls that remain open during university breaks are: 


If you choose to live off-campus, you should visit the Off-Campus Student Services website for help in locating private housing close to campus.

For more information on graduate housing, please visit Graduate and Family Housing's website.

Plan Your Trip to Lexington

As you plan your trip to Lexington, remember the closest airport to the university is the Blue Grass Airport (LEX). You must arrive in time for Orientation Week. 

If you are not already in the United States, you can legally enter up to 30 days prior to the date on the I-20 or DS-2019. 

If you would like someone to meet you at the airport once you arrive in Lexington, please complete the airport pick-up request form.  

  • Requests must be received at least five days prior to your arrival date, otherwise you will need to use a taxi service. 
  • Submit this form only once.   
  • If other individuals will be traveling with you, a separate request should be submitted for each person.  
  • Please only request pick up from one party (IHP, student organization, department, family or friend)

Health Requirements

Health Plan Policies and Coverage 

All international students are required by the University of Kentucky to have health coverage. If you are on an F-1, J-1 or J-2 visa, you will be automatically enrolled in the UK Student Health Plan (SHP) and charged a fee each semester or term.  Information about the  policies and requirements  may be found by clicking here.  

I have alternative health coverage.  How  can I apply for a waiver from the university health plan? 
If you have alternative health coverage it is required that you submit a waiver; otherwise you will be responsible for paying for UK Student Health Plan (SHP). This must be completed each semester. 


All newly enrolled international students may need to update immunizations before coming to UK.  International students will complete a health information form and an immunization record after you arrive on campus. Click here for more information. 

Required TB Screening 

Students must consult the website for health-related policies specific to their status as international students.  The University of Kentucky has a Tuberculin (TB) screening requirement for all newly enrolled international students.  Some students may be required to complete particular immunizations and even x-rays which are not covered under many health insurance companies.

Introduction to iCAT and Pre-Arrival Documents

You will complete an online pre-orientation in iCAT, our ISSS portal. This pre-orientation will serve as a guide from here through your arrival in Lexington to becoming a Wildcat. 

When you log into iCAT with your link blue username and password, you will open the E-Forms tab and find a checklist that is labeled New Student Information. You will complete a series of e-forms that let us know your plans and help us to guide you as you prepare for your arrival at the University of Kentucky. 

Once you have been approved for your student visa, you are ready to upload your student immigration documents to iCAT

  • Your Passport Biographical page 
  • Your F-1 or J-1 visa stamp 
  • Your I-20 or DS-2019 with your signature 

Click here to sign in and upload your documents:

Schedule Your Placement Testing (Undergraduate Students only)

New international undergraduates who do not meet minimum college-readiness standards are required to take the ACCUPLACER ESL placement test in Reading and Writing. The placement test will be offered during International Student Orientation on January 7. Students who do not complete the required placement testing will be enrolled in the English for Academic Purposes courses.


Schedule your ACCUPLACER ESL placement testing in iCAT:  

  1. Find the "Undergraduate Student Placement Testing" event in the "Session Sign-ups" drop down 
  1. Find and register for an open session 
  1. Instructions with screenshots are available here.


All incoming students are required to take the ALEKS math placement exam. The ALEKS placement exam is an online placement test that will place students into their first college math course based on their ALEKS score. You should complete the ALEKS placement exam online prior to International Student Orientation. For more information, please visit here:

Review the Pre-Departure Checklist

Carry the following items with you on the plane. Do not put them in your checked baggage. 

  • Passport with valid F-1 or J-1 visa stamped on the inside 
  • I-20 or DS-2019 
  • Mandatory I-901 SEVIS fee receipt 
  • Letter of admission to UK 
  • Financial documents 
  • Immunization documentation 
  • Prescriptions for necessary medications 
  • A signed letter giving parental permission for medical treatment (if you are under 18 years of age) 
  • $100 in cash and access to funds as needed

Post-Arrival Forms

Submit Post-Arrival Forms 

Once you enter the US, you will be able to access your I-94 Arrival/Departure number online at You will then upload the I-94 Arrival/Departure number to iCAT.  After you upload the required document, you will fill out an emergency contact form and a compliance agreement.  These forms are mandatory for all new F-1/J-1 students as part of the check-in process and will become available 30 days before the start date of your I-20 or DS-2019. These tasks must be completed before meeting with your advisor and registering for classes.  


Attend Mandatory Orientation

The orientation session will prepare you for life at UK, provide important information regarding your visa status, and give you an opportunity to ask current students and staff questions.  Bring the following documents to Orientation: 

  • Your UK Student ID (required to record attendance at orientation) 
  • Your Passport 
  • Your I-20 or DS-2019 

By attending the orientation session you will complete the ISSS check-in process.  Find the orientation schedule here.

First 48-Hour Survival Guide

#MyBBN Photo Contest - Win prizes!

As you get ready to come to the University of Kentucky to begin your college experience, we wanted to remind you about how you can start getting involved even before you arrive! The UK International Center is hosting a #MYBBN contest. It’s very easy for you to participate and win an awesome prize!

How to participate:

  1. Join our Facebook group: UK International Center- Welcome 2018-2019
  2. Take a photo of you wearing your Kentucky blue item at your favorite spot on campus.
  3. Post the photo to Facebook group wall! You have until your first day of classes to post (August 22nd) 

How to win:

  1. Watch out for #MYBBN Contest photo album. It will be shared on
  2. Find your photo and share the album with your friends. Your family and friends have until September 5th to like your photo.
  3. Photos with most likes, comments and shares will win a prize. Winner will be determined September 17th during the Kick-Off of Impact Week.

If you have any questions about the contest, don’t hesitate to contact us Andrea Gils, Marketing and Communications Manager at

We are so excited to get to meet you soon!