Frequently asked questions from incoming students

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions once I arrive in Irvine?

A: If you need a contact person on campus, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Zahra Ahmed, Director of International Student Excellence Programs (ISEP) at (949) 824-6776 or e-mail at


Q: What are the local airports?

A: There are two local airports: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and John Wayne Airport (SNA). LAX is the closest airport to UCI that accepts international flights. It is 40 miles north of campus. John Wayne Airport is three miles away from campus.

Q: How do I get from the LAX airport to UCI’s campus at the start of the year?

A: If you are a new international student traveling to UCI for International Student Parent Orientation Program* (ISPOP) beginning September 18-20, 2018 and arriving at LAX, International Center would like to assist you in your arrival to campus. Advanced shuttle reservations are required.  For information about shuttles for ISPOP, please contact the IC at (949) 824-7249 or

There are also multiple transportation options for you to choose to get to UCI, such as renting a car, traveling by Lyft or Uber, or taking a taxi or Super Shuttle.
•Car rental agencies are located within both airports.
•Taxis are located in front of the airport in Ground Transportation area.
•If you would like to book a Super Shuttle to UCI, please go to or call (800) 258-3826.


*International Student Parent Orientation Program (ISPOP) 
The International Student Parent Orientation Program, or ISPOP, is a mandatory three-day and two-night program for international students who cannot attend a SPOP. ISPOP will take place from September 18 – 20 and is only open to international students. 

Q: How can I get around UCI and Orange County?

A: Orange County has limited public transportation. However, UCI does run a shuttle service with stops at multiple points around campus.
•UCI shuttle bus
•Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) bus

UCI also has Zipcar car rental and Zotwheels bike rental programs on campus.
ZotWheels bike program



Q: Where can I stay if I arrive before my housing move-in date?

A: If you arrive at night or you are planning to arrive a few days early, you can make reservations at a local hotel in the area. Be sure to request UCI rates so you can receive special discounts.
• Atrium Hotel: 18700 MacArthur Boulevard – Irvine, CA 92612 – Phone: 949-757-0330
• Ayers Hotel and Suites: 325 Bristol Street – Costa Mesa, CA 92626 – Phone: 714-429-9372
• Courtyard Marriott – Irvine: 2701 Main Street – Irvine, CA 92612 – Phone: 949- 757-1200
• Hilton – Irvine: 18800 MacArthur Boulevard – Irvine, CA 92612 – Phone: 949- 833-9999
• Holiday Inn Express: 2070 Newport Boulevard – Costa Mesa, CA 92627 – Phone: 949-631-6000
• Hyatt Regency – Irvine: 17900 Jamboree Road – Newport Beach, CA 92614 – Phone: 949- 975-1234
• Radisson Hotel – Newport Beach: 4545 MacArthur Boulevard – Newport Beach, CA 92660 -Phone: 949-833-0570
• Travelodge – Orange County Airport: 1400 Bristol Street – Costa Mesa, CA 92626 – Phone: 714-557-8700

Q: How do I contact UCI Student Housing?

A: You may e-mail UCI Student Housing: or call them at (949) 824-7247.

Registration Information

Q: Where do I send my high school/community college transcripts?

A: Please remember that transcripts should be sent to the Office of Admissions, NOT the International Center.

University of California Irvine
Office of Admissions and Relations with Schools
260 Aldrich Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-1075

Phone: (949) 824-6703
FAX: (949) 824-2951

For College Board exams, UCI Test Code: 004859

Q: Does UCI offer financial aid for International Students?

A: International students are not eligible for federal financial aid. The Edupass site provides information for international students who are thinking about pursuing an undergraduate education in the U.S. It also contains material of interest to international students who are already in the U.S. Their website is: Please note: This is an independent website. While the site may provide you with useful information, UCI may not be held responsible for the accuracy of this information.

Q: How do I pay tuition?

A: The easiest way to pay tuition is to go to the UCI Student Billing System. You will need to have your UCI Student ID, Your UCI NetID, and your password to login.

Q: How do I register for classes?

A: You can search for available classes on UCI’s Web Schedule of Classes (Web SOC).  Once you find your classes, you must register for them on the UCI Web Reg site.


Orientation & Academic Advising

Q: I need to check-in at the International Center. Where is it?

A: The International Center (IC) is responsible for issuance of F-1 and J-1 visa documents as well as complying with Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Requirements.

University of California, Irvine
International Center
500 East Peltason Drive
Irvine, CA 92697-5255
Tel: (949) 824-7249
Fax: (949) 824-3090


Basic Needs

Q: If I get sick, where can I go to get healthcare services?

A: UCI’s Student Health Center (SHC) offers services for registered UCI students. The SHC is a comprehensive outpatient clinic staffed with licensed primary care physicians, dentists, optometrists, nurses certified in college health, mental health professionals, a certified Physician Assistant, a registered Nurse Practitioner, and a registered Dietitian. The SHC also operates its own pharmacy. The SHC offers access to medical specialists from various disciplines arincluding Dermatology, Orthopedics/Sports Medicine, Gynecology, Internal Medicine, Ears/Nose/Throat, and Psychiatry.

•The UCI Counseling Center also provides UCI students with a broad range of mental health services. They include individual, couples, family, group counseling and psychotherapy for registered undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students. They also provide urgent care, crisis response, consultation, and outreach programs for the university community.
•UCI also offers a Peer Health Educator program which employs UCI students to provide information about health and wellness. Peer Educators focus on alcohol & tobacco, sexual health, nutrition, and mental well-being. You can find out more information at the UCI Health Education Center website.


Q: Where are good areas to study?

A: There are several good study areas on campus! Some spaces where many students study include:
•Ayala Science Library
•Langson Library
•Libraries Gateway Study Center
•UCI Student Center

Q: Do you have an honors programs at UCI?

A: Yes. UCI has a Campuswide Honors Program (CHP). CHP is a highly selective program committed to providing undergraduates with a personal, challenging, and rewarding educational experience with the rigor and personal attention of a selective liberal arts college and the opportunities of a dynamic research university.

Departments across campus may also offer their own honors programs. Please check with your department to find out more.

Leadership Opportunities

UCI offers many opportunities for international students to get involved and develop their leadership skills while meeting other students from diverse backgrounds.
•Check The World at UCI site at the Study Abroad Center under Academic & Leadership Opportunities.
•Center for Service in Action offers a Summer Community Engagement and Leadership Program.
•Cross Cultural Center offers a Summer Multicultural Leadership Institute
•Check the Campus Organizations link for a list of all student clubs at UCI.
•Check the Sororities / Fraternities link for information on UCI’s Greek life.

Other Useful Information
•Sign up for Zotalerts to keep you informed in case of an emergency at UCI.
•Sign up for UCI Webmail ASAP.