As you begin to make UALR your new home, you will need to become familiar with the campus map, get your Trojan ID card, activate your BOSS account and start using your UALR email. Then connect to the community by setting up a bank account, buying a cell phone, getting a drivers license, and meet IFO.
Download a campus map to help you find essential locations in your first few weeks on campus.
Your Campus ID Card serves as easy access to your ID number, entry to student parking lots, library card and more. After registering for class, visit the Donaghey Student Center to get your ID card. The first card is free! Learn more.
Once you receive your UALR ID number (T-number) and a six digit PIN. You can login into BOSS through “Secure Login” and check your registration status. As soon as you have an address in the U.S, update your mailing address in BOSS. F-1 and J-1 immigration regulations mandate students update their address within 10 days of a move. ISS is notified if your address in BOSS is changed and will update it with USCIS.
Your UALR Email serves as the official means of communication at UALR. Be sure you check your email frequently for general immigration reminders or specific notices from an international student advisor.
UALR uses a variety of emailing lists, known as listservs, to communicate with students and for the community to communicate with each other. You can send an email at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org to contact any international student advisor. Advisors will also be in touch with all international students for official notices and required communication through a listserv that reaches all international students.
We also manage an optional listserv at INT-L@ualr.edu for students to advertise about upcoming events, request a roommate or sell cars and furniture. All students are added to this list upon registration to UALR, but you are free to remove yourself from the list at any time by sending an email to email@example.com with no subject and the words “sign off firstname.lastname@example.org” in the body.
International students are encouraged to open a bank account while in the United States. Several banks will open saving and checking accounts to international students, so research to find the best services.
When looking for a bank, you should be able to open an account without having a Social Security Number. Be sure to learn the details of the account, including minimum amount needed in the account, any fees charged for transactions or ATM use. Find out if the bank has a branch in your home country and what they charge for telegraphic or wire transfers.
Students are encouraged to use extreme caution if activating a credit card or receiving a loan. Most agencies will require a credit check to screen new customers. As international students, you will most likely not have an American credit history and may incur large interest rates. Make sure you carefully research the U.S. credit system or loan you are seeking before making financial commitments.
When establishing a bank account, bring your passport and I-20 or DS-2019. Your UALR ID may also be useful. No additional processing or documentation by International Student Services is required for you to open a US bank account.
Before signing up for a cell phone plan, consider a few U.S. cell phone basics:
- Usually requiring a SSN or large deposit and one to two year commitments.
- May offer free or reduced phones. May not allow previously purchased phones to join the plan.
- May offer free calls on nights and weekends and/or in network.
- Once a contract is signed, you will be obligated to pay for the entire contract period. If you break the contract, expect to pay a high fee.
- May include data and will also work on wifi.
- Give an allotted number of minutes or texts per month and charge for exceeding these limits.
- Unlocked foreign phones be used for such plans.
- Usually charge for all calls made, regardless of time or network.
- Often does not include data, but will access internet on wifi.
Other points to consider:
- Most cell phone plans do not come with international calling, so make sure you ask about international calling plans if you want to use your phone to call home.
- If you have an unlocked phone from your home country, check with the cell phone provider to see if it is compatible with their service.
Arkansas driver’s licenses or ID Cards can be obtained from a local revenue office. Visit http://www.dmv.org/ for helpful information and locations.
Visitors with an international drivers license or license from a foreign country have 30 days to receive an Arkansas Drivers License.
One week before applying for your drivers license, submit a request for a SEVIS Update. Select “Applying for Drivers License.” An advisor will review your SEVIS record to make sure it is up-to-date and ready for your drivers license request.
The Arkansas Drivers License exists in two parts, the driving permit and the written test. The driving permit requires a written test to assess the driver’s theoretical knowledge of U.S. traffic law. With the permit, the new driver can practice driving if accompanied by a licensed driver over 21. After 30 days of practice, the driver can apply for a full drivers license. This is a driving test wherein an officiant will accompany the driver on a road test. After passing the driving test, he or she will obtain an Arkansas Drivers License. This license can be used throughout the 50 states.
To renew or apply for a driver’s license, bring the following to the revenue office:
- Activated I-20 or DS-2019. Submit SEVIS Update one week before applying for your drivers license
- Most recent I-94 at cbp.gov/i94
International Friendship Outreach (IFO) is a network of hospitable families in the Little Rock area. They offer opportunities for social and cultural interaction between American hosts and internationals who study, work, or live in the central Arkansas area. They sponsor a number of social events and outings during the year.
Get connected through Conversation Club Monday Nights at 6pm in the Metro BCM.