Starting at IELP Frequently Asked Questions

Starting at IELP–Fall 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I arrange airport pick-up?

We work with a local organization, International Friendship Outreach (IFO), to arrange airport pickup for new international students. They also have conversation clubs, special events, and trips to local places of interest for international students. You can arrange your pickup details directly with them at this website. Arrangements must be made in advance. IFO is also very active on Facebook, and group members will often offer free furniture or household goods on their Facebook page, as well as other students looking for roommates for off-campus (not at the university) apartments and houses. Little Rock also has Uber and Lyft ride sharing, as well as taxi services.

When do I need to report to the university?

The first day you need to report to the university is Monday, August 21, at 9 a.m. for registration, orientation, and an English language placement exam. Come to our office in the Trojan A Building Room 101. You should plan to be here until 4 p.m. that day. If you work or have other obligations in the afternoons, email Sarah Porter at to make scheduling arrangements. Students with F or J visas need to bring your I-20, visa, and passport with you on May 22 for immigration reporting. You are welcome to come visit our office any time if you would like to know where our office is and exactly where to report on August 21. Email first to make sure she will be available at the time(s) you want to visit.

I want to come, but I can’t arrive until after August 21. What should I do?

Email Late arrivals are permitted, but we must make arrangements in advance. We will schedule an individual registration/orientation for you. **If you have an F visa and you are attempting to enter the US after August 21, US Customs and Border Patrol may deny you entry and you would need to return to your country immediately.

What is the daily schedule?

IELP classes are every day Monday through Friday. There are no classes on Saturdays or Sundays. During the Fall and Spring semesters, classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 12 p.m. During the Summer semesters, classes begin at 8:05 am and end at 12:50 pm. Afternoons and evenings are your free time for studying, homework, relaxing, and exploring the city.

Where do I pay my tuition and fees?

Pay your IELP tuition and health insurance fees in the IELP Office (Trojan A Building Room 101) any day after your last class or by appointment. Pay your on-campus housing fees, health center fees, and any other university fees in the Bursar’s Office (Student Services Center Room 120).

When do I need to pay my IELP tuition?

Students can pay all at one time or can pay in monthly installments at no extra charge. We require that 50% of your tuition must be paid by the middle of the semester on October 6 and 100% of your tuition must be paid by December 1 before taking final exams at the end of the semester. Also, any university fees (examples: health services, library fees, parking tickets, etc.) must be paid before taking final exams. We accept credit card (Visa and Mastercard), personal check, cashier’s check, or cash.

Does the university have on-campus housing accommodations?

Yes, we have beautiful housing accommodations on-campus at the university. All university apartment suites are either only male or only female and are either 2 or 4 people per apartment suite. Each person in the apartment has their own bedroom but share a living room, kitchen, laundry appliances, and bathroom. Apartment bedrooms are 12 x 12 feet (3.65 m x 3.65 m) and include a bed, desk, chair, dresser drawers, bookcase, and closet. We also have traditional dormitory housing in East Hall and West Hall. You can find more information about the university apartments and dormitories on the Campus Living website. I recommend North Hall, South Hall, or University Village because students in these apartments are permitted to stay in their apartments during the breaks between semesters at no extra cost. If you would like to live on-campus, you just need to email me and I will help arrange accommodations. Students may also choose to live off-campus, but we do not help arrange off-campus housing.

I want to live in on-campus housing, but I will be arriving early. How can I arrange temporary accommodations?

Email IELP Director Sarah Porter at to ask about on-campus temporary accommodations. To stay in on-campus temporary housing is $25 per night until the campus housing move-in date. The closest hotels are: Staybridge SuitesFour Points by Sheraton, Days Inn, and Markham House Suites.

Where can I eat at the university?

During the Fall and Spring semesters, we have many food options here at the university, and the dining services website shows you what is currently open. I recommend the Trojan Cafe, which is the university cafeteria. They have many different options every day, both meat and vegetarian. You pay one price per meal and it is “all-you-can-eat” which means that you can go back for more food as much as you like at no extra cost. They post the menu online every week. They also say on the website which foods are vegetarian (no meat) and vegan (no animal products like meat or dairy).

In the Summer, Starbucks Coffee is the only restaurant open at the university. Starbucks closes every day at 1:00. IELP students are welcome to use the refrigerator and microwave in our office.

How can I open a bank account?

After you have your permanent accommodations, you can open a bank account at any time. There are different identification requirements, so some banks may require your student identification card, which you will receive in the first week of the semester. There are many different banks to choose from in Little Rock, but the ones that are closest to the university (across the street) are Centennial BankRegions Bank, and Bank of America. There are also several ATMs on-campus in the Student Center.

How can I begin mobile/cell phone service?

You can get mobile phone service at any time. The most common mobile providers are AT&TVerizonT-Mobile. Many of these providers offer 2-year contracts or prepaid service. You can arrange mobile service by visiting the company’s store, or visiting a department or electronics store such as WalmartTarget, or Best Buy. There is a Target store approximately 3 km from the university. You can also buy food, clothes, house goods, and other items there.

After traveling internationally, do I need to quarantine for COVID-19? What COVID-19 information do I need to know?

Visit the United States Centers for Disease Control for the most recent information regarding COVID-19 regulations and recommendations.

Students can get free COVID-19 testing by appointment at the university Health Services Clinic or at many local pharmacies and clinics. If you self-quarantine or are in isolation, I can help you arrange food and anything else you might need during that time.

Face masks are recommended at this time, especially where physical distancing can’t be assured. UA Little Rock encourages the use of disposable medical masks in addition to, or instead of, single-layer cloth masks for additional protection. According to the CDC, consistent and correct mask use is especially important for individuals who are not up to date on vaccines and when physical distancing cannot be maintained. The face mask should cover the mouth and the nose as recommended by the CDC. Masks are available in our IELP office in the Trojan A Building Room 101 or at the Ask Desk in the Student Services Center (SSC).

We recommend attending class in person as much as possible, but if a student can’t attend IELP class for any reason, including quarantine or isolation, they may still participate in class that day virtually. The university’s website about COVID-19 Updates has the most recent information about university precautions.

Does the university purchase health insurance for international students?

Yes, the university will purchase international student health insurance for students with F-1 visas at registration/orientation on August 21. The company the university uses is LewerMark. The cost is $440 for the Summer, $680 for Fall, and $580 for Spring. The insurance will start on the first day of the semester (coverage begins August 21) and will end the day before the next semester begins (coverage ends on January 15, 2024). The cost of the insurance will be added to your tuition so that you can pay both in our IELP office.

I want to study in an undergraduate or graduate program at UA Little Rock after I finish IELP. How can I do that?

IELP Director Sarah Porter works individually with students in the Pre-University (advanced) level on helping them transition to academic programs. In the last 1-2 months of the semester, she will schedule meetings with each student to discuss future plans and goals, assist in completing applications, and determining what additional documents or exams each student will need. All students wanting to begin an academic degree, regardless of academic program or university, will need documentation (official transcript) from their high school and any previous universities. The transcripts need to be sent directly from the school to an evaluation service (World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators) for review. Requesting official transcripts and completing the evaluation process is typically the longest step in the admission process. It is highly recommended that students request transcripts for evaluation as early as possible.

What can I do in my free time in Little Rock?

As a UA Little Rock student, you will have free bus transportation within the city of Little Rock with your student identification card. You will receive your student identification card during the week of August 21. You can also use the university gym and indoor swimming pool for free. Little Rock is a beautiful city. It has a good balance between the convenience and excitement of a city but that there are also a lot of parks and nature both in the city and just outside the city. Many students love the malls and shopping, and everyone loves visiting the Little Rock Zoo. The city of Little Rock made a very nice video of our city that shows many things to do here.