Banner Link to UK Link to International Center

Incoming Students – 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, and 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.
If you are a student admitted to the Center for ESL, please click see the New CESL Student webpage.

Activate your link blue account

Your link blue account must be activated in order to confirm your “see blue.” U Orientation, 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. Please activate the account as soon as possible.

Carefully review and follow the instructions for activating your account, download the instructions here.

After you activate your link blue account, set up your Universal Email Address so you will receive email from UK. You may forward your email to an account you already use or set up a UK branded email account through our contacts with Microsoft and Google. Follow the Account Manager directions 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 computing account, please contact IT Customer Service via email at or by phone at (859) 218-4357. Office hours for IT Customer Service are Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm and phone support is available from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. To reset a forgotten password, please visit

Confirm your "see blue." U Orientation (Undergrad Only)

As a newly admitted student (undergraduate students only), you will attend the "see blue." U Orientation, where you will learn about UK, register for classes and meet other new students. During orientation, you will also meet your academic advisor. 

To register for orientation, please follow the next steps: 

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

Introduction to iCat

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

When you log into iCAT, you will open the Undergraduate/Graduate tab and find a checklist that is labelled 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.

Schedule your placement testing (Undergrad Only)

International students will take the English placement exams on August 14 and 15. These tests will determine your placement in math, science, or English courses.  Placement tests must be completed before meeting with your academic advisor. Students who do not complete the required placement testing will be enrolled in the English for Academic Purposes program courses at the beginning levels of English writing, reading, speaking, and listening.  

All incoming students are required to take the ALEKS math placement exam unless they have an ACT math subscore of 30 or above (or SAT math score of 680 or above) or have completed a college-level math course equivalent to UK MA 109 (College Algebra) or MA 111 (Introduction to Contemporary Math) or higher at UK or another institution. Please take this exam before you arrive at UK. For more information click here

For additional information about placement testing at the University of Kentucky, please visit the the webpage of the Office of Undergraduate Education.

To schedule your placement testing visit iCAT and log into the "Full Client Services for Students & Scholars" section using your linkblue credentials

  1. Find the "Undergraduate Student Placement Testing" event in the "Session Sign-ups" drop down
  2. Find and register for an open session

Instructions with screenshots are available here.

Apply for housing

The most important thing to remember is that on-campus housing is not automatically reserved for students.

Ingels, Blazer, and Woodland Glen II are the halls that remain open during all UK breaks.

Space is limited, but an early application can guarantee on-campus housing. 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.

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:

SEVIS fee and visa interview

Pay the I-901 Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee prior to your visa interview at:  Please upload the payment confirmation in iCAT.

Schedule your visa interview at:

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

Canadian citizens are not required to have a visa, but they must pay the SEVIS fee.

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:

Plan your trip to Lexington

Arrange to arrive at the Blue Grass Airport (LEX)

As you plan your trip 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.

Arrange local transportation

If you would like someone to meet you at the airport once you arrive in Lexington, please complete the airport pick-up request form. If you have trouble filling out this form please download a pdf version.

Please note:

  • 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

At the University of Kentucky, health coverage is mandatory. 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.  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.

Upload your pre-arrival documents

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

If you have not already uploaded your I-901 Sevis payment confirmation make sure to complete that e-form in the checklist as well.

Click here to sign in and upload your documents:

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 $1,500 in traveler’s checks (recommended)

Post-Arrival Forms & K Week International Orientation

Submit Post-Arrival Forms

Once you enter the US, you will be able to access your I-94 Arrival/Departure number online at (mobile site not recommended).  You will then upload the I-94 Arrival/Departure number to iCAT (instructions below).  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.

Important Dates


Fall 2017
Undergraduate Students

  • August 12 

    • Date to arrive at the university and early move-in to residence halls
    • 12:00PM-6:00PM - Shopping trip - Shuttles leave from Bradley Hall
  • August 13

    • 12:00PM-3:00PM - Shopping trip - Shuttles leave from Bradley Hall
    • 4:00PM-6:00PM - Welcome Picnic at E.S. Good Barn. Groups leave from Bradley Hall at 3:30PM
    • 8:00PM - Bowling Night. Cost is $15. Meet at Bradley Hall
  • August 14

    • 8:00AM-3:30PM - Placement Testing in W.T. Young Library - B108A
    • 1:00PM, 2:00PM, 3:00PM - Campus tours leave from Bradley Hall
    • 7:00PM - Movie Night at Memorial Hall
  • August 15

    • 8:00AM-1:00PM - Placement Testing in W.T. Young Library - B108A
    • 1:00PM, 2:00PM, 3:00PM - Campus tours leave from Bradley Hall
    • 6:00PM - Tour of Lexington. Leave from Bradley Hall 
  • August 16

    • 8:30AM-4:00PM - International Student Orientation Day in White Hall
    • 6:00PM - IHP Ice Cream Party in Bradley Hall
  • August 17

    • 8:00AM - “see blue.” U Orientation for freshman in White Hall
    • 6:00PM - Pizza Party in Bradley Hall
  • August 18

    • 8:00AM - “see blue.” U Orientation for transfer, non-degree, and exchange students  

Graduate Students

  • August 10

    • 8:15AM - International Graduate Student Orientation in Jacob Science Building Room 221
    • 8:15AM - International Teaching Assistant Orientation (Teaching Assistants only) in Funkhouser Room 200 – For more information click here
  • August 12

    • 12:00PM-6:00PM - Shopping trip - Shuttles leave from Bradley Hall​
  • August 13

    • 12:00PM-3:00PM - Shopping trip - Shuttles leave from Bradley Hall
    • 4:00PM-6:00PM - Welcome Picnic at E.S. Good Barn. Groups leave from Bradley Hall at 3:30PM
    • 8:00PM - Bowling Night. Cost is $15. Meet at Bradley Hall
  • August 14

    • 1:00PM, 2:00PM, 3:00PM - Campus tours leave from Bradley Hall
    • 7:00PM - Movie Night at Memorial Hall
  • August 15

    • 1:00PM, 2:00PM, 3:00PM - Campus tours leave from Bradley Hall
    • 6:00PM - Tour of Lexington. Leave from Bradley Hall 
  • August 16

    • 6:00PM - IHP Ice Cream Party in Bradley Hall
  • August 17 

    • 6:00PM - Pizza Party in Bradley Hall
Graduate students should watch for information from departments for other college specific orientation programs.