Plane on ground after landing

When to Arrive

You must be at UWM and ready to start attending classes on the first day of classes, which is the start date on your I-20. F-1 students can enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days prior to the start date on the I-20; this date is listed on your I-20 as your “Earliest Admission Date”.

Graduate students with assistantships must arrive to campus prior to the start date on your employment contract.  

When booking your flight to the U.S., consider the following: 

  • Date of flight: Think about where you will stay when you arrive in the U.S. Depending on your move-in date for your on-campus or off-campus living arrangements, you may need to find temporary housing for the days leading up to your move-in. UWM offers very limited temporary housing; therefore, you may need to stay in a hotel or Airbnb (which could become expensive) or with friends/relatives. 
  • Arrival time: Pay attention to the local time when your flight arrives (likely Chicago, possibly Milwaukee). If you arrive late in the evening in Chicago, you might need to stay there overnight (buses from Chicago to Milwaukee do not run overnight). If you stay in Chicago overnight, we recommend you choose a hotel close to the airport. 

Panther Pickup

Transportation from Chicago O’Hare Airport to Milwaukee via the CoachUSA bus may be available for new international students. To qualify, you must have a confirmed valid visa and confirmed flight ticket into Chicago O’Hare Airport with arrival between December 23, 2023 and January 21, 2024.

Panther Pickup information for fall 2024 will be available after the start of the spring 2024 semester.

  1. Sign up.

    • Panther Pickup sign-up will open on December 4, 2023. Sign-up is required and must be submitted at least 5 business days prior to the departure date listed on your flight ticket.
    • To sign up for Panther Pickup for the spring 2024 semester, log in to your ISSS Connect Portal and navigate to the Documents & Requests section.
  2. Receive your bus ticket.

    Your CoachUSA bus ticket will be sent to your UWM email address. Additional information will be provided upon issuance of the ticket.

  3. Use your bus ticket to travel from Chicago to Milwaukee.

    You’ll use your bus ticket to travel from the Chicago O’Hare Airport to the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.

    The Coach USA bus station at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport is located at the Multi-Modal Facility (MMF) at 10255 W. Zemke Boulevard. The MMF is accessible from each terminal via the Airport Transit System.

    You can get off at any of the stops leading up to and including the Milwaukee Intermodal Station. You can then take a taxi or use a rideshare service to reach your final destination.

Note: Arrival procedures are subject to change, and affected students will be notified through their UWM email. 

Additional Transportation Options Upon Arrival

From Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport

From Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport

From Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  • CoachUSA Bus Service
    • Take a CoachUSA bus from O’Hare to Milwaukee General International Airport.
    • Purchase a ticket in advance (before you travel) and print your ticket.
    • The Coach USA bus station at the Chicago O’hare International Airport is located at the Multi-Modal Facility (MMF) at 10255 W. Zemke Boulevard. The MMF is accessible from each terminal via the Airport Transit System.
    • Pay attention to the CoachUSA schedule, as buses do not run late at night.
  • Amtrak (Train) / Milwaukee City Bus
    • At O’Hare Airport, take the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line service to Chicago Union Station.
      • The CTA station is located in Terminal 2 of O’Hare Airport (not in Terminal 5). You need to take the free Airport Transit System to Terminal 2 and follow the sign to “CTA Trains” or “Trains to City.”
      • The CTA Blue Line takes you to downtown Chicago. You need to exit at Clinton Station. From Clinton Station, it’s a 5-minute walk to Union Station.
    • At Chicago Union Station, take Amtrak Train service to the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.
      •  Amtrak Train service runs on a fixed schedule, please plan your trip beforehand. 
    • From the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, take city bus Gold Line or 30/30X to the UWM campus.