New Student Pre-Arrival Checklist

As a newly admitted student in the Intensive English Program, you will need to complete some steps before your arrival to the United States. Below, you will find information on the following:

Setting up your ePantherID

Your ePanther ID will be given to you upon acceptance into the Intensive English Program. This ID will be used to access your account on UWM’s online platforms, including your university email, your PAWS account, and our university online course platform, Canvas.

This ID is different from your Student ID. It will usually include part of your name and maybe numbers. Your ePanther ID is a part of your UWM email. For example, if your email address is, then your ePanther ID is rpaws. When setting up your ePantherID, make sure you create a password that you will remember.

To activate your ePanther ID, please visit the Activation Website.

Finding Housing

UW-Milwaukee has two main options for finding housing in the area:

(On-Campus) University Housing

University housing consists of five residence halls. Students who wish to live in University Housing need to follow the directions on the University Housing website to finalize a contract for a room. Residence hall availability is limited, so submitting your contract to University Housing early is important.

Residence hall availability is limited for later start dates. Please make sure you have other options for housing available to you.

If you will live in University Housing, you will need to complete an early arrival form. International students must arrive in the U.S. before the residence halls are open for move-in (unless you are arriving mid-semester) for international student orientation and placement testing. To apply for early arrival, you will need to complete an early arrival form and submit it to the UWM University Housing office by email, fax, or mail. There is a charge per night for staying in the residence halls prior to the general move-in date.

Additionally, all residence hall stays require registration of a meal plan. To choose your meal plan, consult the UWM Housing website here.

University Housing residence hall rooms do not come with bed linens. We advise that you purchase your linens upon arrival in the United States.

Please note, if you sign a contract to live in a residence hall, you are responsible for all fees for the duration of your stay. 

(Off-Campus) Neighborhood Housing

The UWM Neighborhood Housing Office assists students in finding safe, quality off-campus housing and roommates. If you would like to live off-campus in an apartment or house, this would be a great place to start.

Packing List

UWM University Housing rooms are furnished but do not include basic necessities like bed linens and cookware. Most off-campus apartments will not be furnished.

You will need to make a list to prepare which items to pack. Here is the suggested UWM Intensive English Program Pre-Arrival Packing List.

If you are arriving for the Spring semester, you will be arriving during the Winter months in Milwaukee. You should come well prepared with the appropriate clothing. This includes a coat, a hat, a scarf, proper boots for wearing in the snow and ice, gloves, long-sleeve shirts/sweaters, and long pants.


Planning your arrival to Milwaukee

Arriving to campus will be an exciting time. Remember, that F-1 students can enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days prior to the start date that is listed on the I-20.  Please make sure that you arrive in time for orientation week.

UWM ELA IEP students must attend New Student Orientation at the start time and on the start date listed on their I-20 and Welcome Letter. If you do not attend orientation you might not be able to begin classes.

*Please note a $60 late fee will be charged if you miss one or both days of orientation.

Directions to Campus

From Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport

GO Riteway Shuttle Service +1 1-800-236-5450

  • Ticket desk is located in the baggage claim area of the airport.
  • See website for current pricing.


Public Transportation

Rideshare Applications 

*Please note: Rideshare services from Chicago are very expensive. So, we recommend only using these if you fly into the Milwaukee International Airport.

You can download these applications in the Apple Store or Google Play store.

  • Uber
  • Lyft

From Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Coach USA Bus Service

  • Take a CoachUSA bus from O’Hare to Milwaukee General International Airport.
  • Then, take a GO Riteway shuttle at the Milwaukee airport to UWM campus. (You will have to go into the Baggage claim area of the Milwaukee airport to find the GoRiteway desk.)
  • Purchase a ticket in advance (before you travel) and print your ticket

The CoachUSA bus has a pick up near the street exit of the international terminal. There is also a bus-center where you can find another pickup location. However, it will be much easier to board the bus when it pulls up in front of the international terminal.

  • See the website for current pricing.
  • Pay attention to the CoachUSA schedule as buses do not run late at night

GO Riteway Shuttle Service

  • Taking a shuttle that originates at O’Hare can be expensive.
  • See the website for current pricing.

*This information was obtained from the International Admissions Arrival to Campus page.

Submitting Medical Records

The University of Wisconsin System requires all students to have health insurance, and UWM strongly recommends newly admitted students submit an immunization record to the Student Health and Wellness Center when they arrive on campus. Please refer to the University Recommended Immunizations to see which vaccinations are recommended. While you are not required to have immunizations, if you have had them in the past, you must show this on your immunization record. As per the housing contracts-

Vaccinations and Hygiene Wisconsin law [sec. 36.25(46)] requires students who reside in the Residence Halls to affirm whether they have received vaccination against meningococcal disease and hepatitis B, and to provide the dates of vaccination, if any. While living in the Residence Halls, you are responsible for your own self-care including appropriate personal hygiene, physical and mental health, management of medical conditions or illnesses, and other personal needs. You are expected to utilize the various resources available to you to provide this care for yourself. If you are unable to meet these self-care expectations and/or you cause harm to yourself or others, you may be asked to adhere to an action plan and/or vacate the Residence Halls.

* This information was obtained from the International Admissions International Student Health Insurance & Medical Records page.