Pre-Arrival Information & Orientation

We are thrilled and humbled that you have chosen KSU for your J-1 Exchange Visitor Program and look forward to welcoming you to Frankfort, the capital city of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We hope that you find your time at KSU productive, rewarding, enjoyable and memorable.

Please check out our Pre-Arrival Information & Orientation Packet. This packet will provide critical pre-arrival information and orientation as well as immigration regulations. The KSU Office of International Affairs and Global Agriculture Programs (OIA) is here to assist you with both before and during your stay in the United States. We look forward to meeting you at the mandatory orientation program. Your hosting department will also have valuable information and resources available to you during your stay. This pre-arrival orientation and orientation information packet is meant to assist you as you prepare for your journey to the United States, and for your easy adjustment into your stay in the United States as a visiting student or scholar at Kentucky State University.

You will find answers to many of your potential questions in this guide. However, if you do not find answers to your questions in this guide, please contact our Responsible Officer (RO) Dr. Eric Yang, Interim Director of Global Strategies and International Affairs by email or phone at

105/109 Cooperative Extension Building
Kentucky State University
Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone: 502-597-6327
Cell:     502-545-5003
Fax:     502-597-6373

Pre-Arrival Checklist

Click here to download a step-by-step checklist

Before arriving, you must:

  • Verify that all the information on your DS-2019 is correct. Note the program begin date and notify the OIA immediately if your travel plans change, including if you face delays in getting your visa.
  • Pay the SEVIS FEE online at
  • Locate your local U.S. consulate; schedule an appointment for a visa interview:
  • Apply for a J-1 Visa at the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy to your home residence. (Note: Canadian citizens do not need a US Visa, but must pay the SEVIS fee).
  • Make financial arrangements to pay for tuition (if applicable) and other bills.
  • Secure housing. J-1 students are encouraged to live on campus. You can find housing information and apply here For scholars and professors, although KSU will assist you in finding housing opportunities, KSU is not responsible for securing housing for J-1 Exchange Visitors. Enclosed is the rental information we collected for your convenience and reference in Frankfort that are close to KSU campus.
  • Schedule your mandatory J-1 Scholar Orientation with OIA for a date shortly after your arrival in Frankfort. Appointments can be made at:
  • Purchase or make plans for required medical insurance coverage. The U.S. Department of State requires all individuals who enter the United States in J-1 status to have medical insurance for themselves and any accompanying J-2 dependents.
  • Collect and organize immigration documents and put in your carry-on (hand) luggage
    • Valid Passport with Visa
    • DS-2019
    • I-901 SEVIS Fee receipt
    • Financial Support Document
  • Arrange travel to United States. Plan to arrive at least one week before the first day of orientation.
  • Make travel plans to allow sufficient time to familiarize yourself with the university. Attendance at new Exchange Visitor orientation is mandatory. Keep this in mind when booking your flight. J-1 exchange visitors may arrive no more than 30 days before the program start date listed on the DS-2019.
  • Arrange or make plans for transportation from airport to your hotel or apartment. OIA will provide transportation only for the first arrival into the Lexington or Louisville Airport, but you must notify OIA at least one week prior to your arrival if such service is needed. If you arrive at any other nearby airport, you must make the necessary arrangements to travel to Frankfort.

Important Numbers and Addresses

  • Your address in your home country and phone number(s) to call in case of emergency.
  • Your U.S. address and/or phone number, if already available.
  • Host Department phone number, address, and contact person.
  • Office of International Affairs.

Personal Items: What You Should Bring to the U.S.:

  • Any prescription medications.
  • Your medical history with English translation.
  • Note of any life-threatening allergy with English translation.