Prepare for Arrival | University of Portland

Prepare for Arrival

Choosing Travel Dates

It is very important for you to plan your travel using University of Portland's academic calendar.


The Portland International Airport (PDX) is the closest airport to campus. You can take a taxi, public transportation, or ride-sharing service such as Uber and Lyft from the airport to campus. Ride-sharing services will cost approximately $25-30 but can be more depending on demand, a taxi ride will cost approximately $40.00, and public transportation will cost $2.50. Taxis are available at the airport, MAX train and bus schedules are posted at


The weather in Portland will be warm during September and then begin cooling in early October. By November, temperatures may drop to freezing. It will be necessary to have warm clothing and a sturdy winter coat. A coat in the U.S. will cost about $80 to $200 depending on the thickness and quality. Consider your suitcase space and your budget to decide whether you will buy winter clothes here or bring them with you.

We do not recommend bringing electronics or appliances like hair dryers that require a power adapter. Everyday items can be purchased after you arrive, and you do not want to use an adapter for four years! Depending on where you live, it may be much cheaper to buy a laptop and other electronics in the U.S. You can check Best Buy to see price examples.

Portland has several large retail stores where you can purchase clothes, linens, items for your room and book supplies. These stores can be easily reached by bus or train. During orientation there is a group trip to downtown Portland where you can purchase a cell phone, school supplies, and clothes.

Carry all of your immigration documents with you. Do not put documents in your checked baggage. You will need them to cross the border. You may also experience flight delays that prevent you from arriving on campus at the expected time. It is wise to have medications, a change of clothes and any necessary toiletry items in your carry-on bag.

View this downloadable checklist to help you pack.


If possible, change some money into U.S. dollars before you leave your home country. We recommend you carry between $100 and $200 on your person. If you have a card that allows international access to a bank account, carry that as well. If you plan to work on campus, you will still need money for the first few weeks. During orientation week, ISS staff can provide recommendations for local banks.

Communicating with Family

Before you leave your home country, talk with your family about how you will stay in touch. Phone cards are easy to purchase in Portland, but most students use e-mail, WhatsApp, Zoom, and Skype. Upon arrival in Portland, students are encouraged to contact loved ones quickly to notify them of their arrival. However, students often arrive late at night and go immediately to bed. It may be some time before they have a chance to access e-mail or a phone. You are welcome to use the phone in the International Student Center to contact your family after you arrive. You will also be able to sign into University WiFi using your student username and password.


The Office of International Student Services is open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.