Congratulations on your admission to UAB! We love seeing new Blazers every semester! Please join our Facebook and Instagram pages. There’s a lot to do before you arrive on campus, so please take a look at the following sections to make sure you’re ready to dive into your new life here in Birmingham!

Insurance, Registration, and Housing

You can’t do anything at UAB without first setting up your BlazerID. Make sure you set up your BlazerID first so that you can register for class, access information about student groups, apply for housing, and submit health documents.

Health Insurance and Immunizations

The United States does not have a universal healthcare system. All international students at every program level (Academic English, Pathway, and degree-seeking) must provide proof of insurance that meets requirements set by UAB Student Health Services. Generally, this means enrolling in the UAB Student Health Insurance Plan. ISSS does not handle insurance and immunization documents and cannot advise on health care plans, costs, coverage, waivers, or renewal. All questions related to these topics must be addressed to UAB Student Health Services after consulting the following websites:

Most international students require Level 2 immunizations per UAB policy. Please complete this Immunization Form and upload copies of your relevant medical records and proof of vaccination (translated into English, if necessary) to your Patient Portal following the instructions on the attached form. Please note: tuberculosis testing MUST be performed in the US once you arrive on campus.

UAB offers student health insurance through United Healthcare. If you do not wish to purchase UAB’s student insurance, you must submit an insurance waiver through the Patient Portal prior to August 27. All questions related to these topics must be addressed to UAB Student Health Services.

Registering for Classes

Academic English and Pathway students will be registered for classes by their academic advisors and should not be affected by any registration holds.

Degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students must log in to BlazerNET and take active steps to register for classes online before the start of the semester and may face registration holds if immunization, financial, and/or immigration documents are not provided in a timely manner.

Housing

If you will begin your time at UAB in an Academic English or Pathway program, you are guaranteed on-campus housing provided by UAB if you confirm and pay your housing deposit before the housing deadline. If you confirm or pay your housing deposit after the deadline, your name will be placed on a waitlist. If you will begin your time at UAB as an undergraduate Pathway student, you must live on campus for your first two semesters. Students may request a waiver if they meet certain criteria.

You also must live on-campus in UAB-provided housing for your first (freshman) year in a bachelor’s degree program, but you can apply for a waiver if you meet certain criteria. Read more about Student Housing & Residence Life’s exemption policy by logging in with your BlazerID.

If you are considering living off-campus, this guide has tons of helpful information about finding housing near UAB. Once you have created your BlazerID, you can also visit the Off-Campus Housing Service and log in to search for available properties and roommates. You can also post for roommates and set up carpools from the Birmingham airport on our International Blazers Facebook group.

Immigration Documents, Visa Appointments, and Pre-Arrival Checklists

A note about timing: multiple offices at UAB process applications for our various programs, and applications pass through several databases and platforms before all information is in place so that we can mail a Form I-20 to you. Our goal is to communicate with you about your I-20 within three business days of notification that you have been admitted to UAB. That three-day clock does not start when you receive your “congratulations” email from the specific program, since it can take up to three business days for everything to be in place in our systems downstream for I-20 issuance.

You can book a visa appointment even before the I-20 arrives in the mail. We will also send you a free SIM card! You can learn more information about obtaining a student visa, and you can see the wait times at various US consular posts.

Transfer Students Already in the US

Students in F-1 status transferring to UAB from another US institution must complete a transfer clearance form. Students should contact the international student advisor or P/DSO at their current institution to assist with this process.

Welcome Sessions

Depending on your academic program, you must attend one of several international welcome sessions designed to provide you with critical information tailored to your specific program level and make sure everything is in place so that you can start classes. The meeting place for all welcome sessions and the Resource Fair is the lobby of the international center on the second floor of Mervyn H. Sterne Library, located at 917 13th Street South. Please bring your passport, your original paper Form I-20, and a copy of your Form I-94.

Resource Fair

Vendors will be on-site in the international center lobby on Friday January 10 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm to help you set up US cell phones, open a US bank account, and learn about off-campus accommodations.

Academic English and Pathway Student Welcome Session

Please meet in the lobby of the international center on the second floor of Mervyn H. Sterne Library located at 917 13th Street South at 8:00am on Wednesday January 8. Led by ISSS, INTO UAB, and English Language Programs Staff, you will participate in four days of rotating information sessions guiding you through immigration, immunization, registration, and placement testing.

Degree-Seeking Undergraduate Student (including Athletes and International Transfer Students) Welcome Sessions

If your first semester at UAB will be as a full-time, bachelor’s degree student you must participate in two separate events: Goin' Green new student orientation for all UAB undergraduates, plus an international welcome session. International welcome sessions take place in the lobby of the international center located on the second floor of Mervyn H. Sterne Library on the corner of 13th Street and 10th Avenue South. Led by ISSS staff, you will participate in three hours of interactive presentations covering culture shock, immigration, health insurance, employment, and taxation. We offer two international welcome sessions for undergraduates:

  • Friday August 16th from 2-5pm
  • Saturday August 24th from 9am-12pm

Attendance is mandatory. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible to reserve your seat so we have enough food for you!

Degree-Seeking Graduate (master’s and Ph.D.) Student Welcome Sessions

New master's and Ph.D. students must participate in an international welcome session upon arrival. Led by ISSS staff, you will participate in three hours of interactive presentations covering culture shock, immigration, health insurance, employment, and taxation. We will offer multiple welcome sessions for degree-seeking graduate students who will begin their program during the summer semester. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and to reserve your seat.