As an international student, you can arrive in the US no more than 30 days before the first day of classes. It is recommended that you arrive at least 1 week before your first day of classes. Do not enter the US early or without an F1 visa.

Planning your travel to Miami can be quite overwhelming, but we are here to help! The following tips will help answer many of the questions you may have regarding starting your stay in Miami.


The currency used in the United States is the US Dollar, the sign for which is $.

US currency in distributed in both coins and bills. Coins are found in denominations of 1 cent (penny), 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime), and 25 cents (quarter). Coins of 50 cents and $1 also exist but are not widely used. Bills are printed in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. Bills are also available in a $2 denomination, but this is not widely used.

You will want to have a small amount of US Dollars or a credit card that can be used in the United States with you upon arrival. There are currency exchange counters at both your departing airport and the arrival airport in Miami. ATMs can be found throughout the airports in Miami and will dispense currency in US Dollars when withdrawn from your bank account.

Airport and Transportation Information

There are two major international airports within the vicinity of FIU.

Miami International Airport is 15 minutes from the Modesto A. Maidique Campus and FIU Downtown on Brickell, or 30 minutes from the FIU at I-75 location.

Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport is approximately 45 minutes from the Modesto A. Maidique Campus and FIU Downtown on Brickell, or 30 minutes from the FIU at I-75 location.

Before you arrive in Miami, it is a good idea to have your ground transportation from the airport planned out. Miami has a large rideshare presence via Uber and Lyft. Taxis are also available at the airport. If you are staying in a hotel for your first days in Miami, many hotels also provide ground transportation from the airport, and you can contact the hotel for more information on the availability of this service.

Important Documents

Be sure to bring all your important documents in your hand baggage.

The following documents are needed when arriving to the US:

  • A passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your arrival date
  • Your F-1 visa
  • Your I20 – be sure to bring a printed copy with you!
  • Copies of your admission letter and financial documents
  • Evidence that you have paid your SEVIS fee
  • Evidence that your first semester in the US is not 100% online; you can provide a copy of your class schedule as provided by your program

You should also bring information on your student health insurance and any other important documents with you in your hand baggage.


FIU has on-campus housing available at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus, but many graduate students choose to live off-campus for more privacy and independence. On-campus housing must be reserved prior to the start of the semester. More information on housing application deadlines can be found on the housing website.

FIU’s off-campus housing site provides many options for students seeking independent housing and has a message board to look for roommates. Within walking distance to the Modesto A. Maidique Campus, students can consider FIU-approved independent housing at 109 Tower, 4th Street Commons, Identity Miami, and The One at University City. These units are fully furnished, and rental rates are inclusive of utilities. Many of these options can be reserved prior to arrival.

For students taking classes at FIU Downtown on Brickell or FIU at I-75, there are many housing options within the vicinity of these locations.