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Preparing for Your Arrival

Before you make travel arrangements to come to the United States, make sure you understand when you must arrive in order to maintain your immigration status. We also recommend you learn about the local climate to help you decide which clothing and personal items to bring with you.

When to Enter the United States

You must arrive in the United States no later than the official program start date indicated on your Form I-20 or DS-2019. We strongly recommend you arrive at least several days before your report date to allow you time to settle into Denver and to attend the International Student Orientation. You may enter the United States up to 30 days prior to your official report date.

Baggage and Mail

The International House is unable to store boxes or other items for students over the summer as we do not have sufficient locked storage in our building to accommodate this. It would be necessary to make arrangements with a local shipping or storage company or trusted acquaintance already in Denver to take delivery of your things and store them until you arrive. Please visit the Pre-Arrival Resources at the bottom of the page for different options. If you do ship items, be sure to utilize a reliable carrier service such as FedEx, UPS or DHL that will ensure proper customs clearance and allow you to track the shipment. You should also consider purchasing insurance protection for your package, in case it is lost or damaged during transit.


The climate in Denver is generally dry and sunny, although it is subject to variation through the year. Temperatures range from -23° to 15° C during the winter, and from 4° to 35° C during the spring, summer, and fall. Snowfall is frequent in winter but usually does not last very long on the ground. During most of the year, afternoons are warm and sunny, and mornings and evenings are cool and mild.


Most students dress informally on campus. Jeans, shorts, and sportswear are common choices of attire and are acceptable in most classroom settings. When deciding what clothing to bring with you, consider both the climate in Denver and the situations for which you will need to dress. In addition to casual wear, you may wish to bring one or two formal outfits, such as a suit or an evening dress, as well as national or culture dress you would like to wear for official functions.

For more information, visit the City of Denver's Weather and Climate information page.

What to Pack

We recommend bringing the following items with you when traveling to the United States:

  • National clothing, crafts, and artifacts
  • Seasonal clothing including trousers, shirts, shorts, jacket, and sweaters
  • Language dictionary
  • Basic bedding - light blanket and unfitted sheets
  • Personal items, such as family photos and keepsakes
  • Medical prescriptions (in English, if possible), medication, spare eyeglasses
  • International driver's license (if you have one and plan on driving in the U.S.)

If you will be living on-campus, the Office of Housing & Residential Education also has a What to Bring page.

Pre-Arrival Resources

  • Storage and Moving
  • Study in the States guide by U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • PakMail is a local shipping company located next to the DU campus. They will allow international students to mail packages to their business location which could be picked up after your arrival in Denver. You can contact PakMail directly for more details:

     None of the resources listed above is affiliated with or endorsed by the University of Denver.