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Pre-Departure Information

Travel Information

Please familiarize yourself with this material developed by the U.S. Department of State. It will help prepare you for travel to the U.S.

Departure Checklist

Before you depart, make sure to do these things:

  • Confirm that your passport and nonimmigrant visa are valid for entry into the U.S.
  • Pack your bags according to the instructions below
  • Check the size and weight of your luggage. Size dimensions of carry-on and checked bags vary by airline. Visit the website of your airline for their specific requirements.
  • Know the time, date, and airline of your flight to the U.S.
  • Check in early for your flight. Most international flights require you to check in several hours prior to flight time. This allows time to check baggage, pass through security, etc. If you miss your flight or it is delayed or cancelled, contact program staff immediately.

Packing List

Bring these items with you ON THE PLANE

Bring these items with you ON THE PLANE

It is very important to bring these items with you on board the airplane (in a carry-on bag). Do not lose them or put them in your checked baggage. Make copies in case the original is lost. You will not be able to board your flight or enter the United States if you do not have them with you.

  • Airline tickets
  • Passport
  • Visa (please note: YSEALI fellows are considered J-1 Exchange Visitors)
  • SEVIS Form I-20AB, I-20MN, or DS-2019
  • Evidence of Student/Exchange Visitor status (U.S. State Department/ASU Letter)
  • Driver’s License or Official Photo ID
  • Contact info for ASU program staff (see Contact Information page)

You should also bring these items on the plane with you:

  • Wallet with spending money
  • Emergency contact information
  • Prescription medicine (if you use it)
  • Phone, laptop, electronics (if you like)
  • Charger and converter for your electronics
  • Entertainment for the flights (books, movies, etc.)
  • Sweater or jacket in case you are cold on the plane

How to Pack

How to Pack

Try to pack light! You will have access to laundry services while you are in Phoenix. Be mindful of space if you plan to purchase souvenirs while you are in the United States.

For luggage, we recommend:

  • One suitcase to carry all your clothes
  • A carry-on backpack for the airplane and your classes
  • A weekend duffel bag for shorter trips

Do NOT bring these items with you

Do NOT bring these items with you

These items are prohibited on U.S. flights:

Bring these items to the United States

Bring these items to the United States

  • Spending money for shopping, souvenirs, extra food, and free-time activities
  • Laptop (required for the academic program)
  • Cell phone
  • Power adapter or chargers designed for the U.S.
  • Prescription medicine (enough for the five-week program)
  • Backpack (capable of holding your laptop and a small binder)
  • Cultural artifact (a small artifact to share from your culture -- maybe a small musical instrument, religious symbol, historical artifact, personal item, or photo)



The weather in Phoenix, Arizona during the program will be warm. You can find out more information about the area on the Arizona Life page. You will also travel to northern Arizona, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., where the weather is colder.

  • Casual clothes most of the time - for classes, activities and tours
  • Business casual - a few semi-formal outfits for events and presentations
  • Business attire - a formal outfit for special events
  • One outfit that can get dirty for messy volunteer activities

  • Closed-toed shoes (suitable for walking or hiking)
  • Activewear (suitable for walking or hiking)
  • Cold-weather gear (a warm jacket, long pants, gloves, and scarves)
  • Sunglasses

Personal Hygiene Items

Personal Hygiene Items

You will be staying in hotels during the program, which provide towels, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and a hair dryer. Liquids, aerosols, and gels larger than “travel size” are prohibited in carry-on baggage on U.S. flights.

We don’t recommend packing any liquids in your checked baggage either because they leak and can ruin your clothing. You will be able to purchase personal hygiene items like toothpaste at stores near Arizona State University and your hotel.

Travelling to the United States

Though we hope you will have a smooth experience, please be prepared for extensive security procedures. U.S. government entry procedures require that your photograph and fingerprints be taken upon entry into the U.S. If you have specific questions about this aspect of your trip, please be sure to speak with your contact at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. This information, developed by the U.S. government, will prepare you for your travel to the United States:

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHt2xnXk8AI

Connecting to Phoenix (PHX)

Your flight to the United States will land at the international airport in either Detroit, Michigan (DTW), Los Angeles, California (LAX), San Francisco, California (SFO), or Seattle, Washington (SEA). You will need to pass through customs and immigration before you connect to your domestic flight to Phoenix, Arizona. Please check your itinerary and the information screens in the airport.

Here are basic instructions for connecting through these airports. Check your airlines' websites for more information.

If you need help connecting through these airports, you can look for an Information Desk or ask uniformed airport, airline, or security employees for assistance.

Arriving in Phoenix

When you land in Phoenix, you will arrive at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in central Phoenix. Sky Harbor has three terminals: Terminal 2, Terminal 3, and Terminal 4.

  • Follow the signs to baggage claim in your terminal
  • Pick up your baggage (make sure you get the right bag)
  • Do not leave your terminal's baggage claim area
  • Look for ASU staff holding signs that say "YSEALI at ASU"

ASU staff will meet you in your terminal's baggage claim area when your flight is scheduled to land. It is important to notify ASU staff if you are running late so that we can meet you. We will escort you to a charter bus and the bus will take you to your hotel for check-in.