Arriving in Fairbanks

Most students arrive in Fairbanks by plane. From outside of Alaska, Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines (during summer) provide direct service to Fairbanks. Condor Air provides direct service in the summer to Fairbanks from Frankfurt, Germany. Others provide service to Anchorage, where you can take a connecting flight to Fairbanks. Taxis are available outside the Fairbanks terminal and will drive you to campus for about $20.

If you are driving up from the lower 48 states or Canada, purchase the Milepost , a publication that gives mile-by-mile descriptions of roads that lead to Alaska. You can order the Milepost online at for $34.95. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful drive. Driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks can take a minimum of six to seven hours, depending on weather and road conditions. Taking a taxi is not recommended.

The Alaska Railroad provides UAF students with a special one-way rate between Anchorage and Fairbanks. This rate applies to UAF-admitted students when you make a reservation by calling 800-544-0552 or 907-265-2494 from Anchorage, Canada or outside the U.S. Proof of acceptance to UAF will be required.

If you plan to park a vehicle on campus, you will need to display a current permit in your vehicle. Permits are required for all students, staff and faculty. The easiest way is to obtain a permit is online. Short-term permits are available for purchase at kiosk machines at: Thompson Drive pullout, and Nenana, Taku, Reichardt, Elvey, Museum and University Park parking lots. These machines take coins, bills (up to U.S. $20) and Mastercard or Visa. Permits may also be purchased at the parking office, Facilities Services Building, 803 Alumni Drive, Room 114. Please bring your current vehicle registration with you at the time of your purchase. Parking areas for general and reserved gold permits are shown on the UAF campus map. Shuttle buses provide convenient transportation to all areas on the main UAF campus and most off-campus locations. Campus shuttles are GPS-equipped. Check out the UAF shuttle bus website for schedules and bus locations. For further questions regarding parking on campus, please call Parking Services at 907-474-PARK (7275). Questions regarding shuttle bus transportation should be directed to 907-474-RIDE (7433).

The city bus (MACS) stops at Wood Center on campus. Students ride the MACS free, on fixed routes, with a valid PolarExpress card. Visit The Fairbanks North Star Borough Transportation website for maps and more information.

You can enter the United States up to 30 days before the start of your program, as listed on your I-20 or DS-2019. Your official program start date is the first day of classes; however, you should arrive a few days earlier so you can attend the mandatory international student orientation. Please note, on-campus housing is generally not available before the beginning of orientation, so if you arrive before orientation, you will have to arrange off-campus housing until on-campus housing opens.

That depends on how much time and money you have! It is 581 kilometers (361 miles) from the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to the Fairbanks campus, and it takes between 6.5 and 7 hours to drive. The drive is beautiful, and the trip takes you through Denali National Park, past Mount McKinley (also known as Denali, the tallest mountain in North America), but going by taxi or railway will cost you more than flying to Fairbanks.

On specific days during New Student Orientation, the Nanook shuttle (a UAF-sponsored vehicle) will meet you at the airport and take you to campus housing check-in. Please visit the New Student Orientation site for the specific times and dates that the Nanook shuttle will be running. There is no cost for this service. The shuttle will be running constantly from Fairbanks International Airport to UAF during the days when it is running. We will pick up the first flight of the day and run until the last flight of the day. Be sure to look for a sign with the New Student Orientation logo near the baggage claim area.

It's also very easy to take a taxi from the airport to campus; the ride will cost about $20. Be sure to have cash available (in U.S. dollars), in case you need to take a taxi. (Not all taxis can take credit cards.) Ask the driver to take you to Bartlett Hall for check-in.

 The UAF post office is a full-service branch located in Constitution Hall. Hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may want to mail boxes to UAF before you leave home and you can do so to your UAF PO Box, once you are issued one. Try to pack lightly; don’t spend money shipping things you can do without or can purchase here. The cheapest but slowest way to send large boxes is to mail them parcel post (approximately 30 days), but it’s a good idea to spend a little more and buy insurance. Packages that you send to yourself will be held for you. The post office will notify you that boxes have arrived by placing a slip in your mailbox. You may also mail boxes to yourself before obtaining a UAF post office box. The package(s) should be addressed to you at:

Your Name
UAF General Delivery
Fairbanks, AK 99775

The post office will hold packages for only 10 days before they will be returned.

You can move into your residence hall beginning 8 a.m. on the first day of orientation.
You can buy anything you need for your room or apartment in Fairbanks. We have large retail stores. There are also many specialty shops for winter gear, sporting goods and other things you may need. If you wish to save money, we have several thrift shops. The UAF Bookstore and Campus Cache in the Moore-Bartlett-Skarland residence hall complex have incidentals.
The U.S. has two main types of financial institutions: banks and credit unions. Under U.S. regulations, credit unions are required to obtain the prospective account holder’s U.S. social security number before they can open an account. Banks are not held to the same requirement. International students may open banking accounts without a U.S. social security number. Your passport will be required for documentation purposes.

You can pay your fees with a credit card, money order, check or cash. If you are using a credit card, make sure you know what your daily limit is and make sure you notify your credit card company and/or your bank that you will be making charges outside your home country. If you are unable to pay all of your fees by the semester deadline, you can sign up for a payment plan through the Bursar’s Office using your UAOnline account. Late fees will be charged to students who fail to either pay the entire semester’s charges by the fee payment deadline or to arrange for a payment plan. Contact the Bursar’s Office for more information. International exchange students(J-1 status) must meet with their exchange advisor in the Office of International Programs and Initiatives before paying semester fees.

Munch Money and Bear Bucks are prepaid service accounts. Munch Money is an account connected to a student’s meal plan. The amount deposited into the account varies depending on which meal plan the student selects. Munch Money can be spent at all on-campus dining locations and at most vending machines throughout campus. Bear Bucks funds are deposited into the account by the student and can be spent at a wide variety of on- and off- campus locations. A list of participating locations can be found at the PolarExpress website.

Please read your housing, dining and other application forms. They are contracts, and you will be bound to them, including dates of change or cancellation and their fees. In general, contracts are for a full academic year.