Global Welcome

Congratulations on being admitted to the University of Central Arkansas! We are delighted that you will be joining our international community, which includes more than 500 international students and scholars from 40 different countries.

The Center for Global Learning and Engagement provides a week-long orientation called Global Welcome at the beginning of each semester for our new students. During this time you will meet host families and fellow international students, receive an introduction to campus, student services, and academic advising, and attend shopping shuttles and activities. There is a lot of information for new students to know, so please read this full page carefully!

Important Dates:

Spring 2024 Global Welcome

  • Arrival & Check-In Date: Sunday, January 7th
  • Global Welcome Orientation Week: Sunday, January, 7th-10th
  • Classes Begin: Thursday, January 11th

Summer 2024 Global Welcome

  • Arrival & Check-In Date: Wednesday, May 29th
  • Global Welcome Orientation Week: Wednesday May 29th- May 31st
  • Classes Begin: Monday, June 3rd

Fall 2024 Global Welcome

  • Arrival & Check-In Date: Sunday, August 11thh
  • Global Welcome Orientation Week: Sunday, August 11th-16th
  • Classes Begin: Thursday, August 22nd




Arriving For Global Welcome

After you have received your visa, you must register to attend our Global Welcome Orientation Week. Registering for Global Welcome will help us prepare for your arrival. If your plans change you can make another submission or email for further assistance. Submit Arrival Information →

  • When buying a plane ticket, you should book your flight ticket to arrive at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT).
  • The earliest you may move into your on-campus housing will be on the designated Check-In Day.
  • We will offer a free shuttle service on the arrival dates listed above, with the last shuttle leaving the airport at 6:00 pm. Students arriving before these dates, or later than 6:00 pm on check-in day, will need to make arrangements to stay in a hotel.

If you arrive before Check-In Day… 

  • You may request to be connected with a “Host Family” that may provide temporary housing up until Check-In Day.
  • You will need to pay to stay at a hotel and travel to UCA on your own.

Questions? Learn more →

On the Check-In Dates listed above, our office will provide FREE transportation from Bill & Hillary Clinton National Airport directly to the UCA campus. This shuttle will be available periodically from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm to pick up any students arriving between those times.

The availability of our shuttle service is subject to change. Please keep in mind that depending on the number of students arriving at a given time, we may not make any trips back to the airport. The shuttle will be canceled if we DO NOT have any flight information for students at a given time frame.

To ensure you have transportation to pick you up from the Little Rock Airport on Check-In Day, make sure to fill out the Arrival Form provided in our Global Welcome Newsletter at your earliest convenience! *

***Airport pick-up is ONLY available to students who arrive at the Bill & Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT) on Global Welcome Check-In Day. 

Once your visa is approved and your flight is booked, apply for campus housing. UCA offers in-state tuition for international students who live on campus. Students can choose from several campus halls and apartments, which you can take virtual tours of. Virtual Tour →

New students will be able to move into their housing assignments after they check in on Check-In Day. Housing applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. While there will be housing options available for all students who arrive, we encourage students to apply for housing now. Questions? Learn more →

Please note: Global Welcome requires that new students be here before the semester’s housing contract starts. Because of this, students are charged $20 per night until the housing contract officially begins. These fees will be assessed to the students’ accounts and will be paid alongside the other tuition charges for the semester.

* GEP students will not apply for housing or pay a deposit. 

To ensure all new students feel supported as they transition to the University of Central Arkansas, we’ve created the Global Welcome Newsletter. This newsletter from the Center for Global Learning & Engagement provides you with relevant resources to prepare you for your arrival at our university.

Once you have been admitted to UCA, you will receive the newsletter from Make sure to check your spam folder in case you have not received any emails after two weeks from your initial admission date.


Global Welcome Overview

The main part of each Global Welcome will be the orientation activities for new students. During these activities, students will meet other international students, connect to Team Global leaders, take any needed placement tests, register for classes, and learn about UCA and Conway, U.S. academics, and tips for adjusting to American culture.

New students will check in with the Center for Global Learning and Engagement located at 201 Donaghey Avenue in McCastlain Hall on the listed Check-In Day. If at all possible, you should plan on checking in on this date. If you are arriving after Check-In day, stop by 8:00 am-4:30 pm Monday-Friday upon your arrival. During the check-in process, you will:

  • Meet Center for Global Learning and Engagement staff and Team Global volunteers
  • Receive your orientation name tag and folder with important information and paperwork. You will need to bring these items to each day of Global Welcome
  • Have copies made of your passport, visa, I-20/DS-2019, and I-94

During orientation, new students will be divided into teams of 12-15 students based on their student classification. These teams will be led by Team Global leaders. Each team will complete their orientation activities together according to their schedule. We recommend all students complete all activities to have a richer and fuller experience at UCA. Certain activities must be completed before a student can register for classes for the semester. The activities are listed below:

  • Receive MMR immunizations and the T-Spot test. (Required for all students. View more information here.)
  • Take the Accuplacer test (required for first-time freshmen without sufficient ACT or SAT scores)
  • Take the Intensive English Placement test (required for all IEP students)
  • Receive student IDs (required for all new students)
  • Receive an on-campus Post Office Box
  • Learn how to use myUCA and Blackboard
  • Take a campus tour
  • Attend a bank & cell Phone Fair
  • Get to know the services provided by UCA’s Torreyson Library, Center for Writing and Communications, Tutoring Center, and the HPER (the campus gym).

The orientation sessions will feature guest speakers from UCA and the community speaking to new student on the most important aspects of adjustment to life at UCA. Sessions will include:

  • How to stay in active F-1 or J-1 immigration status
  • How to use your student insurance
  • How to succeed academically at UCA
  • What services the UCA Police Department offers to students
  • How to get involved at UCA
  • How to adjust to a new culture

Students will receive academic advising based on their student classification.

  • First-Time Undergraduate Freshmen and Transfer Students With 30 Credit Hours Or Less: will be advised by the UCA advising office in Harrin Hall. They will be given their advising appointment times when they check-in. Their team leaders will help them get to their appointments. These students should make sure to read more about the ACT, SAT, and Accuplacer tests here.
  • Intensive English Program Students will be advised by an IEP staff member after they have taken their placement test. Their team leaders will help them get to their appointments.
  • Transfer Students With More Than 30 Credit Hours and Post-Baccalaureate Students will be advised by faculty in their degree program. They will be given their advising times and locations when they check-in. Their team leaders will help them get to their appointments.
  • Graduate Students should be in contact with their departments to schedule an advising time before they arrive. Their team leaders will help them get to their appointments. 

We want international students to begin their UCA career understanding the expectations of academics at UCA and prepared to succeed in the new cultural environment. Students who complete all of Global Welcome will:

  • Connect with fellow new as well returning UCA students
  • Understand their immigration responsibilities
  • Begin immunizations and understand health care options available to them
  • Learn how to academically succeed at a US university
  • Meet with an advisor and register for classes
  • Learn how to respond to cultural differences