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International Programs

East Tennessee State University

3. Travel Arrangements

A. Planning Your Flight

Make your travel arrangements as soon as possible. Please note that there is only one airport close to ETSU. Please fly into this airport, which is the Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI):

Make sure you know your flight itinerary and be sure to carry with you contact information for our office. Also, and this is critically important, you must have your passport and travel documents (I-20 or DS-2019) readily accessible for immigration officials, so keep these with you and not in your luggage. 

Please educate yourself on the frequently updated flight regulations set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States or any equivalent in your home country.  Liquids, for example, cannot be carried on the aircraft in quantities larger than 3.4 ounces. Before your flight to the United States, please view

B. Arrival

IMPORTANT: United States government regulations do not allow new international students to enter the United States more than 30 days in advance of the program start date noted on the form I-20 or DS-2019.

For the Fall semester, you may not arrive in the U.S. earlier than July 22, 2017.  In addition, you should plan to arrive no later than August 21, 2017.

C. Port of Entry

When you land at the first United States airport, you will be required to go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Please view Arriving at US Port of Entry for information on what to expect. 

It is very important that you have your immigration documents (I-20 or DS-2019 and passport) in your possession -- NOT in your checked luggage. 

D. Transportation from TRI airport to Johnson City

These are the options for getting from the Tri-Cities Regional Airport to Johnson City.

1. Sign up to participate in the International Friendship Program (Host Family Program). Your host family would pick you up from the airport, host you in their home for a few nights before the residence halls on campus open, and drive you to the store so that you can purchase supplies. Please complete the International Friendship Program Application if interested in participating. We highly recommend this opportunity, but apply early because spots are limited! 

2. Hire a taxi.

  • F&L Limo and Taxi Service (recommended by Tri-Cities)
    • Phone: 423-245-0856
    • A taxi will be cheaper than a limo
  • Use this link for a list or other taxi services
    • Link with review ratings 


Table of Contents

  1. Requesting I-20 or DS-2019
  2. Immigration
  3. Travel Arrangements
  4. Immunization and Health Insurance
  5. Academics
  6. International Friendship Program
  7. Housing and Meal Plans
  8. New Students' Check-in and Arrival Briefing
  9. Financial Matters
  10. Other Important Information
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