(updated as of 1/14/2019)
I-PREP (International - Preparation and Regulatory Education Program) is a required check-in and orientation program for all new international undergraduate and exchange students. Students will review immigration regulations, complete the check-in process, and have time to shop for bedding, purchase a cell phone, and set up a bank account.
I-PREP will take place August 16 - 18, 2019.
We recommend you arrive in Houston on Thursday, August 15, 2019.
(I-PREP starts at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, August 16th)
All international students with an F or J visa will be charged an I-PREP fee of $195 on their first student bill, whether or not they attend. Any student unable to attend must notify OISS in advance and schedule a make-up session. Unfortunately those student who do not attend I-PREP will be unable to register for classes during O-Week.
2019 Vaccination, Health Data Form, and Health Insurance Information
All new undergraduates (including transfers) under the age of 22 must complete the meningitis vaccine requirement 10 days prior to moving on campus. Rice must have received evidence of vaccination no later than August 1st. Students who fail to meet this requirement will not be permitted to enroll. For more information about the requirement, please visit the Student Health website.
All new students are required to submit a completed Health Data Form. Please direct inquiries regarding the Health Data Form or vaccination requirements to Student Health at (713) 348-4966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Rice F-1 and J-1 international students must purchase health insurance from one of the following providers:
Hilton Hotel Reservations for I-PREP 2019
Hotel: Hilton Houston Plaza / Medical Center 6633 Travis Street, Houston, TX 77030-1308, USA; TEL: +1-713-313-4000; FAX +1-713-313-4660. All transportation to and from I-PREP events will take place from the Hilton.
Dates: Thursday, August 15 - Sunday, August 18, 2019
Rates: $139 + tax per day - single room; $69.50 + tax per day - double room
Reservations: The reservation process is different for family members and students. Students staying with family members should register through the Family option.
Check-in: Begins at 3:00 p.m. Hotel will hold luggage for guests arriving before 3:00 p.m.
Meals: Some meals will be provided during the I-PREP program. There will be transportation provided by Rice for all other meals to local restaurants. It can be helpful to have money available for these meals.
Amenities: The Hilton includes the following amenities:
Arrival into Houston
Make sure to pack your I-20/DS-2019 and passport in your carry-on luggage so you can access them when needed. You will be asked to present your immigration documents when traveling to the U.S.
When the U.S. Port of Entry immigration officer stamps your passport with an entry stamp, it should include the following:
Please take a moment to review your entry stamp for accuracy. If it does not have the correct information, please let the officer know that your entry stamp is incorrect.
Taxis from the airport to the Hilton Houston Plaza / Medical Center Hotel cost approximately $70. If you share with another Rice student, the cost will be cheaper. Super Shuttle service cost is approximately $30-$35 and a reservation is required. Use code OWLS1 for a 10% discount! Uber cost is around $30-$40. For alternative transportation methods visit the OISS Pre-Arrival Webpage.
Do not come directly to Rice University, since your living space will not be available until O-Week (August 18th).
OISS will provide Rice University shuttles to all I-PREP activities, as well as to Target, cell phone stores, and restaurants during the I-PREP program. Your hotel is located close to Chase Bank, which will be convenient for setting up a bank account. Rice University will also provide shuttles from the hotel to campus for O-Week on Sunday.
Immigration Check-in & I-PREP Orientation Times, Procedures & Locations
During Check-in you will provide OISS with your original immigration documents, as well as the copies, and attend a visa compliance session. The entire process takes approximately 1.5 hours.
Check-in Times and Location:
Friday, August 16
Buses will leave the Hilton Hotel at the following times (subject to change):
Family / Last Names beginning with letters: A - J & All Exchange Students, 8:30 a.m.
Family / Last Names beginning with letters: K - Z, 9:00 a.m.
Location: Rayzor Hall Foyer
You must bring originals and 1 copy of all immigration documents to check-in.**
You will first complete arrival paperwork, then meet with an OISS advisor for a mandatory visa compliance session, and then submit completed arrival paperwork for compliance verification.
**If necessary, I-PREP students will be able to make copies on-campus before the check-in.
All undergraduate international students must also attend the I-PREP orientation session.
I-PREP Orientation Time and Location:
Friday, August 16
12:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Lunch and dinner will be included
Exchange students must attend an additional Exchange Visitor meeting prior to I-PREP
Friday, August 16, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
On Saturday, August 17th, there will be shuttle service during the day to the Hilton Hotel, Rice Village (a great place to go for lunch or dinner), cell phone stores, and Target (store that has bedding, school supplies, etc.). We will also provide shuttles from the hotel to campus for College Move-in Day on Sunday, August 18th.
College Move-in Day will take place on Sunday, August 18. We will provide shuttles from the hotel to campus. Please see the I-PREP schedule for further details. Students are not permitted to move into their Residential College before Sunday, August 18.
Useful Documents and Other Material (Updated soon!)
Frequently Asked Questions
For information about I-PREP and arrival to Houston, please review the information above. If you have further questions, please contact OISS at email@example.com.