Planning Ahead

The Office of International Affairs looks forward to your arrival for the upcoming semester. This is an exciting time that is filled with many questions concerning what needs to be done before you leave your home country, how to arrive, and what to bring with you. The following list will help you prepare for a successful transition from your home country to UNA and the U.S.

How to Pack


When you first arrive, you will have several expenses including some meals. You are responsible to pay for one to three nights in the hotel before you can move into the university residences or apartments. Once you register for classes during Orientation Week, your semester bill will be charged to your student account. You should be prepared to pay for all the expenses of the first semester based on the estimated cost or to begin a payment plan through the Business Office.

Housing and Living

residence hall

You will need to buy small furniture pieces, household items, bedding, and towels for your room or apartment. Housing does NOT provide sheets, blankets, pillows, towels or clothing hangers. These can be purchased when you arrive. Residence halls supply only large furniture items, such as a bed and desk.

In the U.S., apartments are unfurnished unless specifically stated. You will need to purchase furniture pieces, such as a bed, table and chairs. Note: Students who choose to live in an off-campus apartment should plan for an estimated $1,000 USD to provide a security deposit, insurance and to turn on utility services.

Many students purchase a U.S. cell phone plan or open a bank account. We will provide several shopping trips during Orientation Week to help you in these tasks.

U.S. Weather

four seasons

There are four seasons in Florence, Alabama. The average temperatures for each month of the year are listed below. American buildings tend to use a lot of air conditioning. Many students find themselves a little cold inside the buildings during the summer. Jackets and sweaters can help you feel comfortable in classes.

Florence, Alabama Yearly Temperatures

Average High
Average Low
May 27°C 14°C
June 31°C 18°C
July 32°C 21°C
August 32°C 20°C
September 29°C 17°C
October 23°C 9°C
November 17°C 5°C
December 11°C 1°C