Flights to Iowa City
The recommended way to travel to Iowa City is by flying into the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, (code CID), which is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from campus. We do not recommend flying into other airports such as Des Moines or Moline as they do not have direct ground transportation to Iowa City, or the existing ground transportation is slow and runs on challenging schedules. You will be able to find direct flights to Cedar Rapids from larger airports such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit, Denver, Cincinnati, etc.
Travel from the Eastern Iowa Airport to Iowa City
Book your transportation from the Eastern Iowa Airport to Iowa City for the Fall 2023 International Student Orientation. The Airport Shuttle Service promotional period has been extended to start on Friday, August 4, 2023 to Monday, August 7, 2023 and Friday, August 11, 2023 to Sunday, August 13, 2023 for incoming new international students beginning studies in the Fall 2023 semester. This service costs $20 (individuals for the promotional period dates) and $40 (each family member/friend) per ride, which is charged to student’s U-Bills. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance to arrange transportation.
The University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government in partnership with Anaman Concierge Services offers an Airport Shuttle Service. The promotional period for this service is provided before and after Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer academic breaks. This service costs $20 (individuals for the promotional period dates) and $35 (each family member/friend) per ride, which is charged to student’s U-Bills. Reservations for trips to the University must be made at least 48 hours in advance to ensure the service partners at Anaman Concierge Services can arrange transportation.
If you are not able to participate in the airport shuttle service, we recommend you use one of the official transportation services which operate out of the airport. Information about the services can be found in the sections on Ground Transportation Services, Taxi Services, or Rideshare Services (Uber or Lyft). There is no bus service between the airport and Iowa City. You should make reservations in advance - understand that the Cedar Rapids airport is a small, regional airport located in the countryside between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Transportation is not necessarily immediately available there, and you may be left waiting a long time, or without any ride if your flight arrives late at night, so reservations are necessary. If you arrange taxi service, you need to be sure you do not use the taxi service out of Cedar Rapids, as it will cost you considerably more since they are operating out of a different city. We do not recommend making arrangements with private individuals as we cannot vouch for the safety and security of such rides.
Temporary housing upon arrival in Iowa City
Review the hotel and other options for Temporary Housing Upon Arrival in Iowa City. A list of hotels in the area can be found at the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Some local hotels offer Special Hotel Rates for UI Visitors (though these rates are not available for football or graduation weekends). Please note when making your hotel reservations, it is best to make the reservation directly with the hotel and not use a third party booking site. Some hotels require patrons to be 21 years or older to book or stay, so be sure to inquire about any age requirements at the time of booking. Additionally, many hotels require a valid credit card or a $200 deposit prior to checking in.
Traveler's Health Insurance
Your university health insurance policy will go into effect the first day of the month in which your classes start. If you plan to arrive in the United States before that date, consider purchasing traveler's health insurance to cover medical expenses incurred during the interim.
Shipping Your Belongings to Iowa City
Mailing your belongings to the University of Iowa Central Mail Services will cost less and will be more convenient than shipping them through a universal shipping service.
Sending items through the mail:
Most personal mailings valued at less than $200 (and gift packages valued at less than $100) will pass duty-free as long as the total value of all packages received by a recipient in a single day does not exceed those value limits.
All baggage and packages must be marked with your name and mailed to the following address:
Central Mail Services
Attn: Manager, Central Mail
The University of Iowa
2222 Old Highway 218 South
Iowa City, IA 52242-1602
Up to six boxes will be handled free of charge. Storage of more than six boxes will incur a storage fee. Please be aware that you will be responsible for arranging your own transportation to Central Mail to pick up your belongings.
You must present a photo ID or passport to pick up your belongings at Central Mail Services (1-319-384-3800).
If you decide to ship items:
If you ship your belongings through a universal shipping service, make sure they go to Des Moines, Iowa, which is the nearest customs port to Iowa City. Des Moines is 120 miles from Iowa City, so you will have to travel to Des Moines to retrieve your items yourself or pay a customs broker to clear your belongings through customs.
Save all written records regarding baggage or packages that you mail or ship in case problems arise.