Arrival Information

Travel to UCSB

UCSB is located about 10 miles northwest of downtown Santa Barbara, adjacent to Goleta and Isla Vista. The closest airport is SBA, but it can be more expensive to fly directly to SBA. Many travelers fly to the international airport in Los Angeles (LAX) then take a shuttle to get to UCSB. 

Arriving via SBA: The Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) is located next to UCSB.

There are several options to get from the Santa Barbara Airport to UCSB:

  • Bus: Santa Barbara MTD, the local public bus, has regular service to campus and UCSB on Route 11.
  • Taxi or shuttle service: A list of companies serving SBA is here.
Arriving via LAX: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the closest large international airport, approximately 100 miles south of UCSB. The Santa Barbara Airbus offers scheduled trips to and from LAX. Visit their website for schedule and pricing.

International travelers should allow up to two hours for passport control and customs. If you miss your connecting flight to LAX or Santa Barbara, ask the airline service representative to rebook your flight and help you find a hotel if you have to stay overnight. The airline will NOT pay for your hotel if you are delayed by customs and immigration officials. Be sure to have at least $200 with you in case of an unexpected delay and stay over.


International Student Check-In

You MUST report in person to the OISS within one week of your arrival so your SEVIS record can be updated.  Please bring the following documents with you to check-in:
  • Passport
  • I-20 Form (F-1 Students) OR DS-2019 Form and Acknowledgement Letter (J-1 Students)
  • Form I-94 (can be accessed online at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/ AFTER you have passed through U.S. Immigration)
  • THREE Addresses: (1) Your new UCSB-area address (2) Address of person in the UCSB area to contact in case of emergency (3) Address of person in your home country to contact in case of emergency

During your check-in you will also receive a schedule for CALI Training or Scholar Orientation and other information.


Temporary Accommodations

We strongly recommend you make arrangements for housing before arriving. The Santa Barbara rental market can be quite challenging. If you do not have accommodations prearranged, it may take you some time to find a place to live.

UCSB has a list of nearby hotels and lodging options here, including the on-campus "Student Hotel" which allows students a room in the residence halls short term. This can be a very good option if you are arriving before your move-in date. More about housing options here.


Temporary Mailing Address

You can use our office to temporarily receive first class mail when you first arrive. We will not accept packages or parcels – only letters or documents. Mail should be addressed as follows:
(Your Name)
c/o Office of International Students & Scholars 
SRB--MC 7150
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-7150