There are more than 50,000 students at the University of Florida, many of whom fly into the Gainesville Regional Airport. Airline reservations need to be made EARLY! Gainesville Regional Airport is located at 3400 NE 39th Avenue. When making reservations we suggest flying all the way to Gainesville. (For example, a ticket to Miami or Atlanta without a connecting flight to Gainesville will require the passenger to travel about eight hours by vehicle to Gainesville). Bus service to Gainesville is very limited. The University of Florida International Center (UFIC) recommends that students make arrangements to arrive on a weekday (Monday through Friday), since the UFIC and other University of Florida offices are closed on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday).
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Finding Your Way around Gainesville
Gainesville's original settlers planned the town in a grid pattern that makes it relatively easy to find one's way around the city. The center of the grid is the intersection of University Avenue and Main Street. Streets run parallel to Main Street in a north-south direction. Avenues run parallel to University Avenue in an east-west direction. An easy way to remember east-west routes is to remember the word "APRIL," since the letters in that word (except "I") represent a route which runs in an east-west direction. Avenues,"A"; Place, "P"; Roads, "R"; Lanes,"L". Routes running north-south are streets, ways, drives, and terraces (SWDT).
The city is divided into four quadrants: northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast. Since the University of Florida is south of University Avenue and west of Main Street, it is located in the southwest section of Gainesville. Although the University of Florida extends beyond Gainesville, the main campus may be found between the boundaries of West University Avenue, SW 13th Street, Archer Road, and SW 34th Street. Streets and avenues are usually numbered. The lower the number, the closer the street is to the center of the grid. House numbers indicate the street and avenue on which the house can be found. For example, "1608 NW 2nd Avenue" would be found two blocks north of University Avenue (on 2nd Avenue), between 16th and 17th streets. When writing down an address, students should be certain to indicate whether it is NW, NE, SW, or SE and to include its designation, whether street, avenue, place, terrace, etc. Otherwise, there would be 4 different quadrants in which that address could be located, and it would be difficult to find the address. Most bookstores, gasoline stations, and rental car agencies sell maps of Gainesville and the state of Florida. The UFIC can provide a city bus schedule which has a small map of the city, and which shows the bus routes.
The connecting cities to Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) are Atlanta on Delta, Charlotte on U.S. Airways, Miami on American Eagle, and Tampa, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale on United Airlines. There are no connections from Jacksonville. The Gainesville Regional Airport is located at 3400 NE 39th Avenue. It is six miles from the Gainesville airport to campus. Taxicabs are available at the airport. Allow at least $25 for cab fare and tips. For Gainesville Regional Airport information, students should click here (http://www.flygainesville.com) or call (352) 373-0249. The UFIC recommends that students make arrangements to be picked up by someone familiar with the Gainesville area, if possible.
Students planning on renting a car to drive to Gainesville should be sure to ask about the car return (drop-off) location in Gainesville. Each company has specific rental requirements. Students should contact the company for more information:
- Avis http://www.avis.com/AvisWeb/home/AvisHome or 1-800-831-2847. Gainesville drop-off located at the Gainesville Regional Airport.
Renter must be at least 21 years old, have a credit card and a valid international driver's license.
- Budget Rent-a-Car www.budget.com 1-800-527-0700 Gainesville drop-off at the Gainesville Regional Airport.
Minimum age is 21; must have a credit card and a driver's license notarized in English.
- Enterprise Rent-a-Car- www.enterprise.com or 1-800-261-7331. Gainesville drop-off located at the Gainesville Regional Airport.
Minimum age is 21; must have a credit card, an international driver's license and a home country license.
- Hertz- www.hertz.com or 1-800-654-3131. Gainesville drop-off at the Gainesville Regional Airport and 3620 North Main Street HLE.
Renter must be at least 21 years old, have a credit card and a valid driver's license from the home country.
- National Car Rental- www.nationalcar.com or 1-800-227-7368. Gainesville drop-off at the Gainesville Regional Airport.
Renter must be at least 21 years old, have a credit card, an international driver's license, and passport.
- Once students are in Gainesville, UF has a deal with Zipcar which provides rental car access for a limited price. Read more at http://www.zipcar.com/ufl/
For driving directions to the UF campus, click here.
- Greyhound Bus Lines offers nationwide and city-to-city bus service. The Gainesville Greyhound bus station is located at 101 NE 23RD AVE, Gainesville, FL 32601. Ph: 352-376-5252
- RedCoach is a new luxury bus service which covers some cities in Florida, including the Miami, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale airports.
- Regional Transit System (RTS) is the City of Gainesville's public transportation system. With the Gator 1 card, students can ride the RTS buses for free. New international students can ride the bus number 25 from the airport by presenting their letter of admission or initial I-20. Additional routes and schedule information are available online at www.go-rts.com.
- GMG TRANSPORT
Amtrak Rail Lines, the nation's largest passenger train service, does not offer direct trains into Gainesville. The closest train station is in Palatka, approximately 45 miles from Gainesville. The train does not run every day. For reservation information, students should visit www.amtrak.com or call 1-800-872-7245.
Once in Gainesville, students are responsible for finding housing, bus lines, stores, laundries, post offices, libraries, banks etc…and for completing all required paperwork. The UFIC recommends arriving on campus no later than a week before the mandatory orientation. Students who have an assistantship or fellowship award should contact the awarding department to confirm when they should arrive in Gainesville, since hiring procedures need to be completed before the start of the semester. Students with an assistantship or fellowship are also required to apply for a Social Security card once they arrive in the United States and have been present in the country for at least ten days. Only students with valid J-1, J-2 or F-1 visa status may be permitted to obtain an assistantship or fellowship. United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not allow B-1/B-2 visa holders to be degree-seeking students until the change of status to F-1 is approved. F-2 visa holders can attend school part time, but need to wait for the change of status to F-1 to be approved before they can enroll full time.
Gainesville has a semi-tropical climate, with hot summers and cool winters. During a normal winter the days are sunny and warm (60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 16 to 21 degrees Centigrade), nights are cool (30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit or -1 to 10 degrees Centigrade). There are occasional freezing temperatures but it does not snow. A winter jacket is necessary. The summer days are hot (80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or 27 to 35 degrees Centigrade) with high humidity; brief rain showers are frequent.
All students must make their own arrangements for housing. The University of Florida Housing Office is located on the corner of SW 13th Street and Museum Road. Hours of operation are 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday.
- International Graduate Guest Housing is an affordable, limited-stay solution for international graduate students arriving at the University of Florida between July 1 and August 1.
- The UF Department of Housing and Residence Education features five different apartment complexes known as villages that are available to all graduate and professional students. Pricing includes telephone, high speed internet, standard cable, and water service in most facilities. To learn more and to apply for housing on-campus, click here.
- Single Student On-Campus Housing: There is limited availability for single student on-campus housing. To apply, click here.
- UF Housing has a partnership for graduate and professional students with the off-campus apartment community, The Continuum. These apartments provide all-inclusive rates and are walking distance to UF and downtown Gainesville. Click here for more information.
All students must make their own arrangements for housing. There are several off-campus apartment complexes located in Gainesville that rent housing facilities to UF students and their families. UF’s Office of Off-Campus Life (OCL) has several resources and services to assist students with finding off-campus housing.
The first resource is the Gator Guide to Off Campus life. The Gator Guide is Off Campus Life’s annual publication and is available through the Off Campus Life website http://www.offcampus.ufl.edu/gator_guide/. This resource provides steps to follow to find off-campus housing, average rental rates, lease information, safety information, bus information and much more.
The second resource is a free online off-campus housing locator http://housing.offcampus.ufl.edu that students can use to search for housing off campus including apartments, houses and condominiums for rent. Students can search based on location, number of bedrooms, lease length, cost, amenities and several other search criteria. The locator also has sublease listings and a roommate finder.
Off Campus Life also provides individual meetings with students that are looking for off-campus housing to discuss the Gainesville rental market and to provide tips for securing off-campus housing. Students interested in scheduling an appointment, should call 352-392-1207, email Nora Kilroy, Director of Off Campus Life, at firstname.lastname@example.org, stop by the OCL office inside of the Housing office located at 1304 Diamond Road, Gainesville, Florida 32611, or visit their website and click on the appointments link.
To learn more about Off Campus Life, students should visit the OCL website at www.offcampus.ufl.edu.
Like Off Campus Life on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/UFOffCampusLife.
Follow Off Campus Life on Twitter https://twitter.com/UFOffCampusLife.