Student Resource Manual

Money Matters

Upon your arrival in the United States, you may want to open a bank account. The following resources can assist you in opening a bank account and learning how to manage and secure your finances.

How to Open a Bank Account

Once of the first things you should do after arriving in the United States is open an account at a local bank in Tucson. You should investigate various banks before you decide which bank suits you best. Each bank has its own fees for various services, so please read small print carefully before you open an account with any bank. Some banks charge a fee to access ATM (automatic teller machines), some charge a fee to open an account, others charge you for overdraft protection, etc. Investigate the terms and conditions of each bank, and pay special attention to the different types of accounts offered, before you make a decision.

Most banks require that you present at least two forms of identification, such as your passport and your UA CatCard or State of Arizona issued identification card. Some banks also require a Social Security Number (SSN). As an international student on F-1 or J-1 status, you cannot apply for an SSN unless you have employment. (Please visit this page to learn more about Social Security. As such, if a bank asks for an SSN and you do not already have an SSN card or a job offer, you should look for a bank that does not require an SSN.

Checking vs. Savings Accounts

Checking accounts ensure safe and quick deposit of checks, including foreign checks, and are oftentimes free to open. They offer a convenient and safe way to store large amounts of cash. Once you open a checking account, you receive a check card (also known as a debit card) that allows you to pay for items and services in stores and online without having to carry cash in your wallet. You also receive checks, which you can write to pay for things. Checks are typically used to pay for monthly bills such as rent, telephone, cable, water and electric bills. The benefit of using a check is that once it is cashed, you have proof of payment through the bank. Banks usually scan copies of checks that have been cashed or deposited, which allows you to view the checks conveniently through your online account statement.

PLEASE NOTE it is a very serious offense to write checks without having sufficient funds in your account. Please make sure you have enough money in your checking account before you write any checks. A "bounced" check can result in fees from the bank, fees from the vendor, and other potential financial and legal consequences.

Savings accounts should be reserved for money that you do not wish to access readily. When you open a savings account, you keep a certain amount of money in that account and do not use it unless absolutely necessary. The benefit of putting money in a savings account is that you can accumulate interest and earn more money over time, and it also helps you budget your money. Please note that interest earned through a savings account may be taxable. Furthermore, some banks charge a penalty fee for withdrawing money from a savings account before a fixed amount of time elapses. Fortunately, many banks allow you to transfer or withdraw money into other accounts (such as a checking account) at any time without incurring penalty fees. Please ask your bank before you withdraw or transfer money from a savings account.

ATM Machines

The acronym ATM stands for "Automatic Teller Machine". ATMs are convenient because they allow you to deposit, transfer, or withdraw money using your checking card wherever an ATM is located. ATMs are located throughout Tucson and are available 24 hours a day, even if the bank is closed after hours. They are usually located inside and outside of banks and in major shopping districts, malls, grocery stores, etc.

Please use caution whenever you access an ATM. It is recommended that you use ATMs in safe, secure places - especially indoors, and avoid making withdrawals after dark. Avoid accessing the ATM if someone who looks suspicious is following you or "hanging around" the ATM machine for no apparent reason. You must input your PIN number whenever you use an ATM. This is a unique code which you should never share with anyone else. Make sure no one around you sees you input your PIN number. Please also note that some banks charge a service for ATM transactions, especially if it is an ATM machine that belongs to a bank other than your own.

Bank Safety Tips

Do not share your checking card PIN number with anyone, not even with a close friend or relative. Your PIN number is the unique access code that you must enter whenever you purchase items for services or make transactions through an ATM machine. This code is private! Sharing it with another person could put your money at risk of being stolen!

Do not carry large amounts of cash in your wallet or purse. Only carry enough cash that you may need for the day. Avoid "flashing" your cash in public. Use a checking (debit) card to make transactions, so as to avoid losing cash or getting robbed.

If your debit card or credit card is stolen, contact the bank and/or credit card company IMMEDIATELY to report the stolen card. You should notify them as soon as possible, in order to put a stop on any withdrawals from your card, and to help protect your identity. You should also contact the police right away to report any stolen items. The UA Police Department is available to assist you in reporting lost or stolen items.

Carry your purse, wallet, or backpack close to your body and keep a tight grip on it.

Do not carry your ID card and your checks in your wallet. It would be better to keep them separate (e.g. keep your id cards in your wallet in one pocket, and your checkbook in another pocket). If you lose your checkbook, contact your bank IMMEDIATELY so that no stranger or thief can access your money.

Do not write your PIN number down. Memorize it!

Make a list of all of your credit cards, checking account numbers, and identification cards. If anything gets stolen or lost, you should contact the police IMMEDIATELY and give them the list. You must also contact your bank IMMEDIATELY to prevent a thief from accessing your money.

Using Credit Cards Wisely

ASUA Legal Services offers useful guidelines regarding everything you need to know about credit cards.

As an international student, please note that you might have difficulty registering for a credit card if the company asks for a Social Security Number (also known as an SSN). As an international student in F or J status, you are not eligible to apply for a Social Security Number unless you have employment. There are restrictions on the types of employment allowed, so please review the information on Social Security.

If your credit card, debit or ATM card is lost or stolen, please report the loss or theft IMMEDIATELY. Note that federal law limits your liability for unauthorized charges, but the amount of protection against such charges depends on the type of card and when you report the loss or theft. Detailed instructions on what to do in the event of a loss or theft of your credit, debit or ATM card is available on the Federal Trade Commission website.

More information about credit cards is available through the Federal Reserve's Consumer Guide to Credit Cards and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Questions & Answers on Credit Cards.

Avoiding Identity Theft

Identity theft is a form of theft that occurs when someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, usually for the purpose of accessing their finances or to obtain their credit or other benefits. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal identifying information such as your name, credit card number or other identifier, to commit fraudulent activity. Do not be a victim of identity theft! Review the information on the Federal Trade Commission website regarding how to keep your personal information secure. The Federal Trade Commission also provides valuable information on many other topics, including:

Credit-Wise Cats Program

The Credit-Wise Cats program is committed to helping UA students be financially informed. They offer workshops on the following topics: developing a spending plan; savings; selecting a credit card; understanding credit reports; understanding paychecks; income vs. education; and identity theft. To learn more about the program, please visit their website.

How to Write a Check

Is this your first time writing a check? Not sure where to begin? Feel free to check out one of these step-by-step tutorials that will explain how to write one:

List of Local Banks in Tucson

The following banks are located on or near the UA campus. Please investigate various banks before deciding where you want to open a checking and/or savings account. Please note that this list is not comprehensive. You can also do a simple search online for the most up-to-date list of banks in your area.

ISS cannot recommend or endorse any particular company and we hold no responsibility for claims made by any company.

Arizona State Credit Union
1001 N Park Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85719

Bank of America
ATM, Banking Center
3480 E Broadway Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85716

Bank of the West
3175 N Swan Road
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 795-0170

Chase Bank
University Tucson
947 North Park Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85719

Wells Fargo
UA Student Union
1303 E University Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85719
Tel: 800-869-3557

Note: If you open an account through Wells Fargo, you can link it directly to your UA CatCard for quick and convenient transactions on campus.

Option to Link your Cat Card to Wells Fargo Account

The University of Arizona has partnered with Wells Fargo bank to allow students the option of linking their UA CatCard to a Wells Fargo checking account for ATM access and PIN-based purchases. This is a convenient option for UA students, especially because there is a Wells Fargo bank located in the Student Union Memorial Center right on campus! To learn more about this option, please visit the Cat Card website.

Cell Phones and Communication

After your arrival in the United States, you will surely want ways to stay in touch with friends and family. The following resources can help you stay in touch and stay informed.

Cell Phone Plans

The following cell phone service providers offer a variety of plans, whether you want local, long-distance, international calls, plans with no contracts, or pre-paid phones. Please research various companies and find the one that fits your budget and needs. ISS cannot recommend or endorse any particular company and we hold no responsibility for claims made by any company.

Companies marked with an asterisk (*) are those that offer pre-paid cellular phones.

Internet/Phone Service Providers and Video Phones

ISS cannot recommend or endorse any particular company and we hold no responsibility for claims made by any company. The following list is not all-inclusive. For other plans and providers, please research online. 


Tucson Weekly: Free alternative news and entertainment paper available online. Features music, book and movie reviews, personals, and classifieds.

Arizona Daily Wildcat: Since 1899, this student-run newspaper has long been hailed as the Independent Voice of the University of Arizona.

Arizona Daily Star: Tucson area paper with local and national news, sports, food, opinion, home and travel information.

Tucson Citizen: Tucson news, events, entertainment, arts, sports and much more in this newspaper.

Radio and Television

For a comprehensive list of television stations available in Tucson, plus a complete local schedule, visit the TV Guide. For those who do not have local or cable television but would like to access TV shows through their computer or gaming console, you may consider Netflix or Hulu Plus (internet access is required).

Click here for a comprehensive list of radio stations available in Tucson. A few stations are listed below.

KUAZ-FM: Consider tuning in to 89.7 FM and 90.5 FM KUAT, Jazz and National Public Radio hosted by Arizona Public Media, affiliated with The University of Arizona.

KXCI: Consider tuning in to 91.3 FM KXCI, Tucson's community radio station that features a variety of music and broadcasting, including world beat, latin, reggae, experimental rock, bluegrass and much more. Also features local bands and Democracy Now! Music is available for online streaming, too.

KAMP Radio: The University of Arizona's student-run radio station! KAMP is run by over 150 student volunteers and boasts various genres of music in addition to sports and news.


Dining Options

It may seem like a daunting task to find the ingredients and foods that remind you of home, especially if you adhere to certain dietary restrictions, but look no further! Tucson actually boasts numerous restaurants and grocery stores to meet your dining needs, both on- and off-campus. Of course, we highly recommend trying some local cuisine while you're here. The fry bread at Mission San Javier del Bac is a local favorite!

On-Campus Dining Options

There are many great places to eat off-campus. However, if you're looking for something convenient, check out this list of on-campus dining options. Many students who live on campus choose to purchase a meal plan that goes right onto a dining card. Click here for information on how to purchase a meal plan. There are many affordable dining options; the most affordable options are listed here. For a list of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, low-carb and low-fat eateries on-campus, check out these options.

Did you know that the UA Campus Recreation Center offers cooking classes? Visit their website to learn how to prepare your own meals the healthy way.

Ethnic/Global Food Markets

ISS cannot recommend or endorse any particular company and we hold no responsibility for claims made by any company.

5th Street Kosher Deli and Market
5071 E. 5th Street
Tucson, AZ 85711
(520) 325-3354

Come visit Tucson's first kosher market. Opened in 1943 and later moved to its Fifth and Rosemont location in 1971, this longtime Kosher deli and market serves corned beef and beef brisket sandwiches, lox, potato salad, and other dishes. It also boasts a small Kosher grocery section.

Alejandro's Tortilla Factory
1800 E. Fort Lowell Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85714
(520) 746-4030

Alejandro's Tortilla Factory features flour and corn tortillas and chips made fresh from their own factory. They also feature Mexican breads, pastries, donuts, along with beef, chicken, seafood and cheese items in their meat market, which you can take home to prepare a meal. As such, it's a panaderia, tortilleria and carniceria all in one!

Babylon Market
3954 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 232-3700

Opened by an Iraq-born UA alumnus, this market features Middle Eastern cuisine. It's shelves house Arabic, Indian and Turkish items along with fine imported foods such as Halal meat, teas, dates, Turkish and Arabic coffees, pita bread, canned goods, cheeses, and international treats. A selection of African and European products is also available for purchase.

Caravan Mideastern Foods
2817 N. Country Club Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 323-6808

This mideastern store features Arabic cooking ingredients, desserts, spices, Halal meats, bulk bins full of olives, dates, nuts, beans, lentils, rice, plus pastries, phyllo dough, teas, fresh produce and much more. And did we mention the baklava?

El Super
3372 S. 6th Avenue
Tucson, AZ
(520) 300-7610

El Super is one of the most inexpensive grocery stores in Tucson to house Mexican products. Stroll down the aisles stacked high with goods, much like a giant warehouse and you will find a variety of dry and canned goods. They also have pan dulce in the bakery section, a section devoted to salsas and cheeses (such as cotija cheese, Oaxaca cheese, fresh guacamole and ceviche), guayaba, and perhaps the largest meat and seafood selection in Tucson. The deli section is so popular, you might have to take a number and wait until your name is called. In the produce section, you will find inexpensive fruits and vegetables, plus a ton of piñatas!

European Market & Deli
4500 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 512-0206

This market features some hard-to-find canned food items imported from Europe, and Greek food in particular. They offer some grocery items plus a deli with a variety of sausages and meats, farmer's cheese, plus a dessert section where you can order baklava.

Food City
719 E. Fort Lowell Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 293-3256

3030 E. 22nd Street
Tucson, AZ 85713
(520) 323-2591

3770 W. Ina Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85741
(520) 744-2472

Food City is a full-service grocery store featuring typical food items and household supplies, in addition to Mexican products. Best of all, the prices are typically lower than other grocery stores. They have a good meat department, plus empenadas, pan dulce, spices and dry goods.

G & L Import Export Corporation
4828 E. 22nd Street
Tucson, AZ 86711
(520) 790-6945

This is perhaps the largest Asian market in Tucson. Not only can you find a wide variety of Asian food items and delicacies, but you can also purchase ceramic dishware, furniture, home décor, household cleaning items, sculptures and so much more. G & L features Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Hawaiian, South Asian and Korean Products, plus some Near Eastern items too.

India Dukaan
2754 N. Campbell Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 624-2474

This market features a wide selection of Indian foods.

Jasmine's Market
2516 N. Campbell Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 320-3900

Jasmine's Market features Asian, Turkish, Mediterranean, European, and Indian grocery items.

Joy Asian Market
6261 N. Oracle Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85704
(520) 531-1121

Joy Asian Market features pan-Asian fare such as gyoza sauce, tofu, mochi, soy beans, and even sushi-to-go. They sometimes even host sushi cooking classes. Call for details.

Kimpo Oriental Market
5595 5th Street
Tucson, AZ 85711
(520) 750-9009

Specializes in Korean groceries.

Lee Lee's Oriental Supermarket
1990 W Orange Grove Rd
Tucson, AZ 85704
(520) 638-8328

Lee Lee Oriental Supermarket has brought a wide variety of products from all over the world including China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Holland, Brazil, Argentina, and Africa.

Mabuhay Filipino Food Store
2023 S. Craycroft Rd.
Tucson, AZ 857122
(520) 747-2233

Mabuhay specializes in Filipino groceries, food, fresh desserts and much more. They even house a wide selection of movies in Tagalog.

Moan's Oriental Market
2022 S. Craycroft Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85711
(520) 747-7892

Moan's features Asian groceries, cookware, movies, music, clothing, fresh produce, and a nice seafood selection.

Nur Import Market
3565 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 881-6333

Nur Import Market offers East African and Middle Eastern food and groceries.

Roma Imports
627 S. Vine Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 792-3173

Roma Imports specializes in all things Italian. You can find Italian food supplies, some prepared Italian cuisine dishes, fresh meats and cheeses, homemade pastries and breads. It is also known as a New York style deli and restaurant where you can find tiramisu, panne cotta, stuffed meatballs, imported olive oil, prosciutto, quiche pies, and more.

Sanddy Oriental Market
4270 E. Pima St.
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 320-0414

Sanddy Oriental Market specializes in pan-Asian cuisine and groceries.

Sun Oriental Market
2205 S. Craycroft Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85711
(520) 790-6945

Sun Oriental Market specializes in pan-Asian cuisine and groceries

Grocery Stores


3699 E. Broadway Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 917-0111
Hours: M-S 8 am - 11 pm, Su 8 am - 10 pm


7150 East Speedway
Tucson, AZ 85710
(520) 751-1882

5500 E. 22nd Street
Tucson, AZ 85711
(520) 745-0267

3925 E. Grant Road
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 327-9555

455 E. Wetmore
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 292-2992


Show your CatCard on Saturdays for 10% of your bill!

2854 N. Campbell Ave.

Tucson, AZ 85719

(520) 321-1212

Fry's Food Store

555 E. Grant Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 622-1976
Hours: M - Su 6 am - 12 midnight

4036 N. 1st Ave
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 293-8892
Hours: M - Su 6 am - 12 midnight


7055 E. Broadway Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85710
(520) 546-6565


*Cat Tran Stop- Take Mauve (Pink) Route
1940 E. Broadway Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 206-9047
Hours: 5 am - 1 am

1551 W. St Mary's Rd
Tucson, AZ 85745
Hours: 6 am - 12 midnight

Health Food Stores

Aqua Vita
2801 N. Country Club Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 293-7770

Food Conspiracy Co-op
412 N. 4th Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 624-4821

New Life Health Center
4841 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 747-0209

4625 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 325-1320

Trader Joe's
4209 N. Campbell Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 325-0069

4766 E. Grand Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 323-4500

Whole Foods Market
3360 E. Speedway Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 795-9844

Farmers Markets and Community Supported Agriculture

Tucson Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Sign-up to receive and pick-up weekly shares of fresh, local produce. $20/week. Tip: Share your share with a friend--you will have plenty of food!

Tucson Farmers Markets

St. Philips Plaza
4280 N. Campbell Avenue

Saturday and Sunday market with fresh, local produce and specialty items.

Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free Restaurants

Bentley's House - Coffee & Tea
1730 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 795-0338

Delectables Restaurant & Catering
533 N. 4th Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 884-9289

Dos Mundos
614 N. Grande Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85745

Epic Café
745 North 4th Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85705-8445
(520) 624-6844

Food Conspiracy Co-op
412 N. 4th Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 624-4821

Garland Bistro
119 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 882-9289

Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery/Bistro
5845 N. Oracle Rd. 
Tucson, AZ 85704
(520) 408-9000

Govinda's Natural Foods Buffet
711 E. Blacklidge Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 792-0630

Guilin Chinese Restaurant
3250 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 320-7768

Lovin' Spoonfuls Vegetarian Restaurant
2990 N. Campbell Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 325-7766

Natural Foods
533 N. 4th Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 884-9289

Oasis Vegetarian Eatery
375 S. Stone Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85701
(520) 884-1616

Revolutionary Grounds
606 N. 4th Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85705
(520) 620-1770

Vila Thai Cuisine
9 E. Congress St.
Tucson, AZ 85701
(520) 882-8243

Yoshimatsu Healthy Japanese
2660 N. Campbell Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 320-1574

Zayna Mediterranean Cafe
9105 E. Tanque Verde Rd. #103
Tucson, AZ 85749
(520) 749-4465

Other Dining Options

Tucson features cuisine from around the world, including Bosnian, Chinese Dim Sum, Ethiopian, Malaysian, Polish, Thai, Vietnamese and more.

For a comprehensive list of eateries in Tucson, visit Yelp or Urban Spoon.

Nutrition Resources

The UA Campus Health Nutrition Clinic provides individual consultation for students seeking nutrition or fitness assistance. Please make an appointment by calling (520) 621-5700 or (520) 621-9202.

Other nutrition resources are available on the Campus Health website.


Annual Festivals and Cultural Events

Tucson is the home of over 40 annual festivals and other major events. Best of all, many of these events are free! The exact dates change every year, so please check each event’s website or check out the Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau website for the most up-to-date information. The events are listed by month. You’ll see that the majority of the events are hosted in October when the weather is nice and cool, but there are events each month of the year, many of which allow you to “beat the heat” and stay indoors during the hot summer months.


Dillinger Days Street Festival: Every year, Tucsonans remember the fateful date when notorious criminal John Dillinger was finally captured by authorities at the historic Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson.  Experience a piece of Tucson history by celebrating Dillinger Days with reenactments, vintage cars, live music and tours of the historic hotel. 


Chinese New Year Celebration: The Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona features a new year celebration at Centennial Hall, with dance performances, martial arts, and live music from hundreds of local artists as well as guest artists from other cities. Visit UA Presents for more information or check  to see where the festival will be held.



Tucson Gem and Mineral Show: This event is held at the end of January or beginning of February each year and draws crowds from around the world. It is perhaps the most famous event in Tucson. Dozens of shows are spread out around town, many of which are open to the public. Check out everything from gold to diamonds to dinosaur fossils and more. 


La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo and Parade: The Tucson Rodeo is Arizona’s celebration of the cowboy. The tradition began in 1925 and continues to this day. Over 1000 horses and over 600 people compete in the rodeo every year. Aside from the rodeo competition, the parade is hailed as the world’s longest non-motorized parade featuring western floats and buggies, historic coaches, Mexican folk dancers, marching bands, and more.


Arizona Renaissance Festival: This festival is one of the largest Renaissance festivals in the country. Journey back in time to witness jousting matches, feasts, medieval arts and craft, an outdoor circus, live entertainment, and lots of fair food. This event is not located in Tucson but is a short drive away.


Southwest Indian Art Fair: Situated in front of the Arizona State Museum’s front lawn, the Southwest Indian Art Fair hosts hundreds of Native artists and features Native American food, music, dance and performances. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to peruse and purchase handmade art including pottery, katsina dolls, paintings, baskets, rugs, and more. 


Tucson Jewish Film Festival: The Tucson Jewish Community Center is proud to present Arizona’s premier film event, whose mission is to promote the preservation of Jewish culture through cinema as well as encourage cultural diversity. 


Lunar New Year Celebration: The Tucson Chinese Cultural Center features an annual celebration with free admission, food, arts and crafts, and performances to ring in the new year. Dates and information is available at.


Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair: The 4th Ave Street Fair is held twice a year, once in spring and once in winter. The fair is located downtown on 4th Ave between 9th Street and University Blvd. It boasts over 400 arts and crafts booths, over 35 food vendors, street musicians, jugglers, face painting, live bands and more. This is a huge event that’s fun for all ages and admission is free. Bring cash if you want to purchase some arts or crafts. 


Wa:k Pow Wow: The annual pow wow takes place at the San Xavier Del Bac Mission and features American Indian inter-tribal dancing, hoop dance contests, drum contests, along with food, arts and crafts, silver jewelry, and more. We highly recommend the Indian fry bread, the Indian tacos, and the red and green chili burros! 


Tucson Festival of Books: This festival is held every year on the UA Mall and is known as the event where words and imagination come to life.  It brings together over 400 authors and over 50000 bookworms annually. Come check out this event to meet your favorite authors, experience live music and dance performances as well as poetry readings.


St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival: This parade is held downtown and the festival occurs at El Presidio Park. Enjoy live Irish music, Irish dancers, food, vendors, arts and crafts, and more. 


ASUA Spring Fling: Check out the United States’ largest student-run carnival brought to you by our very own Associated Students of the University of Arizona. Spring Fling has been entertaining crowds since 1974. Enjoy carnival rides, games, food booths, and more. 


CESL International Festival: The UA’s Center for English as a Second Language hosts an annual cultural event run by students in the CESL program. Experience traditional music, dance, dress, and food from over 30 countries. Admission is free and everyone is encouraged to attend and show your support of our international student community. 


U of A Wildcat Powwow: The UA Wildcat Powwow is the university’s largest Native American student-run event. The mission of the powwow is to promote Native American awareness and cultural identity. This is a wonderful opportunity to share in and promote cultural diversity on campus and experience something truly unique to the Southwest region. 


Pima County Fair: The Pima County Fair is a longstanding tradition here in Tucson. It boasts some of the best carnival rides, games, sideshows, fair food, agriculture displays, concerts and more. We recommend getting some Indian Fry Bread while you’re there!


Arizona International Film Festival: Calling all movie buffs! Check out the latest film releases from around the world. Visit the website for dates and locations.


Tucson Poetry Festival: The poetry festival has been around for over 30 years, attracting such esteemed poets as Allen Ginsberg, Sherman Alexie, Donald Hall, Yusef Komunyakaa and others. The event is usually held on the UA campus and features food, drink, and poetry galore. 


Tucson Folk Festival: This 2-day festival boasts a talented line-up of local and world-renowned folk music artists. If you’re interested in jamming out to some live acoustic music, this is the festival for you!


Cinco de Mayo: Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for “fifth of May” marks a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride. The city of Tucson boasts numerous fiestas on May 5th, given our close proximity to Mexico. Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo does not mark Mexico’s Independence Day—that’s on September 16th! Check out and click on their “city week” link for a list of Cinco de Mayo-inspired events during the month of May.


Tucson World Refugee Fest: Visit the website for information about a truly unique festival that happens right here in Tucson every year. Tucson is the new home to refugees from around the world. The festival is put on to commemorate World Refugee Day, a tribute to the remarkable courage and determination of tens of millions of refugees who are uprooted from their home countries due to war and violence. The festival is a day of celebration featuring music, dance, art, games, interactive activities, and cuisine from countries around the world. Oh, and did we mention that it’s FREE?


Fourth of July Celebration: The Fourth of July marks Independence Day in the United States and commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. This day is celebrated with fireworks, parades, carnivals, picnics, concerts, barbeques and other all-American traditions. Tucson hosts numerous parties and events in honor of the Fourth of July. Check out Tucson Weekly or Visit Tucson for a full listing of events.


Is it really too hot outside for a festival? Beat the heat and see a movie at any of the local movie theaters in town. Visit for complete listings.


GLOW: A Nighttime Art Experience: The Triangle L Ranch located north of Tucson in Oracle hosts a visually stunning weekend of lighted art and music. GLOW features glow-in-the-dark and lighted art installations in the middle of a desert, at night, under the light of the moon. It is a truly one-of-a-kind experience not to be missed. Aside from the art, there is always food, live music, and fire dancing. Read an article this article on Tucson Citizen to give you an idea. You do not want to miss out on this event!


Tucson Greek Festival: This event is hosted by the St. Demetrious Greek Orthodox Church and is open to everyone. The festival boasts live Greek music, dancing, food, cooking demonstrations, speakers and lecture series, as well as religious services available to those interested. 


Oktoberfest: Time to bust out your finest lederhosen! This 4-day festival sponsored by the Optimist Clubs of Tucson features live music, dancing, games, arts and crafts, and FOOD… think bratwurst, sauerkraut, potato salad, beer (for those age 21 and over), plus BBQ and fair food. 


Autumn Moon Festival: The Tucson Chinese Cultural Center hosts this festival annually. Enjoy moon cakes, paper lanterns, dancing and other Chinese traditions in celebration of harvest time. 


Shakespeare in the Park: To go, or not to go? That is the question… wait, it’s a no-brainer. Sit on a grassy hill under the stars and watch some of Tucson’s finest actors in their rendition of classic Shakespearean tales of comedy and tragedy. This event is sure to please thespians and, best of all, it is free. Check out the website for dates and times. We recommend bringing a blanket and pillow or fold-out chairs.


Arizona Restaurant Week: Treat yourself to a fine dining experience during Arizona Restaurant Week, the fabulous time of the year when participating restaurants offer 3-course meals at unbeatable, fixed prices. This is your golden opportunity to eat at an upscale restaurant at a significantly discounted rate. Visit the website for dates and a list of participating restaurants.


Tucson Meet Yourself: This is hailed as one of the most amazing, not-to-be-missed events in Tucson. Don’t miss out on Tucson’s annual FREE festival featuring local ethnic and native groups’ music, food, dance, arts and crafts, vendors, cooking demonstrations, games, expos, and more. It also features an annual low-rider competition and tricked out bicycles. The event is free but we suggest bringing extra cash to purchase food at any of the food stands. We also suggest going with a group of friends so that you can share food from many vendors to get the full culinary experience. TMY is always looking for volunteers. If you are interested in helping to teach others about cultural awareness, visit the website to see how you can sign up.


Pride in the Desert: Pride in the Desert is Tucson’s premier celebration for the LGBTQA community. Show your support for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and simultaneously enjoy live entertainment including drag shows, over 100 exhibitors, and more. There is fun for all ages. Don’t forget to wear your rainbow gear. The Tucson Pride Parade also occurs in October.


Wildcat World Fair: ASUA and dozens of multicultural clubs on campus host this annual event to celebrate the cultural diversity of the UA campus. This one-day event features food from around the world, performances, arts and crafts and is free. You may want to bring cash to buy food though! Go to to find out when the event will be hosted.


Ski Valley’s Oktoberfest at Mount Lemmon: Enjoy brats, beer (for those age 21 and over only!), cool weather, German food, polka music, dancing and more atop the beautiful, scenic Mount Lemmon. Just a short drive from UA campus, you will not believe that you are in Arizona. No cactus in sight, it will feel more like a trip to the Alps minus the snow. Please bring a blanket and a warm jacket—it will get chilly! Go to Visit Tucson for dates and times.


Nightfall at Old Tucson Studios: Celebrate Halloween in ghoulish style at Tucson’s premiere creepshow. Nightfall features haunted houses, live entertainment, scary costumes, fair food, rides, and more.


Buckelow Farm Pumpkin Festival and Corn Maze: Buckelow Farm is just 30 minutes from downtown Tucson. It may be worth the drive during the day just to pick out your own pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. It’s an American tradition to pick a pumpkin and carve a jack-o-lantern, make a pumpkin pie, or bake the pumpkin seeds for a delicious snack. If you go at night, take a trip through the corn maze and get lost for hours under the night sky. For those who love a good scare, take the haunted path through Terror in the Corn and watch for creatures (aka people in costumes) go bump in the night. 


Desert Bluegrass Festival: Enjoy bluegrass music at Tucson’s premier bluegrass festival. Admission is free but donations are accepted to support the Community Food Bank. In addition to live music, they host workshops, contests, and more. 


Tucson Blues Festival: If you’re feeling the blues, go to this festival and check out some great live blues music. 


All Souls Procession & the Procession of Little Angels: Inspired by Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos, the All Souls Procession began as one person’s journey through the grieving process. Today, it is one of the biggest events in Tucson with a uniquely Tucson vibe. It begins with a parade through downtown, where participants carry a large urn filled with hope, offerings, and wishes for those who have passed away. At the end of the event, the urn is burned (usually hoisted high in the air) in a fantastic display of lights, live performance, music, and aerial acrobatics. It’s a great time to mourn the loss of a loved one, to dress up, to watch the beautifully-crafted floats, or to “people watch”. The Procession of Little Angels is a special event just for the kids; they are invited to dress up as little angels with hand-made halos and wings and conduct a parade of their own.


Open Studio Tours: Artists open their studios to the public during this two-day event so that you can see the creative process in action. They also talk about their work and give demonstrations. Artwork will also be for sale. This event is brought to you by the Tucson Pima Arts Council.


Tucson Celtic Festival & Scottish Highland Games: Get ready to dust off your kilt. This annual festival celebrates Celtic heritage and traditions with food, music, and libation (for those 21 and over). The festival features a huge feast, bagpipe musicians, Scottish Highland dancers, as well as the Highland Games, a competition of strength and skill. 


El Tour de Tucson: This event attracts over 9000 cyclists from across the US annually. Watch as they cycle through an 111-mile journey (or participate if you’re an avid cyclist). Events also include a 10K and 5K run, a fitness expo, fun charity rides, and more. This event is open to people of all ages and abilities, whether you’re a novice or a professional. 



Winterhaven Festival of Lights: Winterhaven is a regular neighborhood 11 months out of the year. However, during the month of December it transforms into a massive winter wonderland. Bright lights are strewn from the housetops and yards are covered in decorations—it’s a sight to see! It has been around for over 63 years and it’s a local tradition to walk through the neighborhood and check it out (or take a wagon or trolley ride for an additional fee).  If you're in the mood for some holiday cheer, visit the website for information about this wonderful Tucson tradition.


Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair: The 4th Ave Street Fair is held twice a year, once in spring and once in winter. The fair is located downtown on 4th Ave between 9th Street and University Blvd. It boasts over 400 arts and crafts booths, over 35 food vendors, street musicians, jugglers, face painting, live bands and more. This is a huge event that’s fun for all ages and admission is free. Bring cash if you want to purchase some arts or crafts.

Financial Aid Resources

Financial aid for international students is limited, as most grants, loans, and scholarships are reserved for US citizens. However, below are a few resources that might be helpful.

1. Scholarship Universe

2. Education USA Financial Aid Database

3. eduPASS: The Smart Guide to Studying in the U.S.

4. Abroadplanet Resources

5. Information about Loans for International Students

6. The College Board bigfuture Scholarship Search

7. FastWeb

8. Scholarships Abroad Search

9. International Education Financial Aid and College Scholarship Search (IEFA)

10. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

11. Brandon Goodman Scholarship

12. Latino Scholarship Fund

13. Zinch Scholarship Database

14. P.E.O International Peace Scholarship Fund (for international female students at the Master's or PhD level). Applicants can contact Beverly Rutter or Ann Marsh-Marten for more information.


Driver's License


*For questions and to access the most up-to-date information, always contact the Arizona MVD directly at or by phone at (520) 629-9808.


Arizona Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) locations that process driver license applications:

Tucson East
1360 S. Stocker Dr.
Tucson 85710
Tucson North
7330 N. Shannon Rd.
Tucson 85741
Tucson Regional
3565 S. Broadmont
Tucson 85713


Open Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00.  You must arrive before 3:00 pm to take the road test.  The MVD recommends Wednesdays and Thursdays for faster service.  You should also avoid the first and last two days of the month, and the day following office closure.

You must bring a vehicle registered in the state of Arizona to complete the driving portion of the exam, so it’s best to wait until you have a car (or you may use a friend’s vehicle) before applying for a driver license.  However, if you would like to go to the MVD sooner to obtain a state license, then you can find bus routes and times at (use the link “Plan Your Trip”).  From the UA campus it takes approximately 1 hour by bus, and you will have to make at least one transfer.  The cost of the bus is $1.50 each way or $3.50 for a day pass (unlimited).


  • Place children in school without paying the tuition rate of a nonresident
  • Pay school tuition fees at the same rate as an Arizona resident

* Out-of-state students enrolled with 7 or more semester hours, are not considered Arizona residents, regardless of employment, and are not required to obtain a driver license.

** You may legally drive in Arizona using a valid driver license from another country. An International Driving License or Permit is not required, but is recommended since it can be printed in English, and can be used in conjunction with the driver license from the other country. If an International Driving License or Permit is used alone, it must be issued by a country other than the United States.


  • DS-2019 or I-20 (the MVD will use the expiration date to calculate the duration of your license)
  • I-94
  • Passport/Visa


You can complete and submit the initial application online (or download a paper version).

You will be required to pass a written test and a road test.  Once you pay the application fee, you will have three chances to pass the written and road test within 12 months.  After that, you will be required to pay the application fee again.


For driver’s license, costs vary from $10  to $25 dollars, depending on age.

For Arizona State Identification Card (ID):

  • Ages 0-64 – $12.00
  • 65 & over – No fee


  • Consists of 30 multiple-choice questions.  You’ll take the test at a computer work station using a touch screen.
  • The Arizona Driver License Manual and practice tests are available on the MVD website at:


  • The test administrator will drive with you through a test route, giving you directions to follow. The driving exam will test your knowledge of traffic laws in a variety of different situations and your ability to safely operate the vehicle.
  • You must provide the vehicle used for the test. The vehicle must be in good operating condition (including seat belts), and must have current ARIZONA registration, plate and tab. You will be required to show proof of current automobile liability insurance.


Safety and Well-Being

Your well-being and safety are important. Being aware of potential dangers and taking the appropriate precautions can help you to avoid problems both on and off-campus. For a comprehensive list of resources on student safety and well-being, please visit

Safety Tips from UAPD

REMEMBER: crime prevention is a shared responsibility. Report any unusual or suspicious activity or persons immediately by dialing 9-1-1 and report it to the police.

Personal Safety Resources

UAlert!: Sign for a free service that delivers emergency alerts to your cell phone, mobile device and/or email account during a campus emergency. It is the most efficient way to receive notifications about critical incidents affecting the UA campuses.

Emergency Card: Pick up your SafeCats emergency card at the Dean of Students Office in the Nugent Building. The card provides important safety information, including phone numbers for UAPD and Safe Ride.

Join SafeCats on Facebook or Twitter: The SafeCats program is an educational campaign that disperses information regarding safety on- and offcampus. Check them out on Facebook by searching “SafeCats” or Twitter by searching “UASafeCats”.

SafeRide: This program offered by ASUA gives free rides to students, faculty, and their guests in the evening and nighttime as an alternative to walking alone at night.

Self-Defense Courses: The UA offers self-defense courses that focus on awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, and the basics of hands-on defense training. All courses are taught by certified instructors. The class is a collaboration between UA's Oasis Program and the Women's Resource Center.

Campus Resources and Services

Counseling and Psych Services (CAPS): Campus Health Services offers psychological counseling to students to help them  cope with personal problems so that they may achieve their educational goals. CAPS offers treatment for anxiety, depression, family problems, alcohol and drug concerns, ADHD, live crises and other issues.

Oasis Program Against Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence: The Oasis Program was established to help students, staff and faculty who are impacted by sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking. Oasis is open to men, women, and transgendered persons.

Sexual Health: Campus Health Services provides many resources for students to help them make healthy, responsible decisions about their sexual behavior.

Dean of Students Office: The Dean of Students Office provides programs regarding student health and safety.

Friend 2 Friend: Friend 2 Friend is a place where you can obtain information and advice that you can use to help a friend who might be experiencing problems. Friend 2 Friend can tell you how to identify problem behavior, how to talk to your friend about it, and how to know when the problem is serious enough to warrant professional help. Please consult the Friend 2 Friend website if you have a friend who might have a problem related to any of the following: drugs, alcohol, mental health, compulsive behaviors, self-injury, suicide, physical health, personal safety, food and body image, relationships and sex, or sexuality.

Student Advocacy and Assistance: The Coordinators of Student Advocacy and Assistance seek to empower students to take a proactive role in exploring their own resolutions to challenging situations. They can provide 1-to-1 consultations with students who seek assistance regarding complex issues and crises that could affect their ability to remain successful.

Emergency Resources

Remember, in the event of an emergency, the quickest way to get help is to call 9-1-1. If you call 9-1-1 from any university land line, the call will connect you with the University of Arizona Police Department (UAPD). If you call from a cell phone, you will get the local emergency phone system. If you are on-campus, identify the location as “The University of Arizona” and you will immediately be connected to UAPD. Emergency Blue Lights are also located throughout campus. They have phones with direct access to UAPD. Look for the blue location lights.

The UA Risk Management Services recommends that you follow these steps when calling to report an emergency:

  • Stay calm.
  • Keep others calm.
  • Identify yourself.
  • Carefully explain the problem and the location.
  • Remain on the phone until the dispatcher tells you to hang up—if you can’t stay on the phone, tell the dispatcher that you must leave and where you can be reached.

Detailed procedures for specific emergencies (such as fire, medical, police, haz mat, personal injury, suspicious activity, and more) are provided by Risk Management Services.

UAlert: Sign for a free service that delivers emergency alerts to your cell phone, mobile device and/or email account during a campus emergency. It is the most efficient way to receive notifications about critical incidents affecting the UA campuses.

UAPD: The University of Arizona Police Department (UAPD) is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for everyone on campus.

CERT: Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT) oversees the university’s emergency planning and response.

Emergency Card: Pick up your SafeCats emergency card at the Dean of Students Office in the Nugent Building. The card provides important safety information, including phone numbers for UAPD and Safe Ride.

Police Resources

UAPD: The University of Arizona Police Department (UAPD) is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for everyone on campus.

Call 9-1-1 for any emergency requiring police, fire or medical assistance. For non-emergencies, call (520) 621-8273.

City of Tucson Police Department

City of Tucson Fire Department

Personal Identification

Federal law states that every F-1 and J-1 student and every F-2 and J-2 dependent (including children 18 years of age and over) must “at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession” the “certificate of alien registration receipt card” issued to him or her by the Department of Homeland Security.

At the state level, the Supreme Court upheld provisions of the Arizona Immigration Law known as SB1070 (or Senate Bill 1070). Court let stand one controversial section of the law, saying that lower counts had failed to provide sufficient interpretation to overturn it, and provided guidance in the fair and constitutional application of the provision. That section, known as the “papers, please” provision, requires state and local law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of individuals during a lawful stop or arrest if they have a “reasonable suspicion” that the person may be illegally present.

In conclusion, carry the original I-94 at all times. The I-94 card is commonly referred to as “the little white card that’s usually stapled into your passport”. Please review the Office of General Counsel website for detailed information. It is also recommended that you carry at least a photocopy of the biographical information page of your passport.

If you lose your Form I-20, DS-2019, passport, or I-94 card, you must notify the ISS office immediately so that we can assist you in getting your documents replaced. If your documents are lost or stolen, we also recommend that you first contact the police to report the loss or theft and retain a copy of the police report. The police report may be useful later on when you request a replacement I-94 card or passport.

University Policies and Procedures

The University of Arizona is smoke- and tobacco-free effective August 25, 2014. This policy applies to University students, faculty, employees, contractors, volunteers, and visitors on its campuses and in its vehicles. It prohibits the use of any products that contain tobacco or nicotine, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, bidis, kreteks, hookahs, water pipes, and all forms of smokeless tobacco. For more information, please visit Tobacco-Free UA.

Click here to view a map of the UA Campus covered by the University of Arizona Smoking and Tobacco Policy.

Academic Resources and Tips

We strongly encourage you to utilize the various resources available on-campus to maximize your ability to succeed academically at the University of Arizona.

Tips for Academic Success

Check out this handout for great tips: 12 Tips for Succeeding Academically at UA

Academic Resources on Campus

Libraries: The University of Arizona boasts numerous libraries on-campus. The Main Library is the biggest and houses the Integrated Learning Center. The Pima County Public Library system is also free and open to the public in Tucson.

SALT Center for Learning Disabilities: The Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques (SALT) Center provides support services to students with learning and attention challenges. It also offers Life and Attention Decifit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) coaching as additional fee-based services to students.

Testing Office: They offer testing services on weekdays and on some evenings and weekends, including TOEFL exams, and offers test preparation services.

Disability Resource Center: The DRC is dedicated to making the UA campus an inclusive learning and working ability for all students. If you encounter academic or physical barriers on campus, the DRC will assist you to provide reasonable accommodations.

Advising Resource Center: Not sure who your academic advisor is? You can log into yourUAccess Student Center and see the name of your advisor on the right-side panel, or you can look it up by college or major using the Academic Advisor Directory. The Advising Resource Center also has helpful tools online including a grade calculator to figure out your grade point average (gpa).

Writing and Reading Resources

THINK TANK Writing Center: Provides fee-based, one-on-one hour long tutoring appointments. Also offers free 15-minute drop-in sessions or free 30-minute appointments with a writing tutor.  Visit their website to download their drop-in tutoring calendar!

Writing Skills Improvement Program: Offers free weekly writing workshops in select topics, as well as specific workshops geared towards international student writers.

Center for English as a Second Language (CESL): Offers fee-based evening classes on Reading and Writing for Academic Purposes.

English and Public Speaking Resources

CESL: Provides fee-based, part-time and evening classes in English, pronunciation, and conversation.

Catmasters Club: Catmasters is the University of Arizona branch of Toastmasters International. The focus is on developing public speaking and leadership skills in a relaxed, friendly environment. Members give prepared speeches which are evaluated by a peer along with short extemporaneous speeches to develop impromptu speaking skills. With time, this club can make you into a skilled orator and you will have some fun along the way. Guests are always welcome and prizes are awarded every meeting!

Cosmopolitan Toastmasters: A unique public speaking club for non-native English speakers in a friendly, supportive environment. Open to everyone. No prerequisite. Improve communication and leadership skills, and presentation skills. Improve self-confidence speaking in front of a group or when called upon. Great for PhD candidates preparing for their dissertation. Great for anyone preparing for a job interview.

Academic Policies

Code of Academic Integrity: The Code of Academic Integrity outlines the principle for honesty in all class work and ethical conduct in lab and clinical assignments. Visit the Dean of Students website for tips on how to avoid academic dishonesty, how to cite references, to learn more about plagiarism and other details that will guide you throughout your academic life at the University of Arizona.

Student Code of Conduct: When students violate the Student Code of Conduct, they infringe upon what the campus community has defined as acceptable behavior. The Dean of Students Office enforces the coes outlined in the Student Code of Conduct Please read the code to familiarize yourself with university codes, policies, and procedures.

Avoiding Plagiarism: The Dean of Students Office offers valuable tips on how to avoid plagiarism and academic dishonesty.

Other Academic Policies: Learn about other important university policies, such as double dipping, petitions and grade appeals, and Grade Replacement Opportunities (GRO).

Stress Management

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): CAPS offers psychological counseling to students to help them cope with personal problems so that they can successfully achieve their educational goals. They also offer groups and workshops including a Stress and Anxiety Management Group, a Test Anxiety Workshop. If you think you're stressed out, you might want to try their online screening tool to see if stress or anxiety management might be good for you!