Arriving in Gainesville

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 you fly all the way to Gainesville. (For example, a ticket to Miami or Atlanta without a connecting flight to Gainesville will leave you eight hours by car from Gainesville). Bus service to Gainesville is very limited. If possible, try to arrive on a weekday (Monday through Friday) because the University of Florida International Center (UFIC) and other University of Florida offices are closed on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday).

Airports

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 Laudardale on United Airlines. There are no connections from Jacksonville. The Gainesville Regional Airport is located at 3400 NE 39th Avenue. It is 6 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, click here or call (352) 373-0249. We recommend that you consider making arrangements for being picked up by someone who have contact with in Gainesville, such as through your academic department. 

Shuttle Services:

  • From Jacksonville, Orlando or Tampa: “AIRPORT SHUTTLE”. (This is a cab company based in Gainesville; prices will vary.) 

Car Rental

If you rent a car to drive to Gainesville, be sure to ask about the car return (drop-off) location in Gainesville. Each company has specific rental requirements .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 Paramount Resort and Gainesville Regional Airport.
    You must be at least 21 years old, have your own credit card and a valid international driver's license.
  • Budget Rent-a-Car www.budget.com 1-800-527-0700 Gainesville drop-off at Gainesville Regional Airport.
    Minimum age is 21. You 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 and Holiday Inn University Center.
    Minimum age is 21. You must have a credit card, an international driver's license and your home country license.
  • Hertz- www.hertz.com or 1-800-654-3131. Gainesville drop-off at Gainesville Regional Airport and 3620 North Main Street HLE.
    You must be at least 21 years old, have your own credit card and a valid driver's license from your country.
  • National Car Rental- www.nationalcar.com or 1-800-227-7368. Gainesville drop-off at Gainesville Regional Airport.
    You must be at least 21 years old .You must have a credit card, international driver's license and your passport.
  • Once you are in Gainesville, UF has a deal with Zipcar which gives you rental car access for a limited price.  Read more at http://www.zipcar.com/ufl/

For directions to drive from regional airports (Gainesville, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa) to UF campus, click here.

Bus Service

  • 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 your Gator 1 card, you can ride the RTS buses for free. As a new international student, you can ride the bus number 25 from the airport by presenting your letter of admission or Initial I-20. Additional routes and schedule information is available online at www.go-rts.com.
  • GMG TRANSPORT
  • Megabus

Rail Service

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 visit www.amtrak.com or call 1-800-872-7245.

Getting Settled

Once in Gainesville, it is your responsibility to locate housing, bus lines, stores, laundries, post offices, libraries, banks etc…and complete required paperwork. It is recommended you arrive no later than a week prior to mandatory orientation. If you have been awarded an assistantship, contact your department to discuss when you should arrive. Students with an Assistantship are required to obtain a Social Security card once they arrive in the United States. You must be in the United States at least ten days before going to the Social Security Administration office. Remember only students with valid J-1, J-2 or F1 visa status may be permitted to obtain an Assistantship/Fellowship. United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not allow B-1/B-2 or F-2 visa holders to be degree-seeking students, until the change of status is applied for and approved.

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 ◦, Fahrenheit (F) or 16 ◦ to 21 ◦ Centigrade (C), nights are cool (30 ◦ to 50 ◦ F. or -1 ◦ to 10 ◦ C.) There are occasional freezing temperatures but it does not snow. A winter jacket is necessary. The summer days are hot (80 ◦ to 95 ◦ F or 27 ◦ to 35 ◦ C) with high humidity; brief rain showers are frequent.

On Campus Housing

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 8am-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 August 1 and August 11.
  • 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 apartments The Continuum, which provide all-inclusive rates and is walking distance to UF and downtown Gainesville.  Click here for more information.

Off-Campus Housing

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 (www.offcampus.ufl.edu) has several resources and services to assist you 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 it 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 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.  To schedule an appointment call 352-392-1207, email Nora Kilroy, Director of Off Campus Life, at norak@offcampus.ufl.edu, stop by the OCL office in 311 Peabody Hall or visit our website and click on the appointments link.

To learn more about Off Campus Life 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.