About Lowell

The city of Lowell is located in the northeastern Massachusetts, about 40 kilometers northwest of Boston. For more info about Lowell: Cultural Organization of Lowell website.


  • On-campus housing options on East and South campuses. Housing is managed by the Office of Residence Life. Learn more on the On-Campus Housing website.
  • Off-campus housing options for UMass Lowell students can be found at the Off-Campus Housing website. You can search for housing and roommates!
  • Temporary Accommodations: Short term housing is rented for a short period of time, usually by the month. Long term rentals are considered to be any term that lasts six months or longer.
  • Renting An Apartment: Things to consider: monthly budget, type of housing, location of the housing, roommate options, furnished or not.
    • To search for housing options, search for a roommate, and other important information about living off campus!
  • Legal Rights and Responsibilities in Massachusetts are important to understand. Visit the Tenant Rights and Responsibilities website.
  • Local public schools are available. Visit Lowell Public Schools website and Nashua Public Schools website.



  • On-campus shuttle service is offered throughout campus and to downtown Lowell. An app called Roadster Routes provides live GPS tracker, showing the current location of each bus. Transportation Office website.
  • Regional Transportation Services on The LRTA: The Lowell Regional Transit Authority (LRTA) provides bus transportation throughout the region for a small fee. LRTA's website.
  • Train Service to and From Boston on the MBTA: The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) offers train service between Lowell (101 Thorndike St.) and North Station in Boston. A one-way trip takes about 45 minutes. MBTA's website.
  • Other transportation options: Uber and Lyft are pay-per-ride services available via smartphone apps.
  • Obtaining a Driver's License: Through the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) in Lowell. You must visit ISSO office for approval before visiting RMV. Nearest RMV location is 77 Middlesex Street in Lowell. Lowell RMV's website.

campus-lifeCampus Life

Be sure to register for the OMA Student Success Summit as an international student! This three-day, mandatory orientation will include workshops from ISSO, faculty, fellow students and more. Visit the website to register.

  • Each student has a University ID called a UCARD. Your UCARD will be distributed during New International Student Welcome Days in August. Your UCARD gives you access to residence halls, transportation services, parking, Campus Recreation Centers, the dining commons, libraries, labs, and more. There is a $20 replacement fee if your card is lost or stolen. Visit the UCARD website.
  • The Solution Center provides tools and information to register for classes, pay your bills or apply for financial aid. Visit the Solution Center website.
  • Employment Opportunities are available for students. Graduate and undergraduate students looking for job opportunities to search for job openings overseen by the Office of Student Employment. The majority are work-study positions, which is part of the financial aid packages; international students are not eligible for work-study. Possible employments on campus: Aramark Catering, The UMass Lowell Bookstore or the Tsongas Center. Contact the departments for opportunities, some may not posted on the Job Hawk system.
  • Scholarships and possible funding sources are available to all students, including international students. Please notice that most of these scholarships require at least one completed semester. Visit the scholarship website.
  • UMass Lowell has over 250 student clubs and organizations, including cultural, spiritual, athletic, and recreational clubs for undergraduate and graduate students through the Engage website.
  • Campus Recreation provides students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members with state-of-the-art exercise equipment and group fitness classes in safe, clean, accessible facilities. Campus recreation is free for all full-time students. Visit the Campus Recreation Center website.

adjusting-to-us-cultureAdjusting to U.S. Culture

Inside the classroom

U.S. classroom tend to be very interactive, with lots of discussion between students and professors. Here are some tips:

  • Speak up.
  • Plagiarism is not tolerated.
  • Many professors and staff prefer to be called by their first name.
  • Be punctual.

Outside The Classroom


  • Be open-minded and patient.
  • Adapt and adopt.
  • Step out of your comfort zone.
  • Monitor your stress level.
  • Anticipate the shock.
  • Take time for yourself.

Programs, Services, and Support

Visit the International Programs & Services website.

  • Culture Shock Talks are monthly workshops open to all international students as your navigate being a college student in the U.S.
  • English Conversation Group: weekly conversation groups to practice English to help you can understand slang, work on your presentation skills and more.
  • The Pair-Up Program offers international students opportunity to make friends with American students through the program, runs across the full calendar year. Visit the Pair-Up Program website.
  • International Education Week: during the third week of November, we celebrate IEW throughout the campus with cultural awareness. We also offer a winter clothing drive for all new students in need of warm clothes for the winter months.
  • ISSO Coffee Hours are on most Fridays on North Campus covering topics such as obtaining an SSN, how to get a driver's license, employment, travel authorization, immigration attorney workshops and more. Visit the ISSO Coffee Hours website.


U.S Currency and Opening a Bank Account

  • Currency in the U.S. us made up of bills (dollars) and coins (cents).
  • To open a bank account in the U.S., you will need: your passport, UML student ID or proof of enrollment, your foreign address, a local address, and a deposit (a sum of money required to open the account)
  • ATMs on campus are operated by Bank of America
  • SIM cards will be provided to you at orientation.

Mailing Information

  • If you are living off campus, be sure to out your name on the mailbox of the new apartment. Official government documents, credit cards or other similar mail will not be delivered unless the name on the mailbox matches the name on the envelope.
  • Anytime you move, update your address on SiS under Student Self-Service Login. This will provide the ISSO with your new U.S. address within 10 calendar days of moving. This is the legal requirement of your visa.
  • Complete a Change of Address card at U.S Post Office. This will cost $1.

Season Guide of Lowell and Greater Boston Area

  • FALL: October thru November, Average temperature is 55-75°F (12-23°C). Cool and beautiful.
  • WINTER: November thru March, Average temperature is 10-40°F (-12--4°C). Very cold and often snow.
  • SPRING: April thru May, Average temperature is 45-65°F (7-18°C). Lots of rain.
  • SUMMER: June thru September, Average temperature is 70-90°F (21-32°C). Hot and humid.

Electricity in the U.S.

  • 110 volts and 60 cycles, 220 volts is used in homes only for large appliance

Off-Campus Resources:

  • Local Shopping Needs: Market Basket, Hannaford, Stop and Shop
  • Clothing, household items, cleaning products, personal care items: Target, Walmart, Family Dollar
  • Shopping malls: Pheasant Lane Mall, Burlington Mall
  • Student Discount: Many provide student discount, student UCARD will be asked
  • Local restaurant and Cultural Markets: Yelp and the Like Lowell website
  • Off-Campus Living Website