Arrival and orientation


All new ESL students must return the arrival information sheet provided in your acceptance packet with your I-20. We cannot meet you at the airport if we do not know when you are arriving. Please fax the form to 270-809-2715 or send it to through email when you have your travel schedule. Please read carefully the information below so that you can get better prepared for your transition to your life and study with us at Murray State University.

ESL students should arrive during the airport shuttle dates below:

 Spring Two Term 2018

  • Shuttle: March 23 through March 25, 2018
  • Placement Testing: March 26, 2018
  • Orientation: March 27, 2018
  • Registration: March 28, 2018
  • Classes Begin: March 29, 2018

Summer Term 2018

  • Shuttle: June 8 through June 10, 2018
  • Placement Testing: June 11, 2018
  • Orientation: June 12, 2018
  • Registration: June 13, 2018
  • Classes Begin: June 14, 2018

Fall One Term 2018

  • Shuttle: August 10 through August 12, 2018 (arrival in Nashville, TN before 5:00).  
  • Placement Testing: August 14, 2018
  • Orientation: August 15, 2018
  • Registration: August 16, 2018
  • Classes Begin: August 17, 2018

Fall Two Term 2018

  • Shuttle: October 12 through October 14, 2018
  • Placement Testing: October 16, 2018
  • Orientation: October 17, 2018
  • Registration: October 18, 2018
  • Classes Begin: October 19, 2018

New international students, including ESL Program students, should plan to arrive at the Nashville, Tennessee international airport within the shuttle service days.

The Nashville airport is the largest airport near Murray, Kentucky, but because it is a two-hour drive to Murray, the ESL Program provides shuttle service from the airport to Murray State University. There is a $75 charge for airport pick-up which will be billed along with your tuition and fees. (The airport pick-up charge is non-refundable unless you cancel at least four hours prior to your original arrival time.)

If a student needs airport pick-up on any date other than the shuttle dates (see above), the charge is $125.

Please see the Expected Costs for more information.

Information on this shuttle and a request that you let the ESL program know of your exact arrival will come with your I-20. Your I-20 packet will contain all your arrival information in it, and you should let the ESL Program know as soon as possible when you will arrive. Either a student worker or a staff member in the program will greet you at the airport.

Shuttle Passengers (August & January Shuttles Only)

Please note that the shuttle will be picking up many students whose flight times will vary. For this reason, the shuttle departs from Nashville for Murray at 5:00 pm each day during the shuttle days in August, October, March and June. In January, however, the shuttle departs from Nashville for Murray at 4:00 pm. If your flight arrives in Nashville after the shuttle departure time from Nashville, you will need to stay in Nashville overnight and be picked up on the following day.

All ESL Students

All students must provide their arrival information to the ESL Office. Please return the arrival sheet in your application packet by emailing to and it may also be faxed to 270-809-2715.

New Student Orientation

Orientation for ESL students takes place before and during your term here. Orientation begins as soon as you are picked up at the airport. ESL student advisors and their helpers will help you with your housing, banking, and shopping and introduce you to other students. The ESL staff and the teachers will help new students register for class and with all those activities that can be so confusing at the beginning of a new experience.

The first day of each term is set aside for placement testing, which consists of these parts: a writing sample, a short oral interview, and an institutional TOEFL. They are designed to insure that you are placed in the appropriate courses in each skill level. Information on ESL Program curriculum and special programs can be found here.

Each new student is enrolled in an orientation class during the term. This class will help you become acquainted with life in the United States and specifically in Murray, KY.

Students are visited by various university and community members in this class in order to help them adapt to college life. This class offers a broad range of subjects and the speakers may include doctors, bankers, dentists, law enforcement personnel, university personnel or faculty, immigration specialists, and culture shock specialists. At the same time, students will have a tour around campus.

- Updated 09/10/2017