Arrival and orientation

Please send your arrival information 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 will be required to take a free Covid-19 test upon arrival following these procedures.  

Fall Two Term 2020

  • Shuttle: October 2  through October 4, 2020
  • Orientation: October 6, 2020
  • Registration: October 6, 2020
  • Classes Begin: October 7, 2020

Spring One Term 2021

  • Shuttle: January 15 through January 17, 2021
  • Orientation: January 19, 2021
  • Registration: January 19, 2021
  • Classes Begin: January 20, 2021

Spring Two Term 2021

  • Shuttle: March 12 through March 14, 2021
  • Orientation: March 16, 2021
  • Registration: March 16, 2021
  • Classes Begin: March 17, 2021

Summer Term 2021

  • Shuttle: June 4 through June 6, 2021
  • Placement Testing: June 7, 2021
  • Orientation: June 8, 2021
  • Registration: June 8, 2021
  • Classes Begin: June 9, 2021 

 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.