Pre-Departure Information

Below you will find pre-departure information that will help you learn about travel to Missoula, as well as information about many of the student services on the UM campus.

 the Missoula valley surrounded by mountains

Pre-Departure Information

We will arrange to pick you up from Missoula International Airport when you arrive. Please fill out the following form to let us know the time, date and airline that you will be arriving on.

Arrival Form

If you need assistance at the airport, please phone 406-830-0260.

Missoula is served by Missoula International Airport and two long-distance bus companies, Greyhound and Intermountain bus lines. There is no train service directly to Missoula. All Humphrey Fellows will be picked up at the airport upon arrival and transported to the University of Montana campus.

Winter Clothing

Winters in Montana can change from blustery cold one day to pleasantly cool the next. Here is a quick guide on how to dress for the winter weather in Montana:

  • Bring a warm winter coat— This is possibly the single most important piece of clothing you will need to protect you from the cold. A thin jacket is not enough to keep the cold out!
  • Dress in layers— Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothes in layers under your winter coat. Wearing long underwear is highly recommended. Trapped air acts as an insulator to prevent heat loss.  Also, if the weather changes from cold to cool, you can remove layers as needed.
  • Wear a hat— A warm hat that covers your ears is preferable.  Half of your body heat can be lost from your head.
  • Wear a scarf or face mask— A scarf will protect your face. Breathe through your nose to warm inhaled air and protect your lungs.
  • Wear mittens— When snug at the wrist, mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves, but a warm pair of gloves is acceptable as well.
  • Wear boots— Wear warm, insulated, waterproof boots to keep your feet warm. Fashion boots will not keep your feet warm in the snow and cold temperatures.  Also, regular tennis shoes will not protect your feet from wet snow and slush.

Summer Clothing

Summers in Montana can change from hot one day to pleasantly cool the next.  Here is a quick guide on how to dress for the summer weather in Montana:

  • Bring a light coat— When the sun isn’t shining, sometimes it can be a bit cold.  A light jacket will provide the warmth you need on a cloudy day, a cool summer evening, or on a mountain hike.
  • Dress in layers—Wear loose, lightweight clothes in layers. If you dress in light layers, you can remove clothes as the day goes from cool in the morning to hot in the afternoon.  Dressing in layers will prepare you for all types of temperatures.
  • Wear a hat—A light hat that covers your face and ears is preferable.  When the sun is shining, this will protect your head and face from sun burn.
  • Wear comfortable, light shoes— It is important to wear comfortable shoes such as sandals or tennis. You will also need comfortable walking/hiking shoes for our excursions in places such as West Yellowstone. Comfortable shoes are one of the most important things you will need to bring.

In addition to the items listed above, here are a few more things that you might want to consider bringing with you:

  • Large Tote Bag or Knapsack- Once you leave the Residence Halls, you will not return to your room until evening.  Bringing a large tote bag/knapsack with you is recommended so that you can keep all your necessities with you (class materials, change of shoes, camera, etc.).
  • Gym Clothes- The Campus Fitness and Recreation Center is provided for your use.
  • Swimwear-The Recreation Center also has a swimming pool that you can use.
  • Laptop-This will make it very easy for you to complete your homework, get on the Internet, and use Skype to call your friends and family, etc. You will have internet access in your room and will also be able to use wireless internet on campus.  Please bring an Ethernet cord with you so you can access the internet in your room. There are also computers on campus for your use, but computer labs are often crowded and you might have to wait to use a computer.
  • Wi-Fi USB Stick—If your computer doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi automatically (most new computers do), you will need a connection cable or Wi-Fi USB stick to connect to the Internet.
  • Plug Adaptors- Some international plug adaptors (Type A-circle prongs) will not work in the U.S., where Type A adaptors are used.  Adaptors can be purchased in most international airports.
  • Voltage Converters- The U.S. operates on 110 Volt/60 Hz, while some other electronics run on 220 Volt/50 Hz.  Please keep this in mind.
  • Computer Headset with Microphone—If possible, you might want to bring a headset for class projects, calling home, etc.

At the beginning of your orientation, the ELI staff will help you to open a banking account at Missoula Federal Credit Union.  This bank allows students to complete international wire transfers and open a checking account with a debit card. Debit cards can be used at Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) which are widely available throughout the US.

Humphrey Fellows will be assigned a nine-digit student identification number. ELI Staff will assist the Fellows in obtaining a Griz Card in the University Center.

The Griz Card entitles students to use all campus services, including Student Health Services, the Mansfield Library, campus computer labs, the Grizzly Pool, and Campus Recreation facilities.

Fellows will also be able to ride the local city bus, the Mountain Line, for free by showing their Griz Cards. Fellows may be eligible for discounts in shops, restaurants, museums, or when buying airline tickets.

Humphrey Fellows will be housed in UM Residence dormitories in single rooms. It is very convenient, since Fellows can walk to all of their classes in a few minutes, and don’t have to worry about cooking meals, paying bills or finding a place to do laundry.

All rooms are furnished with a single bed, mattress, desk, chair, closet, drawer space, wastebasket, drapes and overhead light, and have individual temperature controls. Fellows will be provides linens (sheets, mattress pad, pillow, pillowcases, blankets and towels).

The Residence Life Office website provides descriptions for men's rooms and women's rooms.  

Meal Plan

Our Meal Plans provide maximum flexibility to ensure you have several healthy and nutritious food options, The University of Montana requires that all students living in a residence hall purchase a meal plan. A meal plan is a pre-paid purchase of meals for the semester. Each meal plan provides you with satisfying meals without spending your precious time shopping, preparing and cleaning up. Food purchases are deducted from your Weekly Meal Plan Fund and may be used as quickly or as moderately as you choose.  Weekly Meal Plan Funds are reset every Sunday morning; unused Weekly Meal Plan Funds are NOT carried forward from one week to the next.
  • The Food Zoo:
    This is the main dining hall for the UM campus. It is open Monday – Sunday Lunch, afternoon and dinner menus; Weekends and Holidays Brunch (at 10:30), afternoon, and dinner menus.

    La Peak:
    Coffee,  muffins, juices, bagels, cookies, quiche, crepes, sandwiches; open Mon.-Fri.

    Cascade Country Store:
    Food court and small grocery store; open Mon.-Fri.

    Think Tank:
    (Above Urey Lecture Hall) Coffee, espresso, chai, Italian soda, cold beverages, sandwiches, soups, salads, snacks; open Mon.-Fri.

    The UC Market:
    Coffee, bagels, yogurt, pastries, fruit, sandwiches, fruit, salads, and personal items.

    Jus Chill’n:
    Smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, espresso, and coffee.

    The Food Court:
    Pizza, burgers, salads, stir-fry, rice bowls, soup, sandwiches, yogurt, bagels, fruit, burritos, and drinks.

    Pizza Hut:
    Open Mon-Fri, and usually open late.

Missoula is a small, safe American city and most students have no problems with crime during their time here. According to the Missoula Police Department, alcohol-related violations are their most common problem. Nevertheless, as in any new place, it is important to learn the precautions to take to ensure safety and the security of one’s belongings.

Fellows should not walk alone in dark areas late at night.  If students like to study late in the library and have no one to walk back to their dorm with, they can call a person to walk them back to their dorm. Campus Security provides a free escort service (243-2777) from sunset to sunrise, 7 days a week. In addition, there are emergency phones located around campus (on brown posts that say “emergency” and have a green light on the top).  Students can call campus police immediately to report an emergency by pressing a button and speaking. Campus Security can also be reached at 243-6131, and the 24-hour emergency number is 243-4000.

Fellows should lock their dorm rooms, bicycles and cars at all times. Books, backpacks, and other items should never be left unattended.  If students forget something (a book or a jacket, for example) in a classroom, they should check the classroom first and then check a nearby “lost-and-found” location. Sometimes, however, their belongings will be gone.

Many Americans carry only $15 or $20 in cash to buy small items; they pay for larger items by check, debit or credit card. Once Humphrey Fellows arrive in Missoula, the ELI will help them to open a checking account at a local bank and learn how to use it.

University of Montana's campus provides low cost medical, dental, pharmaceutical and counseling services to all registered ELI and UM students. Appointments are recommended, but   students may drop by and wait for the first medical practitioner who is available. Visit the Curry Health Center website for more information.

Counseling and Psychological Services assists students by addressing their personal counseling and psychotherapy needs for the purpose of helping them gain the most from their time on campus. Call 243-4711 to make an appointment to talk with a counselor or if you have questions regarding Mental or Emotional Health. Services provided by CAPS include:

  • Individual Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Topical Group Therapy
  • Crisis Appointments Available
  • Limited Psychological Assessments
  • Psychiatric Consultation
  • After hours urgent care (provided by the Curry Medical Clinic Staff)
  • Consultation with concerned other

Counseling and Psychological Services provides brief therapy, a model that attempts to identify and address those problems and needs that can reasonably be considered within the time constraints of a semester or less. When a student’s mental health care needs are beyond the scope of our services, they will assist with referrals to community-based providers for specialized or longer-term care.

Campus Recreation Center:
Free weights, treadmills, bikes, stair machines, rowing machines, rock-climbing wall, racquetball courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, indoor track, special outdoor programs and a variety of fitness classes. Some classes require additional payment and all outdoor programs require advance sign-up and additional fees.

Schreiber Gym:
Fitness equipment including free weights, treadmills, nautilus weights, stair machines, rowing machines, stationary bikes, basketball court, and indoor track.

McGill Gym:
Available for reservation M-F to play basketball or volleyball (during free times); Campus Recreation Office makes arrangements.

Grizzly Pool:
Swimming pool, sauna, weights, and lockers.

The University of Montana Outdoor Program rents outdoor equipment to the campus community, which includes UM students, employees, and current Campus Recreation members.  A valid Griz Card must be shown in order to rent equipment.  The Outdoor Program rents boating, camping, climbing, biking, cross-country ski, and snowshoe equipment.

All of these local numbers use (406) as the prefix.

Emergency Assistance: police, fire, ambulance 911
Telephone Directory Assistance Montana Numbers 411
Montana Road Conditions 511
U.S. Numbers Outside Montana 1+ (area code) 555-1212
AT&T International Operator 102-880
Campus Information 243-0211
English Language Institute International Center ELI Instructors’ Offices 001 (downstairs) 243-2084
International Center ELI Instructors’ Offices 109. 243-6289
Director of ELI/Humphrey Program Coordinator 243-2334
Director of Fiscal and Personnel Services 243-2212
ELI Program Coordinator 243-6141
Foreign Student & Scholar Services 243-2226
University Admissions 243-5844
Campus Security 243-6131
24-hour emergency number 243-4000
Grizzly Personal Safety Escort Service 243-2777
Student Health Services (Curry Health Center) 243-2122
Dental Services 243-5445
Counseling and Psychiatric Services 243-4711
Computer Services Help Desk 243-2974
Griz Card Office 243-6943
Campus Recreation 243-2802
Missoula Police Department 523-4777
St. Patrick’s Hospital 543-7271
Community Hospital 728-4100
Yellow Cab Taxi Company 543-6644
Greyhound Bus Station 549-2339
Time and Temperature 549-4101
International Students Association 543-4777
International House, 659 S. Fifth Street E 543-8805

All campus telephone numbers begin with the prefix 243-. If you are calling a campus number from a campus telephone, you only need to dial the last four numbers.