One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200
Contact Us!
International Faculty Services Office
Cortez Building - Suite 129
80 Fort Brown
Brownsville, Texas 78520
Phone: (956) 882-7690
Fax: (956) 882-7476
Email: Brenda.Martinez@utb.edu
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

UPON YOUR ARRIVAL TO BROWNSVILLE     

   


Transportation

Unfortunately, the International Faculty Services Office is unable to provide transportation from the airport, please follow these instructions.

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Brownsville/South Padre Island Airport

If you fly into Brownsville/South Padre Island airport you can take a taxi to the Ramada Inn or the Fort Brown Hotel for $10.00. 

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Harlingen International Airport

There are several transportation options available from Harlingen. A taxi will cost $50.00. Surf Tran van service charges for one person $50.00, and $25.00 for more than two passengers in the Brownsville area.

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Financial Arrangements

When you arrive the U.S., you should approximately $1500 - $2000 IN TRAVELERS CHECKS with some U.S. currency for convenience.  Do not carry a large amount of cash and never display a large amount of paper money to pay for something.  You should carry about $100 in cash and the rest in traveler’s checks.  We suggest $2000 because you will need money for initial expenses upon your arrival for hotels, food, apartment leasing, deposits for apartment utilities, transportation, etc. If you are planning to live in the U.S. for several years and will want to use credit cards, we suggest that you bring your credit cards with you (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Dinner’s Club, etc.).  It is difficult to get “credit” in the United States when you have a nonimmigrant visa.

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Housing

Be prepared to spend from three days to one week in a hotel until you find an apartment to rent.  You might find apartment the first day you arrive, but it may take the landlord several days to prepare the apartment for new tenants.  There are many apartments and condominiums in Brownsville so you should easily find a place to live within a reasonable distance form the University.  If you plan to use the city bus to commute to the University, be sure to get information about bus routes before selecting a place to live. 

The average apartment in Brownsville (one bedroom unfurnished) will cost $350 – $500 per month; furnished apartments cost approximately $ 600 - $750 a month.  Utilities (gas electricity) and telephone are additional cost.   In the U.S. furnished apartments do not include bed linens, towels, silverware, china or kitchen utensils.  Be sure to ask about local discounts stores where you can save money on many necessary items.  Three o the larger discount stores are “Wal-Mart”, “Kmart”, and “Target”.  Grocery stores sell may of these items, but the prices may be higher.

You may contact apartment locators or realtors prior to your arrival or inform our office if you need help finding an apartment or house after you come to Brownsville.  Our International Faculty Services Office can refer you to a reputable apartment locator service.  The apartment locator person will help you in finding an apartment and, if necessary, furniture to rent.  There is no fee for the apartment locator service.  (see attached information) 

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Automobile

A Texas Operator’s License is required if you want to drive a car in Brownsville.  It is also a readily accepted identification card (I.D.) when cashing a check).  You must pass two tests; a written test and a practical driving test, to get the license.  The TEXAS DRIVER”S HANDBOOK, an instruction book of the rules governing operation of a car in Texas, is the suggested manual to prepare for the tests.  You can get the Driver’s Handbook in the International Faculty Services Office or at any Department of Public Safety Office (see telephone directory).  The following address in the Department of Public Office:

State Department of Public Safety
Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
2901 Paredes Line Rd. (956) 983-1920

The Department of Public Safety also issues a TEXAS IDENTIFICATION CARD for individuals who do not drive. The card cost $15.00 and a birth certificate must be presented to get the Texas I.D. Card.  If the birth certificate is not in English, it must be accompanied by a “word for word” translation by a recognized translator.

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Mandatory Automobile Insurance

Texas law requires all automobile operators to be covered by “liability” insurance.  You must carry with you proof of insurance (the actual insurance policy or an insurance card) to present on demand to any policy officer.  I f you are caught in violation of this law, the penalty is a $175 to $350 fine for the first offense; $650 - $1000 fine for the second offense.  If you are convicted, you may have your driver’s license suspended and car registration taken away.  Remember that liability insurance only covers the other person’s car – not your own card.  To cover your own car, you must purchase “collision” insurance in addition to liability insurance.  It is important to understand what your insurance covers, otherwise, an accident of theft could cost you a great deal of money.

PLEASE REMEMBER…..

1) You will required to show proof or liability insurance before you an get a driver’s license, renew a license, obtain vehicle license plate or have your motor vehicle inspected. 

2) To own a car, the “Title” must be recorded in your name at the Texas State Department of Motor Vehicles in Austin, Texas.  I f you buy a new or used car from a car dealer, the title will automatically be sent to you.  If you by a used car from an individual, you will have to fill out a “title transfer” application.

3) You will have to pay an annual license fee for your car.  This can cost from $40 - $80 depending on the year of the car.  Once the title is recorded in your name, the Department of Motor Vehicles will send you the license application every year.

4) You re required by law to have an annual Texas State Inspection for your car.  There is a sticker on the front left window of your car, which indicates the month your inspection expires.  The inspection must be done before the last day of that month.  Minimum cost is $12.00. If there are any maintenance problems with the car, you will not pass the inspection until the car is repaired.  If you are stopped by a Brownsville Police officer because your inspection sticker has expired, you will be required to pay a fine.

5) Seat belts MUST is worn by all passengers in the front seat.  Children from infancy to two years of age must ride in approved infant car seats, and children from two to four years must either ride in a car seat or wear a seat belt.  The fine for this violation is $200.

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Climate

Brownsville temperatures are mild during the winter months, lovely in the fall and spring, and hot during the summertime.  Normal daily temperatures are (degrees in Fahrenheit) 55-75 in winter, 72-95 in summer, and 59-80 in the fall & spring. Annual average relative humidity is 75%.

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Postal Services    

The U.S. Post Office near to the University is:

Main Post Office
1535 Los Ebanos
Brownsville, Texas
(956) 546-2411

Downtown Station
1001 E. Elizabeth
Brownsville, Texas
(956) 546-9462

The postal rate to mail a letter within the United States is 32 cents.  It is best to purchase stamps at a Post Office where you can buy them in small or large quantities and always pay the lowest price.  Often, the small stamp machines other than the Post Office s charge more that the regular price for stamps.  If you plan to mail a package abroad, it is wise to ask in advance what sizes and weight of packages may be sent. 

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hotels within the close walking distance to the university of texas at brownsville

The following information has been compiled by the International Faculty Services Office to assist in making your first days in Brownsville a little easier.  We hope you will find it useful.

Please write or call ahead reservations, if possible.  Most of the hotels/motels listed below have discount for the University personnel.  Be certain to identify yourself as an international employee of the University of Texas at Brownsville and ask for the state room rate.  All prices are subject to change and do not include sales tax.

Ramada Limited Fort Brown
1900 Elizabeth Street 

Brownsville, Texas
78521  
(956) 541-2921

The Fort Brown Hotel
1900 E. Elizabeth Street
Brownsville, Texas 78520 
(956) 546-2201

NOW YOU CAN HELP THE INTERNATIONAL OFFICE - Please let us know if other information would you have been helpful to you before you came to Brownsville.  We want to assist you and would appreciate your suggestions.

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