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What is Urbana 18?
Urbana 18 is InterVarsity’s triennial student missions conference. It’s a discernment space that brings together a diverse group of students and challenges them to give their whole lives for God’s global mission through multicultural worship, Bible exposition, and teaching from worldwide missions experts.
For more information, visit the About Urbana or Past Urbanas pages.
Where and when will Urbana 18 happen?
Urbana 18 will be held in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The large morning and evening sessions will take place in The Dome at America’s Center Convention Complex located at 701 Convention Plaza. Seminars and manuscript Bible study sessions will either be in the America’s Center or in nearby hotels.
Urbana 18 will start Thursday, December 27, 2018, with check-in between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The opening session is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. in The Dome at America’s Center. Some Urbana 18 tracks will host orientation events in the afternoon before the opening session. If this applies to you, your track director will let you know. Urbana will end after the final general session, with everyone welcoming in the new year together, on January 1, 2019, at 12:30 a.m.
Urbana 18 Schedule
Who can come to Urbana 18?
Most Urbana participants are college and graduate students ranging in age from 17 to 29 years old. However, anyone interested in global missions or discerning God’s call for his or her life is welcome. Many pastors, missionaries, and ministry leaders have been particularly blessed by their experience at past Urbanas. We do require participants to be at least 17 years old by December 27, 2018, and in their last year of high school.
How much does it cost to go to Urbana 18?
Register now to lock in the early bird rate. At the time of registration, you are only required to pay a nonrefundable $100 deposit to reserve your space. You can pay the remaining balance in several installments throughout the year or all at once just as long as it’s before you check in on December 27, 2018. Registration fees must be paid in USD funds with credit card, check, or money order. Urbana does not retain registration information from past conferences, so everyone will have to create a new account when they register.
View the Urbana price chart.
Do you have age restrictions?
Yes, Urbana requires participants to be at least 17 years old by December 27, 2018, and in their last year of high school. Some of the content—particularly stories from persecuted believers—may not be appropriate for all ages, so children (including nursing infants) aren’t allowed at Urbana 18 venues. However, they may stay with their parents/guardians in their hotels. Urbana will not pay for their housing or childcare.
Where can I order promotional materials?
You can order Urbana 18 promotional materials here.
What's covered in my registration fee?
The registration fee includes all conference costs and four dinners (December 28-31). You are responsible for housing, travel, and all other meals. Urbana’s registration system, however, does give you the opportunity to reserve a hotel room at a discounted rate (breakfast included). Plan on spending about $125 plus tax each night. Finding roommates can help lower costs.
How and when do I need to pay my balance?
You can pay the remaining balance in several installments throughout the year or all at once. Credit card payments must be made by December 27, 2018. Checks must be received by December 11, 2018, made payable to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and sent to:
Urbana 18 Registration Manager
P.O. Box 7895
Madison, WI, 53707-7895
- Open your registration confirmation email. (Search your email inbox for “Registration Confirmation - Urbana 18”.)
- Copy your confirmation number.
- Click the link in the email to take you to the Event Summary.
- Enter your confirmation number and click OK.
- Click Modify.
- Click Next until you reach the Submit Payment page.
- Pay your balance.
- Click Next.
- Click Finish.
How do I only pay the $100 deposit when registering?
If you’re paying by credit card, choose this option under the Payment Method heading in our registration system. Type “100” in the Amt Applied text box. Then click Update. You should then be able to complete your registration. Remember that you can pay the remaining balance in several installments throughout the year or all at once just as long as it’s before you check in on December 27, 2018.
If you’re paying by check, choose this option under the Payment Method heading in our registration system. When you write your check, include your full name and the email address you used for registration, make it payable to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and send it to:
Urbana 18 Registration Manager
P.O. Box 7895
Madison, WI, 53707-7895
Can I register as a student?
Urbana considers you a student if:
- you’re currently enrolled as a college or graduate student.
- you graduated in the spring of 2017 or after.
- you are in your final year of high school and are at least 17 years old by December 27, 2018.
How does Urbana handle cancellations and refunds?
To cancel your registration, contact Urbana online or call 608-443-3700. If you cancel by December 13, 2018, you will receive a refund except for the $100 deposit fee. No refunds will be issued after December 13, 2018. Registrations can’t be substituted or transferred.
Scholarships and discounts aren’t valid if they will result in participants receiving a refund.
How do I change my track registration?
1. Open your registration confirmation email. (Search your email inbox for “Registration Confirmation - Urbana 18”.)
2. Copy your confirmation number.
3. Click the link in the email to take you to the Event Summary.
4. Enter your confirmation number and click OK.
5. Click Modify.
6. Click Next until you reach the Track Selection page.
7. Change your Track selection.
8. Click Next.
9. Note the Track change at the bottom of the Registration Summary page.
10. Click Next.
11. Click Finish.
Can I volunteer for Urbana?
Yes, volunteers are valued and appreciated in doing many tasks behind the scenes. There are two types of volunteers:
•Full-time Volunteer (formerly called a Steward)
- Serves an average of 8 hours per day for the whole conference
- May be assigned to more than 1 job based upon conference’s needs and volunteer’s skills
- Job assignments announced in upcoming months
- Can participate in Urbana programming outside of scheduled work hours
- Arrives in St. Louis, Missouri on December 26, 2018, by 2:00 p.m. CST
- Grab-and-go breakfast available at hotels (that are part of Urbana Housing Block) and dinner provided December 27-31, 2018
- Free to depart on January 1, 2019, at 8:00 a.m. CST
- Volunteer responsible for lunch, travel, housing, and $100 for registration
•Part-time Volunteer (formerly called a Daily Servant)
- Exclusively from the greater St. Louis area
- Serves 1 or more days at Urbana
- Signs up for specific shifts based upon personal schedule
- After day(s) of service, volunteer receives complimentary 1-day pass for Urbana
- No registration fee required
- Volunteer responsible for travel, housing, and meal costs
If you’re interested in one of these opportunities, you can apply today by following the steps below.
Please use the same email address for the entire process.
- Go to the Registration tab on urbana.org.
- Click “I am NOT a student.”
- Select the “volunteer (including InterVarsity staff spouse)” option.
- Click “Apply to Volunteer.”
- Fill out the application.
- Click “Submit.”
If your application’s accepted, you will then register for the conference, using the link we’ll email you.
Finally, you will complete an Urbana Job Profile that is designed to match your skill set with the conference’s needs. If you lose the link to this system, search your email for “Registration Confirmation - Urbana 18” and find the link under the Urbana Jobs heading. If you can’t find this email, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information will be provided once you register.
Volunteer registration closes on October 1. If you are no longer able to volunteer at Urbana, please let us know by October 15 to receive a refund for your registration payment. If you cancel after October 15, you will not be refunded.
What happens if I lost my Urbana 18 gift card?
Unfortunately, there’s no way Urbana can track down the card or credit the amount toward your registration cost. Like a gift card from a retail store, we don’t retain records of who purchased the card. You may have submitted your name and email at the time of purchase, but this was only for receiving email updates. The card’s terms and conditions state, “Treat this card like cash. This card expires on December 3, 2018. URBANA is not responsible for lost or stolen URBANA 18 gift cards.”
You may want to consider contacting local InterVarsity staff about possible scholarship options. Your church, Christian college chaplain or spiritual life office (if applicable), or other campus ministries may also have sources of financial aid.
Can international students studying in the U.S. or Canada attend?
International students who have attended a U.S. or Canadian college/university at any time during 2018 can participate in Urbana 18. Learn more about our Global Students Track designed specifically for international students.
In order to attend, international students must provide all necessary paperwork and visas. These documents must be active for the duration of the conference. Urbana isn’t able to help with visa concerns, including letters of invitation.
Can those outside the U.S. and Canada participate?
People from other countries are welcome, especially anyone involved with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES). However, Urbana isn’t able to help with visa concerns, including letters of invitation. You can register now. Once you do, you should receive a confirmation email (check your spam folder too). If you don’t see it, contact us online or call 608-443-3700.
Can IFES staff participate?
Yes, IFES staff should contact their regional secretary about attending Urbana 18. Please note Urbana isn’t able to help with visa concerns, including letters of invitation. IFES staff (and their spouses if applicable) choosing to participate in the conference should register as a non-student. However, if they have been asked to volunteer or work during the conference, they should contact the Urbana Team member overseeing their on-site job for specific registration instructions.
Is Urbana 18 for non-Christians?
Urbana 18 focuses on global missions, but many people have come to faith in the past. If you’re considering inviting someone who isn’t a Christian, show them some of the videos from past Urbanas so they know what to expect. Also try to coordinate housing so that you can experience the conference together.
How does Urbana handle groups?
Urbana doesn’t offer group/bulk ticket deals. Because it’s a five-day conference, including many different sessions and a potential housing component, we require all participants to register individually. Please consider our group payment program, which provides Christian colleges, churches, and other ministries an opportunity to help participants save on registration costs.
In August, you can start booking a block of hotel rooms for your group, and once you all arrive for Urbana, you can sit together during plenary sessions or mealtimes without having to reserve seating. Find more information about group housing under the Housing and Travel Section.
Are scholarships available?
If you live in the U.S., contact local InterVarsity staff. Also, reach out to your local church, Christian college chaplain or spiritual life office (if applicable), or other campus ministries. They may have sources of financial aid.
If you live outside of the U.S., please contact your local IFES movement to ask about scholarships for Urbana.
Housing and Travel
What about housing and travel?
You are responsible for paying for travel, lunch each day, dinner on December 27, and housing costs. However, Urbana has negotiated special rates with many St. Louis hotels. If you’re interested in this option, Urbana’s Housing Bureau opened August 1. Keep checking the Arrival, Housing, and Travel page for more updates.
Can I arrange group housing?
Starting August 1, you can begin booking a block of hotel rooms through the Urbana Housing Bureau.
If you’re a registered participant, search for “Registration Confirmation - Urbana 18” in your inbox. Under the Housing & Travel section of the email, click the link to take you to the Urbana Housing Bureau.
• If you registered before August 1, you will have two registration confirmation emails. The housing link is in the most recent one.
• If you are part of a track, refer to your most recent track confirmation email for more specific housing instructions.
You can book up to 10 rooms (housing up to 40 people) on your own. If you need to reserve more than 10 rooms, contact Connections Housing at 702-476-6976 or email@example.com.
If you’re a group administrator or coordinator but aren’t registered for Urbana, email firstname.lastname@example.org for further instructions once the Urbana Housing Bureau opens August 1.
Will ASL interpretation or translators be available?
During general sessions, Urbana will reserve a section of seats to provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation. There will also be a morning Bible study with ASL interpretation. We’ll provide specific location information in the conference app and handbook.
Urbana does not provide official translators, but in the coming months, we will post more information about the possibility of connecting with others who speak your language.
Are pets allowed at Urbana?
Pets aren’t allowed at Urbana venues, but service animals (meeting federal regulation criteria) are welcome. If you are going to bring a service animal, please notify Urbana and your hotel in advance.
What is the difference between a track and a seminar?
A track is designed for participants who already have a strong sense of their passions and how they can serve in missions. It allows for a more focused, deeper experience at Urbana.
Seminars are shorter sessions that explore a broad range of topics. They can be particularly helpful for participants still discovering God’s call, but everyone is encouraged to attend seminars that appeal to their interests. More information is available here.