Arrival Information

Arrive in the United States

You may arrive in the United States up to 30 days prior to the program start date listed on your Form I-20 (see section 5) or Form DS-2019 (see section 3) and no later than this date. If you attempt to enter the U.S. after this start date, you may be denied entry. Please note that you are responsible for making your own housing arrangements for early arrivals.

Arrive at the U.S. Port of Entry

At the U.S. port of entry, you will need to present the following documents to the inspections officer (do not pack these items in your checked luggage):

  • Passport with F-1 or J-1 Visa (unless you are exempt from the visa requirement)
  • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 issued by Notre Dame;
  • Admission Letter; and
  • Evidence of Financial Resources.

I-94 Arrival/Departure Record

This record gives details regarding your most recent entry into the United States. It is intended to provide students with the ability to present evidence of immigration status and legal entry into the United States to employers and benefit-granting agencies such the Social Security Administration and Bureau of Motor Vehicles. You may provide evidence of lawful entry and legal immigration status when completing the I-9 form by providing one of the following documents:

Online I-94 Information: A student who entered the United States through an air or sea port may access his or her I-94 record online here. A paper copy of your most current U.S. entry can be printed from this site. DHS advises that it may take up to three days from the date of an individual’s entry into the United States for I-94 information to become available through the web interface.

Traditional I-94 Card: A student who entered the United States through a land port or who last entered the United States prior to April 20, 2013 will likely still have a paper I-94 card given to them at the border. If you apply for and are granted a change of nonimmigrant status within the United States you are also still issued a traditional paper United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Approval Notice, the bottom third of which serves as your I-94 document.

Get to Campus

Students should arrive on campus on Tuesday, August 14 between 12-5:00pm to check in for International Student Orientation. Orientation sessions will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 15.

Notre Dame is located in Notre Dame, Indiana, about two hours east of Chicago, Illinois. 

The closest regional airport to Notre Dame is the South Bend Airport (SBN); however, Chicago-O'Hare Airport (ORD) and Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) are the closest international airports. We do not recommend flying into the Detroit or Indianapolis airports, as there is no direct public transportation to Notre Dame.

If you fly to Chicago, Coach Bus Lines operates a bus service from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) Airport or Chicago Midway (MDW) Airport to the University of Notre Dame. You may purchase your ticket on the bus or in advance at

If you arrive at the South Bend Airport there are a variety of taxis waiting at the South Bend Airport that can drive you to campus for a fee, typically $20-30. Once on campus, the Campus Map can help you orient yourself. Orientation check-in will be at LaFortune Student Center, but International Ambassadors will be at the bus stop from 1-7:00pm to assist students in getting to LaFortune. 

Get Settled

Undergraduate students who attend International Student Orientation may move into their residence halls on Tuesday, August 15 from 7:00 pm-9:00 pm. Parents and family members are not permitted to stay in residence hall rooms. If your family joins you for orientation, they will need to make their own housing arrangements. 


ISSA can store your luggage on Tuesday afternoon from 1-7:00pm. If you do not bring your own bedding and pillow for a twin extra-long bed, you can purchase a bedding set and a pillow at check-in. If your flight is delayed and you miss check-in / move- in, please contact your Rector to make arrangements. You can find your Rector’s information within your housing email or you can look them up here.  


Graduate students or students living off campus, should contact their rector or landlord to arrange a move in time prior to the start of Graduate Student Orientation.


Students who need temporary housing prior to moving into their permanent residence, may stay at Sacred Heart Parish Center for a fee by contacting Christina Maciejczyk at or +1-574-631-9436. For more information about temporary housing or hotels, please visit the Housing and Hotels page.


Register your F-1 or J-1 Visa Registration and Orientation Check-in

Students with an F-1 or J-1 student visa must register with ISSA within 30 days of the program start date on their I-20 or DS-2019. Bring your passport. If a student fails to check in within 30 days, their I-20 record may be terminated. Students with an August program start date can complete the required F-1 or J-1 Visa Registration by bringing their passport to International Student Orientation check-in on Tuesday, August 14. Students whose program start date is before August 1 should register with ISSA by visiting our offices at 105 Main Building during walk-in hours, Monday to Friday, 1-4pm. 

At Orientation check-in, students can store your luggage until move-in, get your ID card, join a campus tour, and sign up for dinner with the International Ambassadors on Tuesday night. 

Attend International Student Orientation

All new international students with a Notre Dame sponsored F1 or Exchange Visitor (J1) visa are required to attend the International Student Orientation from Tuesday, August 14-Thursday, August 16. You will receive an email in mid-June with an orientation registration link; please complete that by the end of June so we can better prepare for your arrival. 

The workshops presented during orientation will provide vital information regarding your responsibilities to maintain your F1 or J1 visa status, health care in the U.S. and at Notre Dame, and cultural adjustment and safety. Other workshops will cover driving in the U.S., applying for a social security number, English language support, financial management, and tax support. You will also have the opportunity to meet  other new international students and connect with International Ambassadors and ISSA staff.