Travel to the United States and Marian University

When to arrive

You may arrive up to, but no more than, 30 days before the start date on your I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 Exchange Visitors).

Please contact the Office of Residential and Commuter Life to confirm arrangements if you need to move into campus housing earlier than the day prior to International Student Orientation (such as for athletics).

  • F-1 and J-1 students MUST arrive on campus before new student orientation, which is always a few days before classes start. 

Undergraduate orientation

If you are a new undergraduate student, you will take part in two days of orientation activities before classes begin. You will also receive a login to the pre-arrival international student orientation course in Canvas.

  • International Student Orientation for fall 2021 is on Wednesday, August 18. Please plan to arrive in Indianapolis on August 17, unless advised to arrive earlier for a sport, if applicable.

Graduate orientation

If you are a graduate student, your academic advisor will be in contact with you about International Student Orientation. This usually occurs during your graduate student orientation.

Where to arrive

Marian University is about 30 minutes from the Indianapolis International Airport (IND). Please choose IND as your final destination. A Marian representative will be easily identifiable and will meet you at baggage claim if you request a pick-up on the established arrival date. If you make arrangements to arrive at another airport, you will be responsible for arranging your transportation to Indianapolis.

Please note that public transportation in the U.S. is not as accessible as it is in other countries. Some students consider arriving in Chicago or elsewhere and then taking the bus to Indianapolis. You are strongly advised against doing so for many reasons. Please schedule your final flight into Indianapolis (IND).

Airport pick-ups from Indianapolis 

The Office International Student Success and Global Engagement is offering free airport pick-ups from the Indianapolis airport for new students, if you arrive on the established arrival date.

  • Airport pick-ups MUST be requested in writing via email to rhinkle@marian.edu by August 1 (fall) and January 1 (spring).
  • Requests MUST be received at least two (2) weeks before your arrival date.
  • We cannot grant pick-up requests with less than two weeks notice.
  • NOTE: Please do not plan to arrive on a United States holiday such as New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, or Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

More information about what you can bring, for example the amount of money and what kinds of food, can be found on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website “Know Before You Go”.

Presenting yourself to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)

In preparation for your arrival, you should bring the following documents and have them on you when traveling. You will be required to show the following documents to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers. DO NOT pack them in your luggage; carry them on you.

  • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 "Certificate of Eligibility" issued by Marian University

  • A current passport, valid for at least six months

  • A valid F-1 visa (degree-seeking students) or J-1 visa (exchange visitors); please note that Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa requirement

  • SEVIS fee receipt (I-901 fee receipt)

  • Proof of financial support to pay living expenses and tuition, as per your I-20 or DS-2019

  • Marian University admission letter

  • Contact information for the designated school official:

    • Rhonda J. Hinkle: rhinkle@marian.edu or (317) 955-6670. Bring Rhonda's business card as it also contains her personal cellphone number

    • For emergencies outside regular business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday), contact the Marian University police at (317) 955-6789

It is important to be prepared; if you have incomplete or missing information, you may be referred to secondary inspection and may receive a Form I-515A "Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor" requiring you to submit additional information by mail to the U.S. government confirming your valid F-1 or J-1 status. If you receive an I-515A, please notify ISS&GE immediately as there is a short deadline in which to respond.

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