Travel and Arrival Information
When to Arrive
The program start date listed on your I-20 is the first day of class. If you are on the F-1 or J-1 visa, you are allowed to arrive no earlier than 30 days before this date. However, we advise you to arrive no earlier than the week before this date due to university housing move-in dates and available services on campus such as dining.
We also encourage you to arrange your flight so that you arrive during university business hours which are typically Monday through Thursday 7:30 - 5:00 and Friday 7:30 - 12:30. Up to date business hours for our offices can also be located on the International Services Office home page. If you arrive while the university is closed, there may be no one here to assist you.
The month before classes begin, we encourage you to check your email daily for updates from our office concerning orientation dates, times, and locations.
Transportation to Southeastern
The closest airport to Hammond is New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport. Southeastern is currently unable to transport students to and from the airport. However, we have a list of available transportation options through our Office of Multicultural and International Student Affairs site.
Notify the ISO
Once you have received the visa and have finalized your travel plans, please contact our offices at email@example.com. Please include in the email your full name, the date and time of your arrival, and whether you will be living on or off campus.
Remember to have settled your living arrangements before you arrive and confirm that your room or apartment is ready. Should you arrive without having made living accommodations, we will be unable to temporarily house you.
After receiving your visa, there is still a lot to do before you arrive. Below are some questions that you may want to ask yourself to help you prepare. You may also download and print a Pre-Arrival Checklist to help you stay organized.
- Have you received your I-20 or DS-2019 and obtained your F-1 or J-1 student entry visa?
- Have you made arrangements for housing on or off campus?
- Have you arranged your travel plans so that you arrive at Southeastern during business hours and early enough to attend the orientation programs?
- Do you have a small amount of U.S. currency to cover the initial expenses of your arrival (buses, taxi, meals, etc.)?
- Do you have enough traveler's checks in US dollars to cover the expenses of settling into an apartment in Hammond, i.e. temporary housing, deposit on an apartment, telephone service, etc.? If you are bringing over $10,000 in cash to the United States, make sure you declare it on your customs form; otherwise the Customs officials have the right to confiscate the money and charge a fee.
- Have you contacted the ISO to inform them of your arrival date and housing accommodations?
What to Do Upon Arrival
Check into Housing or your new Apartment:
Once you arrive in Hammond, you will need to make sure that settle into your housing accommodations. If you have made arrangements to live on campus, you will need to go to the University Housing office to check in.
If you have made arrangements to live off campus, please go to that location first and complete any necessary paperwork for a lease, etc. It is important that you settle into your living accommodation first so that you can have a place to put your luggage and relax after your long trip.
Remember that if you choose to live on campus, you are responsible for bringing certain items such as bedding, towels, etc. For a complete list of what to bring, please review the University Housing web site.
Visit the ISO:
The next thing you will need to do is to visit the International Services Office. We are located on North Campus in the Main Building in Enrollment Services. Please bring with you your I-20 or DS-2019 (which should have been stamped at the port of entry), your passport, and your I-94 card (also given to you at the port of entry). We will make a copy of these documents for our records.
Because most students on campus use their personal cell phones, there are no public phones on campus. Some rooms in University Housing have phone hook-ups but this is only available to students living on campus and who have pre-arranged this with the Housing Office.
If you would like to place a call home, we recommend that you bring with you your own personal cell phone or purchase a pre-paid mobile phone upon your arrival. Once you are settled, Hammond has many locations that sell mobile phones and plans.
Another way to contact your family and friends upon your arrival is through email. Southeastern has many computer labs and offers wireless internet access to those with personal laptops.
All new international students are expected to attend the international student orientation program. It is typically held the week before classes begin. Specific dates, times, and location will be posted on the International Services Office home page and communicated to students through email once confirmed.
During this program, you will have the opportunity to meet staff from other offices and departments on campus and become familiar with the rules and regulations for F-1 and J-1 international students.
Beginning Freshman Orientation-
This orientation program is for students who are beginning freshman or who are transferring to Southeastern with less than 30 U.S. college credit hours. Attendance at this program is mandatory for all beginning freshmen. You must register online for this program. A communication will be sent once online registration is available.
Your two-day program introduces you to policies and procedures, allows you to meet with faculty advisors, and is the time that you register for classes. Orientation programs are held throughout the summer for the Fall semester and in January for Spring semesters.
Since international students on the F-1 and J-1 visas are not allowed to arrive any earlier than thirty days before their program start date, the last orientation program is the one that most attend. These are typically the week or a few days before classes begin giving you plenty of time to arrive in the U.S. and get settled. As always, keep an eye on your email and the ISO main page for updates.