Travel and Arrival

More Information on arrival, immigration, housing and more can be found at our International Student Resource Center 

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 International Student Resource Center page

Notify our Office when...

Once you have received the visa and have finalized your travel plans, please contact our offices at 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.

Arrival Checklist

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?