International Student Services Office

Planes, Trains & Automobiles!

travel roadTraveling outside of the United States:

FAQs for 'F-Nonimmigrant Entry and Exit' from SEVP website

You must have all of the following to travel outside of the United States:

  • A passport valid 6 months in the future from your return date.
  • Valid I-20 with DSO signature on the first and third page (signature on the third page is valid for a year from the date it was signed), and your signature on the first page.
  • Valid visa (if you are not leaving the US to renew your visa).

Traveling outside the United States on post-graduate OPT you must have:

  • A passport valid 6 months in the future from your return date.
  • Valid visa (if you are not leaving the US to renew your visa).
  • I-20 with your OPT dates on the third page, with DSO signature on the first and third page (signature on the third page is valid for 6 months from the date it was signed), and your signature on the first page.
  • Letter from your employer stating that you are working or scheduled to begin working for them on authorized OPT. Letter must include dates of OPT.
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) issued by USCIS.
  • I-20 with your OPT dates on the third page, with DSO signature on the first and third page (signature on the third page is valid for a year from the date it was signed), and your signature on the first page.

Traveling within the United States:

Traveling within the United States is much easier than outside of the United States. You will not need any permission from the International Student Services Office. Below are some helpful tips on ways to travel within the US:

Planes:

The United States is very big. It takes about 20 hours to get to Miami, Florida by car and about 36 hours to get to Los Angeles by car. Although we have a train system, it is less efficient than most other countries. For that reason, most Americans travel by plane.

Along with that, there are no discount airlines in the United States like there are in Europe. Flights are expensive. Visit the Independent Traveler website for tips for finding cheap airfare, There are also websites dedicated to finding the best deals on flights nationally and internationally. Here are just a few:

  • Student Universe: This site has deals exclusively for students. You must show proof that you are a student when you purchase the ticket AND when you check-in at the airport. (so make sure that you have your student ID with you!). Also, you must be 25 years old or younger.
  • Kayak: This site compares prices from multiple discount ticket sites.
  • Discount ticket sites (you can also book hotels to create 'vacation packages' on these sites):

I recommend that you compare the prices on the discount ticket sites with the actual airline site, sometimes the airline will have a cheaper rate.

Trains:

Although trains are not the primary or even secondary mode of transportation for Americans, we do have a train system. For destinations and times visit Amtrak.com.

Automobiles:

Buses:

  • A cheap and usually efficient mode of transportation in the U.S. is the bus.
  • You can buy a bus ticket to Chicago (4 hours from Indianapolis) for as little as $15 on Megabus. Other bus companies include: 

To rent a car in the United States:

  • You must have a valid international or U.S. driver's license.
  • The minimum age requirement is 25 without additional charge, 21 for select vehicles and with additional charge.
  • Most car rental agencies require a credit card to reserve the car.
  • Rental car agencies:

Find Affordable Places to Stay:

*Remember to visit the Office of International Student Services if you have any questions regarding what you will need in order to travel.