International Student Services Office

Before You Arrive....

Once you have received your form I-20 from Butler, you will need to apply for your student visa.  You should begin this process as soon as possible so you have your visa well in advance from when you are scheduled to arrive in the U.S.

Planning Your Travel to the US:

Spring 2015 International Orientation will be on January 9 through January 10, 2015. You will need to arrive to campus January 8, 2015

You will be picked up from the Indianapolis airport when you arrive. Before you arrive, you MUST fill out the New Student Arrival Form by NO LATER than December 12, 2014. You must fill this form out even if you do not want to be picked up from the airport!

You are able to arrive 30 days before the program start date on your I-20 or DS-2019. We recommend that you arrive no earlier than two days before Orientation. If you arrive before the recommended date, you will need to find your own transportation from the airport, your own accommodations, as well as your own meals. Butler will not be open to students and consequently, there will be no students here.

If you and your parents would like to come early and have some time to explore Indianapolis before you are scheduled to begin here are some local Indianapolis hotels, and be sure to visit the Beyond Butler tab for fun things to do around the city!

Important Documents:

Make sure that you are putting all important documentation (passport, visa, signed I-20 or Ds-2019, health insurance and immunizations information, etc.) in your carry-on luggage and NOT your checked luggage. Also, make sure you have a change of clothes and hygiene essentials in your carry-on in case your checked luggage is delayed.

International Driver's License:

If you are planning to drive an automobile in the United States, you must get an international driver's license before you arrive in Indianapolis. You can only receive an international driver's license in your country. This is simply an English translation of your home country's driver's license (if your driver's license in already in English, you will not need to get an international driver's license).


Make sure that you have at least $200USD in cash or traveler's checks when you arrive. If you are in the United States for an extended period of time, it is recommended that you open a checking account to avoid international and automatic teller machine (ATM) transaction fees.

*If you have any balance with Butler, you may pay with credit card, but there will be a transaction fee. It is recommended that you bring a few checks in the event that you need to pay the balance before you return home.*

Packing for Indianapolis weather:

Indiana has four distinct seasons; summer, fall, winter, and spring. You will need a heavy coat, hat, scarf, gloves in the winter. You will need shorts, t-shirts, sandals in the summer. Make sure you are packing your luggage accordingly. Visit  for more information on Indianapolis weather.

Reminders of home:

Bring photos of friends and family, a couple books, and a few other things that remind you of home. You will want them later on in the semester.


Pre-Arrival Checklist:

 Carefully read the Orientation information

 Review your I-20 or Ds-2019 document when you receive it. Check that all the information is correct (spelling of your name, your birth date, program dates, etc.)

 Create a folder for all your important documents - make copies of all your immigration documents

 Pay SEVIS fee:

 Locate your local U.S. consulate; schedule an appointment for a visa interview:

 Arrange travel to U.S. Plan to arrive January 8, 2015

 Complete the New Student Arrival Form

 Obtain access to MyButler and create Butler e-mail account

 Apply for Housing as soon as possible. The housing contract came in your Butler welcome packet.

 Plan your finances (check with your bank about travelers' checks, money transfers, etc.)

 Obtain an international driver's license

 Research the Indianapolis area:, Indianapolis

  Get required vaccinations and fill out required health forms ( - obtain the necessary documentation from your doctor

 F-1 and J-1 undergraduates will be automatically enrolled in the University-sponsored student health insurance program (with the exception of ISEP participants). No action is required; the charge will appear on a student's University account. Policy information is updated each year on May 15 and can be found here:

 Pay fees and tuition in full. Visit the Student Accounts website for tuition and payment information.

 Research Student Life at Butler (Student clubs, organizations, etc.).


Pre-Arrival Checklist (PDF)