Planning Travel to South Bend

Arriving on Time for Orientation

When you begin to plan your travel to IU South Bend, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The earliest you can arrive in the U.S. is 30 days before the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019.

  • You must make every effort to arrive in South Bend by the date of International Student Orientation, as noted in your admission letter.  This date is prior to the beginning of classes each semester or summer session.  Since University offices are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, it is wise to avoid arriving on these days

  • You will want to arrive a few days before the start of International Student Orientation, to give you time to recuperate from your journey and get used to your new environment.  You will take placement tests during orientation and you will want to be refreshed.

  • Be aware of housing move-in dates. These will vary depending on whether you are living on or off-campus.

  • When making an airline reservation, we strongly suggest you make either Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport or the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport your first port of entry. These airports are the closest international airports to IU South Bend, and both offer direct connecting flights to the South Bend Regional Airport. Daily bus service is available to and from Chicago and South Bend by CoachUSA.

If circumstances arise which prevent you from arriving in South Bend by the date specified, you MUST contact the OISS by e-mail, fax, or telephone for advisement.  Keep in mind that if you are not able to arrive by the date specified on your I-20 or DS-2019, you must postpone your admission until a later semester.

Once your travel plans are confirmed, please send the OISS via the International Student Pre-Arrival Checklist your arrival information, including the date and time of your arrival, airline, and flight/bus/train number. If your travel plans are subsequently changed, you should notify the OISS immediately.

After Arrival

Money for Immediate Expenses/Exchanging Foreign Currency

Students should be able to access approximately $6000.00 upon arrival to IU South Bend. Those renting off-campus apartments will likely need to pay the first month’s rent, together with a deposit. You will also need to purchase food and some clothing, as well as household and school supplies. Books, insurance, and local transportation and temporary lodging will also figure into your first expenses.

It is a challenge to exchange foreign currency once in South Bend. If you seek to make an exchange, you are best served in the larger cities as you pass through the airport.

Connecting to South Bend

By Air
South Bend is well connected by air to South Bend Regional Airport from most major ports of entry in the U.S. 

Bus Service from Chicago to South Bend
Daily bus service is available to and from Chicago/South Bend by Coach USA, ( Inc.  They operate 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays.  The cost is currently $40.00 one-way and is payable at pickup. The schedule and fares are listed at the Web site above.  The service is available from both O’Hare and Midway airports; however, Midway is not an international airport.   You can pick up Coach USA service at two locations.  The first location is within the so-called domestic terminals on the lower level in the Shuttle Bus Center (terminal 2). Follow the arrows! The second stop location is curbside in front of Terminal 5, the international terminal. There are two South Bend bus service-drop offs: South Bend Regional Airport and Notre Dame Avenue. 

Bus Service from Other Cities to South Bend
Please check the Greyhound Bus schedule for travel from other cities to South Bend:

South Shore Train
You may also opt to take the city train from the airport into Chicago’s Randolph Street Station, and then board a South Shore train which stops at the South Bend Regional Airport. This can be an inexpensive and pleasant way to ride into South Bend if you plan to overnight or spend some time in Chicago before arriving in South Bend. The Web site is here:

Local Transportation


Several taxi companies are available to pick up right outside the airport to take you to your lodging. Available taxis wait for passengers on the main drive outside of the front entrance to the terminal. If you need a taxi from another location in town, it is best to call the company and request a pickup from your location.

A-1 Cab 574-247-2000
ABC Cab 574-233-4000
Blue Ribbon Taxi 574-233-4040
City Cab 574-233-2020
Express Cab Co 574-233-6000
Modern Cab 574-532-7923
United Cab 574-233-9599
Yellow Cab Company 574-233-9333


The local bus service, Transpo, offers city bus service to destinations throughout the South Bend area.
Buses leave the airport terminal at :24 and :54 after the hour. Check the link below for information on routes and schedules.


Emergency Assistance at Arrival

Should you require EMERGENCY assistance upon your arrival in the U.S. or South Bend, telephone the OISS at (574) 520-4419, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8am and 5pm.  If unable to reach the OISS, please notify the IU South Bend Safety and Security office at (574) 520-4239.