Pre Arrival

Pre-Arrival

As you prepare for your arrival at Notre Dame, you will need to consider the following steps.

Incoming students can find frequently asked questions about visa processing, vaccine access, and arrival to the U.S. answered here

Apply for a U.S. visa

Please review our instructions for applying for an F-1 Student Visa or a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa.

*We are receiving many requests for assistance with emergency visa appointments. Please note that you cannot apply for an emergency visa appointment until you are within 2-4 weeks of your program start date (varies by consulate), and you often only have one opportunity to apply for an emergency visa appointment. Your I-20/DS-2019 and admission letter are sufficient to apply, once you are within the eligible timeline.

Register for International Student Orientation

All new international students are required to attend International Student Orientation. Information about dates and sessions can be found on the International Student Orientation page. The registration link will be available in late May.

Check your Notre Dame email

ISSA and campus partners will email you throughout the summer with instructions about move in, orientations, health services, and other important responsibilities. It is essential that you check your Notre Dame email frequently. We recommend setting up the Okta app, so you can access your Notre Dame accounts in and outside the U.S.

Attend virtual pre-arrival sessions

Watch the recordings on our Pre-Arrival Sessions page (ND login required). The Arrival in the U.S. session covers understanding your immigration documents, what to know at the U.S. port of entry, and how to get to campus. The Life in the U.S. sessions are panel discussions with current students about expectations, how to build community, and what to pack. 

Arriving in the United States

Information about arriving to the U.S. and documents needed at the Port of Entry can be found on our Arrival page.

Reviewing testing protocols

Information about university testing protocols can be found at here.nd.edu. 

Helpful Tips from Students


Get an International Driver's Permit

If you would like to drive during your stay at Notre Dame, you may do so with your home country driver’s license if you also have an international driver’s permit and translation of your license. You must get the international driver’s permit in your home country. Please note that not all countries issue international driver’s permits and you may only drive in the United States with an international driver’s permit for one year, after which you must get an Indiana driver's license. You may find more information about driving in the U.S. here.

Find a Notre Dame Club

A great way to prepare for your arrival at Notre Dame is to contact a club president in your home country; they may be able to link you to a send off party or contact you with Notre Dame alum.

Download Notre Dame Mobile app

You will want to download the Notre Dame Mobile app, which includes a map of campus, dining hall menus, library access, and campus news.