Travel & Entry
We highly recommend that you fly into Baton Rouge, not New Orleans airport, as there is no public transportation from the New Orleans airport to LSU. There are no direct international flights to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We recommend flying to a major airport in the U.S. and taking a connecting flight to Baton Rouge and allowing for at least 3-4 hours between your initial U.S. arrival and your connecting flight to go through the U.S. Port of Entry and U.S. Customs.
U.S. Immigration rules allow you to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program start date listed on your I-20/DS-2019. However, International Services (ISO) recommends that you arrive only a few days before the program start date on your I-20/DS-2019 due to limited temporary housing. Please be aware that the program start date on your I-20/DS-2019 is the day before the mandatory International Student Orientation. If you anticipate delays and expect to arrive later than the program start date or decide not to attend LSU, please notify International Services by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting your Arrival
As a new F-1 or J-1 student at LSU, one of the first things you need to do after arriving in the U.S. and/or Baton Rouge is report your arrival to LSU and to the Department of Homeland Security. At LSU, this is done via completing a SEVIS Check in.
Mandatory SEVIS Check-In
Update your local address and U.S. phone number in MyLSU.
Your physical address in the U.S. must always be added to the Local Street Address screen to update your SEVIS record.
Register for a virtual SEVIS Check in with ISO to review your materials.
This will be a 15-minute virtual meeting. For a smooth appointment experience, we recommend that you plan to join the meeting from a laptop or tablet as opposed to your phone to facilitate screen sharing.
All new international students (undergraduate, graduate, transfer, and exchange) are required to attend the International Student Orientation before the semester begins.
2024 International Orientation Dates:
Housing & Accommodation
Students can choose to live on campus in a residence hall, apartment or residential college, or can choose to live off campus. If you are considering living off-campus, please note there are many apartments in Baton Rouge. You may want to locate an apartment near campus and along the LSU Tiger Trails bus route or Baton Rouge's Capital Area Transit System (CATS) if you do not plan on purchasing a car.
If you plan to bring your family to the United States as your F-2/J-2 dependents, we recommend that you arrive first to give yourself several weeks to make housing arrangements and to take care of your own affairs before your family arrives. Please be aware that on-campus residence halls cannot accommodate families or friends who may be traveling to LSU with you. The Cook Hotel is an on-campus hotel with guest rooms and suites that are available to anyone. You also can do an online search for other hotels/motels that are close to campus and along the LSU Tiger Trails bus route or Baton Rouge’s Capital Area Transit System (CATS).