Transportation to South Bend

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. University offices are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, so it is wise to avoid arriving on these days.

    • 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 Royal Excursion.

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 guidance.  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 although you may NOT remain in the U.S. without enrollment.

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

Due to COVID-19, daily bus service from Chicago airports to South Bend is currently suspended. However, please check back to Royal Excursion's website frequently for updates.

  • 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.

Local Transportation

  • Taxi

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.

  • Transpo

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.

Travelling Outside the U.S.

When plannning your travel while a student at IU South Bend, there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Is the signature on the 2nd page of the I-20 still valid?
    • Signatures are valid one year from the original signature date.
    • If not, please come to the OISS for a new travel signature.

  • Are you renewing your visa?
    • Please make an appointment with the OISS to discuss what you need to do and the paperwork you need.

  • Are you traveling to a country other than your home country?
    • Please check the Embassy web site of the country to which you plan to travel in order to learn what you must do or meet with an OISS staff member for assistance.

Before travelling outside the U.S. you must go to the OISS to request a travel signature for your I-20/DS-2019. Plan ahead for travel; bring your documents to OISS at least two weeks in advance of departure. Travel signatures are valid for one year (six months if you are on post-completion OPT). Take all travel documents with you when departing the country. All dependents must have their own I-20/DS-2019.

Click here to view a travel checklist before departing the country.