Step 4 – Travel to Valpo

Arrival Date

You must arrive in the United States no earlier than 30 days prior to the program start date listed on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, and no later than this date. If you attempt to enter the U.S. after the program start date, you may be denied entry.

iValpo Pre-Arrival Checklist E-forms

If you have not already, be sure to log into iValpo and review the Pre-Arrival Checklist specific to the term that you are starting at Valpo (for example, Fall 2024, Spring 2025, etc). You’ll find this checklist on the home page of your iValpo portal, under the “Requests” heading.

In these e-forms, you’ll find a lot of helpful info and tips, and will also provide the Valpo Office of International Programs with some important information about yourself. Please work through them carefully! (NOTE – the final 3 check-in e-form will be completed after you arrive in the U.S.)

Arrive at U.S. Port of Entry

  • At the U.S. port of entry, you will need to present the following documents to the inspections officer (do not pack these items in your checked luggage):
    • Passport with F-1 or J-1 Visa (unless you are exempt from the visa requirement as a Canadian citizen);
    • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 issued & signed by Valparaiso University (make sure you also print & sign on pg 1);
    • I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt (you can access it here).
    • Valpo admission letter;
    • Evidence of financial resources to cover your 1st year of study at Valpo.

I-94 note…

  • Your I-94 arrival record will be available online, even if you enter the U.S. by land (i.e. driving through a land border crossing).
  • You can retrieve your I-94 information after you arrive at this website. Allow 48 hours for the information to show correctly on the I-94 website.

The inspections officer will use the US-VISIT system and take a digital photograph of you and scan your fingerprints. The officer will mark on your passport either “F-1” and “D/S” or “J-1” and “D/S,” depending on your visa. “D/S” means “duration of status”; in other words, that you can remain in the U.S. as long as you are still a student in valid F-1/J-1 status. If the officer does not mark on your passport with the proper status of “F-1” or “J-1” and “D/S,” ask the officer to correct it immediately.

This “F-1 or J-1 D/S” marking should also appear on your electronic I-94 entry record. If you notice that it does not appear correctly on your I-94 within 48 hours of entry into the U.S., please contact the Valpo Office of International Programs at

Transportation From Airport to Valpo

NOTE: Please check the Chicago area weather before you leave home so that you are aware of possible delays.

Students should fly into O’Hare International Airport or Midway International Airport in Chicago and plan to use one of the following means of transportation to Valpo.

Once you fly into Chicago, you have several options to travel to Valparaiso University.  It is a 1.5 to 2 hour drive from the airport to Valpo. Your options for traveling to Valpo from the Chicago airports are:

  • Take an Uber/taxi/limo (we estimate between $100-200 and about 1.5 hours, but check with the company for exact prices)
  • Take the trains (we estimate around $15 and about 3 hours to get to Valpo)
    • Instructions for taking the trains
      • Follow the signs at O’Hare for the CTA. Take the Blue Line Metra train ($5) to Washington Station (a train arrives to O’Hare about every 10 minutes).  Walk two blocks from Washington Station to Millennium Station to get on the South Shore Train to Dune Park Station ($9).
      • NOTE: The Dune Park train station is about a 20 minute drive from Valparaiso University, so you will need to take an Uber/Lyft to the university.
  • Have a friend pick you up directly from the airport.
Please Note: The office phone number is 219.464.5333.
  • Office Hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
  • If you face an emergency at the place of entry to the U.S. (the airport) outside of our office hours, please call the Valparaiso University Police Department at 219-464-5430. They will connect you to an office staff member if it is determined that it is needed.

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