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.

NOTE: The recommended arrival dates (and the earliest you can move into on-campus housing) for the Fall 2022 semester are Sunday and Monday, August 14 and 15.  Orientation for Fall 2022 begins at 8am on Tuesday, August 16. Please remember, if you arrive in Valpo after 10pm on the 14th or 15th, you will not be able to check into the residence halls (dormitory) on that day and will need to stay in a local hotel overnight.

Arrival Notification E-form

The International Programs staff will help coordinate your transportation from the airport to Valparaiso University. As part of the pre-arrival checklist, fill out the “Travel Information” e-form in iValpo (find in Pre-Arrival Checklist tab) with your flight information so that our office can plan your arrival.

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);
    • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 issued by Valparaiso University;
    • Admission Letter;
    • Evidence of Financial Resources; and
    • Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record (only if driving).

I-94 note…

  • If flying into the U.S., you will not receive a paper I-94 arrival card as in the past. Your I-94 arrival record will be available online. If you are driving into the U.S., you will still receive a paper I-94 card to fill out. Make sure you enter your name clearly, exactly as it appears on your passport.
  • You can retrieve your I-94 information after you arrive at this 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.

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:

  • Ride the Express Air Coach shuttle from O’Hare International Airport to Portage, Indiana. Then take an Uber/Lyft to campus (or have a friend pick you up). It’s about a 25 minute drive from Portage to Valpo.
  • 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). From Dune Park, take the Transit Connect bus to campus ($1).
      • 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 if the Transit Connect bus is not available when you arrive at the station.
  • Have a friend pick you up
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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