Traveling from your home country to the United States can be an exciting adventure. Read on to learn more about how to get to Bloomington and what to expect when you arrive in the United States.
When to arrive in Bloomington
You need to arrive in Bloomington no later than the program start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019. It is important that you do everything possible to arrive by this date.
For spring 2024 you need to arrive no later than January 3, 2024.
If you cannot arrive by your program start date due to some unforseen problem (issue with airline, visa, etc.), you will need special permission to enter the U.S. Complete the U.S. Arrival Date form with the date you will arrive in the U.S. in your Atlas Pre-Arrival Checklist, and a member of our staff will assist you.
Going through U.S. customs
Your first step when you arrive in the United States will be to go through customs. Before you leave home, make sure you understand everything you’ll need to be admitted into the country.Learn about going through customs
Traveling to Bloomington
When you make travel arrangements, be sure you’re flying to the Indianapolis International Airport, which is just over an hour from Bloomington. Don’t fly to Chicago—it’s much farther away, and there are few options for getting to Bloomington.
When you arrive at the Indianapolis International Airport, you will still need to travel to Bloomington. If you arrive at the airport after 9 p.m. local time, we suggest you stay in a hotel in Indianapolis and travel to Bloomington the next morning.Explore options for getting to Bloomington
Description of the video:
Video: A Southwest Airlines jet touches down on a runway at the Indianapolis International Airport.
Narrator speaks: The Office of International Services is excited to welcome all of our new international students.
Video: A view of the airport terminal.
Narrator speaks: We recommend that you fly into the Indianapolis International Airport to simplify your travel experiences.
Video: A map of the airport. The map is animated to indicate arrows from each concourse to Civic Plaza in the center of the terminal.
Narrator speaks: Once you leave your plane and have gone through customs, if you have not already done so, you will walk through Civic Plaza, where there are several shopping and dining options.
Video: A blue sign that says “Baggage Claim/Reclamo del Equipaje” with an icon of a suitcase and an arrow pointing down.
Narrator speaks: Continue to look for and follow the overhead signs, directing you to the baggage claim area and take the escalator down to the baggage claim.
Video: A person wearing a backpack walks toward an escalator.
Video: A first-person view of riding the escalator down. A view of Baggage Claim 5.
Narrator speaks: You will find any luggage or bags you check during your flight at baggage claim.
Video: A display on Baggage Claim 3 that shows incoming Delta flights, along with the status of the baggage unloading process.
Narrator speaks: Each numbered carousel has a sign stating which flights it is servicing.
Video: Travelers walking toward the baggage claims. A person wearing a backpack approaches the Guest Services desk.
Narrator speaks: You can also follow other passengers you recognize from your flight or ask for assistance from airport staff at the guest services desk.
Video: Bags arriving on the conveyor belt at a baggage claim. A directional sign showing where each airline’s office is. Baggage carts.
Narrator speaks: If your bags do not arrive, you should see a service representative for the airline you traveled with. Their offices are just behind the baggage claim. They can assist you with lost luggage and will collect your contact information so that your bags can be sent to you once they are located.
Video: Visitor information center display at the airport. A person wearing a backpack approaches the display.
Narrator speaks: If you arrive in Indianapolis after 09:00 PM, we recommend that you stay at a hotel near the airport. You can call a hotel of your choice for free from the digital visitor information kiosks located in the baggage claim area.
Video: A directional sign for ground transportation, garage parking, shuttles, and rental cars.
Narrator speaks: Once you have claimed your luggage, you will head to the ground transportation center.
Video: An escalator going up.
Narrator speaks: Take the sky bridge to access the ground transportation center immediately before the airport parking garage.
Video: People on a moving sidewalk through the sky bridge. A view of the airport grounds from the sky bridge. A first-person view of approaching exit doors, then turning left to approach the escalator down to ground transportation. A Go Express Travel airport shuttle waits at the curb.
Narrator speaks: The Office of International Services has partnered with Go Express shuttle company to provide additional shuttles during international arrival week.
Video: The shuttle arrives at McNutt Quadrangle on the IU Bloomington campus.
Narrator speaks: We encourage you to purchase your shuttle tickets early to ensure a seat.
Video: An airport sign that says “Zone 1.”
Narrator speaks: The shuttle pick students up from zone 1.
Video: An automated kiosk where you can buy shuttle tickets.
Narrator speaks: You may purchase shuttle tickets online prior to your arrival, from the machine at the airport, or from the shuttle bus driver.
Video: A student waits at the curb for the shuttle.
Narrator speaks: The shuttle ride to campus takes approximately one hour and 30 minutes.
Video: A billboard that says, “Welcome to Bloomington, Capital of Hoosier Nation.” A student walks through campus.
Narrator speaks: Tell the shuttle bus driver where you're living on campus and ask if they can stop near your residence hall or recommended convenient stop for you.
Video: The drive at the Indiana Memorial Union.
Narrator speaks: If you're living off campus, you can stop at the Indiana Memorial Union.
Video: A student in the IMU hotel lobby approaches a phone next to a sign that says, “Yellow Cab Company.”
Narrator speaks: There's a white courtesy phone inside the Indiana Memorial Union hotel lobby that automatically calls a local taxi service so you can arrange travel to your off-campus destination.
Words appear: Helpful tips for the airport: Follow signs to baggage claim, ask for help at guest services, take the sky bridge to the ground transportation center.
Narrator speaks: Remember, when you exit your plane, look for signs leading to the baggage claim area. If you need help, ask the guest services desk. Collect your luggage and head to the ground transportation center via the sky bridge. From there, take the shuttle to Bloomington.
Video: A crimson table and backdrop. the backdrop says “home is where you write your story. home is where you belong,” and the table has brochures and papers on it.
Narrator speaks: If you get confused at the airport, the Office of International Services has a welcome table at the bottom of the escalators. The welcome table is a great place to ask questions about IU, get directions, and learn about upcoming orientation events. The table is staffed during the entire early arrival week. Come say hi.
Video: Students walk across the IU campus.
Narrator speaks: We hope that your travels to Bloomington are safe and look forward to welcoming you as part of the Indiana University community.
Video: Screen turns crimson and displays the words “Indiana University Office of International Services, Bloomington.”
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Options for traveling to Bloomington
There are a few shuttle services that go to Bloomington from the airport. They depart from Ground Transportation Zone 1 at the airport. You should make a reservation for the shuttle service you plan to use before you travel.Learn more about airport shuttle service
Uber or Lyft
Uber and Lyft services are available from the airport to Bloomington. Note that these services will be expensive, with the trip ranging from about $45 to more than $250 depending on the options you choose.Learn more about Uber and Lyft
GO Express Travel offers private black car service between the Indianapolis International Airport and Bloomington. This is the most expensive option for travel, ranging from about $100 to more than $300.Learn more about private car service
Do not fly to the Chicago airport. It is about four hours away, and the few options to travel to Bloomington are expensive (for example, a taxi ride can cost upwards of $1,500).