Arrival Information

Now that you have been through the process for completing the pre-arrival checklist, this is what you can expect as you arrive into the USA! We have provided visa appointment information, items that would be good to pack for South Dakota, what to expect when you are at the airport and directions to Spearfish, South Dakota.



Visa Appointment

A visa is required to study in the United States. We've outlined the steps to receive your visa.

Get started.Visa Information


What to Pack

Find helpful tips on what to bring when you travel to Spearfish, South Dakota!

Get started.What to Pack


At the Airport

You will be asked to show your documents in the first city you arrive in in the U.S. to be given permission to enter the country.

Please carry with you (in your carry-on bag, NOT in your checked baggage):

  1. Passport (valid within 6 months) with F-1 or J-1 visa stamp
  2. Original I-20 or DS-2019 form (This document will be mailed to you, with original signatures from the RO or ARO for Black Hills State University)

In addition, it is strongly recommended that you also hand carry the following documentation:

  • The supporting documentation that you showed to the United States Embassy to obtain the visa, such as evidence of financial resources, evidence of student status, or any documents that relate to your academic, medical, or legal history.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will issue you an electronic I-94 record when you enter the U.S. After you arrive you will need to print your I-94 yourself by visiting the CBP I-94 Retrieval web page.

Please print your new I-94 prior to attending the IRGE Check-In. We will need a copy of your I-94 to complete your check-in process.
All visitors entering the United States must state their reason for wishing to enter the country. You will also be asked to provide information about your final destination. It is important that you tell the CBP Officer that you will be a student. Be prepared to include the name and address of the school program where you will enroll/participate.


Travel to Spearfish

Spearfish is located in the state of South Dakota (SD) about 60 miles from Rapid City, SD, 400 miles from Denver, CO., 900 miles from Chicago, Illinois, 1100 miles from Seattle Washington; and 1700 miles from Los Angeles, California. Prearranged travel to and from Rapid City and surrounding nearby towns is available through Prairie Hills Transit* for a small fee ($2-$10/ride) during daytime hours. Besides taxis, there are shuttle services available from the airport to the university. A taxi ride to BHSU from the airport is around $75/one way and must be pre-arranged. More information for Canyon Cab is available here*. Taxi service is also available for trips around town 24 hours a day.

* Each of these entities are private companies and are not associated with Black Hills State University; the contact is provided here only as information about travel possibilities, and any arrangements you choose to make are strictly between you (the student) and the entity Black Hills State University does not endorse or recommend any of these entities.

Directions to the International Relations and Global Engagement Office:
Black Hills State University is located at 1200 University Street, Spearfish, SD 57799.
The Office of International Relations and Global Engagement is located in 115 Woodburn Hall (off of University Ave), and is open 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday only.