Congratulations on your admission to Black Hills State University (BHSU) in Spearfish, South Dakota! The staff in the International Relations and Global Engagement Office are committed to BHSU's global mission and vision, and we are eager to welcome you to our campus and into our community.
Please review the information below about applying for your F-1 or J-1 visa to enter the US. You can also find detailed information in our Visa FAQ guide. You should also consult your local Embassy website and the Study in the States website to learn more about the visa application process.
STEP 2: Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee
All applicants for the F-1 or J-1 visa are required to pay the "SEVIS fee." You can learn more about this fee by going to the Study in the States website. You need to complete and submit payment for the SEVIS fee here: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/.
STEP 3: Apply for Your Visa
After paying the SEVIS I-901 fee, you will be able to apply for your visa and schedule the in-person interview. Each country will have slightly different processes and wait times for the in-person interview, so consult your local US Embassy or Consulate and the Study in the States website for how to submit the visa application and schedule the interview appointment.
***Note: J-1 students and their dependents (J-2) will be required to provide evidence that they will have insurance that meets the US federal requirements for J visa holders. If you have questions about this, please contact us by emailing international@BHSU.edu.
As you prepare to enroll as a student at BHSU, there are a few important steps to complete prior to arriving, as soon as you have received your visa. As you complete the steps below, please feel free to contact us by emailing email@example.com. We will also be sending you communications through email about completing this information, so please check your email regularly!
Set up your BHSU Accounts:
STEP 1: Immunization Records
Immunizations are required of all students entering universities in South Dakota. Because students are eating, living, and studying in small spaces, immunizations maintain a safe and secure learning environment for all students. Per South Dakota State law, all students must document TWO (2) Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) vaccinations. If you do not or cannot document these vaccinations, they can be administered when you arrive for approximately $100 per vaccination. Document your health history and Immunizations using the Immunization Form. Once completed, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
STEP 2: Housing Reservations
BHSU residence halls offer a comfortable, convenient, and economical way for students to stay close to campus. For more information about living on campus, including pictures and videos of housing facilities, please see the Residence Life website. To request your room reservation, complete the short online form, and then submit your $100 housing deposit.
***Note: South Dakota Board of Regent Policy requires unmarried students to live-on campus during their first two years of school except upon appeal.
STEP 3: Registering for classes
The International Relations and Global Engagement Office will guide you through the process of registering for courses prior to arriving on campus. In order to register for classes, you will need to meet (virtually) with your academic adviser. These appointments will be arranged for you approximately 1-2 months before the beginning of the semester. You can begin searching for classes that interest you using the links below. We will reach out to you to schedule the advising appointment with your advisor soon.
STEP 4: Health Insurance
South Dakota State law requires all F-1 and J-1 visa holders to possess an approved health insurance policy. In order to comply with State law, and Federal law governing J-1 visa holders, you must enroll in and purchase the State of South Dakota Board of Regents' health insurance policy for international students each year. You can learn more about the insurance requirements by going to the Current Student website.
At BHSU, we work with our students on an individual level. You will notice our individualized student service from the day you arrive here when you will be greeted at the airport by staff from the International Relations and Global Engagement Office. Below, you will find important information you will need to plan for a smooth arrival to BHSU.
STEP 1: Book your Flight and Request Airport Pick-up
We offer complimentary pick-up at the Rapid City Regional Airport prior to the start of each semester (Fall and Spring) and before the start of the new student orientation.
If you wish to take advantage of our complimentary airport pick-up service, you must arrive at Rapid City Regional Airport on the dates specified below, and confirm your pick-up time and date with the International Relations and Global Engagement Office. You will receive communications from our office via email about this service, so check your email regularly!
Spring 2023 Drop-off
Friday, May 5, 2023
Saturday, May 6, 2023
Fall 2023 Pick-up
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Fall 2023 Drop-off
Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Thursday, December 14, 2023
Spring 2024 Pick-up
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Thursday, January 4, 2024
If you are unable to arrive during these dates, you may secure independent transportation from a friend or classmate, hire a service such as a taxi, or secure a shuttle through the Rapid City Regional Airport.
STEP 2: Clearing US Customs and Passport Control
We recognize your initial arrival in the United States may be stressful! The better prepared you are to talk with the Customs and Border Patrol agent upon your arrival at the US Port of Entry (usually, this will be the airport you arrive to from your international flight), the less stressful it will be. Here are some tips to help you prepare:
We know students will rely on their friends, family, and other social networks to gather information about what it is like to study and live in the US. We encourage you to use this information to help prepare for your arrival, but we also know a lot of misinformation is shared through personal networks and the “stories” people tell. In addition to your personal contacts, we suggest you take advantage of these official resources in preparing for your studies in the US:
New Student Orientation is required for all incoming students. Be sure to book your flight to arrive prior to the first day of Orientation. Please see the schedules for upcoming Orientation below:
FALL 2021 ORIENTATION SCHEDULE - Coming soon
SPRING 2021 ORIENTATION SCHEDULE - Coming soon
View what our International students have to say about living and going to school in South Dakota, USA.INTERNATIONAL BLOG
International Relations & Global Engagement
Black Hills State University
1200 University St. Unit 9519
Spearfish, SD, USA 57799-9519
1200 University Street
4300 Cheyenne Blvd
Box Elder, SD
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