Although you can arrive in the United States as early as 30 days prior to the start date on your I-20, we do not recommend arriving in Cape Girardeau earlier than the recommended arrival dates (refer to your acceptance letter) because services are limited.

When you travel, make sure that you have all of the required documentation to show at the U.S. Port of Entry (POE). Carry these immigration documents with you on the plane--do not place them in checked luggage.

  • Valid passport
  • Valid F or J visa in your passport
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Proof of payment of the SEVIS I-901 fee
  • Financial documentation as evidence of ability to pay tuition and living expenses
  • Acceptance letter

U.S. immigration officials at the port of entry will make the final determination about your admissibility as a student. We recommend that you be polite and respectful with the Customs and Border Patrol officers and follow their instructions and requests. By doing so, you can expect to be treated politely and respectfully in return.

You must attend the school specified on your visa. If your visa was issued for another school, carry both I-20s with you but show your Southeast I-20 when entering. If asked, politely explain that you prefer to attend Southeast. Due to new processes, most students are referred to secondary inspection. If that occurs, remain calm and follow directions. Secondary inspection may take a while, but be patient and respectful in order to be admitted into the country via the port of entry.

Transferring from another U.S. institution If you transfer directly to Southeast without leaving the United States:

  • Inform the international student advisor at your current school of your intent to transfer to Southeast. Your advisor should make the necessary entry in SEVIS.
  • We will issue you the I-20 upon your arrival at Southeast.
If you travel outside the United States before transferring to Southeast:
  • Inform the international student advisor at your current school of your intent to transfer to Southeast. Your advisor should make the necessary entry in SEVIS.
  • Once your SEVIS record is transferred to Southeast, you can contact us to obtain an I-20.
  • Be sure that your visa is valid or obtain a new visa.
  • Present your Southeast I-20 to immigration officials at the port of entry.

To Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Plan your air and ground transportation keeping in mind the Recommended Arrival Dates.

Book your flight to Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, which is only 15 minutes away from campus, or to St. Louis Lambert International Airport, which is two hours away from the university. We recommend the direct flight options from Chicago O'Hare Airport to the Cape Girardeau Airport!

The Office of International Education and Services offers pick-up services from Cape Girardeau Airport during recommended arrival dates. Please email Dr. Brooke DeArman at to inform her of your travel and flight information. She will arrange for your pick up at the Cape Girardeau airport and have you taken to your dorm or your off campus housing (or hotel if you haven't arranged for off campus or on campus housing prior to your arrival). Your student account will be charged $25 for the pick-up service.

Hotels may be required for St. Louis or Cape Girardeau arrivals after 5 p.m. You are responsible for the cost of the hotel stay, though you may qualify for a special rate.

If you not arriving during the recommended arrival dates or arriving at a different airport other than Cape Girardeau Airport, you will need to arrange your own transportation to Southeast Missouri State University.

If you are arriving at the St. Louis Lambert Airport, you may schedule pick-up via BART Shuttle Service, which costs $70. You should submit a reservation form for pick-up service at least 3 days before arrival or else you may not be picked up. If your flight is delayed or rescheduled, or if you are not in the specified waiting area, BART Shuttle will assess additional charges for new pick-up arrangements. Avoid taxi/cab service from St. Louis, as the average cost is $250-$300 for one-way travel.

If you are arriving at the Cape Girardeau airport, taxi service to Southeast Missouri State University costs under $20. To use this option, you should call the Cape Transit Authority at (573) 335-5535 when you arrive in Cape Girardeau. You will need to give your pickup location (Cape Girardeau airport) and the address where you want to be taken. You may have to wait for some time for the taxi to arrive. Visit the CTA website for more information.

1025 N. Sprigg
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 2000
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701