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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Upon Arrival

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Transportation to MSU from Minneapolis/St. Paul(MSP) Airport

Mankato is 80 miles (around 128 kilometers) away from St. Paul/Minneapolis airport (90 minute drive). YOU are resposible for your own transportation. We recommend you take a shuttle (Land-to-Air transport shuttle) instead of a taxi cab(as a taxi is very expensive to take that long of a distance). When you arrive in Twin Cities(Minneapolis-St. Paul), you will need to secure transportation to Mankato. The shuttle service is located in the main terminal.

Land to Air(shuttle service) runs between the MSP Airport and Mankato(their office is located in the MSP Airport). Current times, costs, etc. are on their website. Only cash is accepted; therefore, plan to bring cash (currently $30 for fare for one-person, one-way trip to Mankato). This shuttle is not available throughout the day. Please check for the shuttle schedule. If you arrive to MSP in the late hours, you will have to stay at a local hotel until the next available shuttle.

We recommend that you plan your air travel so that you arrive in St. Paul/Minneapolis between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (Central Standard time). This will allow you to come to Mankato between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., and will be able to get the shuttle Map of Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport(MSP).


View the MSP map. You can locate the Land to Air shuttle at the Lindbergh Terminal at MSP.

Transportation within Mankato

Upon your arrival in Mankato, it will be necessary to get to Minnesota State University, Mankato. Please call the CISS for assistance at (507)389-1281. Take a taxi through the Kato Taxi Cab Company at (507)388-7433. If during business hours, tell the cab driver to take you to the Centennial Student Union Building at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Cost is approximately $10.00. The Kearney International Center is located in the Centennial Student Union Building, Room 250.


If you do not have your housing reserved prior to your arrival, please see below for the list of local hotels and motels.

AmericInn 240 Stadium Rd. Phone:507-345-8011, is the closest to MSU and they offer MSU International Students discounted rates. Please use the code "New International Incoming Student" to receive discounted rate, based on availability

Complete listing of hotels in the Mankato area.

Hotels/Motels close to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport(MSP)

Important Documents/Document Inspection

The three most important documents are your passport, I-94 card and your I-20.


This is your most important piece of identification, and you need to keep it valid (at least six months beyond your projected date of departure from the U.S.) You cannot renew your visa unless your passport is current; neither can you leave the U.S. without a valid passport. It is strongly urged that you photocopy important pages of your passport, i.e., the identification page, the expiration page, and the visa page. Should you lose your passport, having photocopies of important pages may reduce the time needed to replace the document. To renew your passport YOU must contact your country's embassy or consulate. The address and phone number may be obtained through the International Student Office.

I-94 Card

This is the entry permit issued by the Immigration inspector at the port of entry into the U.S. This traditionally (until May 2013) has been the little white card which was stapled into your passport upon arrival in the U.S. If you have one - Keep it there. It is your permit to remain in the U.S. The D/S status marked on the I-94 means that you are permitted to remain in the U.S. for as long as you are pursuing your intended program of study, provided you remain in status, your I-20 has not expired, and you are making satisfactory progress toward completion of your degree

There is a new electronic I-94 procedure - you must access the record by going to the Immigration website: There are instructions and procedures described on the Customs and Border Protection website. The Kearney International Center cannot print the I-94 for you since this is your personal record and you must enter your passport and other flight information

If you have an electronic I-94 - During check-in, you do not need to print out your I-94 for the Kearney International Center; however, you will need your I-94 printed later if you aply for a Social Security number, a MN Driver's License, or other type of government document. Details of on-campus work permit and U.S. laws will be covered during orientation

I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant F-1 Student Status

This form is issued to you to attend MSU initially. Please keep all copies in a safe place and retain all old copies. MSU is not responsible for maintaining your immigration documents for you, after you leave MSU, if you request a copies of documents, they may not exist. Having accepted the I-20, you are required by INS to attend MSU for at least one semester before transferring. Whenever you travel outside of the U.S., you must carry an up-to-date I-20 endorsed by CISS you must also check the visa requirements of these countries through which you will travel. The I-20 certifies that you are eligible to study at the designated school and that you have verified your financial ability to pay tuition, fees, and basic living costs while pursuing your education.

Make sure you have all the necessary documents with you (passport, I-20/DS-2019, proof of finances) and that you hold them in a secure place. Please do not put your documents in checked baggage! You will be expected to present them to immigration officials upon your arrival. If you are arriving by plane, you may be issued an electronic I-94 and have your passport stamped. For land or sea ports, you may be issued an I-94 card, arrival and departure record . The immigration officer will stamp your I-20/DS-2019 and will give it back to you with your passport that is stamped with either F-1 or J-1 for "D/S" which means duration of status/stay. If you are issued an I-94 card (white card) keep this stapled in your passport for your entire stay in the United States. You may print out your electronic I-94 (see above description under the I-94 section above).

US VISIT: You will also be photographed and fingerprinted as part of a registration procedure in the US VISIT system. This whole process should not take more than a few minutes.

Port of Entry

Entering the U.S.

A visa allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the United State port-of entry and request permission to enter the U.S. Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection(CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. Student visitors must have their Form I-20 in their possession each time they enter the United States. In advance of travel, students should review important information about Admissions/Entry requirements, as well as information related to restrictions about bring food, agricultural products or other restricted/prohibited goods explained on the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection website. Upon arrival (at an international airport, seaport or land border crossing), you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT entry-exit program. If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the CBP official will determine the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record(Form I-94). Since Form I-94 documents your authorized stay in the U.S., it's very important to keep in your passport.

For more information about what to expect at the U.S. Port of Entry, view the ICE Face Sheet

The main airport is St. Paul/ Minneapolis International airport (MSP), one of the nation's busiest airports. When your flight arrives at the international terminal, you should expect to spend at least two hours retrieving your luggage and getting through immigration. This is a total of 3.5 hours minimum from landing to arrival at MSU.

If you are entering the United States at a different location than St. Paul/ Minneapolis, please make sure to allow sufficient time for connecting flights. It takes another 90 minutes to get to MSU.


US Customs

Once you have passed the immigration inspection at your U.S. Port of Entry, you will be asked to declare to a U.S. Customs inspector what you have brought into the country. Usually, you will fill out a declaration from on the plane and make a verbal statement to the official, who may or may not inspect your baggage. You may bring in anything for your use without paying duty. Quantity limitations are placed on alcoholic beverages (1 liter, if you are over 21 years old); cigarettes(1 carton); cigars(100); smoking tobacco(2 kilograms). A total of $400 worth of gifts may be brought in duty free every six months. Any value over $400 will be assessed duty. Any amount of money may be brought into the U.S. without paying duty; however, you must declare any amount over $10,000. Certain articles may not be brought into the U.S. including meats, vegetables, fruits, plants, drugs without a prescription, articles made from endangered species, pornographic materials, lottery tickets, and switchblade knives. Food items that are canned or otherwise hermetically sealed are acceptable. For more information, contact a U.S. Consulate

More information on U.S. Customs can be found

Kearney International Center Check-In

International Student Check-In

All international students must check-in the next business days upon arrival to MSU. Please bring your documents with you to be processed by the staff from the Kearney International Center in room 253 of the Centennial Student Union (CSU 250).

What to bring to check-in

  • I-20/DS-2019
  • Passport
  • I-94 (if issued and stapled in your passport)
  • You will be asked to pay for health insurance upon check-in; please be prepared to make the payment immediately. The locations for our office and other campus services are available:

    *[PDF]Campus Map(795 KiB)