Prearrival Brochure


Registration instructions will be given at the International Student Orientation. If you fail to attend the Orientation, you should report to the International Student and Scholar Services Office, (International Center, Room 411) with your passport and immigration documents any time after 8:30 a.m. when you arrive on campus. Registration and late registration dates are listed on your I-20 or DS-2019 and on the Pre-Arrival Update.


If you have any questions regarding your admission or arrival, or other issues pertaining to your enrollment at Southern Miss, you may visit our website at here. This site also contains links to other Southern Miss sites, including academic departments and pages for current international students.


By Plane:

  • Pine Belt Regional Airport (PIB)—Hattiesburg, MS: Only 15 minutes from Southern Miss and easy for a shuttle or taxi to meet new arrivals.
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)—New Orleans, LA: Two hours from Southern Miss and will require a shuttle services, bus, or train to bring new arrivals to Hattiesburg.
  • Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT)—Gulfport, MS: One and a half hours from
  • Southern Miss and will require a shuttle service, bus, or train to bring new arrivals to Hattiesburg.
  • Jackson-Evers International Airport (JAN)—Jackson, MS: Two hours from Southern Miss and will require a shuttle service, bus, or train to bring new arrivals to Hattiesburg.

Please note: All fares and schedules are subject to change without notice. Please be aware you will have to arrange a taxi to take you from the airport to the bus/train station and from the bus/train station to your accommodations at Southern Miss.

Greyhound Bus:

Phone: 1-800-231-2222


New Orleans to Hattiesburg:

$36.00 one way (Monday-Thursday)

$39.50 one way (Friday-Sunday)

Departs New Orleans   Arrives Hattiesburg

8:45 p.m. ……………10:10 a.m.

Jackson to Hattiesburg:

$28.00 one way (Monday-Thursday)

$31.00 one way (Friday-Sunday)

Departs Jackson          Arrives Hattiesburg

1:00 p.m. ………………2:40 p.m.

Gulfport to Hattiesburg:

$22.00 one way (Monday-Thursday)

$25.00 one way (Friday-Sunday)

Departs Gulfport                Arrives Hattiesburg

8:50 a.m. ………………10:10 a.m.

Amtrak Train:

Phone: 1-800-872-7245


Call for rates and schedules.

Students whose arrival times conflict with regular bus and train schedules may reserve shuttle transport from the New Orleans, Jackson, or Gulfport airports. Reservations should be made at least 48 hours in advance.

DJ Shuttle Service:

Phone: (601)544-7539


Call for rates and schedules.

Short Trip Shuttle Service:

Phone: (866)225-7433

Call for rates and schedules.


If you arrive before the report date on your I-20, expect to stay at least one night in a motel. We can try to arrange temporary housing with a current student, but this is not always possible.

Motels/Hotels close to Southern Miss include:

Western Motel, 3501 Hardy Street

                Telephone: (601) 264-0010

Days Inn, 111 Thornhill Drive

                Telephone: (601)268-1151

Hampton Inn, 4301 Hardy Street

                Telephone: (601) 264-8080

Super 8 Motel, 6529 Hwy 49

                Telephone: (888) 288-5081

*Ask if student discounts are available—you may have to present admissions documents as proof of student status.

*Visit for further information about Hattiesburg and where to stay.



Your form I-20 or Certificate of Eligibility for the F-1 student visa is enclosed. The terms and conditions of your entry into the United States as an F-1 student are detailed on page 2. Those coming to the United States as a J-1 Exchange Visitor have been issued the DS-2019 form. The terms and conditions of your J status are detailed on page 2. Read the terms and conditions of your status carefully, then sign and date the certificate section at the bottom of page 1. PLEASE NOTE: Your spouse and/or children must be issued a separate I-20/DS-2019 if you wish to have them accompany you to the United States. Please contact our office for issuance of documents for your dependents.

When you apply for your visa at the U.S. Consulate/Embassy, you will be required to present your form I-20/DS-2019.  Under no circumstances should the form DS-2019/I-20 be retained (in part or full) by the official. This original document should also be presented in full (all pages) at the port-of-entry into the United States.

Attention students transferring to Southern Miss from schools inside the United States: You should bring your previous immigration documents along with your passport to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). It is important to do this within the first 15 days of enrollment so that we can process your transfer with U.S. Immigration.


When you register for classes you will be automatically enrolled in the university’s group health insurance policy for Southern Miss international students. Enrollment in the group health insurance is required in order to cover illness and accident expenses you may incur while in school. The cost of the insurance is listed on your I-20 form. More details will be given at orientation.


Before you will be allowed to register at Southern Miss, you must show proof of the following immunizations:

  1. Two doses of the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (also known as MMR).
  2. Chest x-ray to screen for tuberculosis.
    The x-ray will be taken at the Southern Miss Health Clinic. Do not bring an x-ray film with you.

*The Southern Miss Health Clinic fee for immunizations is $15.00 or you may bring your vaccination records with you. The fee for the chest x-ray is $65.00.


On-campus housing is available to all international students. You can get information here. If you choose to live on campus, you will need to provide your own bed linens, pillow, blankets, towels, etc.

You may also choose to live off-campus. A guide to local apartments can be found here.


To cover immediate expenses and the first payment on tuition and fees, we suggest you bring at least $3,500-$4,500 with you. If you will receive a scholarship or assistantship, you should still bring extra money with you to meet immediate expenses such as transportation to Hattiesburg, hotel accommodations, food, apartment rent, bed linens, etc.

At the time of registration you should be prepared to pay at least one-half of your fees for the semester. The balance of the fees must be paid before the beginning of the following semester. The university charges interest on unpaid balances.

*If you plan to pay by personal check, Southern Miss can only accept checks which have machine-readable routing information printed at the bottom of the check including bank routing number, account number, and check account number.


All new and transfer students are required to attend the mandatory International Student Orientation their first semester. Orientation is held prior to the beginning of classes. In addition, prior to being permitted to register for subsequent semesters students must take an “Orientation Test”. Carefully read the enclosed pre-arrival sheet for the dates and details of orientation. Please bring your immigration documents with you to orientation.

Attention graduate students: You will be required to attend a separate orientation given by the Graduate School. Dates for this can be found here. You should also contact your major department to determine if you are required to attend a departmental orientation program or take placement exams.