Western Kentucky University

International Student Office

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Prepare for Travel to Kentucky

Entry to the U.S.

While on the plane to the United States, you will be given an I-94 card and asked to fill it out with accurate information. Please fill out questions numbered 1 to 17 in English with information that matches your passport and I-20 or DS-2019 form. Writing your name as it EXACTLY appears on the I-20 or DS-2019 is VERY important. Please fill out the card accurately and honestly. When you are off the plane, you will meet a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official. You will present your documents (passport, Visa, signed WKU I-20 or DS-2019 and your I-94 card) to the DHS officials. Make sure they stamp your I-20 or DS-2019 and your I-94 card. They will then staple the bottom half of your I-94 card inside your passport/ VISA. Welcome to the U.S.A.!

Travel to Nashville, Tennessee, USA

To arrive at WKU, board an international flight to a major U.S. airport such as ones in New York City, Chicago, or Detroit and take a domestic/local flight to Nashville International Airport (BNA).Nashville International Airport (BNA) serves direct flights to and from the following cities within the United States:

  • Chicago, Illinois (ORD)
  • Los Angeles, California (LAX)
  • New York, NY (NYC)
  • Detroit, Michigan (DTW)
  • Newark, New Jersey (EWR)
  • Tampa, Florida (TPA)
  • Atlanta, Georgia (ATL)
  • Washington, DC (IAD) or (DCA)
  • Houston, Texas (IAH)
  • St.Paul, Minnesota (MSP)

ISSS recommends purchasing your ticket to fly from your home country to reach the United States at one of the airports listed above. Ask your travel agent to add a domestic/local ticket from the first United States arrival airport to Nashville International Airport (BNA).

Please allow at least a 3-hour difference between your arrival to the first United States arrival airport and the domestic flight to Nashville International Airport (BNA). Nashville is a major commercial city located in Tennessee State, a one hour drive to Bowling Green, Kentucky. The next closest cities would be Louisville KY, and Lexington KY and they are about a 2-3 hours drive from Bowling Green.

Travel Tips

  • Please purchase your airline ticket and make your travel arrangement after your F-1 or J-1 student visa is secure.
  • Please try to arrange your plane to arrive in Nashville during the day so that you can make arrangements for shuttle to Bowling Green
  • Never leave your luggage unattended at the airport and do not allow strangers to carry your bags. Do not carry bags belonging to others
  • Always observe signs and regulations in public places
  • Always carry your valid credit card and some cash in the amount of 400 USD (U.S. dollars) in case of an emergency. Carry some change in dollars, like one dollar bills. Carry Travel checks as much as possible.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers. Take only official taxis from the airport to your final destination
  • Be careful who you give personal information to (e.g., your name or address).
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If you are lost, ask a police officer, security guard, airline personnel, or airport workers for assistance.
  • In case of an emergency, dial 911 from any telephone

How to get to Bowling Green?

You can also arrange airport shuttle service to Bowling Green from Nashville. Please visit InShuttle Transportation for more details. The cost is about $70 +$5 for tip per person/one way. If you have a WKU ID, the cost is $50 + $5 tip per person/one way for a ride from Nashville International Airport (BNA) to WKU International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office at 1536 State Street, Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101.

What do I need to bring with me to Bowling Green?

We recommend you bring the following items for your room at WKU or rental apartment off campus. If you cannot bring them, make sure to have extra money to purchase them in the United States.

There may be some items that you may see as more important than others, but ISSS strongly suggests you bring/purchase the items listed below to make your life comfortable:

  • Address book
  • Eyeglasses/contact lenses (if needed)
  • Dictionary
  • Medicine and prescriptions (for several months)
  • Towel, soap, and Toothbrush
  • Slippers/flip flops
  • Warm sweaters or coats
  • Pillowcases, Bedspread and sheets (size 2m X 3m)
  • Clothes (jackets, dress shoes, and Pajamas)
  • Music from your home country
  • Traditional dress/outfit
  • Personal computer software
  • Photos (family and friends)

Most International Flights allow each person a maximum of two pieces of luggage weighing 50lbs (22 kg) each (22 kg x 2) (does not include hand luggage). Please make sure to write your name and address on the labels of your luggage.

If you will be making more than one stop in your flight/trip, make sure to write your final destination on the labels of your luggage. [Example: if you fly from Japan to Detroit and then from Detroit to Nashville, you must write your final destination of Nashville (BNA)].

Try to contact someone in WKU, any student, staff or faculty. In case of emergency or if your luggage is lost, always write down an address where your luggage can be sent in case of a misplace.

Note: All of the items above are very necessary for all new international students and scholars coming to WKU. Please make sure to include all of them in your bags. However, for more helpful information on your preparation before coming to the United States, please visit the eduPASS Web site.

Local Motels

You may need to spend the first night or two in a local motel. There are over 30 hotels and motels in Bowling Green. To find a hotel, you may visit www.findsoky.com to find your choices hotel. The following two motels are reasonable:

Hampton Inn
233 Three Springs Road
Bowling Green, KY 42104
(270) 842-4100

Microtel Inns & Suites
1980 Mel Browning Road
Bowling Green, KY – 42101
(270) 745 – 9922

Welcome to Bowling Green and WKU!

 Last Modified 9/17/13