FAQ for International Students

Where is Southeastern Louisiana University located, and what is it like there?

Southeastern Louisiana University is located in the town of Hammond, LA, 55 miles
(89km) NW of New Orleans, LA. The population of Hammond is about 17,000. The terrain
is flat, and many areas around Hammond are below sea level. The temperatures range
from average lows of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit to average highs of 90 degrees Fahrenheit
or more (21-32+ degrees Celsius) during summer and from average lows of about 40 degrees
Fahrenheit to average highs of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit(4-15 degrees Celsius) during
winter. Summers in Louisiana are hot, humid, and long, and winters are mild and short.
Hammond is a small community which after the American Civil War earned the title of
the “Strawberry Capital of America”. People are very friendly and hospitable. Southeastern
is growing at a fast rate, and students enjoy coming to study at a place where they
can not only find a large group of people, but they can find a family. If you would
like to read more about the history of the university, you can visit the Southeastern Louisiana University website.

What are some places that I can visit while I’m studying at Southeastern?

The Hammond Walking Tour is a nice way of learning about the history of the city of Hammond. Alligator and
swamp tours are a great attraction for visitors in the Hammond area. The two big cities
close to Hammond are New Orleans and Baton Rouge (which is also the capital of the
state of Louisiana). Southeast Louisiana is unique in geography, food, and music.

Where is the closest airport to Southeastern Louisiana University?

The two main airports closest to Hammond offering International flights are Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. Both airports are about 1 hour away from the university, coming from different directions.
A link to transportation options can be found here.

How many international students are at Southeastern Louisiana University?

The number of international students at Southeastern has steadily increased over the
last couple of years. Southeastern has approximately 160 international students and we are excited to welcome
our new students in the summer and fall who will be joining the family. 
Every so often, the university posts a count of international students and countries
of origin on the Southeastern website. To see the most recent statistics, click here. 

Where are the current international students from?

Southeastern Louisiana University enrolls students from all around the world. In recent
years there have been students from Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Bahamas,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Czech Republic, Germany, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea,
France, Great Britain, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guadaloupe, Hong Kong, Honduras,
India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Republic
Moldova, Mongolia, Mexico, Macedonia, Myanmar, Mauritius, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Nepal,
New Zealand, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Reunion, Romania, Russia, Slovakia,
Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Syria,Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey,
Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, US Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Are there opportunities to make American friends and experience American culture?

Apart from the classroom experience, there are a lot of campus activities and organizations
where international students can get involved and meet American students as well as
other international students. International Student Union is a student organization
here at Southeastern that provides a multicultural community and events for international
and American students to get to know each other and learn about different cultures,
languages, and foods. For more information on student organizations, click

How can I improve my English skills?

Southeastern offers English as a Second Language programs for a certain fee.

Where can I live while studying at Southeastern?

Living on campus is a great idea! We recommend that all new international students live on campus
during their first year of study. Around the university there are a few complexes
of apartments that can be rented and shared by students. A quick internet search for
“Hammond, Louisiana apartments” will provide you with a list of apartments in the
area.  Be advised to pay close attention to lease agreements and other paperwork. 
Visit the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center for more information before signing any paperwork.  

Where do I go if I need medical attention?

The Vera W. Thomason Campus Health Center provides various healthcare services to you as a student, usually at no cost. They
can help with minor illnesses and injuries as well as administer flu shots and provide
physical examinations among other services. There are general practitioner’s offices
throughout Hammond and the surrounding area which could assist you with ailments beyond
the scope of the Health Center.  Please check with your insurance for a list of covered
providers.  For emergencies, surgeries or other major health issues, there are two
hospitals nearby. North Oaks and Lallie Kemp. North Oaks is a traditional hospital and requires insurance or payment from the
patient. Lallie Kemp is a charity hospital, and for those with no insurance it offers
free or low-cost healthcare.

What should I bring with me when I first come to the U.S.?

There are a few important items that you should carry with you when you first arrive
in the U.S. However, don’t bring more than you can carry.

1. You will need linens, bedding, pillows, bedspreads, blankets, towels, as well as
personal hygiene products.
2. The temperatures range from average lows of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit to average
highs of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more (21-32+degrees Celsius) during summer and from
average lows of about 40 degrees Fahrenheit to average highs of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit(4-15
degrees Celsius) during winter. Summers in Louisiana are hot, humid, and long, and
winters are mild and short. For summer you should bring comfortable clothing (jeans,
pants, shorts, etc.), and for winter you should be prepared with jackets and other
warm clothes.
3. You should bring a photocopy of important documentation, such as passport, birth
certificate, copies of all medicine prescriptions, glasses, contacts.
4. Make sure you have an emergency contact person (address and phone number), either
from the U.S. or from your home country.
5. You should bring a traditional dress or outfit, as well as photos and music from
your country.
6. Although the U.S. customs regulations are very strict about foreign food items,
you can check on the U.S. customs website for rules and decide if you can bring food items from your country.
7. You should be prepared with U.S. cash or travelers checks for any immediate expenses
that you will need after your arrival in the U.S.: tuition, room and board, books,
and personal items/food.

Is there public transportation?

The public transportation system is limited in South Louisiana because most of the
people own cars. However, there is a public bus ($0.50 fare) which drives throughout
the town of Hammond, and offers transportation to different places such as Wal-Mart,
downtown Hammond, etc. Please see the travel information page for the Hammond City Bus schedule.

What are some student organizations or activities that I can be a part of on campus?

The university offers a variety of activities for students throughout the year. Things to do are always available. Some examples are Strawberry Jubilee, Gumbo Ya-Ya, other Campus Activities Board events, etc. One of the first things to do is join a student organization, so that
you can get the most out of your university experience and meet new people, learn
new things, and enrich your cultural as well as academic perspective. You will find
a list of student organizations here. 

What are the benefits of getting involved in a student organization or club on campus?

International students are encouraged to get involved in extra-curricular activities
offered on campus. You will find a list of student organizations
here. The Campus Activities Board has information on most events that occur throughout
the year on campus. There are several organizations that are especially created for
international students or American students that wish to learn more about people from
other cultures. Some of those are: International Student Union (ISU), Nepalese Student
Association at Southeastern (NSAS), French Club, Association of Latin American Students
(ALAS), and Spanish Club, among others.


There are many benefits to getting involved on campus, but a very important one is
that universities with competitive admission processes take into consideration extra-curricular
involvement. Also, a resume with a little work experience but a lot of campus involvement
is valuable after graduation.

How can I make some money while being a student?

Work-study is designed to give part-time employment to undergraduate and graduate
students who need the income to help meet the costs of post-secondary education and
other expenses. Southeastern is committed to offering students excellent training,
including the opportunity to obtain hands-on experience through the work-study program.

International students can work up to 20 hours per week during school time. During
holidays and summer, international students can work up to 40 hours per week. International
student are considered state workers only, and they can find information on work-study here.

How can I find a graduate assistant job?

Southeastern provides a large number of Graduate Assistantships for students enrolled
in Southeastern’s graduate studies. Graduate Assistantships pay students a stipend
plus a full tuition waiver. Southeastern offers four types of Graduate Assistantships:
Administrative Assistants, Research Assistants, Teaching Assistants, and Graduate
Teaching Fellows. Graduate assistantship openings can be found here.

If I don’t have a computer or laptop, may I have access to one at the university?

Yes, the university has a large number of computer labs open to all students, fully equipped with internet access, as well as other software
programs and hardware devices, such as printers and scanners. Also, the university
has a free rental program through the Office of Student Productivity Services. Students
can check out equipment for a certain period of time, such as computers, video cameras,
projectors, etc. at no cost. For more information on checking out equipment click here.

Will my electrical appliances (laptop, hair dryer, etc.) work in the U.S.?

The United States uses 110-112 volt electricity. The electrical outlets require two
flat-pronged plugs, which are different from the outlets most used in other countries,
so you will most likely need an adapter. Unless your appliance is dual voltage, you
need to use a “converter” or a “transformer” to change the 110-volt electricity into
220-volt electricity in order to use a 220-volt appliance. If your appliance is dual
voltage, you can use it in the U.S.without a “converter”. Most laptop battery chargers
and AC adapters are dual voltage. Because they are dual voltage, they can be used
with only a plug adapter for the U.S. The plug adapters and/or converters can be purchased
in the U.S. if you don’t have one already.

What grocery stores or places to eat are within walking distance from campus?

There are places to get groceries such as Dollar General that are within less than
a mile from the perimeter of campus. There are also several restaurants, fast food
vendors, and convenience stores downtown. Multicultural & International Student Affairs
also partners with the Student Government Association and Campus Shuttle Services
to provide regular shuttle service for shopping trips.
Click here for more information about shuttle service.

Where can I wash clothes?

Many apartment complexes have laundry facilities. On campus residences offer laundry
services at different locations. International students that live on campus that are
interested in gaining laundry access should contact MISA at [email protected]
Additionally,  international students who live off campus also take advantage of Free
Laundry Program at Immanuel Baptist Church.  

What is a hurricane, and what should I do if one threatens the area?

A hurricane is a very strong storm with heavy rain and winds. Louisiana is an area
that is always on alert during hurricane season (June1 – November 30). In case of
a hurricane threat, Southeastern Louisiana University has procedures already in place
to ensure the safety of students and employees. For more information on Southeastern
campus safety in the event of a hurricane, click here. To visit the National Hurricane Center page, click here.

How can I be informed if an emergency happens on campus or in the Hammond area?

Southeastern has a program called Emergency Notification System. In case of any type
of emergency students and employees of the university can sign up to receive emergency
alerts through email and/or cell phone. To sign up for emergency alerts visit Emergency Notification System page.

How can I acquire phone service?

We recommend the purchase of a temporary pre-paid mobile plan until you can become
familiar with long-term plans. There are several companies that offer pre-paid plans,
including AT&T, Verizon, Boost Mobile, T Mobile, and more. Walmart along with Best
Buy, located in the Hammond Square Mall, sells pre-paid phones from all of these providers.

What dates should I be mindful of?

The university’s academic calendar provides a detailed list of important dates that
you should be aware of. The calendar can be accessed by clicking here.

How can I get my drivers license?

Please see the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles website for information on obtaining a Louisiana drivers license.

How can I get a social security number?

Please see the Social Security Administration website for information on obtaining social security as an international student.

Additionally, please view this document.