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Campus Arrival and Departure

How do I travel to and from after the program?

Arriving and Departing: How to?

Participants must provide their own transportation to SPI and should review these driving directions and campus map for EMU.

If you are traveling through multiple times zones before arriving at EMU/SPI, you may want to schedule your arrival for a few days before your session begins in order to allow your body time to adjust.

An SPI registration and a welcoming celebration will be held on the upper level of the Seminary building on the first day of each session. Registration begins at 7:30 am and the celebration begins at 8:30 am. All participants enrolled in the session are expected to attend registration and the welcoming celebration. If you are arriving the morning of your first class, go directly to the upper level of the Seminary building for registration.

If you are arriving prior to the first day of classes, check in at Hillside Suites with one of the SPI Community Assistants (CA) in Room 102. Since all dormitories on campus require key card entry, you may need to call the CA on duty first to get access to the building. There is an exterior phone located in a box to the left of the main entrance door to Hillside. A contact number for the CA will be posted at the entrance.

If you plan to leave the day your last class ends, please note that it may take three hours to reach the Washington DC airports and you will need to be there two hours in advance of your flight. If your flight departs before 10:00 pm you will have to miss the end of your final class. You will also need to arrange a time to check out with a CA prior to departure from campus. If concerned about flight times, please contact SPI staff with questions before final booking of tickets.


There is limited bus service between Washington DC and Harrisonburg. Check with megabus for more information. 



All international persons coming to the U.S. to attend SPI will need to carry a valid passport and have a valid visa (unless your country participates in the U.S. Visa Waiver program).

Participants needing visas will want to apply for either a B-1 Business/Visitor visa or a J-1 exchange visitor visa.

Obtaining a visa may take many months. Please start the visa application process as soon as possible after being accepted into SPI. To check requirements, please consult the US State Department’s visa webpage.


  • B-1 visa, you must leave the country by the ending date listed on your visa or you will be in violation of your visa.
  • J-1 visa:  You have up to 30 days after the ending date on your visa to leave the country.  The beginning and ending dates on the visa correspond with the beginning and ending dates of your first and last class session. You can arrive in the US up to 30 days prior to the beginning date listed and do not have to leave the country on the ending date. 

Please contact with any visa questions or clarifications.

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