Student Arrival Assistance

The Arrival Assistance Program is available to internationals arriving in Columbia, South Carolina.

COVID-19 Requirements: Arriving internationals and their volunteer drivers are required to wear a mask while in the Columbia airport and while being transported. If you do not have a mask, one will be available from the volunteer driver. Click here for COVID-19 Requirements in the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

CCFI volunteers meet arriving internationals at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) or Columbia bus stations and transport them to their temporary or permanent living arrangements. This is a completely free, volunteer-based service aimed at making your first time arrival in Columbia comfortable, safe, and affordable. Our drivers have studied, lived, worked, volunteered, and traveled abroad, so they understand how you will feel when you first arrive.

Your CCFI volunteer driver can:

  • Meet you at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) or bus station

  • Take you to your housing or other local destination

  • Provide you with information about Columbia

International students and visitors arriving in Columbia, SC. Due to limited resources, this service is only available the first time you arrive in Columbia.

Apply as soon as your travel plans are known, and if possible, at least a week before your arrival in Columbia, SC.

CCFI cannot guarantee assistance for applications received less than a week before arrival.

At this time, CCFI cannot provide transportation if you are arriving at an airport or bus station outside of the Columbia area, but we have provided some useful links below about how to get to Columbia by bus or car:

Bus: Greyhound, Southeastern Stages, MegaBus

Car: Uber, Lyft

Arriving at the Charlotte Airport: If you arrive at the airport in Charlotte, NC there is a shuttle from the Charlotte Airport to Columbia. Cost is approximately $60 plus tip.

Taxi: Taxis are available at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. The pick-up area is located on the lower level of the terminal, to the left of the rental car counters. Transportation to local universities costs about $30.

If you arrive in Columbia after the check-in time with the university and you need a hotel click here to view hotel recommendations.

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