Skip to department navigation
Skip to content
Skip to global navigation
international » » International Students  » lifemst
103 Norwood Hall, 320 W. 12th St., Rolla, MO 65409-6356 - Phone: (573) 341-4208 - Fax: (573) 341-6356 - Email: -  Facebook icon 

International Life at S&T

Safe, welcoming town

Rolla has something for everyone. It’s a safe, clean, attractive community in which values of family, hard work and education remain strong. Rolla is located in a beautiful area of outdoor life that’s sure to please many.

Community members are very supportive of the university and its students. The local community participates in the Celebration of Nations and International Student Day events. S&T students are welcome at all city events and have full access to city services.

The city’s downtown business district is close to campus. Community events, campus activities and locally owned restaurants, theaters, coffee shops, bookstores and pizza parlors provide a good break from studies. In addition, there are places of worship for many religions, including a variety of Christian churches and two mosques.

International students spend around 16 hours in class and labs. That leaves plenty of time to join international organizations, sports, design teams and travel. This section includes helpful info about:

Getting to Rolla

It is highly recommended that you bring at least $100 to $200 USD in bills no larger than $20. Often, you will need U.S. currency for planned and unexpected miscellaneous travel expenses that may occur during your trip to Rolla, MO (i.e., layovers, food, hotel rooms, etc.). For other important tips for traveling to the U.S.A., please visit Education USA's Pre-Departure Information.

A local shuttle company, USA Express, can provide transportation from Lambert International Airport (airport code STL) in St. Louis, Missouri, to various locations in Rolla, Missouri. The airport shuttle runs approximately every two hours between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. daily. You must submit completed New Student Stand-by/Guaranteed Seat Request form to USA Express via email. Please note that reservations may only be made Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM. USA Express suggests booking it one week or more in advance for availability and no less than 48 hours in advance. There are several different rates of the shuttle are available:

Stand-by (seat is not guaranteed): $65.00 USD per person
Although the full rate of the airport shuttle is $120.00 USD, the Office of International and Cultural Affairs has negotiated a reduced the rate for our newly arriving students and will partially subsidize the shuttle fee. The student’s cost for the shuttle service is $65.00 USD per person. The reduced rate shuttle will operate from Saturday, July 26, 2015, through Sunday, August 9, 2015.

However, the reduced shuttle rate is a “stand-by” rate only. Therefore you will not be able to receive a confirmation of a definite reservation until the day of your arrival. “Standby” means that passengers who pay full rate ($120.00 USD) have preferred status for seats in the shuttle. If the shuttle fills with full-fare passengers, standby passengers will not have a seat on that particular shuttle bus.

Regular – Full Rate Shuttle (seat guaranteed): $120.00 USD per person
To view the available airport pick up times, please visit USA Express time schedule and submit completed New Student Stand-by/Guaranteed Seat Request form to USA Express via email.

Special pick up (seat guaranteed): $220 USD per person
This option applies for the student whose arrival time is outside of USA Express’s regular scheduled pick up. You may schedule a special pick-up for a shuttle after 10:00 pm by submiting a completed New Student Stand-by/Guaranteed Seat Request form to USA Express via email.

As you make your flight arrangements, please consider that the last shuttle departs from the St. Louis airport at 10:00 pm. If you will not arrive at the airport before 9:00 pm, you might need to book the special pick up or you may stay overnight in St. Louis until the next day to catch the first shuttle to Rolla.  Please see the hotel options near the airport. Airport security requests that individuals find other accommodations rather than remaining in the airport overnight. Most hotels in the St. Louis Airport area offere a free shuttle between the airport and the hotel.

You are allowed two standard-size suitcases and one carry-on bag on the shuttle. You will need to identify yourself to the shuttle driver as a “New Missouri S&T International Student,” and you must pay for the shuttle at the time of pick up from the airport. USA Express accepts US currency (cash) as well as the following credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express only. There will be an additional $5.00 USD charge for shuttle payments made by credit card.

Suitcases must weigh less than 50 pounds and may be no larger than 26 inches high, 19 inches wide and 10 inches thick.  Carry-on bags must be able to fit comfortably on a passenger’s lap, if necessary.  USA Express drivers carry a scale and tape measure and may measure or weigh baggage.

Students must inform USA Express of any additional or oversized baggage at the time a reservation is made with USA Express. Otherwise there may not be room for the student’s baggage on the shuttle. USA Express will not be responsible for baggage that will not fit or meet the size requirements on the shuttle.

Boxes, trunks, and similar packing items are considered oversized.  All oversized and/or additional baggage is subject to a $20.00 USD charge per item. If the shuttle staff has not been informed in advance that the passenger is bringing oversized/additional baggage, the shuttle driver can refuse to carry the baggage.

Greyhound Bus Lines

Toll free telephone number if calling from within the US: 1-800-231-2222
Rolla telephone number: 573-364-2348
The departure location is St. Louis Lambert Field

If you require temporary hotel arrangements close to the airport in St. Louis, here are a few suggestions for you:

St. Louis, Missouri
Drury Inn Airport – St. Louis (0.8 mi. from Airport, 4 minutes)
10490 Natural Bridge Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63134
Telephone number: 314-423-7700
Toll free telephone number: 1-800-378-7946

Peartree Inn Airport (0.9 mi. from Airport, 4 minutes)
10810 Peartree Lane, St. Ann, Missouri 63074
Telephone number: 314-427-3400
Toll free telephone number: 1-800-378-7946

St. Louis Travelodge (2.4 mi. from Airport, 8 minutes )
9645 Natural Bridge Road, Berkeley, Missouri 63143
Telephone number: 314-890-9000
Toll free telephone number: 1-800-578-7878

Addtional hotel suggestion can be found at Explore St. Louis. Most hotels in the St. Louis Airport area offere a free shuttle between the airport and the hotel.

If you require temporary hotel arrangements in Rolla, Missouri, here are a few suggestions for you:

Rolla, Missouri
Budget Deluxe Inn (0.9 mi. from S&T, 5 minutes)
1908 N. Bishop Avenue, Rolla, Missouri 65401
Telephone number: 573-364-4488

Drury Inn (1.1 mi. from S&T, 4 minutes)       
2006 North Bishop Avenue, Rolla, Missouri 65401         
Telephone number: 573-364-4000
Toll free telephone number: 1-800-378-7946

Hampton Inn (1.1 mi. from S&T, 4 minutes)
2201 North Bishop Avenue, Rolla, Missouri 65401
Telephone number: 573-308-1060
Toll free telephone number: 1-866-460-7440

Missouri weather

Missouri weather has four seasons. Summer weather is warm and can sometimes reach temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius. Spring and Fall are generally mild, with only a light jacket or sweater being necessary. Missouri winters can get very cold. Be sure to bring warm clothes for the winter including a heavy coat, as we do experience snow and ice in the winter.

"So what do you like about Rolla?" -- "I really enjoy it here. It's small and peaceful. If I got the chance I would definitely spend the rest of my life here. The weather is really nice. A phrase I heard is if you don't like the weather, wait five seconds it'll change. Well if you like it, you don't have to wait!"
- S&T International Student from Saudi Arabia
Housing Options

Applied Language Institute Students

On-campus housing is not available for students in the Applied Langiage Isntitute (ALI). You are strongly encouraged to make housing plans before your arrival. Several real estate companies offer rental properties, so you may wish to begin your search online and communicate with one or more of the real estate companies. Below are links to some of the companies in town who have rental properties:

Missouri S&T Student Affairs maintains current listings of available student housing and people looking for roommates. You can also check out rental listings in classified ads on RollaNet. In addition, the following (closed group) Facebook page assists students with finding roommates.

Undergraduate Students

A variety of on-campus housing options is available at Missouri S&T. Please note that S&T requires first and second year undergraduate students to live in campus-approved housing, and you will be required to select a university meal plan. Top choices for first-year students are usually Residential College and Thomas Jefferson Hall, both located close to classroom buildings and cafetrias. Please see Missouri S&T Residency Requirements for more information.

After you complete the PRO Day registration, you will receive information about how to apply for your housing and select your meal plan. The Residential Life team does its best to match you with an appropriate roommate. Aslo, please note that campus housing units do not include bedding and towels.

In addition, a variety of meal plans are available. Meal plans include a specific number of meals per week, a declining dollar balance, or a combination.

Graduate Students

As a graduate student, on-campus housing is not available. You are strongly encouraged to make housing plans before your arrival. Several real estate companies offer rental properties, so you may wish to begin your search online and communicate with one or more of the real estate companies. Below are links to some of the companies in town who have rental properties:

Missouri S&T Student Affairs maintains current listings of available student housing and people looking for roommates. You can also check out rental listings in classified ads on RollaNet. In addition, the following (closed group) Facebook page assists students with finding roommates.

Getting Around Rolla

To get around Rolla, a number of options are available, namely:

S&T E-Bus
Hop on and off the all new, electrically powered shuttle - or E-Bus - is providing public transportation for S&T students. The route will run from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM, with five stops: Miner Village, Emerson Hall, Centennial Hall, Havener Center, and Gale Bullman Multipurpose.

There are several free shuttle services that can take you around Rolla to run errands. See the Shuttle Service Schedule for September 2015 or keep an eye for the monthly schedule in your S&T e-mail box.

A number of taxi services are available in Rolla, and remember that all taxi cabs are metered, so the cost depends on the distance you travel. Ask about the rate before hiring the cab.

If you plan to purchase a car, please see the Obtaining a Driver's License info and make sure to research the cost of maintaining a vehicle and the cost of car insurance.


Obtaining a Driver's License

International students can obtain a Missouri driver’s license by collecting the documents listed under each student category below, taking the driver’s exam (written and driving), and after successfully passing the tests, bringing the paperwork to the Rolla License Office to obtain your license. 

First, please collect the following documents and see step-by-step instructions to find out where to obtain the necessary documentation and how to proceed:

J-1/J-2 (Students)

J-1/J-2 (Scholars)

  • Passport with Visa
  • Printout of I-94
  • Program Participation Letter from IA
  • Original DS-2019
  • Social Security Card or letter of ineligibility from Rolla Social Security Office
  • Proof of Local Address (Utility Bill, Bank Statement, etc.)



  • Passport with Visa
  • Printout of I-94
  • Original I-20
  • EAD Card
  • Proof of Local Address (Utility Bill, Bank Statement, etc.)

  • Passport with visa
  • Printout of I-94
  • Immigration document (can be obtained from 103 Norwood)
    • F-1: Original I-20
    • J-1: Original DS-2019
  • Proof of residence/address
    • If living in campus housing: request a letter from Residential Life
    • If living off-campus: bring a utility bill with your name and address, or copy of your lease
  • Official letter from university stating that you are enrolled in classes
    • For full-time IEP student and F2 IEP student – obtain your letter from the IEP
    • For part-time academic and part-time IEP student – obtain your letter from the Registrar’s office and IEP
    • For full-time academic student – obtain your letter from the Registrar’s office
    • For F2 or J2 who is not an IEP student – obtain your letter from the International Student Services (103 Norwood)
  • Social security card or letter stating ineligibility to work in the US:
    • Take all documents to the Social Security Office to obtain the card or letter
    • If applying for card, please pick up application in 103 Norwood and take completed to office

Social Security Office
1813 E 10th St, Rolla, MO 65401
Phone: 800.551.2056
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00-11:30am

Bring along all required documents to Rolla Highway Patrol, and take the exams (first written, then driving).

The Rolla Highway Patrol is located at:

1301 Nagogami Rd, Rolla MO 65401
Phone: 573.368.2345, ext. 3973
Hours: Fridays only – Written tests 8am-4:50pm; Road tests 8am-4:30pm

Please note:
- Results of written test are valid for 1 year (if you cannot take driving test at same time)
- You need to come with someone who has a car

After successfully passing the written and driving tests, take paperwork to Rolla License Office to obtain your license. The Rolla License Office is located at:
1038 S. Bishop Ave, Rolla MO (by JC Penney)
Phone: 573.364.7848
Hours: Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm
Last Sat each month: 8am-12pm


Need driving lessons or help preparing for the written test?

See Central Missouri Driver Training for more information or you can call for an appointment: 573.201.0665.  They offer tutoring for the written test at $25/hour and 3-hour sessions of  hands-on driver training at $55/hour.


Representatives from local banks will be present at the International Student Orientation to help you set up a bank account in Rolla. Otherwise, you may visit one of the banks listed to open an account.

Food & Shopping

Please see the Shopping in Rolla list of all major grocery and department stores.

Get Involved

S&T students, scholars and their families come from more than 60 countries to experience American education and culture as well as to share their cultures with the S&T community. We at the OICA strive to facilitate numerous cultural events on campus and in the community, offering a chance to everyone to get involved and make friends from around the world. 

Some ways to get involved with the S&T international community are:

Celebration of Nations

Downtown Rolla comes alive for this area's largest multicultural event, featuring live music and dance; ethnic food, arts, crafts and displays; and plenty of fun for the kids!


International Student Organizations

There are numerous international student clubs who organize annual cultural events, provide advice and transportation to incoming students. You can be one of them!

International Cultural Events

The OICA organizes and supports a number of International cultural events. A few of them include:

Useful Resources
  generate print-friendly

Michael Bouchard studies bizarre dome-like structures in Egypt's Afar Desert.


Emily Hernandez wants to see more diversity in the engineering fields, and is doing her part to help.


Melissa Elder’s travels to her mother’s homeland of Honduras have shaped her career path and research focus.


John McManus' latest book looks at the Big Red One at Omaha Beach.


Melanie Mormile studies bacteria here on Earth that could survive on Mars.


Michael Bradford helps protect bats and cave formations in Missouri.


Hannah Frye is doing research that could lead to a treatment for diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.


Marquia Lewis studies computer science and is a member of the Gold Miners dance squad.


Cagatay "Ty" Atmaca has accomplished a lot since being sent to learn English in America by the Turkish Petroleum Corp. four years ago.


Jonathan Bopp used his 3D printer to create parts for the Mars Rover’s robotic arm.


Kate Burns is proof that students in every major can find success.


Joel Burken's research team use trees to detect soil and groundwater contamination.


Tyler Richards has designed a cap that keeps separated liquid from escaping ketchup bottles.


Krista Rybacki studies soil samples from an area near a lead recycling smelter.


Delancey Rougely studied the effects of war in France and blogged about it.