Prior to Arrival

The following is a list of important to-do items that new postdoctoral scholars at the University of Notre Dame must or should do prior to arrival, in order to prepare for a smooth transition to Notre Dame. 

Cost of Living Expenses

Living expenses in the community surrounding the University of Notre Dame are among the most reasonable in the United States.  Nevertheless, scholars visiting from abroad should be aware of cost estimates in the following major areas:

□   Housing (per month)

o    Apartment Rent:  $500 - $1,650

o    House Rent:  $850 - $2,000

□   Food (per month)

o    Adult:  $450

o    Child:  $350

□   Medical Insurance (per month)

o    Single Adult:  $525 - $606

o    Individual + 1: $1,055 - $1,211

o    Family (all members):  $1,583 - $1,818

□   Recreation, Local Transportation, Miscellaneous Expenses (per month)

o    Adult:  $200 - $400

o    Child:  $100 - $300

□   Public School Fees (per month)

o    Per Child:  $250 - $600 (approximate)


□   Start your search for housing

□   Off-Campus Housing Resources

o    Neighborhoods

o    Human Resources Housing List

o    The Overlook

o    University Edge

o    University Rental Properties

□   Read this page before signing a lease

Campus and Community

□   Become familiar with the University of Notre Dame and the surrounding communities

o    University of Notre Dame

o    City of South Bend

o    City of Mishawaka

□   Review list of helpful Notre Dame and Community websites


□   Once you know your arrival date, email your faculty mentor and your department/lab administrator your arrival date

□   Follow the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs on Social Media

o    ND Postdocs LinkedIn Group

o    ND Postdocs Facebook Group

o    Graduate Student, Spouse, and Significant Other Network

o    @NDPostdocs

J1 Scholar Insurance Information

Health Insurance

J-1 regulations require that you and your dependents carry health insurance while you are in the United States.  

If you are a benefit-eligible employee (full time and paid by Notre Dame) you will be eligible for Notre Dame health insurance. Contact the Office of Human Resources at for details.

  • If your hire date is the 1st of a month, you will have insurance coverage from your first date of employment.  (Please note that if you do not arrive in the US in time to begin employment on the 1st of the month, your hire date may change.)
  • If your hire date is after the 1st of a month, you will not receive university-sponsored insurance coverage until the 1st of the following month.  In the meantime you have two options:  You may purchase the university policy at the full price, or you may purchase a short term policy from another company.  (If you are interested in the second option, you may consider the companies listed below.)

If you are not a benefit-eligible employee or if you choose not to purchase Notre Dame health insurance, you and any J-2 dependents must obtain insurance that complies with J-1 regulations (see Insurance Certification) and complete and submit an J-1 Visa Insurance Certification to the Office of Human Resources in 200 Grace Hall.

While we do not specifically endorse the companies below, they do offer policies that meet the J-1 regulations and  have been used by other J-1 scholars at Notre Dame:

Form I-9 

Prepping for Arrival

□   Read the Arrival Checklist

□   Read New Hire Paperwork and make sure you have the proper identifications


To print this checklist, click Prior to Arrival Checklist.