Far Away UofSC Families

The University of South Carolina takes pride in showing southern hospitality, especially when welcoming out-of-state families to campus.

Enrolling a student from another state can seem like a daunting task. The Office of Parent & Family Programs is here to help our “Far Away Families” navigate challenges and provide resources to make your Gamecock experience a great one!

Columbia, SC – The Real Southern Hot Spot

Welcome to your student’s new home away from home, Columbia, SC, “The Real Southern Hot Spot!” South Carolina’s capital city has plenty to offer families — whether you’re in town for Parents Weekend or just a fun visit! Explore Columbia’s hotels, restaurants and attractions!

Cars on Campus

If your student is bringing their car to South Carolina, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles is a great place to review our state’s traffic laws.

If your student plans to park on campus, they must register their vehicle with Parking Services. Students may apply for paid reserved parking in a variety of garages or lots. A valid and correctly displayed permit corresponding to the area in which they park is required.

If you plan to visit your student, campus visitors may obtain a free one-day visitor permit from Parking Services. The visitor permit is valid in various lots throughout campus. Metered parking is also available throughout campus for visitors.

Health Services

The pharmacy at the Center for Health and Well-Being can fill prescriptions written by doctors outside of the health center. Students can bring in their original prescription or have a physician telephone or fax the prescription to the pharmacy.

If your student requires after-hours health care, Student Health Services provides a list of local urgent care clinics and hospital emergency rooms. The student health fee does not cover services received at any outside facility.

Off-Campus Housing

Off-Campus Student Services is a great resource for students searching for housing. It can be difficult to make the trip to Columbia to tour housing locations, so the Housing Locator is a great tool to support your student from a distance through the search.

For students searching for a roommate or looking to sublease a room, apartment or house, the message board is a great place to post or look for listings.

Special Occasions

Being far away from your student on special occasions like birthdays can be difficult but the Residence Hall Association (RHA) has you covered. RHA sends mailings to your home during the year with information on purchasing care packages. You also can place orders for birthdays, holidays or “just because.”

If your student lives off-campus, there are a number of Columbia businesses that make deliveries for special occasions. You can send Edible Arrangements, cupcakes, cookies or other food items*.

NEW: The perfect gift for the Gamecock in your life
“At Home in the Heart of the Horseshoe: Life in the University of South Carolina President’s House,” offers a look at the first families and their memories of the home, along with some history of the house and photographs of the home and gardens.


Storing items close to campus can eliminate the need to transport all of your student’s items home over the summer. Check out this map for the closest storage locations to campus as well as other businesses such as grocery and convenience stores.*

Student Mail Services

Getting a care package from home can be the highlight of a student’s week! All students living in on-campus housing or the Greek Village have a campus mailbox located in the Student Mail Center. Students can find their box number on Self Service Carolina. Any packages you wish to send to a student living in university housing can be sent to the following address:

Addressee Name (no nicknames)
1400 Greene St.
USC Student Box ______ (5 digit box #)
Columbia, SC 29225

*Referencing a particular business does not serve as an endorsement from the university. These companies have been used by parents in the past and shared with us for informational purposes.