Arrival in the United States and Getting to Campus

Students and scholars coming to the United States in F status for the first time may not enter the country more than 30 days prior to the start date listed on the Form I-20.  Academic program start dates are established by the College and cannot be changed, so students and scholars are advised to plan their travel accordingly.

Students and scholars already in the United States in F or J status are not bound to the 30-day rule.  However, an F-1 student transferring to Caldwell from another school in the U.S. must report to OISS within 15 days of the program start date listed on Caldwell’s I-20.  Individuals in all other immigration categories should contact OISS about how early they can arrive.  Ideally one should plan to arrive in Caldwell at least one week before beginning a program, and we always specify a date for students to arrive between one and two days before our international orientation begins.

Note:  Students should enter the United States only in immigration statuses that permit full-time study, namely F-1. For example, full-time study is not permitted for those in the B-1/B-2 and WB/WT visa categories. It is strongly advised that one not attempt to change status from visitor to student while in the United States as it is risky, expensive and time-consuming.

Before boarding an international flight, students and scholars should be sure to hand-carry their passports, immigration documents, and other supporting documentation so that they can be presented to an immigration officer upon arrival in the United States. At the Port of Entry, the admitting officer will inspect the documents and give the individual a stamped and annotated Form I-94. 

From the Airport to Caldwell College

The Newark International Airport is the major airport closest to campus. Airport information centers in baggage claim areas provide details on the various ground transportation options.

It is also possible to fly to New York City airports (JFK International Airport, LaGuardia Airport) and travel by bus to Caldwell. However, travel to Caldwell from New York City requires that students utilize the New York City subway system to the New York Port Authority, and from there utilize the Decamp Bus Line #33 to West Caldwell. This can be unfamiliar and confusing to students who have never been to New York before, and care should be taken in planning your arrival from New York City airports.

Ground transportation options from the Newark International Airport include the following:

  • Taxi or Shuttle Service- The easiest way to travel from the airport to Caldwell is by taxi. Taxis are available 24 hours a day, and a handout on taxis and approximate costs can be found HERE. Students are responsible for paying for their taxi ride to campus, and the approximate cost ranges from $65 to $80 dollars including the cost of fare and 15% tip.
  • Shuttle service provided by OISS- The two days prior to International Orientation at Caldwell College, OISS utilizes a 15 passenger van to pick up any students arriving at Newark International Airport during the day. The van generally arrives at the airport between 3:00 and 4:00pm, so students are highly encouraged to arrive at Newark International Airport between 11:00am and 3:30pm so that they can take advantage of this free shuttle to the campus.

Note:  Unlicensed individuals may offer rides to Caldwell for a low fee.  Travelers are strongly cautioned against accepting any such offers. Always make sure that the transportation arrangement is with a reputable company, i.e. one accessed from the airport transportation centers. Please refer to our handout on Taxi/shuttle services for a list of reputable companies and estimate prices HERE.


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