Arrival in the United States and Getting to Campus
Students and scholars coming to the United States in F status for the first time are allowed to enter the United States no more than 30 days prior to the start date listed on 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 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, a 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.
Documents to carry with you on the plane in your personal item:
Before boarding an international flight, students and scholars should be sure to hand-carry the following items to present to an immigration officer upon arrival in the United States:
- Original Form I-20
- Payment receipt of I-901 SEVIS Fee
- Evidence of financial support
– In the event that the immigration officer needs to verify information with your school or program, you can call the Office of International Student Services (OISS) at 973-803-2372
It is advisable to carry a small amount of U.S. cash, in paper currency and coins, for baggage carts, bus/train fares, and tips. Most airports have currency conversion stations for this purpose.
From the Airport to Caldwell University
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 or taxi to Caldwell. However, 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 the fare and 15% tip.
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.
New Jersey Weather:
New Jersey has variable climates: cold winters with periodic snowfalls, humid summers, and some very pleasant periods in between. Warm jackets, scarves, hats, gloves, and boots are essential for winter (November-March). Waterproof outwear and umbrellas are essential in rainy weather. You may also want to bring small personal items, such as photographs, traditional dress, or other items to personalize your new home. Keep in mind residence halls have limited space. It is best to purchase electrical appliances after you arrive in the U.S., as appliances manufactured outside the U.S. may not be compatible with the power supply.