International Student Services

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Arrival

Arriving in the United States for the first time is exciting but it can also be a bit overwhelming. Below you will find information to help you prepare for you first few days on campus.

Many of your questions will be answered in International Student Orientation. In fact, we have found that attending orientation can be one of the most important factors in an international student's successful transition to RIT. We also encourage you to read the tips in 5 Things International Students Should Do Upon U.S. Arrival from the August 2013 online edition of U.S. News and World Report.

The ISS staff is looking forward to meeting you!

When to Arrive

Before you make travel arrangements to come to the United States, make sure you understand when you must arrive in order to maintain your immigration status.

  • You must arrive in the United States no later than the official program start date indicated on your Form I-20 or DS-2019. You may enter the United States up to 30 days prior to your official report date. Please note, however, that you will need to make arrangements for housing if you arrive before International Move-in Day.
  • International Move-in Day for the Fall, 2014 semester is August 16th. Please continue to check our Orientation site for details on the program.
  • If you are beginning in another term, you should be on campus when your housing becomes available. (check with the Center for Residence Life for information). Please check the RIT calendar to determine your arrival date. You should not plan to arrive earlier than the indicated time frame.

The following resource provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may be helpful to you: Study in the States Guide.

Entering the United States

Be prepared to present the following documents at the Port of Entry:

  • Passport
  • U.S. visa
  • I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility
  • I-901 SEVIS fee receipt

It is very important that you keep these documents in a secure location while traveling, such as your purse or travel bag. Do not place any personal documents in your luggage, as they may be lost during travel.

Review your immigration documents and those for your dependents before you leave the arrival station. If you notice any errors, notify an immigration officer immediately. Once you leave the Port of Entry, it can be difficult to correct errors on your documents. Immigration officers review thousands of documents a day, so mistakes are sometimes made.

Getting to RIT

RIT’s campus sits adjacent to the city of Rochester, located in the western part of New York State, about 585 km from New York City and 300 km from Toronto, Canada. For maps and directions to campus please visit http://www.rit.edu/maps/

Fall Semester New Student Airport Pick-Up Program

All international students should plan to arrive at RIT on the official RIT international student check-in day. (International Orientation will take place starting that day and is required for all F1 and J1 students.) A free van from the Rochester International Airport to RIT will be available during the week leading up to International Student Orientation, between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.

You may submit your flight information using the form below and you will be notified via email if pick-up service is available. If you do not receive a confirmation, you should assume the shuttle is not available and you will need to plan on taking a taxi to a local hotel (approximately $15 - $20 in U.S. currency; credit cards are not usually accepted).

As a reminder, students who have been assigned RIT Campus Housing cannot move in until the offical student check-in day. If you arrive prior to the 18th, you must make your own hotel arrangements.
 

  • Airport Pick-Up Form (available soon)
Accommodations for Early Arrival

If you arrive before the offical move-in date please plan to stay at an area hotel.
List of area hotels.

Airport Pick-Up

All international students should plan to arrive at RIT on Saturday, August 16th, 2014 - the official RIT international student check-in day. International Student Orientation will take place August 17th-19th and is required for all F1 and J1 students.

A free van from the Rochester International Airport to RIT will be available from August 10th - August 16th from 9 am - 5pm (see form at bottom of this section). If you arrive before August 10th, or outside of business hours (9am - 5pm), airport pick-up is not guaranteed. However, you may submit your flight information and you will be notified via email if pick-up service is available. If you do not receive a confirmation, you should assume the van is not available, and you will need to plan on taking a taxi to your destination (approximately $20-$30 in US currency, credit cards are usually not accepted).

As a reminder, students who have been assigned RIT Housing cannot move in until August 16th. If you arrive prior to August 16th, you should make your own hotel arrangements. Here is a list of hotels in the area: http://www.rit.edu/emcs/admissions/visit/info/area-hotels

The pick-up of international students from the Greater Rochester International Airport is sponsored by Global Union, an RIT Major Student Organization, in collaboration with RIT International Student Services and the Center for Campus Life.
 

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