Travel and Preparation Information
When you make travel arrangements from abroad, it is important to know that Syracuse, New York, is not a U.S. Port of Entry. Your International arrival will be though a U.S. Port of Entry (for example, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Newark, New York City, Washington D.C.) Upon arrival in the U.S. at a Port of Entry, you will pass through U.S. Customs. We strongly advise you to allow a minimum of three hours between your International arrival and departing connection to Syracuse, New York. If you have not allowed three hours, you and your luggage are at risk of not clearing U.S. Customs in time for your connecting flight.
Packing and Preparation
Money: You should carry in U.S. currency or U.S. traveler’s checks enough money to cover the expenses of the first week (some cash is helpful, but it is safer to have traveler’s checks). Expenses you may encounter include: transportation, temporary lodging, food, health insurance purchase, housing deposits and rent, clothing appropriate for the climate and emergency supplies if your baggage is lost or delayed in transit. It often takes three to four business days for a bank draft to be cleared when you open a bank account. (SCIS) If you are travelling with a credit card, make sure that the financial institution is aware that you will be travelling internationally and making international purchases.
Clothing: We recommend that you bring with you most of the personal clothing that you will need. You may want to bring at least one outfit of your traditional clothing for special occasions. Winter jackets and boots for the winter can be purchased here if your climate is very different from Syracuse. Most students wear casual clothing such as jeans, t-shirts and sneakers or gym shoes in the classroom and most informal social occasions. (SCIS)
Documents: Bring medical and dental records, information about medical conditions and prescriptions, and an international driver’s license, if you have one. Make sure to have a set of photocopies of the most important documents in each piece of luggage. Try to have an address book with the addresses of your friends and relatives from home. (SCIS)
What happens at the U.S. Port of Entry?
When you arrive from abroad, you will not go to Syracuse directly unless coming from Canada. You will arrive at a major aiport (for example, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Newark, New York City, Washington DC). That major airport will be your Port of Entry.
Upon arrival in the U.S., you will pass through U.S. Customs. Your passport, visa, and other documents will be officially reviewed and a photo will be taken of your index finger and face. Your visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) has authority to deny admission. The USCBP also have the ability to determine the period for which the bearer of a student visa is authorized to remain in the United States. This is not a determination of the consular officer.
Once you have gone through U.S. Customs, you will need to retrieve your luggage for customs inspection. Even though your luggage will have been checked through to Syracuse, you still have to collect it at the Port of Entry, go through customs, and THEN you may give it back to the airline to send on to Syracuse. Usually, there are airline agents waiting outside the customs area to assist you with your luggage. Please remember to make sure that it is tagged for Syracuse when you hand it off to the airline. In the event of lack of time for transfer, flight cancellations or delays, you will need to work with the airline agent to switch to another flight or possible airline.
How do I get to the ELI from the Syracuse Airport?
ELI staff members will do their best to greet you at the Syracuse airport and take you to your campus housing, providing you complete the airport pick-up request form. Unfortunately, we cannot transport friends or family members, but taxis and ride-share services are available. If you arrive after 8 pm, we recommend that you stay at the Best Western Hotel on airport property and we can pick you up the following morning. You can make a reservation at the Best Western website.
Staying in a Hotel
If you plan to live on campus and arrive before campus housing is available, you will have to make arrangements to stay in a local hotel. Hotels close to campus are often booked months in advance, especially at the start and end of each sessions. Make sure you make your reservations as early as possible. Hotels close to the ELI are listed below.