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Arrange Short-term Housing and Airport Pick Up

All of the students are looking for places to live. Making arrangements for housing now gives you a better chance of finding a good place to live when you arrive.

12: Visa | 13: Medical Exam | 14: License | 15: Ticket | 16: Housing & Pick Up | 17: Pack
Before your departure date, it is important to make sure that someone at your destination airport will be waiting to pick you up and give you a ride to your temporary housing or to school. Depending on your destination airport and the time of arrival, the airport can be very crowded. We suggest that you arrange a way to meet with your contact at a specific place in the airport. Most universities' international student associations will arrange for an airport pick-up. Make sure that you contact your international student advisor or the international student club at your school early to provide ample time to make all of the arrangements.

Tip: If someone gives you a ride to your home or school it is polite to offer to share gasoline expenses.

When should I take this step?
One (1) month before school starts and after you have booked your airline ticket and know when you will arrive.

What are my transportation options?
Three kinds of transportation are commonly used - shuttles, buses and taxis.

  • Shuttle - a mid-sized bus or van. Usually costs around $30-$50 within 50-70 miles of the airport. The shuttle driver will handle your luggage and you should provide a tip (normally $1-$2 per piece of luggage). The shuttle transports many passengers heading in the same direction and drops each one off at his or her destination. If you are staying in a hotel, sometimes the hotel will offer free shuttle services.
  • Bus or train - the cheapest method of transportation from the airport. However, it only stops at designated bus stops/train station and you will need to carry your luggage by yourself. If your temporary housing or hotel does not have a bus stop close by which is connected to the airport bus, it is a better idea to take the shuttle.
    Tip: For your safety, we suggest that you don't take a bus or train by yourself late at night.
  • Taxi or Cab -- the most expensive but also the most convenient choice. Most airports have taxis waiting near the baggage claim area. If your destination is not far from the airport (10-20 miles) a taxi will cost you around $30-$40, plus tip, which is 15% of the total fare. The driver will handle your luggage. Most taxis in the United States only accept cash, so be sure you are carrying plenty in case the ride costs you more than you expected. Ask how much the taxi fare is before you get in! Also, it is very important that you provide an accurate address for your destination.
iStudentCity's Resource on Airport Information

Why do I need to make housing arrangements in advance?
You can find short-term housing when you arrive in America, but it will be more expensive than anything you should be able to arrange at least a month beforehand. In many cases you will be able to find housing through the school, and that could even become your long-term housing.

Making arrangements in advance also improves your chances of finding a room or apartment. The longer you wait, the fewer places will be available for you to stay.

iStudentCity's Resource on Temporary Housing

15: Ticket | | 17: Pack

Important US Official Links:
1) SEVIS is a government, computerized system that maintains and manages data about foreign students and exchange visitors during their stay in the United States. More info >>
2) U.S. Customs - Department of State


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