Before & After Arrival

Before & After Arrival

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect the health of the faculty, staff, and students at Teachers College, we have implemented a series of safety policies, and practices, in accordance with the local and state guidelines. Be sure to visit the TC Prepardness site prior to making your travel plans. 

Making Travel Plans and Reservations

If you are arriving from overseas, make your travel reservations well in advance, especially as flights to New York during late summer months tend to fill quickly. When making your reservations and travel plans keep in mind the following:

  • If you are a new F-1 or J-1 student you may not enter the United States more than 30 days prior to the program start date indicated on your I-20 or DS-2019 form, even if you already have a visa.
  • We recommends that you schedule your flight to arrive during normal business hours (9am - 5pm, EST), so that you can more easily contact TC offices if you require assistance.
  • If you will be arriving before your on-campus housing MOVE-IN date, or if you do not have firm long-term housing plans, be sure to make arrangements for temporary accommodations (hotel reservations, temporary stays with friends or relatives, etc.) prior to your departure for New York.
  • Plan your arrival in New York by reading the information on this website. Acquaint yourself with transportation options into the city, including subways, taxis, and busses. The OISS is unable to meet or greet individual students at local airports. However, we can provide further information about transportation options if you email your arrival information to us at


Packing Your Items

Teachers College is unable to receive or store packages or household items sent in advance. We recommend that you travel lightly and arrange for additional books, clothing, and other materials to be sent to you after you have arrived and settled in your long-term housing arrangement.

Before Leaving for the Airport / Port of Entry

Check to make that you have the following documents before leaving for the airport or your Canadian border crossing:

  • Your airline or train ticket, or e-ticket reservation (if applicable)
  • An unexpired passport valid at least 6 months into the future
  • An unexpired F-1 or J-1 visa (Exception: Canadian citizens do not need to have visas)
  • Your Form I-20 or DS-2019 from Teachers College
  • Your admission letter(s) and financial documents
  • Information about your long-term or temporary housing arrangements
  • TC's address (525 West 120th Street, Manhattan)
  • Proof of payment of the I-901 SEVIS fee
  • Traveler's check and small amounts of cash for airport / daily expenses for the first few days (see our Money Basics section for more information about money-related issues)

NOTE: Do not pack these items in your suitcase. They must be readialy available to be presented to the immigration officers upon arrival in the U.S.

Most airlines recommend checking in at least 3 hours prior to departure for international flights. Similarly, Canadian nationals are recommended to arrive at airports or ports of entry with plenty of extra time prior to departure, as your immigration and academic documents will need to be reviewed by an immigration inspector. 

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