What to Bring

Going to university in New York means you have a lot to take care of! Use this list to help start your planning. We look forward to greeting you in New York State!


Getting Started:

  • You will need a passport
  • You will need a visa
  • Take extra passport photos
  • Determine if you need to visit a doctor and/or receive inoculations.
  • Arrange air transportation.
  • Make arrangements with a responsible person and forward your mail to them while you are in the United States, if necessary.
  • You will need your I-20 form
  • Your I-94 card
  • Your admission letter US currency or travelers checks
  • Be familiar with the health insurance information provided by your institution/program.


Before You Travel:

  • Make two sets of copies of important documents (i.e. passport, visas, insurance card). Leave one set of copies with a trusted person and bring an extra copy with you.
  • Fill any necessary prescriptions.
  • Reconfirm flight with airline at least 48 hours in advance and check baggage weight limits.
  • Agree upon communication schedule with family, especially for arrival.
  • Be sure to inform the International Student Services Office at the institution/program you will be attending of your travel plans, and make arrangements for transportation from the airport to campus.


Documents and Legal Items:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Supporting financial documents
  • Airline tickets
  • Banking information and credit card
  • Insurance information
  • Photocopies of important documents (passport, visa, insurance card, etc.)
  • Extra passport-sized photos
  • Phone card
  • Emergency contact information
  • Contact information of person you are meeting in the airport
  • Luggage lock and tags
  • Your I-20 form
  • Your I-94 card
  • Your admission letter
  • US currency or travelers checks


Packing Basics:

  • Clothing for all four seasons (shorts, short-sleeve shirts to pant, boots, and sweaters, clothes that can layer easily)
  • Bath towel and shower shoes
  • Batteries
  • Camera
  • Toiletries
  • Anti-bacterial hand lotion
  • Jacket and umbrella
  • Eye glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and cleaning solution, and eye bring prescriptions
  • First aid kit (including: motion sickness medications, laxatives, anti-diarrhea medicine, antacids, pain relievers, decongestants, antiseptics, and bandages)
  • Prescription medicines and written prescriptions
  • Laptop
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Backpack


At the Airport:

  • On the plane, you will complete the Form 1-94 Arrival/Departure Record.
  • At port of entry, present your passport with visa, I-94, and sealed envelope to INS inspector.
  • Present your I-20 and original financial documents, which should be sealed in an envelope marked “For presentation at port-of-entry.”
  • Once you reach New York, call the contact person at the institution/program you will be attending to notify them of your arrival and start making your way to campus.