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What to Bring – Helpful Tips

When you arrive at the airport in the United States, it is important to carry your immigration-related documents (passport, I-20/DS-2019, financial documentation), US currency, and credit card(s) on your person. You should also bring the following important items in your carry-on luggage:

  • Airline tickets
  • Travel insurance documents (if any)
  • Medications you use regularly
  • Prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Valuables such as jewelry or other items that cannot be replaced if luggage is lost
  • Experienced travelers recommend a change of clothing and toiletry items, especially for long flights and in case of unexpected delays, missed flight connections, or lost luggage

Things you should bring:

  • Clothing and shoes
  • Remember that the climate in New York might be different than where you are from. New York experiences four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. If you are arriving in the autumn, make sure to bring some clothes to keep you warm as winter approaches
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Rain jacket and/or umbrella
  • Spending money (we recommend at least $200.00, and possibly more if you will not open a bank account early)
  • Note: Undergraduate students may not have the time to open a bank account until the end of the Global Transition program. Please plan accordingly. This has not caused any trouble for students in the past.
  • Alarm clock
  • Cell phone
  • Laptop, tablet, etc.
  • Voltage Converters and/or Outlet Adapters
  • Any medications you take regularly
  • Prescriptions (officially translated into English)for any medications you may need while at Fordham

In the US, the outlets are three-pronged and have a voltage of 120V AC 60HZ. Many other countries use different plug shapes and/or voltages, so Converters and Adapters will let you use any electronics you bring from home.

Take a look at this website for more information about electric voltage and outlet shape in the US and in your home country.

Packing Tips
Pack lightly: You are responsible for your luggage during your travel. Arrivals can be overwhelming in New York (or any US airport) and it can be tiring to carry lots of heavy bags. Heavy bags may also be a challenge if you plan to take public transportation.

Purchase items after your arrival: We recommend that you buy household items after you arrive here in New York. Many of these items (bed linens, towels, cooking supplies, small electrical appliances) can be found for moderate prices and in easily accessible stores.

Note: undergraduate students will have the opportunity to go to Target or Bed Bath and Beyond to shop for such items on Tuesday, the first day of Global Transition.

Clothing: Casual attire is worn by most students on campus. There is no need to wear formal clothing to class every day. But, it could be useful to bring a few nice outfits, in case of class presentations, school functions, or events in the city.

Things you should prepare before leaving home:

  • Have a physical examination
  • Have an eye exam and get your teeth cleaned
  • Medical care can be very expensive in the US, and your standard Fordham health insurance plan does not cover dental and vision care (the only way to receive coverage for dental and vision is to register and pay for those plans separately. Therefore, we recommend that you get your eyes and teeth checked before leaving your country!)
  • Make sure you have gotten all the immunizations and vaccinations required by Fordham’s Health Center. You must submit proof of this to the Health Center, at, before you arrive
  • If you require medications, contact lenses, and/or eyeglasses, we recommend that you bring extras
  • Check with your airline regarding limits for weight and size of baggage
  • Make photocopies of all important documents, and keep them in a different place than the originals
  • Personal and University phone numbers in case you need to contact someone after you arrive

Medicine and Narcotics (from the US Consulate Website)
Please see these tips from the US Department of State.

Narcotics and dangerous drugs are prohibited entry. There are severe civil and/or criminal penalties if such drugs are imported. Declare all medications to Customs when entering the United States.

If you require prescribed medicines (e.g. cough medicine, diuretics, heart drugs, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antidepressants, stimulants, diabetes medication etc.) you should:

  • Have all drugs, medicines, and similar products properly identified
  • Carry only the quantity that you would normally use in the given amount of time
  • Have either a current prescription or written statement from your personal physician that the medicine is being used under a doctor's direction and that it is necessary for your physical well-being while traveling. The doctor's note should state the name and the exact quantity of the medicine you are bringing into the U.S.
  • Carry all medication in your hand luggage (including needles for diabetics) also in case of loss of luggage
  • We recommend that you ask for a medical passport from your pharmacy/physician.

Medication can be sent by post if the prescription or doctor's letter is included. Not all medicines are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or allowed into the United States.

More information, including a list of approved medicines, can be found in the FDA Orange Book.