Know Before You Go

Now you have obtained your visa to the U.S.  While you’re preparing for your upcoming trip to Lehigh, here are some things to keep in mind before boarding the plane.

Housing at Lehigh

First-year international undergraduate students will be able to move into residence halls beginning on August 17, 2015. Please contact Residential Services if you have questions regarding your housing assignment or ordering linens for your dorm room.  

International graduate students have the option of living on or off campus: 

For graduate students who are planning to rent off-campus apartments, please read this page so you’ll have a general idea of how the process of renting works in the U.S. and what you need to know as a tenant.   

While at the Airport

1. Keep the following documents in your carry-on luggage or personal bag because you will need them when you enter the U.S.:

  • Passport
  • Form I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1)

2. You will no longer receive a paper-form I-94 Card (Arrival/Departure Record) upon entry into the U.S. by air or sea. At the port of entry, your passport will be stamped with date of admission, class of admission (F-1 or J-1), and “admitted until” date (D/S—duration of status, for F and J visa holders). OISS urges every student and scholar to obtain a copy of their I-94 at during the first couple of days after arriving in the U.S.

3. What’s Secondary Inspection?

If the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry cannot verify your information, or if you do not have all of the required documentation, a CBP officer may direct you to an interview area known as “secondary inspection.” Read more about it here.

4. If you need to reach our office while at the airport, you can call us at (610) 758-4859 (Monday-Friday 8 am-5 pm Eastern Standard Time) or (484) 274-2717 (after 5 pm or on the weekend).   

How to Get to Lehigh

Newark Liberty International Airport (New Jersey) to Bethlehem (Westbound)

We urge you to use Newark Liberty International Airport as your port of entry. Newark Airport is closer to Bethlehem than John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City. Upon arrival, Trans-Bridge Lines bus service takes you to the South Bethlehem Bus Terminal at Adams and Mechanic streets, which is two blocks from Lehigh University. The departure times from Newark Airport vary from 9:00 am until 12:00 midnight on weekdays. Times also vary on Saturday and Sunday. It takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from the airport to Bethlehem. A one-way adult ticket costs $24 from the ticket agent or $30 from the bus driver (only sold when ticket agent is closed). Check for the exact times of departure at the Trans-Bridge website.

John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport (New York City) to Bethlehem (Westbound)

If you plan to arrive at John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, you can take a direct Trans-Bridge bus to Bethlehem, a three-hour trip. There are only two buses departing from JFK every day and only one stops near Lehigh. Therefore, traveling from JFK is not as convenient as from Newark. A one-way adult ticket costs $45 (cash only) from the bus driver (there’s no ticket agent at JFK). Be sure to get the bus to South Bethlehem Bus Terminal at Adams and Mechanic streets that lets you off just a few minutes from the Lehigh campus. Please check the Trans-Bridge website for the exact times of departure from the airport.

Philadelphia International Airport

If you plan to arrive at Philadelphia International Airport, you can take a train from Terminal A to the 30th Street Station ($6.25/ticket) and change to a Bieber bus to Bethlehem ($13 one way). Get off at the Bethlehem Bus Terminal at 12 E. Mechanic Street (two blocks from Lehigh's campus).  

***Please visit Important Airport Transportation Information and Important Hotel Information if you are arriving on your own and need more information on how to get to Lehigh by public transportation or where to stay at one of the airport hotels.***