Traveling To/From W&M

For International Students

Traveling to/from Williamsburg, Virginia can be a challenge.  Be sure to read through all of the information below before booking any flights.

Session Start Dates
Session 1: Sunday, June 24

Session 2: Sunday, July 15

Selecting Travel Dates
  • You must arrive in the U.S. on or before your session start date (listed above).
  • You may enter the U.S. up to 30 calendar days before your session start date; however, the earliest you will be able to move into the dorm is one (1) day before your session start date.
  • Students are encouraged to arrive one (1) calendar day before your session start date to help with acclimating to your new environment.
  • If your travel will be delayed so you arrive in the U.S. after the start date, contact NIAHD and the Reves Center so we can update your SEVIS (Immigration) record.
Check-In / Move-In

All students must be on campus and checked-in by 16:00 on Sunday.

Check-in times for international students are as follows:

Session 1 Session 2

Saturday, June 23

Check-in Time:  17:00-21:00

Saturday, July 14

Check-in Time: 17:00-21:00

Sunday, June 24

Check-in Time: 12:00-16:00

Sunday, July 15

Check-in Time: 12:00-16:00

Due to limited staffing, we cannot allow students to move into the dorm outside of these hours.  It is better to arrive early and wait at the airport for our shuttles to pick you up than to arrive late.

Once students are checked in they will be required to abide by all of NIAHD's rules and regulations.

Check-Out / Move-Out

All students must completely move out of their dorm room on the last day of the program.  International students may not stay an additional night on campus.  Check-out times for each session are:

Session 1 Session 2

Saturday, July 14

Check-out Time:  08:00-10:00

Saturday, August 4

Check-out Time: 08:00-10:00

Students need to pack the majority of their belongings the night before they depart.  

NIAHD recommends booking departing flights for the afternoon or evening and waiting at the airport.  Please avoid booking early morning flights.

[[precol,Contact NIAHD]] if you need any help determining which flights to book.

Shuttle Transportation

NIAHD can provide shuttle transportation to/from select airports and train stations at no additional charge to international students.  The airports and train stations serviced by NIAHD's shuttles are listed below.  If you choose to arrive at any airport not listed below, NIAHD will not provide or arrange shuttle transportation for you.  You must arrange it on your own.

Whether you choose to use NIAHD's shuttle service or not, all students must provide detailed travel information at least 3 weeks prior to your session start date as part of registration.

Richmond International Airport
  • Airport Code: RIC
  • 75 km from campus
  • NIAHD Shuttle Times: 
Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport
  • Airport Code: PHF
  • 30 km from campus
  • NIAHD Shuttle Times:
Williamsburg Train Station
  • Station Code: WBG
  • 2 km from campus
  • NIAHD Shuttle Times:
Important Considerations
  • Washington, DC: Flights are generally cheaper to DC, but public transportation from DC to Williamsburg is minimal. It can be expensive and complicated to travel from DC to Williamsburg, so you may want to consider flying into Richmond International Airport.
  • NIAHD at the Airport: NIAHD staff will meet arrivals in the baggage claim area.  They will be holding green signs with your name on it.  If you do not see a representative right away, remain calm.  They will be there as soon as possible.  Continue to wait in the baggage claim area until they find you.
  • Travel Delays: Contact NIAHD immediately if you experience any travel delays.  We will adjust airport shuttles and staffing at the dorm as needed to accommodate your delays.
  • Packing/Shipping Dorm Necessities: Students must provide all of their own blankets, towels, and sheets.  Traveling abroad with linens and clothes for three weeks can be difficult and expensive.  An alternative to packing dorm items would be to order items online through a retailer such as Amazon and have them delivered directly to NIAHD's office the week before your session start date.  Items delivered to NIAHD's office will be taken directly to the dorm.  Students will not have to transport them on their own.  Email [[precol,NIAHD]] if you would like more information about shipping items.
What to expect when traveling to the U.S.:

When you first arrive in the U.S. at the airport or border, you will go through an immigration checkpoint and will answer questions from an immigration officer about the purpose of your stay.

Keep these documents with you in your carry-on luggage: 
  • Passport
  • F-1 visa (located in your passport)
  • i-20 
  • Offer of acceptance email from NIAHD
  • Receipt of SEVIS fee payment
  • Financial documents (such as bank statements, etc.)
  • U.S. Customs Declaration Form (you will receive that on the flight to the U.S.)

The immigration officer will review your documents, take your photo and fingerprints, stamp your passport, and mark it as F-1 and D/S. D/S means you may stay in the U.S. while your documents are valid and you maintain legal status.

You will also receive an electronic I-94 entry record, typically updated shortly after you arrive.