Preparing for Your Arrival 2013-14
It is very important for you to plan your travel using Kalamazoo College’s calendar. Campus housing will open on Thursday September 5, 2013 for NEW international students. (For ALL RETURNING students, campus housing will open on September 14, 2012 at 9AM). We cannot provide accommodation for students who arrive early!
The Kalamazoo—Battle Creek International Airport http://azoairport.com/ and the Kalamazoo Transportation Center (train & bus station) are the closest transportation hubs to Kalamazoo College. New international students who are attending International Orientation can request free transportation from the Kalamazoo—Battle Creek International Airport or the Kalamazoo Transportation Center to campus on the arrival date of September 5, 2013. Arrival information must include airline, (or bus or train company) flight/train/bus number, scheduled time of arrival and originating city and this information must be received by Angela.Gross@kzoo.edu in the Center for International Programs by August 29, 2013.
For students who choose to travel to campus on their own:
Leisure Limousine and Sedan provides transportation from the airport (AZO) and will have a staff member at the desk in the baggage claim area in the airport (AZO). It is $24 (not including tip) to the K campus. Their number is 269-381-5460 and the agent is Lori. http://www.leisurelimos.com/default2.asp?active_page_id=220
If you travel to campus on your own, please contact our Office of Security, located in Hicks Center, for your dorm room key. The phone number is 269-337-7321.
International Student Orientation is mandatory for all J-1 and F-1 visa students. Other international students and US citizens who live abroad are invited to attend but must notify the Center for International Students by July 30 prior to their attendance.
Students attending the International Orientation must arrive on campus on Thursday September 5, 2013. Required sessions will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 6.
Sessions will include information about U.S. culture, academic expectations in the U.S. and at Kalamazoo College, cultural adjustment, health issues specific to international students as well as money and tax issues. F-1 and J-1 students will attend additional sessions explaining visa regulations. The confirmed International Student Orientation schedule will be posted in mid-summer.
Following International Students Orientation, students will participate in the First-year Student Orientation on starting on September 11.
Please note: Students who are not attending International Student Orientation must use September 11 as their arrival date.
The weather in Kalamazoo will likely be quite warm during your first month here and then cooler starting in late September. By November, temperatures may drop to freezing. It will be necessary to have warm clothing and a winter coat. A coat in the U.S. will cost about $80 to $200 depending on the thickness and quality. Consider your suitcase space and your budget to decide whether you will buy winter clothes here or bring them with you.
The Center for International Programs and the Office of Admission will provide each International Student Orientation participant with a blanket and pillow.
Bed linens/sheets, however, will not be provided. If you would like to purchase bed linens/sheets on your own, you may wish to consider one of the following websites:
Mattresses in the residence halls measure 36” x 79.5”, which is longer than standard sized mattresses and require extra long sheets.
We do not recommend bringing electronics or appliances like hair dryers that require a power adapter. Everyday items can be purchased in Kalamazoo, and you do not want to use an adapter for four years. Depending on where you live, it may be much cheaper to buy a laptop and other electronics in the U.S. You can check www.target.com to see price examples.
Kalamazoo has several large retail stores where you can purchase clothes, linens, items for your room and book supplies. During Orientation, students will have the opportunity to go shopping at Target. Groceries, clothing, things for your dorm room, school supplies and more can be found at Target, and international students typically receive a one-time discount on all non-grocery items purchased during this visit.
If you are flying, check baggage restrictions for your airline. Airlines charge high fees for overweight baggage. Also keep in mind that you will be very tired upon your arrival. Be sure you can carry your baggage.
Carry all of your immigration documents with you. Do not put documents in your checked baggage as you will need to present these documents as you go through Customs upon arrival in the U.S. You may also experience flight delays that prevent you from arriving on campus at the expected time. It is wise to have medications, a change of clothes and any necessary toiletry items in a bag that you keep with you on the plane.
If possible, change some money into U.S. dollars before you leave your home country. We recommend you carry between $100 and $200 on your person. Current international students have recommended arriving with access to $500-1,000. If you have a bank card that allows access to your home bank account, be sure to carry that as well. If you plan to work on campus, you will still need money for the first few weeks for initial expenses, including books and items for your dorm room. Keep in mind that if you do find a campus job, for which there is no guarantee, the earliest you will receive your first paycheck will be late September or early October.
Before you leave home, talk with your family about how you will stay in touch. Phone cards are easy to purchase in Kalamazoo, but most students use e-mail and Skype. Upon arrival in Kalamazoo, students are encouraged to contact loved ones quickly to notify them of their arrival. However, students often arrive late at night and go immediately to bed. It may be some time before they have a chance to access e-mail or a phone.