We will do our best via Skype and other means to stay connected with you through the summer months, but remember that you will receive a lot of your orientation information during our International Student Orientation in August or January. We would also like to bring your attention to pre-departure orientations arranged by EducationUSA advising centers in your home countries. They have a good checklist of documents you will need to gather before leaving your home country, and they have some good suggestions of what you should be doing before you make the trip to New Jersey.
CLIMATE AND CLOTHING
You should come prepared for changes in the weather; very cold winters, hot summers, and pleasant days in between. The temperature frequently drops to 30°F (-7°C) in winter and rises to 90°F (32°C) with high humidity in summer. Plan to wear warm clothing during the winter months (November-March). An overcoat, gloves, hats, and scarves are a necessity. Clothing for rainy weather is also needed.
Most students do not dress formally for class except on special occasions. On campus and in the classroom, informal attire such as t-shirts, jeans, slacks, and shirts are acceptable for women as well as men. Students may access many different shopping centers with clothing stores via the NJ Transit 601 bus as well as the “loop bus” that runs after the beginning of the semester. When deciding which kind of clothing to pack for your move to the US, you may also find it helpful to bring national costumes to wear to certain campus events and international celebrations or to speaking engagements around the city, but this is a matter of personal choice.
Note: We highly recommend you to bring your traditional dress (if applicable), as there will be several cultural events that will occur during the semester where it will be important to wear!
PREPARING FOR LIFE IN THE STUDENT RESIDENCES
TCNJ Residential Education and Housing maintains a comprehensive website to prepare you for life in campus housing. Housing options are organized according to your year in school – First-Year, Second-Year, and Upper-Class residential communities provide students with a “home base” of sorts for each stage of their TCNJ career. Students should review this website, perhaps focusing on the FAQ page and other options under the “Living on Campus” tab.
All rooms and apartments are furnished, except for sheets, towels, toilet paper and other accessories. We encourage you to order your bedding online (Extra Long Twin sized bedding, regular sized pillows, etc) so that you will have it once you arrive. Stores such as Walmart, Target, and Ikea have Twin XL (extra long) bedding. Once you order your supplies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can keep an eye out for your items. You can ship your ordered materials to:
- Center for Global Engagement
- Your name
- The College of New Jersey
- 2000 Pennington Road
- Ewing, NJ 08628
TCNJ is connected to public transportation through New Jersey Transit (NJTransit.com). The bus that comes on campus is the 601 and other lines are walking distance from the campus. The 601 will connect you to the Trenton Transit Center where you can connect to NJTransit trains to Newark Liberty International Airport and New York City, SEPTA trains to Philadelphia, and Amtrak trains that can take you to major cities throughout the U.S.
There is a small airport walking distance from the campus Trenton/Mercer Airport. The only commercial airline that flies from this airport is Frontier Airlines with flights to cities in Florida year round and flights to Atlanta and Chicago seasonally.
When you arrive in any US city, do not be passive about your personal safety. Common crimes, such as robbery and theft, are unfortunate aspect of US society. While certain situations cannot be prevented no matter what precautions are taken, there are a few things you can do to decrease your chances of becoming a victim of crime in the US:
- When traveling, do not carry or display large amounts of money or jewelry. Instead, carry traveler’s checks, redeemable for cash at most banks and stores, or use major credit cards, such as VISA, Mastercard, and American Express.
- Be careful with your personal belongings. Always keep money, jewelry, and valuable documents in your possession. Do not leave them in your luggage, in a “storage locker,” or in a locked car.
- Do not go out alone at night. If you must go out alone at night it is better to take a taxi to and from your destination.
- If approached by someone demanding to take your money, do not resist. It is better to lose your money than to risk your safety. In the case of such an incident, notify the police as soon as possible. Throughout the United States, the emergency number for the police (as well as to contact the fire department or an ambulance) is 911.
- Beware of “con artists” – these are individuals who offer you money or the opportunity to make money in exchange for some small service or assistance from you. Never, under any circumstance, give money to such a person.
- Identity theft has become a growing problem in the United States. It is important that you guard all of your personal identity documents such as your passport and visa, I-20 or DS-2019 documents, as well as credit card and bank account information. If you obtain a Social Security Number while in the US you must also guard this information carefully. Before discarding, it is recommended that you shred any documents containing your personal information such as those mentioned above, as well as any credit card solicitations you may receive in the mail. Finally, refrain from carrying any of your important personal documents unless absolutely necessary and keep these documents safely stored in your home or in a security account at a local bank.
When you arrive at the Center for Global Engagement, part of the orientation program for new students will focus on living safely in Ewing. However, please keep the above precautions in mind as you arrive in the US and travel to the College. Following these suggestions can help protect you and your property.