Either the Office of Student Transitions or A. Family Center for Global Engagement will be providing you with an online pre-departure orientation housed in Canvas. You will need to make sure your TCNJ account is set up to access this information. 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. We are well known for our “athleisure” style in the U.S., so it will not be unusual to see students in athletic gear whether or not they are on their way to or from a sports practice or the fitness center. Having at least one business casual or smart casual outfit for more formal receptions or networking events is a great idea!
Note: There will be several cultural events on campus where you can show off your country’s traditional styles don’t forget to back a national costume if you want to strut your stuff! Alternatively think about unique modern styles that show off local design that can fit into a business casual/smart casual outfit
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. Students can review 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. Minimum what to order/bring in addition to clothing items: Twin XL size fitted sheet, Twin XL flat sheet, pillow, standard pillowcase, towel, and a weeks worth of hygiene products
For those making an online purchase ahead of time you can ship your items to the following address before your arrival:
Arlotto Family Center for Global Engagement
The College of New Jersey
2000 Pennington Road
Green Hall 107
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. Petty 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, electronics, or expensive jewelry.
- Be careful with your personal belongings. Do not leave expensive items somewhere unattended like an unlocked locker, library table, restaurant table, or common areas of the dorm.
- 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. International students have been particularly vulnerable to con artists posing as fellow college students on social media. Some have even tricked students into explicit online relationships and blackmailed students to keep documented explicit behavior a secret. Campus Police is tracking the increase in social media fraud, and are your best resource to resolve any threats. They are not obligated to reveal the situation to anyone, so you do not need to worry about friends, family, advisors, or others finding out you are a victim of this embarrassing crime.
- 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.
When you arrive at A. Family 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.