Welcome to Montclair State University!
The staff of the Office of Global Engagement is excited to meet you and introduce you to your new home. We hope that your stay here will be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for you. We have put together some tips as you plan your trip to the U.S. Please contact us if you have further questions after reading this information.
- Be prepared to prove strong ties to your home country.
- Practice your interview in English – visa interviews are conducted in English.
- Speak for yourself – do not bring others with you to your visa interview.
- Know the program that you are planning to attend and how it fits your career/educational goals.
- Be brief when answering questions at the visa interview.
- Make sure any additional documentation you have is concise.
- When it comes to visas, not all countries are view equally.
- Your main purpose in coming to the United States should be to study or do scholarly work, not to work before or after graduation if you are a student.
- If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence.
- Maintain a positive attitude.
For more in-depth information, please see page our 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Student Visa page.
New Jersey Climate and What to Pack:
New Jersey has variable climates: cold winters with periodic snowfalls, humid summers, and some very pleasant periods in between. Warm jackets, scarves, hats, gloves, and boots are essential for winter (November-March). Waterproof outwear and umbrellas are essential in rainy weather. You may also want to bring small personal items, such as photographs, traditional dress, or other items to personalize your new home. Keep in mind residence halls have limited space. It is best to purchase electrical appliances after you arrive in the U.S., as appliances manufactured outside the U.S. may not be compatible with the power supply.
It is advisable to carry a small amount of U.S. cash, in paper currency and coins, for baggage carts, bus/train fares, and tips. Most airports have currency conversion stations for this purpose.
When to Enter the U.S.:
When purchasing your plane ticket, please note the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019. You are allowed to enter the United States no more than 30 days before the reporting date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019. You should not enter the United States after the start date listed on the I-20 or DS-2019. If you are facing unexpected delays, please notify our office as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Important Documents to carry with you on the plane in your personal item:
- Original I-20 or DS-2019 (the immigration officer at the embassy or consulate may have put this in a sealed envelope or stapled it to your passport. Do not open; the officer at the airport will open it)
- Payment receipt of I-901 SEVIS Fee
- Evidence of financial support
- In the event that the officer needs to verify information with your school or program, you can call campus police at 973-655-5222 and they will contact the Office of Global Engagement on your behalf.
Inside the Terminal: I-94 Arrival/Departure Record:
Once inside the airport terminal, proceed to the immigration booth, and present your passport and your I-20 or DS-2019. Expect to have your index fingers scanned for fingerprint purposes and a digital photograph taken, as required by regulations. The officer will stamp your passport for duration of status (D/S) and the date you entered the U.S. The officer will create an electronic I-94 record for duration of status (D/S) and the date you entered the U.S. You can access your I-94 online immediately at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/. When you are able to check it, be sure the I-94 has the appropriate visa status (F-1 or J-1). In certain cases, if there is a problem with your documents, you may be issued a 30-day entry and issued a form I-515, with instructions to see your international student advisor. If you receive this form, please email email@example.com upon your arrival.
If you are traveling by land, you will be distributed an I-94 Arrival-Departure Record Form, before arriving. It is a long white card and students complete the top and bottom sections of the form. Complete the form accurately. Make sure your name, date of birth, and citizenship matches exactly as it is written in your passport. If you do not understand a form, ask an attendant for assistance.
Secondary Inspection Requirements:
If the officer at the port of entry cannot initially verify your information, or you do not have all of the required documentation, you may be directed to an interview area known as “secondary inspection.” Secondary inspection allows inspectors to conduct additional research in order to verify information, without causing delays for other arriving passengers. The officer will first attempt to verify your status by using the Student and Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS). In the event that the officer needs to verify information with your school or program, you can call campus police at 973-655-5222 and they will contact the Office of Global Engagement on your behalf.
For more information, visit US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
We strongly recommend that you arrange your airline flights so that you arrive at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), which is the closest airport to campus, as John F. Kennedy International Airport (located in New York State) will require a lengthy drive to campus. We also strongly recommend you take a taxi from the airport.
Please consider your flight arrival time and allow 1 1/2 hours to clear immigration and customs, receive your baggage, and locate your transport. Travel times by car from Newark Liberty International Airport to campus, depending on the time of the day, will be approximately 30 minutes, whereas travel time from the John F. Kennedy International Airport can be up to 2 hours.
From Newark International Airport (EWR)
- The cost will be approximately $50-$100 USD, including the customary driver’s tip. Cost should be arranged with the driver before leaving the airport.
- Ask the taxi driver to take you to:
- If your housing assignment is in the Village at Little Falls: 139 Clove Road, Little Falls, N.J. From there, enter the Abbott and Costello building and proceed to the 2nd floor to obtain your key.
- If your housing assignment is in any other building on campus: 1 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ (this is the main address of the University). You can then use the campus map to get to your housing assignment.
- If you plan to live off-campus: The address of where you will be staying.
- You will need to catch the NJ Transit train from Newark Liberty International Airport to Secaucus Junction
- Once in Secaucus Junction, you will need to connect with the Montclair-Boonton Line. Please note that this is a commuter train that does not run on weekends. Use the NJ Transit website to search for instructions for catching the train (Newark Liberty International Airport to Montclair State University) or download the NJ Transit Mobile App. You can purchase tickets on the app or at the train station using cash or a credit card.
From John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
If you must arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport, we suggest that you arrange for a friend or family member to pick you up and bring you to campus. We do not recommend taking a taxi from this airport, as the cost will be very high. You can arrange to take the “ETS Airport Shuttle”, a ground shuttle bus from the John F. Kennedy International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport. The cost is approximately $34 per person. The shuttle runs every hour from 6:30am-9:30pm. Once you arrive at Newark Liberty International Airport, follow the directions above.
The Office of Residence Life supports you as a student that lives in the residence halls on campus. When living on campus you will have the opportunity to meet people and attend events and activities in your residence hall. Each residence hall has its own lounges, recreation areas, study rooms, and a variety of services.
You will receive an email from Residence Life that will include your room details and information regarding how to access the names and contact details of your fellow roommates. The email will be sent to your Montclair email address, so be sure to check your email. Each room has one bed, closet, desk, and chair per student. Please note that bed linens, blankets, pillows, and towels are NOT provided. When purchasing these items, remember that the beds are Twin XL: Extra Long Twin, not traditional twin size. If you would like to order these items and have them shipped to Montclair State University, you can look into the following:
When ordering items, please plan ahead and take shipping time into consideration. Although mail (envelope size) is delivered directly to your residence hall, please note that your packages will NOT be delivered directly to your room assignment. You will have to go to Central Receiving (located on campus in Lot 60—the shuttle can take you there) to retrieve your package(s) and you will need to bring a photo ID. You will receive an email to your Montclair State email address when your packages arrive. Central Receiving’s hours can be found here under Student Pickup. We recommend packing a pillow, blanket, towel, sheet, and any other necessary items until you are able to get your packages.
For a list of other items you may want to bring, as well as a list of prohibited items please click here.
For students residing in Blanton, Bohn, Sinatra, Freeman and Russ Halls, The Village at Little Falls and The Heights, your address is:
Montclair State University
1 Normal Avenue
Your Residential Building Name & Room Number
Montclair, NJ 07043
For students residing in Hawk Crossings, your address is:
Montclair State University
65 Clove Road, Apt. #
Little Falls, NJ 07424
In case of an emergency upon arrival (if you are locked out, if your taxi driver cannot find the residential complex, etc.), please call your assigned residence hall for assistance:
Bohn Hall – (973) 655-5262
Stone Hall – (973) 655-3784
Freeman Hall – (973) 655-4487
Blanton Hall – (973) 655-3289
Russ Hall – (973) 655-4487
Dinallo Heights – (973) 655-4664
Machuga Heights – (973) 655-4668
Hawk Crossings – (973) 655-4475
Sinatra Hall – (973) 655-5257
The Village at Little Falls (973) 655-6689
If you arrive after hours and your residence hall office is locked, there will be an emergency phone number posted on the door. You can also call the University Police at (973) 655-5222 if you are not able to reach anyone else – they are available 24 hours a day. If you will be arriving late in the evening, please make arrangements to stay at a hotel the first night and come to campus the next morning.
For a list of hotels near campus, please reference the list below:
For more information contact:
The Office of Residence Life
Bohn Hall, Fourth Floor
Whether you are a commuter or a residential student, there are many meal plans and dining options available to you.
Find out more about Dining on Campus.
If you have a special dietary need, the Pulse on Dining at Sam’s Place and Freeman Dining Hall Balance Kitchen are designed to accommodate a wide variety of dietary preferences and needs. They offer vegetarian and vegan meal options daily, and provide a wide variety of menu choices to suit many food allergies and intolerance, including Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance. Please make an appointment with our Senior Director of Residential Dining, Bill Heslin at firstname.lastname@example.org to tour the dining facilities, discuss your needs, and design a customized plan.
If you need to change or cancel your meal plan, you can do so by filling out the Meal Plan Change Form no later than the second Friday of each semester to avoid penalties.
Contact Montclair State Dining
If you will be living on campus, you will swipe your Student ID card to get access to your residence hall. Your Student ID card also gives you access to campus facilities/services such as the following:
- Campus Recreation
- Library Services
- Computer Labs
- Printing Labs / Laptop Rental – All students must swipe-in with their valid MSU student ID to access the printing labs. Students receive a non-transferable, non-refundable $40 allowance for printing each semester.
So your Student ID card can be available when you arrive on campus, please follow the instructions below.
Uploading Your Photo for your Student ID Card:
- Find/take a great photo of yourself! (Color photo only)
- Crop from just above the top of your head to your shoulders. (Important – do not crop off any part of your head!)
- Photo should have you looking straight ahead into the camera.
- No hats, sunglasses, emojis, hands, hair or anything else should be obstructing/touching your face.
- Use a flash to eliminate shadows on your face.
- Stand against a light colored wall or door for the background.
- Think of a driver’s license/passport photo but with a smile!
How To Upload Your Photo
- Log into the eAccounts website with your NetID and password and register your account if this is your first time visiting eAccounts.
- To register your account:
- Click on the “Profile” tab
- Click “Transaction System Registration” in the menu bar
- Click “Register” to connect your account to the transaction system
- Now, you can submit your photo, click the “Profile” tab and then click “Click here to submit your photo link”. From here, you will be prompted to upload your photo.
- Within 24 hours (business days only) you will receive an automated email saying your photo was either approved or rejected.
Please Note: Photos are reviewed during business hours/days (excluding Fridays in the Summer, Saturdays, Sundays). After review, an automated email is sent informing you whether your photo has been accepted or rejected.
The Disability Resource Center (DRC) provides assistance with physical, sensory, learning, psychological, neurological, and chronic medical disabilities.
With the proper documentation, the DRC helps students to receive reasonable and appropriate accommodations and services necessary to optimize equal access to academic, housing, dining, and other student life activities. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and require supporting documentation and an appointment with the DRC staff.
The DRC provides the following accommodations and services:
- Academic Accommodations: Note takers, Readers, Scribes, Extended Testing Time, and Textbooks on CD
- Equipment Loans: Tape Recorders and Assistive Listening Devices
- Specialized Academic Advising
- Housing Accommodations
- Adaptive Technology: Dictation Software, Reading Software, Screen Enlarging Software, and Graphic Organizing Software
For more information contact:
Disability Resource Center
Webster Hall, Room 100