General Travel & Arrival Information for New Students

No doubt you are already busy getting ready for your journey to Amherst College! As you begin to make the necessary arrangements please be sure to review this important information regarding travel, arrival, and Pre-Orientation. You’ll also want to keep in mind some key dates and procedures.

Important Dates

As announced by President Biddy Martin on June 2, Amherst College is planning to start classes on August 24, 2020 regardless of whether those classes begin in person or remotely. 

Regional Airports

AIR TRAVEL: If you are travelling from abroad, you have several airport options including: John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York, NY), TF Green International Airport (Providence, RI), Logan International Airport (Boston, MA) and Bradley International Airport (Windsor Locks, CT). The two airports closest to campus are Logan and Bradley. The airport you select will depend on your originating airport, convenience, budget, and individual circumstances or preferences.  

Packing Tips

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR CARRY-ON BAG: Before you leave for the airport, make sure that you have the following documents with you in your carry-on bag. You will be expected to present these documents upon arrival in the United States for inspection by a CBP officer at the border crossing.

  • Airline tickets (if applicable), boarding passes, travel itinerary
  • Current passport with at least 6 months validity remaining
  • Valid F-1 or J-1 visa stamp
  • I-20 (for F-1 Students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 Exchange Visitors)
  • Copy of I-901 fee receipt
  • Financial documentation (i.e. financial aid award letter and/or Certification of Finances form with supporting documents)
  • Offer of admission from Amherst College

BE AWARE OF AIRLINE & CUSTOMS RESTRICTIONS: Please check all airline and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) restrictions BEFORE you pack your bags. Many items that you might wish to take from home (such as foods, medicines, smoking products, certain amounts of liquid or gel products, etc.) may be legally restricted on flights or not legally allowed into the United States. Customs violations (even unintentional ones) have the potential to impact your visa status and can incur serious legal consequences, so when in doubt - check!

Campus Contacts

CAMPUS CONTACTS: If you encounter difficulties during your travel and are in need of assistance, please reach out to these campus offices for assistance.

  • Monday-Friday during business hours (non-urgent):

Center for International Student Engagement +1 (413) 542-2612 /

Office of Student Affairs +1 (413) 542-2337 /

  • Urgent matters or immediate assistance outside of office hours:

Campus Police +1 (413) 542-2291 [office/business line]

ON-CAMPUS EMERGENCIES ONLY: +1 (413) 542-2111 [to be used only for true emergencies]

Ground Transportation to Campus


Please contact the CISE for advice on ground transportation from your arrival airport. Several options might be available depending on your location, arrival time, and budget. Some common options include taxi, a shuttle service such as Valley Transporter, regional trains via Amtrak, and bus service via Greyhound or Peter Pan. While rental cars might also be an option, be sure to check applicable age and driver’s license restrictions before reserving a vehicle to ensure eligibility. You may also want to take advantage of the free airport shuttle service offered by the CISE (see below for more information).

FREE AIRPORT SHUTTLE SERVICE: Each year, the CISE provides free airport shuttles from Boston Logan Airport to Amherst College for new students arriving on a particur date.  As move-in dates have not yet been announced for Spring 2020, the CISE is not yet able to offer airport shuttle information.  If you are interested in requesting transportation from Boston Logan Airport to campus, please submit the shuttle reservation form

Please note that the free shuttle service cannot accommodate parents or other companions of arriving students. Students travelling with family or friends should make alternative transportation arrangements. In addition baggage space may be limited, so please inform the CISE if you have several or over-sized pieces of luggage that you wish to take with you on the free shuttle service.

SUBMIT YOUR TRAVEL INFORMATION: If you are planning to travel independently to campus (and not via a shuttle service arranged by the College), please be sure to submit your independent travel details to the CISE. 

Accessing Your Dorm

DORM KEYS: Typically, dorm keys are available through the Office of Residential Life at designated move-in times and/or through the Campus Police office. Over the summer, you will receive information from the CISE and/or Residential Life with further information and instructions.

Once you arrive...

AFTER YOUR ARRIVAL: After you arrive on campus and get settled, you will be expected to complete the required immigration check-in process with the CISE and participate in the required New International Student Pre-Orientation program.