Arrival Information

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Arriving at the Airport

To ensure a smooth transition in the United States please be aware you will need to have certain documents ready in order to enter the US.  Have available and in hand the following documents for the immigration official at the airport:

  • Your passport & visa

  • Form I-20 or DS-2019

  • I-901 SEVIS Fee receipt

  • Rider University Acceptance letter

  • Contact information of the Designated School Officer, Sara Young-Singh (see below)

  • Financial documents as required

Do not bring large amounts of money or checks drawn on a foreign bank. A small amount of cash ($200) in American dollars is recommended for items such as food, transportation, and tips.  Additionally, we recommend bringing a major credit card (VISA or MasterCard) with you.

During the International Student Orientation, there will be time to open a bank account with TD Bank. There are PNC machines on both campuses and there are PNC branches within walking distance to both campuses.

One of Rider’s Designated School Officer is the Director of the International Auxiliary Programs, Ms. Mary Amato. Bring her contact information with you:

Mary Amato, Director of International Auxiliary Programs
Phone: 609-896-7741, [email protected]
Address: Rider University, 2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ, 08648

Getting Around

General Travel Assistance

Students seeking public transportation to Princeton or Lawrence Townships, from New York, Newark or Philadelphia area airports should ask to be directed to the Airport Ground Transportation counter near the baggage claim area. Students requiring additional travel assistance may ask to be directed to an airport customer service representative at any of the three airports.

Airporter Shuttle Service

The Olympic Airporter maintains a daily shuttle service (shared ride) between Newark and JFK airports and downtown Princeton. Reservations are necessary and should be made in advance or at the Airport Ground Transportation counter at either Newark or JFK airports. For more information on rates, pick-up times, and reservation scheduling, please consult the Olympic Airporter Web site at (link is external) or call (800) 385-4000.

Trains from Newark Airport

Students can travel to both campuses via the New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor Line. You can access information at (link is external) or call (973) 275-5555. To access the Lawrenceville campus, purchase a train ticket to the Hamilton Station. The access the Westminster campus, purchase a train ticket to Princeton; you will need to change trains at the Princeton Junction station and take the “Dinky” to Princeton. You can easily get to the train station from the airport by taking The Air Train shuttle.

Uber or Lyft

Once you arrive at the train station in Hamilton or Princeton Junction train stations, you may want to call for an Uber or Lyft to your final campus destination, especially if you have a lot of luggage.

Shuttle from the Philadelphia International Airport to Rider University

There is a new shuttle service between Philadelphia International Airport and Rider University called Rapid Rover which will pick you up at Philadelphia Airport and bring you directly to Rider University. For complete information, please call (856) 428-1500.

Security and Emergencies

While traveling, students should keep money, passports, travel and visa documents, jewelry, and other valuables on their person at all times. Students are advised not to leave luggage unattended or leave items of value and importance in their luggage, locked automobiles, or in airport or train station storage lockers. Travelers are advised to monitor their belongings at all times. Do not accept packages or offer to watch unattended luggage at an airport for people unfamiliar to you.

Travelers with serious emergencies should seek airport security or the nearest Travelers Aid Society representative during business hours. Visit The Travelers Aid Society website at


Each new term, prior to move-in days, the English Language Institute hosts an orientation for all new ELI students. Participants are welcomed to campus, assisted in practical tasks such as purchasing items for your residence hall and opening bank accounts. They are also introduced to other international students, as well as Rider staff members and administrators. Social events, outings, and other activities are also organized during orientation.

In order to attend the International Student Orientation, the earliest you may arrive on campus and move into your room is check-in day. See the ELI Schedule below to know when you can check-in. Important: If you intend to arrive at Rider earlier than the scheduled check-in day, you will need to seek alternate accommodations as you will not be able to move into your room on campus. Please refer to the hotel listings.

ELI Orientation Schedule for 2019

Start date Arrival / Check-in dates Orientation Date
Oct. 29 Oct. 24 Oct. 25-26
Jan. 28 Jan. 23 Jan. 24-25
Mar. 25 Mar. 20 Mar. 21-22
May 20 May 15 May 16-17
July 8 July 3 July 5
Sept. 4 Aug. 28 Aug. 29-30
Oct. 28 Oct. 23 Oct. 24-25

During Orientation, you will have the opportunity to: 

  • Open a bank account
  • Tour the campus
  • Learn about student life groups
  • Learn about events available to you as an ELI student
  • Meet your teachers
  • Meet the ELI Staff!
  • Complete language assessments and placement for classes
  • Receive your class schedule