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  • PREPARE Program: Frequently Asked Questions


    1. Is it possible to move in to my room earlier than what is stated? Where can I stay if I arrive early, before the start of PREPARE?
    2. Can graduate students attend PREPARE?
    3. How do I pay my PREPARE registration fee?
    4. What is the cancellation or refund policy for PREPARE if I am unable to attend?
    5. How do I get to Cornell?
    6. When is the best time to arrive on Monday, August 17th?
    7. How do I get from the airport or bus station to Cornell?
    8. Where do I check in if Iím driving to Cornell?
    9. What is the procedure for check in on Monday, August 17th? How do I get into my residence hall, if my flight has been delayed and I arrive late at night on the 17th?
    10. Where can I get basic items like bed sheets, pillows, micro-fridge, stationery, etc.? What size bed sheets should I purchase?
    11. How can I sign up for linen service at Cornell?
    12. Where can I buy my winter clothes?
    13. Can my parents stay in my room during PREPARE?
    14. Will I have time to set up a bank account, get a cell phone, buy my textbooks, etc.?
    15. Can I ship my belongings to the U.S. and have them delivered to my dorm in advance of my arrival on campus?
    16. What if I have additional questions that are not on this list?


    1. Is it possible to move in to my room earlier than what is stated? Where can I stay if I arrive early, before the start of PREPARE?

    Unfortunately, housing office cannot allow any participants to check in to their residence halls before the Monday check-in day. If you will be arriving before that day, please arrange a hotel room. Click here for a website which provides a comprehensive list of the various hotels in Ithaca and its surrounding area.

    2. Can graduate students attend PREPARE?

    PREPARE is designed for undergraduates only; however, the International Students and Scholars Office will hold a separate, International Graduate and Professional Student Orientation on Saturday, August 22, 2015. In addition be sure to check with the Graduate School and your field of study to see what other programs you may be required to attend. The Graduate School will post the Graduate Student Orientation schedule in July.

    3. How do I pay my registration fee?

    The total cost for PREPARE participants living on-campus is $TBA which covers all activities, meals and housing. For those participants living off-campus, the $TBA housing fee is eliminated, and the cost is $TBA. The charge for PREPARE will appear on your Cornell bursar account in July.

    4. What is the cancellation or refund policy for PREPARE if I am unable to attend?

    Please let us know as soon as possible if for some reason, you are unable to attend the PREPARE pre-orientation program, by sending an email to Adriana Rovers, apr6@cornell.edu. The deadline to cancel your participation in PREPARE is July 1st for a full refund of your registration fee. If you cancel between July 2nd and July 14th, students will be charged a $50 administrative fee. After July 14th no refunds will be given for cancellations or no-shows.

    5. How do I get to Cornell?

    For general information on getting to Ithaca, please see the Cornell University web page on getting to the Ithaca Campus. Students flying into LaGuardia can catch a direct connecting flight to Ithaca, or alternatively, they can fly to Syracuse, New York (which is about 1-1.5 hours away from Ithaca by shuttle) through Newark, JFK, or LaGuardia. Many students fly into Newark, JFK, or LaGuardia, and then take a bus to the Port Authority Bus Station to catch the Shortline Bus to Ithaca (about a five-hour ride). Please see specific details here. Click here for Cornell Campus map.

    6. When is the best time to arrive on Monday, August 17th?

    The official check-in hours at the Townhouse Community Center are on Monday between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm and this is the best time to arrive. For those individuals needing a ride to Cornell from the Ithaca airport or bus station, we would recommend arriving in Ithaca between 8 am and 7 pm. During this time, PREPARE will have the optimal number of volunteers to assist and transport you. If a PREPARE participant arrives after 7 pm we will not be able to provide transportation, and the student should call a Taxi at 607-277-7777 or 607-277-8294. For those students who will be arriving in New York City or Syracuse late on the evening of the August 16, or in the early morning hours of August 17, you may want to stay the night and reserve a hotel, as it will be easier and safer than traveling to Ithaca in the middle of the night. This will also allow you to be well rested for the activities scheduled for the days ahead.

    7. How do I get from the airport or bus station to Cornell?

    As soon as you have arranged your travel plans, please complete the Qualtrics online Travel Survey. The PREPARE coordinator will send you the link in June. If you are landing at the Ithaca Tompkins County Airport between the hours of 8 am and 7 pm, we will arrange to pick you up from the airport and take you to the Cornell campus. We will not be able to provide transportation from airport to Cornell after 7 pm. Students arriving after 7 pm, should call a Taxi at 607-277-7777 or 607-277-8294. If you are arriving at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport, we can reserve a limousine service to pick you up and take you to Cornell University (Please note: You will be responsible for paying the $80 (subject to change) for this taxi service at the time of pick-up. If you are landing at other airports, such as Newark, JFK or LaGuardia, we recommend taking the Shortline or Greyhound bus service to get to Cornell University. We will pick you up at the Ithaca bus station between 8 am and 7 pm. After 7 pm students should call a Taxi at 607- 277-7777 or 607-277-8294.

    8. Where do I check in if Iím driving to Cornell?

    The PREPARE check in will take place at the Townhouse Community Center, from 8:00 am to 5 pm on Monday, August 17th. You may stop at a Visitor Information booth as you enter campus for a free Cornell map and directions. The Townhouse Community Center is located in grid E-1. There are parking spaces available around the community center.

    9. What is the procedure for check in on Monday, August 17th? How do I get into my residence hall, if my flight has been delayed and I arrive late at night on the 17th?

    Transportation to Cornell Campus: See details in FAQ # 7 above.

    The following information is subject to change. Final updates will be available as we get closer to start of PREPARE.

    2) If you are arriving BETWEEN 8:00 am and 5:00 pm

    If you arrive on Cornell Campus between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, first proceed to the Townhouse Community Center on George Jessup Rd, where you will meet the PREPARE volunteers and coordinators, receive your PREPARE folder, and do the immigration check-in.

    After the Immigration Check-in:

    a) If you will be living on North Campus, or in Sheldon Court, Cascadilla, Schuyler or 112 Edgemoor proceed to the Robert Purcell Community Center (RPCC) service desk, where you will do the StarRes housing check-in and receive the key to your dorm room and your Cornell ID card which also gives you access to your dorm building. The PREPARE volunteers and van drivers will assist you if necessary, e.g. if you need transportation to your building or assistance with your luggage.

    b) If you will be living on West Campus (Cook, Bethe, Becker, Keeton, Rose, 122 McGraw, and 625 University Ave*), you will have to go directly to your house office to do the housing check-in and pick up room key and Cornell ID card. *Note that students living in 625 University Ave must do their housing check-in at Cook House. House offices are open from 9 am until 4 pm. Afterhours arrivals will contact the Graduate Residence Fellow (GRF) on call (phone number posted on door of building) and be checked in and issued keys upon arrival. The volunteers and van drivers will assist you in getting to your building.

    c) If you will be living at a Coop, you will have to go directly to your Coop building to do the housing check-in and pick up room key. The volunteers and van drivers will assist you in getting to your building.

    d) If you will be living in an off-campus apartment, our volunteers and van drivers will assist you to get to your destination.

    3) If you are arriving BETWEEN 5:00 pm and 6:45 pm

    If you arrive on campus between 5:00 pm and 6:45 pm, first proceed to the Townhouse Community Center, where you will meet the PREPARE volunteers and coordinators, and receive your PREPARE folder, tee shirt and instructions on what to do next. Volunteers will then escort North Campus residents and residents of Sheldon Court, Cascadilla, Schuyler and 112 Edgemoor to Robert Purcell Community Center (RPCC) service desk to do the StarRes housing check-in and pick up dorm keys.

    If you live on West Campus, see details above in item b.

    For immigration check-in, new students will need to report to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) at B-50 Caldwell Hall, in the next few weeks with their passport, and I-20 or DS 2019 document.

    4) If you are arriving BETWEEN 6:45 pm and 10:00 pm

    If you arrive on campus between 6:45 pm and 10:00 pm, proceed to the second floor of the Robert Purcell Community Center (RPCC) to room 220, where you will meet the PREPARE volunteers and coordinators and receive your PREPARE folder and tee shirt. Dinner will be available until 7:30 pm in North Star Dining Hall in Appel Commons. For late arrivals we will have light refreshments and beverages available for you. If you live on North Campus, Sheldon Court, Cascadilla, Schuyler or 122 Edgemoor, you will be able to do your StarRes housing check in until 9:30 pm, only, and then can join the Casino and games night activities. If you arrive after 9:30 pm, and are feeling exhausted from your travels, and want to skip Casino Night, please follow instructions below for getting into your dorm room.

    If you will be living on West Campus (Cook, Bethe, Becker, Keeton and Rose, 122 McGraw, and 625 University Ave), you will have to go directly to your house office to do the housing check-in and pick up room key. (The office is open from 9 am-4 pm). Afterhours arrivals should contact the Graduate Residence Fellow (GRF) on call by using the phone number posted on building's front door. You will be checked in and issued keys upon arrival.

    5) If you are arriving AFTER 10:00 pm

    Students living on North Campus, Sheldon Court, Cascadilla, Schuyler or 122 Edgemoor, if you arrive in Ithaca after 10:00 pm, go to your dorm building. Outside will be posted the phone number for the on call residence advisor (RA) who can give you access to the dorm and your room. For students without the ability to dial U.S. cell phone numbers you can use the ramteck phone located outside the dorm building. Dial 5-1111 which will connect you to the Cornell Police. The Cornell Police will forward your call to the on-call Residence Advisor (RA) for you. The RA will let you into your room but you will not at this time be given your room key. (Note that if you leave your room, you will need to contact the on call RA again to get back into your room. Please be considerate of the RAís time). You will be able to process your StarRes housing check in and pick up your room key on Tuesday morning between 8 am and 9:30 am at the RPCC Service Center. Please meet your PREPARE Volunteers right outside your dorm building on Tuesday morning at 8:00 am, and they will guide you to Robert Purcell Community Center (RPCC) for StarRes housing check-in, and then to the breakfast at North Star Dining Hall in Appel Commons, and the Dean's Welcome at Willard Straight Hall.

    Students living on West Campus (Cook, Bethe, Becker, Keeton Rose, 122 McGraw, and 625 University Ave), if you arrive in Ithaca after 10:00 pm, ask the taxi to drop you off at your dorm building. Afterhours arrivals should contact the Graduate Residence Fellow (GRF) on call by using the phone number posted on building's front door. For students without the ability to dial U.S. cell phone numbers you can use the ramteck phone located outside the dorm building. Dial 5-1111 which will connect you to the Cornell Police. The Cornell Police will forward your call to the on-call person for you. Please meet your PREPARE Volunteers right outside your dorm building on Tuesday morning, and they will guide you to the breakfast at North Star Dining Hall in Appel Commons, and the Dean's Welcome at Willard Straight Hall.

    Students living Off-campus, if you arrive in Ithaca after 10:00 pm on Monday night, proceed to your off campus residence. Breakfast on Tuesday morning is at North Star Dining Hall in Appel Commons between 8 and 9:15 am. You will meet the PREPARE team at breakfast and officially join the PREPARE program. Click here for Cornell Campus map.

    10. Since Iíll be arriving early, where can I get basic items like bed sheets, pillows, micro-fridge, stationery, etc.? What size bed sheets should I purchase?

    There are several stores in Ithaca where you will be able to purchase those items, such as Target, K-Mart, Walmart, and Ithaca Mall. During PREPARE, we will take the participants on a trip to Ithaca Mall to purchase some of these items. Alternatively, students can sign up for linen service at Cornell. See below. Concerning the size of bed sheets to purchase, all dormitory beds at Cornell are "twin extra long* single beds. The beds are 8 inches (21cm) thick, 36 inches (92cm) wide and 80 inches (204 cm) long.

    11. How can I sign up for linen service at Cornell?

    Click here for details to sign up for linen service from Residence Hall Linens.

    Students should order two weeks in advance of their arrival at Cornell. If you will be living on North Campus, indicate on the web form that you want your purchase shipped to:
    107 Robert Purcell
    Cornell University
    Ithaca, New York 14853
    Reference Line 1:Student name
    Reference Line 2: Dormitory and Room number

    If you will be living on West Campus, indicate on the web form that you want your purchase shipped to:
    Your address on West Campus
    Cornell University
    Ithaca, New York 14853
    Reference Line 1:Student name
    Reference Line 2: Dormitory and Room number

    12. Where can I buy my winter clothes?

    Ithaca is known for its cold and long wintersóa wonderful opportunity to try some winter sports, like skiing, skating, and sledding! To get through the winter season, where it can get as cold as Ė20 degrees Celcius, you will need a warm hat, scarf, gloves, a heavy jacket, sweaters, wool socks, boots, thermal underwear. If you do not own these items already, we recommend that you buy new or used winter clothing after arriving in Ithaca, rather than buying them at home and filling valuable luggage space! Usually, it does not get very cold until October, so you will have some time to look around for winter clothing after you arrive here in Ithaca. During PREPARE we will provide information on several places that sell new and used winter clothing.

    13. Can my parents stay in my room during PREPARE?

    Parents may not stay in the residence halls during PREPARE, but instead should reserve their own accommodations at a local hotel. To arrange accommodations in Ithaca, please visit this web page. Please note that accommodations fill up quickly, so it is best to book your lodging as soon as possible.

    14. Will I have time to set up a bank account, get a cell phone, buy my textbooks, etc.?

    Yes, we will allocate time slots during PREPARE to allow you to rest, unpack, and take care of important business, such as setting up bank accounts, purchasing a cell phone or calling card, and buying your textbooks.

    15. Can I ship my belongings to the U.S. and have them delivered to my dorm in advance of my arrival on campus?

    Yes, there is a new student pre-arrival delivery service that Big Red Shipping & Storage offers to all new students including incoming freshman and transfers. please visit this web page for more information..

    16. What if I have additional questions that are not on this list?

    Questions?

    Email any questions regarding PREPARE to apr6@cornell.edu