If you are seeking admission to the United States in F-1 or J-1 visa classification, you may arrive in the US no more than 30 days prior to the start date on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019.
Upon your arrival in the US, you will need to make arrangements for your accomodations until you are able to check in to your assigned residence hall on the Virginia Tech campus on Monday, August 21st, 2017. You will find information in the Lodging section below regarding your options for accomodations prior to that time.
Please be sure to take our Flight Information Survey - this will help us determine staffing and possible shuttle service for certain high-traffic arrival times at the Roanoke Regional Airport. In the meantime, please be sure to plan for alternative transportation to campus.
Roanoke Regional Airport (ROA) is the closest airport to Virginia Tech; ROA is located about 38 miles (61 km) from campus. ROA is a local airport that only receives domestic flights within the U.S.; the nearest international airports are:
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) - located in Charlotte, North Carolina (176 miles / 284 km from campus)
- Dulles International Airport (IAD) - located in Washington D.C. (254 miles / 409 km from campus)
Regardless of which airport you choose, make sure you allow 3-4 hours between connecting flights from your Port of Entry (the airport to which you first arrive in the US) to your next flight to allow for important processing with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
If you plan to arrive via Roanoke Regional Airport, please note that Cranwell International Center plans to have a staff member present at the airport to greet incoming students and help with any questions you may have about traveling to campus and more; see Ground Transportation below for more information.
Once you've arrived at your final airport destination, you will need to arrange for ground transportation to campus.
If you plan to arrive via Roanoke Regional Airport, please note that Cranwell International Center plans to have a staff member present at the airport to greet incoming students and help with any questions you may have about traveling to campus and more.
Please complete the following short survey to let us know your flight plans. This will help us determine the dates and times when we will be able to have a staff member present at the airport to greet and assist you.
Your ground transportation options from ROA to Virginia Tech include the following:
- You can take the Smartway bus to campus. You will be dropped off at the Squires Student Center. Smartway is an affordable and convenient choice for most students who plan to arrive Monday through Saturday. The bus does NOT run on Sundays. Be sure you have $4.00 (CASH ONLY) for bus fare and be aware of the scheduled stop times prior to arrival at the airport. Travel time to campus is just over an hour, with the earliest buses leaving at 6:35 AM, Monday through Saturday, and the last buses leaving at:
- 7:10 PM, Mondays through Thursdays
- 9:15 PM, Fridays
- 8:35 PM, Saturdays
- You can schedule a pick-up with Roanoke Airport Transporation Service. You will need to call or email AT LEAST 24 hours prior to your intended pick-up time. This services costs $66 per person, but you may carpool with someone else for a cheaper cost, and is available 24/7.
- For more information regarding car rentals and other ground transportation options, please visit the Roanoke Regional Airport Ground Transportation website.
If you plan to arrive via Dulles International Airport, your options include the following:
- You can take the MegaBus to the Exit 118 Park-and-Ride stop in Christiansburg, Virginia. This bus ride takes roughly 5 hours, plus another 20 minutes from the Christiansburg to campus and usually costs around $33 per person, operating daily. You will need to arrange for a taxi pick-up or use the Smartway bus to travel to campus once you arrive in Christiansburg. Tickets can be purchased online ahead of time.
- For more information regarding car rentals and other ground transportation options, please visit the Dulles International Airport Parking and Transportation website.
Virigina Tech Conference and Guests Services will provide temporary housing beginning August 14, 2017 and ending August 21, 2017, when students will be allowed to check in to their permanant residence hall assignment. Conference and Guest Services will open registration AFTER July 1, 2017. Make sure that you click on "Conference Short Stay" in the menu when registering. Single- and double-occupency rooms will be available, but limited. You can read full instrucitons here.
Blacksburg Transit is the public transportation system that has routes both in Blacksburg and Christiansburg. You may download the BT4U app for Android or iOS, or you can use the web version. This bus service is free to Virginia Tech students with a valid Virginia Tech ID (also known as the Hokie Passport).
There are several options for banking in the surrounding area. Check out your options here.
You can find more information on opening a bank account as an international student here.
If you have a mobile phone from your own country, you will need to inquire about its use in the US. Some cell phone companies in the US require that you have a Social Security Number (SSN) to purchase a service plan, but most international students will not have one. You can ask cell phone companies about service plans available to you and, in most cases, they will offer a pre-paid plan that requires no credit check or SSN, or they may require a larger deposit in lieu of both.
You can find more information regarding local mobile phone providers here.