The Culinary Institute of America

  • Traveling Guide

    The sections that follow offer information to help you plan your trip to the United States and the CIA campus in Hyde Park, NY. Please note that any toll-free "800" telephone numbers can only be used in the United States.

    Please note: You are responsible for yourself and your family with regard to immigration and visa laws. CIA staff will provide assistance and advisement where possible, but ultimately, you are responsible for knowing and complying with the laws of the United States, your home country, and the laws of the countries to which you travel while you are a CIA student. This includes non-immigrant F-1 visa regulations.

    Things to Do Before Leaving

    1. Make sure you have a valid passport with a F-1 visa stamp from a U.S. Embassy. Canadians do need passports but not visas to enter the U.S. They must present Form I-20 A-B and financial documentation at the Canadian/U.S. border.
    2. Remember to bring the I-20 form.
    3. Obtain required health insurance.
    4. Make your housing reservation.
    5. Read the travel directions to The Culinary Institute of America.
    6. Have a medical and dental checkup and mail or fax to the CIA proof that you have had the MMR and Hepatitis A immunization.
    7. If you are staying in a residence hall, be sure to pack sheets, blankets, and a pillow, unless you plan to purchase these items here.
    8. Be aware that you may not bring any alcoholic beverages, uncooked food, plants or fruit with you. These items will be seized by U.S. customs.
    9. If you have a valid driver's license, bring it with an official English translation.

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    What Type of Clothing to Bring

    The CIA is located in Hyde Park, NY, in the northeastern region of the United States. The Northeast has a varied climate, one that allows residents to enjoy four distinct seasons. During the change of seasons (late spring, summer, and fall), light coats and jackets are appropriate for outdoor wear. Summers can be very warm, with average temperatures between 66 degrees and 82 degrees F (19 degrees to 28 degrees C). For this time of the year (June-August), light clothing is needed. Average winter temperatures range between 20 degrees and 30 degrees F (-7 degrees to -1 degrees C) from December through March. Please note that during these months, the temperature can also be significantly colder. Snow often falls during the winter and you can expect rain during any season of the year. You should bring appropriate clothing such as a warm coat, gloves, hat, woolen scarf, raincoat, umbrella, windbreaker jacket, waterproof boots, and long-sleeved garments.

    Casual clothing for everyday wear as well as business-like attire for formal activities and dining in the CIA's restaurants is also recommended. If you plan to take advantage of our Student Recreation Center gym, swimming pool, and other athletic facilities, you should bring appropriate athletic wear. You may also purchase whatever clothing you need in local stores.

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    College Vacations

    The CIA community refers to student vacation periods as winter and summer breaks. The winter break is approximately two weeks long and coincides with the Christmas (December 25) and New Year's Day (January 1) holidays. The summer break is about three weeks in duration and usually takes place in July. Because college-wide maintenance and construction projects are performed during these breaks, all students must vacate their on-campus housing. You should therefore plan alternative living or travel arrangements for these vacation periods.

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    Helpful Websites

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