Newcomer’s Guide

Dear Incoming Student;

Congratulations on your admission to the University of Delaware! We take this opportunity to welcome you and look forward to meeting you soon. In this letter, we will try to address some of the concerns you might have as a student coming from Turkiye. There are about 100 Turkish students and several families in the surrounding area. We assure you that we will do our best to help you settle down and feel at home in Newark. Please take the time to read through the following information which will help you prepare for your arrival here.


  • We suggest that you go for a comprehensive eye and dental examination. Most health insurance policies don’t cover these. A typical eye exam is about $75 and a pair of spectacles is $200. Dental problems are even more expensive to correct – anywhere in excess of $500! So we repeat, please take care of any eye/teeth problems before leaving Turkiye. Bring your immunization records if possible. The university requires incoming students to take TB (Mantoux) test as well, so please try to get that done in Turkiye. If you are on prescription medicines/drugs, carry sufficient supply to last at least a few weeks. Bring your doctor’s prescription in case the customs officials ask for it or you need fresh supply here. Unless you aren’t too particular about what you eat, invest some time in learning basic cooking skills before leaving home. You can bring some spices but make sure they are sealed and packed properly. Regarding meat and milk products (i.e. beyaz peynir), US customs laws prohibit entrance of these substances. There are some Turkish, Greek and Arabic shops around where you can find almost everything. When buying a ticket to US, try to arrive in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (known as "Philly" to the locals). If your travel agency books you to New York or some other city, then try to get a connecting flight to Philly. BEWARE – make sure you are not booked to a flight to Newark, New Jersey which is about 2.5 hours drive from here! Remember, Newark, Delaware does not have an airport. Please contact TASA or someone from the university and inform them of your travel plans. Feel free to contact TASA with any questions or concerns you might have. If someone in US contacts with us on your behalf make sure that they tell us your full name, and ALL the flights you will be taking in addition to your final time of arrival in Philly. This is so in the case of a delay we know where you are! Make sure that your tickets are confirmed well in advance – the last thing you’d want is to be rushing around at the last hour trying to get your tickets confirmed. MONEY – When you arrive at the airport, you may need to give some tip to the people carrying your luggage or for the busses; so carry around some $1 or $5 dollar bills with you. UNLESS people ask for money, DON’T give money to people. They will ask for it. Nobody accepts bills greater than $50 here, so don’t carry any $100 bills and if you do, DON’T show it to anyone. $20 is a large amount here. Do not carry all your money with you. Either use a credit card or traveler’s check. There is a few Turkish Banks, but they are mostly at large cities and you may not reach them for a long time. Traveler’s checks are accepted at almost every local bank. In case you use a credit card, there will be a small amount (between $1.00 and $3.00) of charge every time you use your credit at the ATM machines. And be warned that every time you withdraw money from ATM machines, you will be charged an extra amount for cash advance.
    Though it is not common, your luggage may get delayed or misplace in transit. Make sure you keep your passport, money, ticket ON YOURSELF – a money belt is the most common way to do this. Keep a few items of clothing in your handbag in case you need to spend a few days without your suitcases. Carry photocopies of your passport and university related documents in your handbag. Should you miss a connecting flight, keep in mind that you can speak to the airline staff at the ticketing counter and be put on the next available flight. Do not hesitate to ask people authorized to provide assistance at any stage of your travel.
    We will make every effort to see that you are picked up at the Philly airport. If you have already contacted someone to pick you up then things should be fine. Note that Philly is about 30-40 min from Newark and traffic jams might delay things further. In the event you arrive without contacting anyone for a ride, you can take the shuttles. They can take you to Newark for around $30-$50.
    Try and arrive in Newark around a week or so before the orientation. That will give you enough time to overcome the jetlag and meet people around here as well as find a place to stay. Most graduate students rent apartments off-campus and there are several complexes within 10-20 minutes walking distance which is ideal for new students. Regarding weather, Newark is pretty moderate by US standards. Summers (June-August) are hot and humid with temperatures around 35C. We get a reasonable amount of snow in winter (December-March) and it can get as cold as –15C. Spring and autumn are the best times of the year.
    Here is a list of things that might help you in packing – it is by no means a complete and comprehensive list. Do bring whatever else you feel necessary. The list was prepared based on what most graduate students have brought with them in the past, but it varies quite a bit from person to person.
    A few sweaters/pullovers/cardigans A few pairs of formal clothing (suit for job interviews and functions) Light Jacket for fall A heavy winter jacket and a snow boot here
    Contact students in your department regarding these. You can bring couple books that you think you will need here.
    Visa Documents: I-20 or J-1 (keep at least two photocopies) Passport Degree and other certificates All university related correspondence Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap. NO Deodorant, NO Cutlery… A change of clothing (in case if you need to spend a few days without your suitcases) Medicines you might need (headache, stomach, fever, etc) Address book with names/numbers/addresses of contacts here. Also note down your I-20 or J-1 and passport numbers Traveler’s checks serial numbers, etc.
    Cash- not more than $300 and bigger than $20 bills At least $2 in quarters (25 cents coins) or get dollar bills ($1 etc)
    Make several photocopies of your important documents and keep them in separate bags.Keep two copies in your handbag. Get as many transcripts as you can. Make sure your travel-related documents (I-20, passport) are on you all the time.


We hope this information helps you in your preparations to come to the University of Delaware. Again do not hesitate to contact us.

Above all have a safe, comfortable and nice journey – traveling to a new country is a fun experience!

Best of luck and enjoy America!