Before Arriving in Cleveland

Your journey to Case Western Reserve University is an exciting experience. International Student Services would like to help you make your arrival as smooth as possible. The following are some things to keep in mind as you prepare to travel to CWRU. 

Transportation to Campus

Here are instructions on how to reach campus from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Keep these on hand for guidance once you arrive in Cleveland. 

The advantage of taking an Airport Taxi is that the vehicle is inspected weekly and the drivers are trained in customer service and their driving records are checked regularly. 

  • To take an airport taxi, walk towards the “C” terminal side of baggage claim. 

  • Exit the doors near Carousel 11 and look for official “Airport Taxi” vehicles.

  •  You will need to pay the driver and credit cards are accepted. The fare may be anywhere from $58 to $70 depending on the route.

  • Tipping: It is customary to tip the driver if you are pleased with your service. If you choose to tip, you can tip in cash or on your credit card. 15% of the fare is considered a fair tip for good service.  

More information is found on the “Parking and Transportation” portion of the airport website.

Ridesharing apps are popular alternatives to taxis. You can arrange for a driver to meet you at the airport. We recommend you download and set up the app before you arrive for your own convenience. You will need to connect the app to your PayPal account or directly to a credit card.

  • Ridesharing companies pick up outside of the baggage claim area at the Cleveland airport. Drivers do not park in the spot assigned to taxis. 

  • The fare is likely to be over $30 and this will be charged to your chosen payment method on the app.

  •  Tipping: It is customary to tip the driver if you are pleased with your service. If you choose to tip, you can use the app or tip in cash. 15% of the fare is considered a fair tip for good service.

 The RTA, or Regional Transit Authority, has a train that is referred to as The Rapid. 

  • The fare to CWRU costs $2.50 in cash. You will need to have this amount in exact change. 

  • Follow the airport signs marked “RTA” to the boarding platform, which is on the lower level.

  • Use the fare machines to pay for a one-way fare. Ask an RTA employee for assistance if you have trouble with the machines.

  • Board the Airport-Windermere Eastbound Red Line Rapid Transit train (the only one you can ride from the airport).

  • Stay on the train until you reach the University Circle/Cedar station.  This is the 14th stop.  It comes after the “East 105th-Quincy” station.  As you approach you will see a sign on the platform that reads Cedar University.

  • Exit the train to the right when it stops at University Circle. If you have heavy suitcases, you can follow the handicapped signs to the elevator.  To take the elevator, you need to walk around the stairwell along a narrow path. Ride the elevator down one level.

  • Follow the corridor and exit the station through the glass doors.

  • Outside, walk up the stairs to the left to the enclosed bus stop. Do not follow the sign that says “To Buses.”  If you have heavy suitcases, you may wish to use the wheelchair ramp to the right of the staircase.

  • If arriving during the hours which shuttles operate, wait at the bus stop for a bus marked "Circle Link".  (No fare is needed for the Circle Link.)  You can check times and schedules on the Shuttles page.  Use the shuttle maps to navigate to the stop closest to your dormitory. The shuttle tracker app may also be useful.

If you arrive after hours (when the buses are not running), you can use an app like Lyft or Uber. Or, if you have a CWRU ID card already, you can arrange for a Safe Ride.

If you are a new student on-campus, you should receive instructions from First Year Experience (FYE) about how to check into your dorm room outside of the Housing Office’s operating hours. If you are not able to check-in using those instructions, check the list of area hotels below for overnight options.

Carry-on Baggage 

Unfortunately, there is a chance that you will arrive in Cleveland but your checked bags may get lost in transit. Should this happen to you, the airline may take 1-2 days to get your luggage here. We recommend you bring some extra items in your carry-on just in case your luggage gets lost.

Must put in carry-on 

  • I-20 

  • Passport

  • Anything with a lithium-ion battery (cell phones, laptops, etc.)

  • Evidence of financial resources

  • Contact info for your Designated School Official (DSO) at CWRU 

Highly recommended items to put in your carry-on

Cold Weather inforgraphic

Security Guidelines for Packing

The level of airport security for flights coming to the U.S. may be quite different than that of your home country. Be mindful of the following guidelines to ensure you are complying with the requirements set by the U.S. government. These links will provide you with specific information: 

Staying Safe While Traveling

Here are some ways to keep yourself and your items safe upon arrival:

  • Consider a TSA-approved luggage lock.

  • Do not leave your bags unattended at any time.

  • Consider leaving your earbuds out and be aware of your surroundings, especially at night if you are using public transport or walking. 

Move-in Ready 

In addition to having items that you may need during your first couple of days in your carry-on, there are some other things you may need to have when you arrive. If you are living on campus, you can have these items shipped to your campus address. See the section How to Ship Items to Your Campus Address below. (If you are living off campus we do not recommend shipping anything to your apartment building in advance. No one will keep it safe for you, so it may be stolen or sent back.) 

  • Bedding and pillows (bedclothes, linens) 

    • CWRU does not provide bedding or pillows to students living on campus. You need to purchase your own.

    • An easy option is to search for “Bed in a Bag” at any online retailer.

    • Make sure you buy Twin XL sheets. CWRU dormitory beds are extra-long twin beds, which are 36”x80” (91cm x 203cm).

  • Toiletries

    • If you bring travel-sized toiletries — enough to get you through the first few days of living in the U.S. — that should be plenty. You can buy most things here in the U.S. or online.

  • Bath towels 

    • CWRU does not provide towels in the dormitories.

  • Additional U.S. plug adaptors for outlets to charge electronics (laptop, cell phone, tablet, etc.) 

  • Disposable contact lenses

    • Can be purchased through online contact companies

    • One company, 1800 Contacts, accepts prescriptions that have your doctor’s info, contact brand, and measurements written in English. They offer an online eye exam once your prescription is on file and a discount for students.

Other items you may need can be found in the Move-In Information section under campus housing or on the Packing 101 page, along with more information about living on campus.

How to Ship Items to Your Campus Address

For students who are living on campus only,  you can order items online and have them shipped to your CWRU address.  The university mailroom will keep them and you can pick them up when you arrive. They start accepting packages about 7-10 days before a student’s move-in date. Any orders received earlier than 10 days before a student’s arrival may be returned to the sending company, as the mailroom does not have space to store packages all summer.

When the Housing Office emails your housing assignment to your CASE.EDU email account,  the email will have your campus mailing address in it. Use the mailing address in the assignment email as your “shipping address” when ordering things online. Using the main CWRU address (10900 Euclid Ave) will not ensure that your packages get to you. Using your specific campus address will direct your packages to the mailroom nearest your dormitory.

When your package arrives, you will receive an email to your CASE.EDU account letting you know it is in the mailroom.  They will keep the package until you arrive to pick it up. The mailroom hours are the same at either the North or South Residential Village Area Office Hours depending on your residence hall. 

The Office of International Student Services (ISS) is open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (Eastern time) Monday through Friday, except holidays. If you have any difficulty during your travels, please call the office at 216-368-2517.  (This is the main line for the Center for International Affairs (CIA); ISS is part of the CIA.)

If you experience an immigration-related emergency on your way to Cleveland, please call the ISS office, 216-368-2517, or after-hours call CWRU Police 216-368-3300.  Immigration emergencies include being detained at the border or being prevented from entering the US.

If you arrive late at night and need to find a hotel, the airport information desk can help you find a place to sleep for the night. You can ask them to help you call any hotel, though you may wish to choose one near campus. See this list of area hotels for options.