Wilkes University

Preparing for Arrival

Welcome to Wilkes University!

Congratulations on being accepted to one of the best small universities in the country.
The following information will help you plan for your arrival.

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania is located in the Eastern Time Zone (EST).  

Northeastern Pennsylvania has a varying climate with four distinct seasons. Temperatures vary considerably from year to year.  During spring, summer, and fall, moderate periods of rainfall occur; snow falls periodically throughout the winter months.

Summer: June - September; 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit; 10 to 32 degrees Centigrade

Fall: September - November; 20 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit; -7 to 26 degrees Centigrade

Winter: December - March; 0 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit; -18 to 7 degrees Centigrade

Spring: April - June; 40 - 72 degrees Fahrenheit; 4 to 22 degrees Centigrade

Outerwear: Three basic types of outerwear are essential.  In winter heavy jackets or overcoats, hats, scarves, gloves, and boots are needed.  During chilly autumn and spring days, raincoats or medium-weight jackets or coats are worn outdoors and sweaters are often worn indoors.  A light-weight jacket is sometimes necessary for cool nights during spring, summer, and fall.

Personal Items: Most students like to bring examples of arts, crafts, traditional dress, photographs, tapes or CDs, maps, or other items descriptive of their country and culture; both to show interested Americans and to provide a touch of home decoration in their new homes.  You may want to bring items you use regularly that may not be readily available, or may be more expensive in the United States--for example eyeglasses, cameras, watches, or portable radios.  You may also have the opportunity to visit a duty-free port in the United States where such items may be purchased at a reduced cost.

You can obtain a booklet on customs regulations at the consulate or embassy where you acquire your visa.  Prohibited items include some foodstuffs, narcotics, and items for resale.  For more information, you can also visit the website of the U.S. Customs Service.

Since students are expected to buy required textbooks for all courses, supplemental reading materials for review and research are available in libraries.  You need not bring any books used in previous study.

It is best to purchase electrical appliances after you arrive; appliances manufactured outside the U.S. may not be compatible with the power supply or may not be allowed inside the residence halls.

 It is a good idea to exchange currency for U.S. dollars before your departure, but you should not travel with large amounts of cash--there is too much danger of loss or theft.  If you anticipate bringing large sums of money to the United States, ask a bank about the safest and most convenient means of carrying or transferring funds.  Remember that if you carry more than $10,000 in U.S. or foreign currency, traveler's check, money orders or negotiable instruments, you must report it on your Customs From at the U.S. port of entry.  Failure to do so can result in the seizure of the currency.  If you make arrangements for funds to be transferred in U.S. dollars to a U.S. bank before you leave home, that money will be available to you when you arrive on campus.  Foreign currency is not readily available in most U.S. cities, and the University and all local businesses accept only U.S. dollars.

When you arrive in the United States, you should have sufficient funds to cover your expenses when you reach Wilkes.  the amount depends, of course, on your travel plans.  Once you have decided on your itinerary and estimated expenses, you may wish to purchase traveler's checks in U.S. dollars for the amount of you money you need.  Traveler's checks, obtained at banks or travel offices, can be cashed by banks and most businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and airports.

It is also advisable to carry a small amount of U.S. cash--at least fifty dollars in paper currency and two or three dollars in coins or "change" for telephones, baggage lockers, bus fares, and tips.

American money is based on a decimal system.  One US dollar equals one hundred cents.  Paper currency is used for US$1 and over.  Coin currency is used for amounts less than US$1.

Click here for more detailed information on housing.

Until you have a mailing address in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, you may have your letters (NOT PARCELS) mailed to you in the care of the International Student Services Office.  The address is:

International Student Services Office
Wilkes University
84 West South Street
Wilkes-Barre, Pa 18766 USA

"Hold for Arrival" should be marked on the envelope.

DO NOT send baggage to the International Student Services Office.

The University cannot be responsible for the security of any forwarded mail.