Travel and Transportation

Potsdam is a small village in upstate N.Y. and public transportation is limited. Modes of transportation in Potsdam may include bicycles, walking, rental cars or taxi services such as Uber.

Schenectady is located in the heart of the capital region in N.Y. and there are a number of transportation options. Visit the Capital Region Chamber for more information.

Getting Around

Driving in NYS - you are able to drive in the United States if you have a valid driver's license from your home country. You must be able to understand the license is valid therefore, if it is not in English you may need to provide an International Driving Permit which will verify that you hold a valid license in your home country. To apply for a NYS driver's license you will need to take the driver’s test and comply with the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) requirements to apply for a driver's license. Details can be found on their website.

Rental Cars: You can rent a vehicle from a local rental car agency. Please note that you will be required to have a valid driver’s license and may incur higher costs based on age requirements. Please see local rental car companies for additional details.


  • Potsdam: Trailways is the bus company that provides transportation around NYS and beyond for nominal costs.
  • Schenectady: Greyhound is the bus company that provides transportation around NYS and beyond for nominal costs.

Travel Basics

Student & Scholars may travel freely within the United States – however – it is advised that you carry all original documents when traveling. This would include your passport – visa – form I-20/DS-2019 – and – I94 information.

At the Border

When you enter the U.S. through a port of entry (by land or sea) you need to show your immigration documents as noted below. If you encounter problems at the border – don't panic. Contact the International Center at 315-268-3943 during normal business hours (8-4:30 EST). After hours please contact campus safety at 315-268-6666 and they will contact someone from the International Center.

I-94 Record

All entries to the U.S. will create an arrival record and you will be issued an admission number or I-94. This document/number is very important as it contains your admission number, visa type, date of arrival and the duration you are allowed to stay. When you enter the country through an airport this will be an electronic number, when traveling through a land border this will be a small white card stapled in your passport.

Note: since your I-94 tracks your arrivals and departures from the U.S.  each time you leave the U.S. your electronic record will show your departure and you will receive a new electronic record upon each entry.

Travel outside the U.S.

Travel outside of the U.S. may require a visa to enter other countries. Please be sure to check the embassy or consulate for the country you wish to visit to determine what documentation is require to enter that country. To return to the U.S. you must have the following documents:

  • Passport – valid for at least 6-months into the future
  • Visa – an unexpired visa for the current status you hold (i.e. F1 / J1)
  • Form I-20 / DS-2019 with a current travel signature
    • The signature on your form I-20 / DS-2019 should be within the last year – check this before traveling
  • Proof of SEVIS fee receipt (may not be needed)

Travel to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands

Our proximity to Canada makes travel there a likely option – however – please confirm with the Consulate with the country you wish to visit to determine if a visa is necessary to visit the country.

Automatics Visa Re-validation: In general you must have a valid visa every time you wish to enter the United States. However some exceptions apply when you travel to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands and

  • You do not apply to renew your U.S. visa
  • You do not stay more than 30 days – and –
  • You are not a citizen of a State Sponsor of Terrorism designated country

Visa Renewals

U.S. visas are issued outside the United States. Please visit the consulate or embassy in your home country to renew your visa stamp. You may travel to Canada or Mexico to renew your visa – please be sure to review the proper procedures as a third country applicant.

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