Due to additional security measures, you can expect to be fingerprinted and photographed upon your arrival in the United States. You should carry a copy of this letter with you during your travel should there be any question about your visit to the U.S.
You might also wish to review information located on both of these websites regarding airline travel in and around the U.S.:
All SUSI participants attending our Kansas Institute will be arriving at an airport in Washington, DC, on Thursday June 25th. The Institute staff will meet you at the airport – we’ll have our signs from the Institute with us! – and you will travel with us to our hotel, where we will be staying during our time in DC. If for any reason your flight is delayed or changes, we will still plan to have Institute staff meet you based on your flight change. For any delay or emergency, please plan to call Mary Banwart (785-865-8433).
You should plan to pack at least one outfit and a few toiletries in your carry-on luggage, as checked baggage can sometimes be delayed on international flights and you may have to wait a day or two for your things to arrive. Also, expect long delays (up to three hours) at your initial port of entry into the U.S. due to increased security measures.
Please note: You will need to claim your luggage at your port of entry in order to go through customs. Failure to do so is the #1 reason that luggage is lost and/or delayed. This is very important!!
Please also note: Be sure to carry with you the letter you received from the State Department confirming your participation in the Study of the U.S. Institute on Women’s Leadership, which you should use, along with this letter, in the event that immigration or customs officials seek additional documentation about your stay in the United States. If there are any complications at your airport of entry in to the United States or in Washington DC, please call Mary Banwart (785-865-8433). To make a phone call from the airport you may need at least 50 cents, but it could cost up to $3.00 at some airports.
And… Important Advice!: Advice from all of our alumni participants is to pack light! Leave some room in your bags when you travel to the U.S. so that you are able to return home with items you might purchase here.
There are weight limits on all bags flying within and out of the U.S. So keep that in mind when you select your luggage size and consider items you are packing. U.S. airlines have both overweight penalties (for bags over 50 lbs the penalties range from $50 – $75/bag) and also oversized luggage penalties. We strongly advise you to select luggage to check on your flight that is no more than 62 inches (length + width + height) total; the airline that we will be flying when we travel from Washington DC to Lawrence, Kansas, stipulates this to be the largest size you can check without incurring an oversized luggage penalty. It has also been our experience that any luggage larger than this is also always overweight, thus incurring both oversized and overweight penalties.
Therefore, should you feel you need something larger than this size (length + width + height equaling no more than 62 inches), we encourage you to check two bags of reasonable size rather than incur much more costly penalties with one really large bag.
In sum, please note:
For checked bags:
- When we are traveling domestically (within the US, specifically from Washington DC to Lawrence, Kansas), your first checked bag will be free and the Institute will cover the cost should you have a second checked bag, as long as it is under the weight and size limitations.
For carry-on bags:
- Only two carry-on bags are allowed per passenger, and they must be small enough to fit under your seat or in an overhead bin – please note the airlines will measure each bag when we travel domestically.
The Institute participants will be leaving Lawrence on July 29th to travel throughout the Midwest region of the U.S. for the final excursion of our educational travel segment, ultimately arriving in Chicago, Illinois, on July 31st. The program ends on August 2nd, when you will be returning to your home country from O’Hare Airport in Chicago.