Pre-Arrival Information

Travel from Philadelphia International Airport 

The easiest way to travel from the airport to Wistar is by taxi ( about $20 plus 15% tip). There are also various private shuttle services, including Dave’s, Deluxe and Lady Liberty which will take you from the airport to the University City or Center City areas for about $10. Advance reservations for these shuttle services are not required. After you pick up your luggage at the luggage claim area in the terminal, go to the ground transportation desk and ask for assistance or contact these companies directly by calling their numbers. The shuttle service operator will tell you when and where to meet the van. In addition, there is train service from the airport to University City, which is near the The Wistar Institute. The R-1 Airport train costs approximately $5.50 one way. 

Local Public Transportation 

Philadelphia has several means of public transportation to take you in and around the city and to other U.S. cities. Provided are the names of the transportation agencies and their websites:

SEPTA: Philadelphia's local bus, trolley and subway: www.septa.org
Greyhound: Bus, long-distance travel: www.greyhound.com 
Amtrak: Train, long-distance travel: www.amtrak.com
Philadelphia International Airport: www.phl.org

Traveling In the United States

Helpful Advice:
If you have any problem while traveling in the U.S., ask people of authority for advice. In the airports and bus stations of large cities, the Traveler's Aid Society can provide some assistance.

Personal Safety While Traveling in the United States 

When you arrive in any U.S. city, you must take precautions so that you will not become the victim of crime. Common crimes, such as robbery or assault, are unfortunate aspects of today's society. While certain situations cannot be prevented, no matter what precautions are taken, there are a few things you can do to decrease your chances of becoming a victim of crime:

  • Do not display or carry large amounts of money or jewelry in a careless way. If you carry a handbag, keep it secured under your arm or draped across your body. A wallet should be kept in the front pocket of your pants. Use traveler’s checks, money orders or credit cards for large purchases.
  • Avoid walking alone at night. If you must walk anywhere alone, stay on well lit streets with frequent traffic, walk close to the street curb and avoid short-cuts. When possible take a taxi to and from your destination.
  • If you are approached by someone demanding you for your money, do not resist. It is better to turn over your money than to risk personal injury. Call the police as soon as possible.
  • Be careful when accepting help from strangers; they may not be trustworthy. Ask a police officer or other person in authority for information.
  • Beware of "con artists" - these are individuals who offer you money or the opportunity to make money in exchange for some small service or assistance from you. Never, under any circumstance, give money to such a person. You will end up losing your money. If you have trouble, notify the police immediately.

Temporary Housing

You may need to make arrangements for temporary housing in one of several places located around the Institute that can accommodate you for a few days, weeks or months. Listed are some of the places that can provide temporary housing. Please call the telephone numbers provided for current rates, availability, and deposit information.

The Clark House
231 South 42nd Street
Phila., PA 19104
(215) 386-5726 email:info@domusite.com
 PENN TOWER HOTEL 
34th & Civic Center Blvd. 
Phila., PA 19104 
(215) 387-8333
www.upenn.edu/penntower
   
SHERATON HOTEL
36th & Chestnut Streets
Phila., PA 19104 
(215) 387-8000 
www.sheraton.com/universitycity
 KEN M. TRUST
249 South 45th Street (office)
251 S. 44th Street (units)
(215) 222-4440
Email: moloz@eathlink.net
   
ALAN KLEIN APARTMENTS 
4701 Pine Street (office)
The Fairfax Apartments
43rd & Locust Streets
(215) 748-3339 
www.penngradapts.com
 INTERNATIONAL HOUSE
3701 Chestnut Street 
Phila., PA 19104 
(215) 895-6535 
www.ihousephilly.org
   
The Courts 
3500 Powelton Ave. 
Phila., PA 19104 (888) 684-2186
 

Korman Communities
(877)korman2
www.kormancommunities.com

   
Philadelphia House 
6374 Overbrook Avenue 
Phila.,PA 19151 
(215) 877-2680 email: Philadelphia.House@verizon.netwww.geocities.com/philhaus
 University of Pennsylvania Temporary Housing web page:http://www.business-services.upenn.edu/offcampusliving/
housingsearch/tempfacts.htm

 

Permanent Housing

There are a variety of factors to be considered when making this choice: proximity to campus, costs, security, personal and family lifestyles, and transportation. Philadelphia is comprised of five major sections: West Philadelphia, South Philadelphia, North Philadelphia, Center City, and Northeast Philadelphia. The section of the city in which the Institute is located is West Philadelphia-specifically, the community of University City. Find out more about permanent housing by contacting:

University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Off-Campus Living:www.upenn.edu/offcampusliving

Mailing and Shipping

When you move to your permanent address, notify the post office immediately so your mail can be delivered directly to you. The Human Resources Department should also be notified of address changes. You will also be required to notify the US Citizenship and Immigration Services of any change of address within ten (10) days of the change.

Personal and household effects should be mailed whenever possible, rather than shipped. Benefits to be gained in mailing are ease of clearing through customs (often without even appearing in person at the post office), and saving on shipping charges. Used personal and household effects may be subject to duty. If you do ship anything by sea or air freight, try to have your things shipped all the way to the port of Philadelphia, as shipping to other ports will necessitate additional brokerage and forwarding charges.

United States Post Office: www.usps.com

Schools for Children

There are two types of schools in the Philadelphia area: public and private. Public schools are free. Children usually are assigned to the school that serves the neighborhood where they live. Some parents choose to live in a certain neighborhood because of the reputation of its public school.

The three levels of education for children in the U.S. are: 
1st - 6th grade (ages 6-12) 
7th - 8th grade (ages 13-14) 
9th - 12th grade (ages 15-18)

Philadelphia School District: www.philsch.k12.pa.us

Some of the private schools in Philadelphia are sectarian. Two systems predominate:

The Catholic school system is the largest and has dozens of schools at every educational level.

The Society of Friends (Quakers) has a number of schools, again at all levels.

Private Schools: www.privateschool.about.com

Day Care Services

In the United States, it is common for both parents in a family to work outside the home and enroll their preschool children in day care centers, or arrange for a baby-sitter to look after them at home. There are several day care centers in the University area that look after preschool-aged children during the day. If you are looking for a good child care center, make sure that it is licensed by the state, has a low staff/child ratio, and provides an environment that encourages learning and personal development.

Child Care Information Services of Philadelphia:www.philadelphiachildcare.org

Penn Children's Center: www.business-services.upenn.edu/childcare