Sponsored Programs

J-1 Visitor Exchange Programs


Sacred Heart University welcomes visiting students and scholars. While the university does not sponsor J visas, we are able to accept short-term students and scholars with J-1 sponsorship from IIE, Cultural VistasFulbright, and other sponsoring agencies. Please select whether you are a student or scholar for further information regarding the application process.

Settling in at SHU

Travel to the US • Fairfield County and CT • Housing • Food • Banking • Cell Phone • Safety • SHU Email and ID Card

Travel to the U.S.


There are several options for international air travel to the Fairfield, CT area:

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Situated in Queens, NY, JFK is located 66 miles (106 km) from Sacred Heart. The best way to travel from JFK to Connecticut is by shuttle. Be aware, there is almost always very heavy traffic on this route.

LaGuardia Airport (LGA) Situated in Queens, NY, LGA is located 56 miles (90 km) from Sacred Heart. The best way to travel from LGA to Connecticut is by shuttle.  Be aware, there is almost always very heavy traffic on this route.

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) Situated in Newark, NJ, EWR is located 76 miles (122 km) from Sacred Heart. There are two ways to travel from LGA to Connecticut. The first is by shuttle. Be aware, there is almost always very heavy traffic on this route. The second is by Amtrak train. Amtrak travels from EWR to the Bridgeport, CT (BRP) train station several times a day. Use the airport shuttle, AirTran, to connect to the Newark Airport train station. You can choose to take the Northeast Regional train or the faster, Acela Express train.

Bradley International Airport (BDL) Situated in Hartford, CT, BDL is located 69 miles (111 km) from Sacred Heart. The best way to travel from BDL to Connecticut is by airport shuttle.

When you arrive in the U.S., you must go through immigration, get your luggage, and go through the customs process. Keep your important documents together and carry them with you so you are ready to present them when asked. Review the Transportation & Security Administration (TSA) security screening policies to ensure smooth travel to the U.S.

Once you have reached your airport, information desks are available to answer any questions. After you collect your luggage, proceed to the ground transportation area, where you will find the shuttle or taxi service you reserved.

GO Airport Shuttle can provide you with transportation from the airport to the Sacred Heart University area. Both group shuttles and private car services are available HERE.

Fairfield County and CT

Surrounded by residential neighborhoods, the Sacred Heart campus is safe, tree-lined, and easy to navigate. SHU’s location in Fairfield County, Connecticut means proximity to world-class hospitals; nationally-ranked elementary and secondary schools; and a high concentration of Fortune 500 corporations located in Connecticut’s “creative corridor,” along with a central location between New York City and Boston.

Area Hotels

Hotel Hi-Ho
4180 Black Rock Turnpike Fairfield, CT 06824
3 miles (4.5 km) from campus
Holiday Inn
1070 Main Street Bridgeport, CT 06604
4.5 miles (7 km) from campus
Best Western Black Rock Inn
100 Kings Highway Cutoff Fairfield, CT 06824
5 miles (8 km) from campus
Trumbull Marriott 
180 Hawley Lane Trumbull, CT 06611
6 miles (9.5 km) from campus
Courtyard by Marriott- Shelton
780 Bridgeport Avenue Shelton, CT 06484
8 miles (13 km) from campus
Marriott Residence Inn- Shelton
1001 Bridgeport Avenue Shelton, CT 06484
7 miles (11 km) from campus
Hampton Inn
129 Plains Road Milford, CT 06460
11 miles (17.5 km) from campus
Hilton Garden Inn- Shelton
25 Old Stratford Road Shelton, CT 06484
9 miles (14.5 km) from campus
Westport Inn
1595 Post Road East Westport, CT 06880
10 miles (11 km) from campus

Malls and Shopping Centers

Westfield Trumbull Shopping Center

Located just a few blocks from campus, the Westfield Mall is one of the largest shopping malls in Connecticut, including over 190 stores, such as Macys, Target, JC Penny, The Gap, and many more. (Target has a grocery store). Located at: 5065 Main Street, Trumbull CT 06611

Turnpike Shopping Center

Turnpike Shopping Center is a large shopping plaza located on Black Rock Turnpike. It includes Eastern Mountain Sports, The Rugged Bear, Pearle Vision, Go Shoe Repair, Choice Pet Supplies, and Webster Bank. The shopping center is also connected to a Shaw’s grocery store. Located at: 2005 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield, CT 06825

Stillson Plaza

Stillson Plaza contains a combination of medical and retail businesses. The plaza contains Harper's Furs, Trader Joe's, Pier 1 Imports and Chase Bank, in addition to a variety of medical offices. Located at: 2228 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield, CT 06825

Other Shopping

Also, located on the busy Post Road in heart of downtown Fairfield Center, students will find many shops, including Banana Republic, Barnes and Noble, The Loft, Victoria's Secret and more!


3710 Main St.
Bridgeport, CT

5065 Main St.
Trumbull, CT

4083 Main St (or) 1000 Park Ave.
Bridgeport, CT

Grocery Stores

Stop & Shop 
4549 Main St.
Bridgeport, CT

Price Rite 
4449 Main St.
Bridgeport, CT

5065 Main St.
Trumbull, CT

Places of Worship

SHU Chapel of the Holy Spirit SHU Interdenominational Prayer Room, UC 112


Chua Phuoc Long
1222 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT
Shambhala Center of New Haven
319 Peck Street
New Haven, CT
CT Diamond Way Buddhist Center
69 Village Circle
Naugatuck, CT
New International Buddhist Temple
19 Kinsey Road
New Hartford, CT


Islamic Community of Fairfield County
57 Pepper Street
Monroe, CT
Masjid An-Noor
1300 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT
Phone: 203-579-2211
Qadri Masjid
4 Elton Court
Norwalk, CT
Phone: 203-852-0847
Stamford Islamic Center
10 Outlook Street
Stamford, CT
Phone: 203-975-2642
Masjid Al-Islam - New Haven
624 George Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Phone: 203-777-8004


Hindu Cultural Center of Connecticut
96 Chapel Street
Stratford, CT
International Society for Krishna Consciousness
1683 Main Street
East Hartford, CT


Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Foundation
622 West Avenue
Norwalk, CT
Connecticut Sikh Association (Gurdawara Guru Nanak Darbar)
1610 West St.
Southington, CT

Local Transportation

Travel to and from Sacred Heart is easy with several major airports in the area, including Kennedy International (JFK) (New York City) LaGuardia (New York City), and Bradley (Hartford, CT). Trains to and from New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C., are just 5 miles (8 kilometers) from campus. The campus SHUttle (seasonal) as well as the public bus system and local taxicab companies transport students to restaurants, shops, and other locations throughout Fairfield and nearby towns and cities.

Driving directions to Downtown Fairfield

  • Turn left out of the main entrance and go north on Park Avenue to the Merritt Parkway South (Route 15)
  • Take the Merritt Parkway South to exit 44
  • Turn left at the light and at left the end of the exit. Then turn left at the next light.
  • Travel 2 miles (3.2 km) until you reach the intersection with Stillson Road. Turn right (Stillson Road turns into North Benson Road).
  • Travel 5 miles (4 km) on North Benson Road until you reach Route 1 (Post Road)
  • Turn right on Route 1 (Post Road) and travel into Downtown Fairfield


The Shuttle Service serves as free campus transportation for students, operating 7 days a week, from campus to off-campus University Housing sites and selected service sites. The shuttle runs on a pre-determined schedule, much like public transportation. The Shuttle Service, called the SHUttle, is operated by the Student Union Office. Download the SHU Shuttle Tracker App for your iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone! You can also view the Shuttle Tracker on the computer, by clicking herePlease Note: There is limited university shuttle service in the summer.

Town Bus

The Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority (GBT) is the local bus company. Route and schedule maps are located at http://gogbt.com/. The website is written in English and Español. The Route 8 Bus has a stop immediately outside the SHU campus and travels to both the Westfield Trumbull Mall and the Bridgeport Train Station.


There are several area taxi companies. One company is: Metro Taxi Phone: (203) 333-3333 www.metrotaxict.com

Bike Share

The town of Fairfield sponsors a Bike Share program. The Fairfield BikeShare is operated by Zane's Cycle, and consists of ten 3-speed, custom designed bikes.  Students can borrow a bike and take a bike ride for FREE. Bikes can be borrowed for fun, exercise, or to park the car and run a few errands on a bike. Zane's check-out location is within walking distance of the Fairfield train station. Bikes are available to borrow at Zane's Cycle, 1215 Post Road (203-256-8735) during their regular hours of operations:

  • Monday-Friday: 10:00 am - 6:30 pm
  • Saturday: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Borrowers must provide a valid driver's license or state photo ID and credit card. More information is available at www.fairfieldct.org/BikeShare


Homestay Placement

Sacred Heart is partnered with Homestay placement agency, WWGSA. A homestay is a wonderful way to become immersed in American culture. Host families genuinely enjoy the experience of opening their homes to students. Home environments are interactive and friendly, yet require students to have an independent mindset.

Apartment Search

Sacred Heart University works with a private company, Jump Off Campus, to provide a central place for students to find off-campus housing. Below are websites that contain a variety of listings for housing availability in the Fairfield County area.


Food and the eating experience is a wonderful way to become immersed into American culture.

Campus Dining

Dining on campus is highly encouraged and offers a wide variety of meals and settings. Be sure to get your SHU ID card from Student Union as it is a form of payment to enter the dining halls. All dining facilities accept cash or SHU card. The University’s meal plan is a hybrid declining balance “all you can eat” program. A convenient way to purchase food is to add points to your SHU ID Card. Points can be used for meals, snacks, and ice cream to grocery items, and convenience items such as toiletries. Points may also be used in 63’S Dining Hall in the main Academic Center, the Food Court in McMahon Commons, Outtakes (a convenience-style store) and at all home football and basketball games. Learn more about SHU dining options here.

Area Dining Guide

There are many wonderful restaurants and cafes in the local area. Here are a few of the places to eat within driving distance of the University, in downtown Fairfield, or conveniently located off the Merritt Parkway.  More restaurant ideas are listed here.

2871 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT
4180 Black Rock Turnpike,. Fairfield, CT
Best Edibles 
4235 Madison Avenue, Trumbull, CT
Cheesecake Factory 
5065 Main Street, Trumbull, CT
Colony Grill Pizza 
1520 Post Road, Fairfield, CT
Flipside Burgers and Bar 
1125 Post Road, Fairfield, CT
Geronimo Southwest Grill 
2070 Post Road, Fairfield, CT
Old Post Tavern 
1417 Post Road, Fairfield, CT
4244 Madison Avenue, Trumbull, CT
Sitting Duck Tavern 
4244 Madison Avenue, Trumbull, CT
Ten Asian Bistro 
5065 Main Street, Trumbull, CT
Upper Crust Bread Company 
4244 Madison Avenue, Trumbull, CT
Ramirez Restaurant
1234 East Main Street Bridgeport, CT
Maione’s Brick Oven Pizza 1244 Stratfield Road Fairfield, CT Archie Moore’s
48 Sanford Street Fairfield, CT
85 Ferris Street Bridgeport, CT
Centro Ristorante & Bar
1435 Post Road Fairfield, CT
1253 Post Road Fairfield, CT
Frank Pepe Pizzeria
238 Commerce Drive Fairfield, CT
Isabelle et Vincent
1903 Post Road Fairfield, CT
King & I Thai
Beardsley Park Plaza Bridgeport, CT
601 Kings Highway East Fairfield, CT
Ralph’ n’ Rich’s
815 Main Street Bridgeport, CT
Joe’s American Bar & Grill 
750 Post Road Fairfield, CT 

Restaurants That Reminds You of Home

Of course, while it is fun to experience the local cuisine, we know that there will be times when you want to experience the tastes of home


Pantanal Restaurant 
215 Frank Street, Bridgeport, CT
Terra Brasilis Restaurant 
1282 North Avenue, Bridgeport, CT


4615 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT
Panda Chinese Restaurant 
983 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT


El Pueblito 
121 Wall Street, Bridgeport, CT


Rootsman Kitchen 
500 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT


Bonani Indian Kitchen 
2090 Black Rock Turnpike, Bridgeport, CT
Bangalore Restaurant 
1342 Kings Highway Cutoff, Bridgeport, CT
Paradise Biryani Pointe 
280 Connecticut Avenue, Norwalk, CT


Costa Del Sol 
3851 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT

Middle Eastern

Layla's Falafel 
2088 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield, CT


O’Manel Restaurant 
1909 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT


Bereket Turkish Restaurant 
4031 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT


2992 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT
Pho Hong Thom 
48 Wood Avenue, Bridgeport, CT
Pho Saigon 
1275 Iranistan Avenue, Bridgeport, CT

Grocery Stores That Reminds You of Home

Bridgeport Food Bazaar 
500 Sylvan Avenue, Bridgeport, CT
Compare Foods (Latin American) 1050 E Main Street, Bridgeport, CT DR Asian Grocery 
730 Maplewood Avenue, Bridgeport, CT
Halal Meat & Int'l Foods 
2200 Madison Avenue, Bridgeport, CT
Istanbul Import Market 
605 Campbell Avenue, Bridgeport, CT
Los Portales Mexican Food 
49 Fort Point Street, Norwalk, CT 06855
Patel Brothers 
330 Connecticut Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06854


Since SHU DOES NOT offer banking services, in addition to your ATM card, we recommend that you bring enough money for the first few days of your stay abroad. This will ensure that should your ATM card not function or you are unable to get money for any other reason, you will have a back-up plan. We also suggest that you write down your card numbers as well as the International Customer Service Helpline number, so that if you encounter any problems (lost/stolen/non-functional card), you can easily contact your bank. In addition, find out if your home bank has a relationship with a U.S. bank. Banking at a “sister” bank may help you avoid some international fees.

Opening a Bank Account

Once you arrive in Fairfield, you may want to open a bank account. When doing so, bring your student ID, passport, and funds you want to deposit. Different banks offer different services; you may wish to compare costs of these services. After opening an account, make yourself familiar with all the services and options available to you from the bank.

Types of Bank Products

  • Checking Account: A checking account will permit you to write checks to make purchases and pay bills. Checks are a good way of keeping record of your money.
  • Debit Card: A debit card allows you to withdraw or deposit money to your checking account using an automatic teller machine (ATM) and to make purchases at stores that accept debit cards.
  • Savings Account: You may withdraw money from a savings account, but may not write a check.
  • Credit Card: A credit card allows you to make purchases even when you have no money immediately available. WARNING: unless you are careful you may be unpleasantly surprised when you get your monthly bill. Interest rates on credit cards can be high.

Banking Tips

Be careful about lending or giving money to anyone, especially strangers. If you are reluctant in the face of a request for money, say "I am sorry but I cannot help you," and politely close the door or hang up the phone. Unless you have initiated a transaction to obtain a product, service or benefit, never give your credit card number, bank account number, or Social Security number to anyone. You may be giving it to a person who will use the information illegally.

Transferring Funds to the U.S.

You need to bring enough money to meet the initial costs of getting to campus and at least one month's expenses. Remember to plan a budget for your time abroad, including emergency funds. Keep in mind that the first month is likely to be among the most expensive periods of your stay because you are setting up your life in the U.S. The following months should not be as expensive. Do not carry large amounts of cash and do not send cash through the mail. When you transfer larger amounts of money, explore the options available to you and learn whether your country has restrictions on sending money abroad. Remember, exchange rates change daily so you should check with your local bank to confirm the daily rate. A general guide on daily currency conversation is located here.

Local Banks

TD Bank 4865 Main St Bridgeport, CT 06606 People's United Bank Brookside Center 4531 Main St Bridgeport, CT 06606 Fairfield County Bank 1089 Madison Ave Bridgeport, CT 06606
Wells Fargo Dolan's Corner Shopping Center 2115 Black Rock Turnpike Fairfield, CT 06825 Chase Bank 123 Boston Ave Bridgeport, CT 06610 Bank of America Commerce Park 4707 Main St Bridgeport, CT 06610

Cell Phones

The following cell phone providers are located inside the Trumbull Westfield Mall, which is located 5 minutes from campus and accessible via the SHU Shuttles.

  • T-Mobile 
    T-Mobile seemed like the best deal for our students. You will not need a social security number, but you need to bring a copy of your visa, have a local billing address, and a contact person in order to apply for the contract. T-Mobile also offers pre-paid/pay-as-you-go phones.
  • Verizon Wireless 
    Verizon’s best options are various pre-paid plans that allow you to bring in your own phone as long as the SIM card is compatible and activate their desired plan. Students have the option of paying per minute, week, or month.
  • Radio Shack 
    Radio Shack offers pre-paid/pay-as-you-go phones.


Campus Safety

Sacred Heart University places a high priority on the personal safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors. The Department of Public Safety is fosters and maintains a safe and secure university environment. While the University can never guarantee 100% safety for members of the university community, measures can be taken to prevent emergencies before they happen. Reading the following information is an important proactive step to ensuring your safety. Sacred Heart University maintains a full time, full service Department of Public Safety. Officers are on duty 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year. Public Safety Officers patrol the entire campus on foot, bicycle or vehicle.

Safety Apps

The University has several useful Campus Safety Apps that students’ can download from the iTunes or Android APP stores.

Text Message Alerts

Sacred Heart has implemented an Emergency Notification system that sends emergency text messages to students. Participation in the Emergency Notification program is mandatory. Students must register their cell phone numbers with the system. All information will be kept confidential.

To enter your information:

  • Go to: https://webadvisor.sacredheart.edu
  • Click on “Log In” and enter your username, in lower case letters, and password.
  • Click on “Students
  • Click on “Emergency Notification Info
  • Verify that your information is correct, and then enter your cell phone number in the field provided. If you do not have a cell phone, please enter the next best contact number at which to reach you.

*Once you submit your phone number, it takes (7) business days for integration into the notification system. **Please do not forget to change this information whenever you change phone numbers.

Local Safety

Sacred Heart University is located at the intersection of three towns: Fairfield, Trumbull, and the north end of Bridgeport. According to the Town of Bridgeport, the “North End” ranks first among the city’s neighborhoods in terms of quality of life. The ranking reflects the neighborhood’s low crime rates, high incomes, and strong educational performance relative to other Bridgeport communities. Bordering towns, Fairfield and Trumbull are relatively prosperous. Located a few miles away, downtown Bridgeport is more urban, with a higher crime rate. Colleges in the U.S. are highly concerned with the safety of their students, and SHU is no exception. SHU offers services such as late-night escort services and designated safe spots on campus to call for help during an emergency. SHU also employ an on-campus public safety staff that is able to quickly respond to emergencies. Remember, while SHU is likely to feel like the safest place in the world to you, bear in mind that the campus, like all U.S. campuses, is completely open to the public, so you need to be alert and aware at all times. Although the SHU campus is generally very safe, you should always be aware of your surroundings and never jeopardize your safety. When traveling and living in the U.S. you should always be cautious, especially in airports, train stations, parks, and tourist areas. You should take the same common sense safety precautions abroad that you would at home. Be aware of your surroundings, keep your valuables concealed, be prudent around strangers, and heed safety advice from SHU .

General Safety Tips

  • Inform your bank or credit card company that you will be abroad so they do not block purchases.
  • Make photocopies of credit and debit cards along with other essential documents: take one set of copies abroad and leave one set with someone at home.
  • Carefully guard your passport, visas, and other documents. Keep the originals secured in your room, and carry the photocopies with you.
  • When traveling, utilize a money belt that can be worn underneath your clothing.
  • Keep your eyes on your bags at all times, especially when talking on the telephone or reading a sign or train schedule.
  • Don not go anywhere with strangers if you are alone.
  • Always stay in well-lit and well-traveled places. Don’t take short cuts through alleys or unsafe areas.

Know the Laws

It is your responsibility to know the laws of your host country. You cannot say “ I didn’t know.” You must follow all U.S. laws and University rules.

It is illegal:

  • For anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or drink alcohol
    • It is also illegal to drink alcohol and drive
  • To supply alcohol to someone under 21
    • Penalties include fines and jail
  • To buy, sell, or use drugs
    • Penalties include fines, jail, and deportation
  • To assault another person (physical, sexual, online harassment, etc.)

SHU Email and ID Card

SHU Network Account
Students are required to activate their SHU Network Account immediately after receiving a SHU ID. Activating the account creates a username and password, which is used to access the internet, create a SHU email account, and access other online services.

SHU ID and ID Card
Everyone must carry their SHU Identification Card (SHUCard) at all times and must show it to campus officials upon request. The ID card acts as a library card, meal card, and for entrance to events. The ID room is located in the Student Union Office and is open Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM (hours may be shorter in the summer).

University Communication Policy

Email is the official method of communications for all Sacred Heart University faculty, staff, and students. It is important that you set up your account immediately, and regularly check your emails for important information.

STUDENTS: To check your email go to MySHU (http://myshu.sacredheart.edu) . You will be prompted to enter your SHU user ID and password. On the left side under Launch Pad, click on the Outlook icon to access your email.

FACULTY: To check your email go to https://owa.sacredheart.edu/owa. You will be prompted to enter your SHU user ID and password.