Travel to Site


Please purchase your airline tickets as soon as possible after placement, and please adhere to the arrival and departure guidelines listed below when making travel plans: with limited staff and transportation options, our staff is unable to accommodate flights outside the times stated. Duke TIP cannot assume responsibility nor provide housing, meals, transportation, or supervision for students arriving before or departing after the listed program dates.

Airports and travel times

Duke University

  • Airport: Raleigh-Durham International (RDU)
  • Term 1 arrival: June 15, noon–3 p.m.
  • Term 1 departure: June 29, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • Term 2 arrival: July 6, noon–3 p.m.
  • Term 2 departure: July 20, 10 a.m.–2 p.m

New College of Florida

  • Airport: Sarasota-Bradenton International (SRQ)
  • Arrival: July 13, noon–3 p.m.
  • Departure: July 27, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

PARI Observatory

  • Airport: Asheville Regional (AVL)
  • Term 1 arrival: June 9, noon–3 p.m.
  • Term 1 departure: June 23, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • Term 2 arrival: June 30, noon–3 p.m.
  • Term 2 departure: July 14, 10 a.m.–2 p.m
  • Term 3 arrival: July 21, noon–3 p.m.
  • Term 3 departure: August 4, 10 a.m.–2 p.m

Note: If your child’s arrival or departure times deviate by more than one hour from the ranges stated above, you must call TIP at (919) 668-9100 for approval before you purchase your tickets. We cannot guarantee transportation otherwise.

Duke TIP only uses the airports designated in the chart for specific sites, and can only provide supervision and transportation on arrival day and departure day at the designated airports—and during the time frames—listed above.

Getting from the airport to campus

Students arriving by plane will meet Duke TIP staff (wearing Duke TIP staff T-shirts) in baggage claim, then take chartered buses or vans to campus.

While we make every effort to transport students as soon as possible, the large volume of students may require them to wait with TIP staff for several hours. Please make sure your child has money on hand to purchase snacks or a meal during travel and waiting times.

Arriving by car

Students arriving by car will be provided with an exact drop-off location and parking information prior to arrival day. Duke TIP staff will greet all car arrivals and assist students with check-in and move-in.

Unaccompanied minor status

Most students travel to their Field Studies sites without being accompanied by a parent or guardian.

In a few cases, students must travel as “unaccompanied minors”—a status designated by an airline that denotes a child who flies with specially arranged airline supervision, either because the airline deems the child to be too young to travel alone or because a parent specifically requests it. Unaccompanied minor status requires an extra fee, which varies among airlines.

Please be sure you understand these rules and their implications.

Typically, a student traveling as an unaccompanied minor:

  • must have picture identification; the airline can provide guidance as to acceptable forms of identification
  • is not allowed to travel on the last flight of the day
  • may be required to travel with the same airline provider from the city of origin to the destination
  • may not be eligible for connecting flights
  • will be met at the arrival gate (not at baggage claim) by a Duke TIP staff member on arrival day
  • will be escorted through security and to the departure gate on departure day

Determining and arranging unaccompanied minor status

Each airline sets its own policy for unaccompanied minors, so you should consult with your airline to learn more before arranging air travel.

If your child will fly as an unaccompanied minor, please complete the following steps:

  • Clarify with the airline’s restrictions and ensure your child can arrive and depart within the designated time frames.
  • The airline will require the name, address, and telephone number of the Duke TIP staff person meeting your child at the airport on arrival day and escorting your child through security on departure day. Because we will not have this information at the time you purchase your ticket, provide the following information as a placeholder: David Mallen, Director of Student Affairs, 300 Fuller Street, Durham, NC 27701, (919) 668-9100.
  • Two days before your child’s flight, call your campus on-site office or Group Leader to request the names of staff who will escort your child on arrival and departure day. This phone number will be provided in May.

Then call the airline to update the name of the Duke TIP staff member who will be picking up your child from the airport for arrival day; repeat for departure day.

Please complete your child’s transportation information in the online student portal, and in addition to providing arrival and departure information, note that your child is traveling under the airline’s unaccompanied minor status.