Distance from Home
Choosing to study in Miami has its benefits because there are multiple options for travel since it’s a large city. We are in close proximity to another large city which is Fort Lauderdale. Your student may feel homesick and expect to make frequent trips home, or want to visit for both small and larger holidays. Think about how much it costs for transportation for both one way and round-trip options.
There are two holiday breaks that occur at the end of two semesters that families should consider because your student could potentially be coming home twice in a short time span:
- Spring Break: This break usually occurs for one week in early March. However, the semester ends in the beginning of April. That is a month between travel dates. Will your student spend Spring Break in Miami or come home both times?
- Thanksgiving Recess: This break is during the last few days of November. Then, the semester ends the following week. Make plans for your student to come home for both, or just wait until after Thanksgiving.
Check out the websites below to guesstimate how much a ticket would cost for a date in the future. If you’re flexible with dates, try to plan travel around your student’s last class during the week, or have them return on a Monday morning with enough time for them to make their classes for the day. Sometimes booking two one-way tickets comes out cheaper than one round-trip ticket.
The distance from the university to these ports varies due to the route you take and the time of day you plan to leave. Miami is notorious for traffic at certain times of the day (especially early in the morning between 7am-9am and after 5pm because people are going to or leaving from work – the same highways are used to get to the destinations for your travel).
Also, please be mindful that the Opa-Locka Airport directly next to the university is an executive airport for private planes.
Finding good airfare is a combination of a variety of things:
- Book tickets in advance
- Book two one-way tickets
- Price compare a booking site to the airline site (for example, look at cheaptickets.com and then compare the same flight to jetblue.com)
- Choose flexible days – if your student can return to Miami on Monday morning in enough time to make their afternoon class, book that return flight instead of Sunday
- You can find airfare on so many different sites. Just Google “plane tickets”, but here are a few:
- Airline companies:
- Airfare companies:
- Cheap Tickets
- STA Travel – has airfare for full-time students and travelers under 26 and offers a discount card for all students to over 133,000 places, including international students
- Student Universe – offers booking for students and young adults under 26 for flights, hotels, tours, group flights, activities, airport transfers, and visas
- Airline companies:
- Miami International Airport
- 9 to 18 miles south of the university, or,
- 19-25 minutes by car without traffic
- this is the main airport for the area so expect it to be busier
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
- 19 to 22 miles north of the university, or,
- 19-30 minutes by car without traffic
- this is airport is a large airport too, but generally quieter
Boat/Ferry Travel (Students from the Caribbean)
Students from the Caribbean are close in proximity, but water separates Miami from the islands and there are no bridges in between. Taking a boat or ferry can get you to islands in a few hours. You can picture it as the same as a drive from Miami to Orlando which takes about four hours or less. For families who aren’t local, taking a trip to the Caribbean can be an alternative for you and your family to take a quick vacation on extended weekends or holiday breaks.
- Balearia Caribbean
- Direct Ferries
- Island Ferries
A charter bus is another travel option that is affordable.
- Greyhound – listed from the most southern to the most northern
- Miami International Airport
- Miami Bus Station
- Hollywood Sheridan Tri-Rail Station
- Fort Lauderdale Bus Station
- Boca Raton Tri-Rail Station
- Travel Services of Palm Beach County
- Boynton Beach Tri-Rail Station
- West Palm Beach Bus Station
- The stop for arrivals and departures is at the Miami Intermodal Center at the Greyhound Bus Station at 3801 NW 21st Street (which is close to the Miami International Airport, so that’s 19-25 minutes south of the university by car with no traffic).
- The train connects to most cities throughout the United States. Some transport cars so you don’t have to worry about your student being on the road for extended hours alone.
- The Opa-Locka Tri-rail station is 2.3 miles south of the university, or, 7 minutes by car.
- This is a local train that students can use between the tri-county area which includes the major cities of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. There is a fare calculator on the website.
- There are stops on the train to get to the airports (this includes the West Palm Beach airport if you happen to find a ticket that’s cheaper than the two closer airports).
- The Tri-rail connects to the Amtrak stations (listed from north to south) Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Hialeah and Miami.
If you are coming to drop off or pick up your student, or just coming to the area to visit, Florida Memorial University receives discounts which can be found here. Discounts apply for travel consulting, car rentals, hotels, entertainment services, space rental and computer software.