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Global Engagement

Arriving and Living in Rochester

To help you adjust to living in Rochester, we’ve compiled some information you might find helpful about:

Campus Maps and Directions

The 154-acre River Campus—the main campus—is located about two miles south of downtown Rochester, New York, in a bend in the Genesee River. The River Campus and the Medical Center are adjacent, while the Eastman School of Campus is located downtown.

View online campus maps of the University and surrounding areas by using the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

Visit the Campuses and Landmarks webpage for more information.

Directions to River Campus and the Medical Center

From the Greater Rochester International Airport, 1200 Brooks Avenue, Rochester, NY 14624:

  • Head southeast on Airport Road (0.7 mi)
  • Take a slight right to stay on Airport Road (344 ft)
  • Turn right onto Brooks Ave (0.6 mi)
  • Turn right onto Genesee Park Boulevard (1.0 mi)
  • Turn right onto Genesee Street (240 ft)
  • Turn left onto Elmwood Avenue (0.4 mi)

About the City and Region

Rochester is a vibrant, mid-sized city located on the Genesee River, just north of the Finger Lakes, and within driving distance of Buffalo, Toronto, and New York City.

Referred to as the “Flower City,” it is the birthplace of Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, and Xerox. Rochester has a rich history and offers numerous museums, attractions, music, theatre, festivals, sports, and special events. Our proximity to the Finger Lakes means there are more than 140 festivals and events each year (May–October), plus over 12,000 acres of parkland for boating, hiking, and exploring. The University’s Memorial Art Gallery and Eastman School of Music also offer exhibitions, events, and entertainment.

Visit Rochester, the area’s official tourism promotion agency, highlights more area events and activities for you to enjoy.

Read more about the city of Rochester.

Climate and Seasonal Activities

Rochester lies in the humid continental climate zone and has four distinct seasons. Please be aware of the seasons during which you will be arriving and leaving. This will impact what you bring with you.

Winter (December, January, February)

Winter in Rochester is very snowy. The average temperature is about 28°F (about -2°C). Rochester averages 98 inches (approximately 2.5 meters) of snowfall a year. Be sure to factor in transportation and appropriate winter apparel for this part of year.

Although the temperatures are cold, there is still plenty to do in the winter! Try cross-country skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and downhill skiing. There are also plenty of places to escape from the winter weather: take shelter in the city’s coffee shops, restaurants, book stores, movie theaters, and museums.

Spring (March, April, May)

Spring comes slowly to this region, often snowing on and off through the early months. Typically these are the driest months, averaging 46°F (about 7°C). This is the perfect opportunity to explore our water recreational activities. With water levels high, the Erie Canal and Genesee River offer canoeing, sailing, and kayaking opportunities.

Summer (June, July, August)

This is the warmest time of year. On average the temperature is 70°F (about 21°C). Summer is the season of fairs and festivals, with more than 140 festivals in Rochester and the Finger Lakes region, including the Lilac Festival at Highland Park, International Jazz Festival, and the Corn Hill Arts Festival. You can also explore the Seneca Park Zoo or rent a boat on Lake Ontario.

Fall (September, October, November)

Autumn is a beautiful time of year, with brilliant fall foliage and comfortable temperatures averaging 52°F (about 11°C). As temperatures begin to drop, layering your clothes is essential. During this season, you can attend a Yellowjackets football game at Fauver Stadium or take a day trip to Letchworth State Park, known as the “Grand Canyon of the East.”


American banks provide a convenient and safe place to keep your money because they have insurance on all funds kept in them. The International Services Office (ISO) provides more information about local banking institutions, money transfers, and budgeting.

Cell Phone Services and Communications

ISO has compiled information about cell phones and other communications services, including:

  • Mobile phones
  • Residential phone services
  • Phone cards
  • Computers
  • Internet access

Shopping in Rochester

Shopping in Rochester is more spread out than in other cities. It takes extra time to get to a shopping destination, and many are best accessed with a car.

If transportation is a concern, you should consider which stores are within walking distance or accessible using the University shuttle system or RTS (Regional Transit Service).

ISO has compiled the names and locations of some area grocery stores, malls, and specialty markets.

Cultural Activities & Entertainment

Rochester has many terrific opportunities for fun and entertainment. ISO lists worthwhile places to visit, events to attend, and activities to try on campus, in the city, and in the region.

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