Please check if you need a visa to travel to the USA and apply soon if you do need one.
You do not need a visa if your country of origin is part of the visa waiver program, e.g. Canada or the UK, but you do need an up to date ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) which must be obtained at least 72 hours BEFORE you travel. They last for one year and you can apply for one here.
The workshop will run March 18-22. For those of you travelling to Chapman from afar, arrival will be on March 17 and you should choose either an evening departure flight on March 22 or a daytime flight on 23. Participants from Perimeter will have their flights reimbursed from Perimeter.
The nearest airport to Chapman is Santa Ana John Wayne airport (SNA), which is about a 20 min drive away, but most international direct flights will arrive at Los Angeles (LAX), which is between 45min and 1hr 30min away depending on traffic. Once you have booked your flights, please send the details to the conference organizers and we will arrange ground transport for you.
Four lucky participants will be staying in the Institute for Quantum Studies visitor houses. Please indicate on your registration form if you require this accommodation. Everyone else will book their own accommodation and Chapman will reimburse the cost. We recommend staying in an AirB&B close to downtown Orange and the university, as most hotels are not within walking distance of the campus. The center of downtown Orange is Orange Plaza (known as “the circle” to locals) and this is where most of the restaurants, cafes and bars are located. Chapman is to the north east of the circle. Finding accomodation somewhere to the north east of the circle, within walking distance to the circle and campus would be the best choice, but anything close to downtown would be fine.
If you find that all the AirB&Bs are booked up, your hotel choices are:
- Ruta’s Old Town Inn: This is a bed and breakfast that is between the circle and campus, a short walk from both. The location is great, but they have very few rooms.
- Ayres Hotel Orange: When Matt Leifer’s air conditioning broke down in the middle of an extremely hot summer, he stayed here for a night with his family. They have a nice breakfast buffet and an outdoor pool with hot tub. We often use this for visitors. It is about 10-15min drive from campus, so you’ll have to use Uber.
- ALO Hotel Orange: Located next door to Ayres and owned by the same company, this is also pretty nice. The decor looks like they are trying to attract a younger crowd so it may be full of Disneyland tourists getting drunk.
- Embassy Suites: This is a large business hotel in the same area, which we also sometimes use for visitors.
If you can’t find accommodation at any of the above, there are plenty of hotels and motels in the area due to our proximity to Disneyland. You can certainly find cheaper deals near Disneyland if you do a search on a hotel comparison site, but I do not recommend this. Since Chapman is reimbursing accommodation expenses, I would go with one of the above where possible.
This is the USA, where driving is seen as a right rather than a privilege, so the public transport system sucks. Pretty much all you need is located within walking distance of downtown and the university anyway.
There is a Metrolink commuter train, and the station is within walking distance of the university. You can, in principle, get to downtown LA and some beaches on these trains. The trip to the beach at San Clemente at the weekend is quite pleasant. However, as this is a commuter train, it may not be running frequently at the times you want to go, so check the schedules in advance.
There are local buses within Orange and the surrounding area, but the service is not great. Taxis also suck. Most people use Uber or Lyft, so make sure you have one of these installed on your phone. The prices are quite reasonable, especially if you are sharing a ride with multiple people.
If you plan to do some tourism further afield, e.g. spending a day at the beaches or going to LA, it is worth considering renting a car, which is not to expensive to do. Failing that, you can persuade one of the Chapman locals that what they really want to do with their day is to drive you to the beach and teach you surfing or go to the Hollywood sign for the hundredth time.
Having a data plan is very useful if you plan to use Uber or Lyft in the USA. It is well-known that Canadian cell phone plans are a rip off, so you may want to avoid paying for roaming and instead buy a US SIM card. You can purchase one in Canada before you travel from companies like Roam Mobility who specialize in providing US cell plans to travelers from Canada. Alternatively, you can buy a US SIM card when you arrive in the US. The airport would be the most convenient place to do this. There are many budget US cellphone companies offering prepaid SIM cards where you do not have to sign up for any contract.