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  1. CFSAN International Visitor's Program

CFSAN International Visitor's Program FAQ

The International Activities Staff in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) welcomes you to CFSAN and to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. CFSAN is a major component of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Leaders in government, academia, private establishments and students visit with us to learn of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's requirements for foods and cosmetics, to exchange information and materials, and to strengthen international understanding about food and cosmetics issues. Provided are responses to frequently asked questions to assist you when contemplating a visit with us. 

Who should I contact regarding a short/long-term visit to the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)?

  • Short-Term Visit or Long-Term Visit: The program office with which you are coordinating your visit or IAS-ACTION@fda.hhs.gov.

Where is the International Activities Staff located organizationally in CFSAN and what is its function and responsibilities?

The function of the International Affairs Staff (IAS) is to provide administrative support, technical information, and training to foreign governments and visitors. It is responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of (and monitoring) Memoranda of Understandings with foreign governments. Further, it coordinates the Center's planning, directing, and administration of Agency activities with international organizations. It coordinates the Agency's role in international harmonization of food laws, regulations, standards, and science policies. It provides advice to the Center Director and other Center officials on issues that impact international policy, direction, and long-range goals. 

What documentation should I submit prior to visiting?

Submit a curriculum vitae and a letter that specifically states your interest(s) in visiting CFSAN. Be mindful that this information is needed for each individual who plans to visit. In your letter, write what you hope to learn/discuss, and the date(s) you would like to visit. 

Is there a specific format to submit a request?

Please refer to the Short-Term and Long-Term International Visitors Procedures page for more information on what format a request should be submitted in. 

Is there a cost and who pays for the expenses, e.g., housing, transportation, meals, etc.?

There is no charge for CFSAN's time, materials, etc. Generally, all expenses are the responsibility of the individual and/or the sponsoring organization.  

Are visitors allowed to visit the laboratories?

Due to heightened security concerns, visits to CFSAN laboratories are not encouraged. Currently, it is estimated that a minimum of six months lead time is necessary to gain approval.  

Are there CFSAN related documents translated in languages other than English?

Yes. The FDA website contains some documents translated from English into other languages, including Arabic, Chinese (traditional and simplified), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Who do I contact regarding non-food and cosmetic programs?

Contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of International Programs, at (301) 796-4600.  

What housing accommodations are available?

While we do not recommend any particular housing accommodation, for your information provided are the names, addresses, and directions of several nearby places to stay while visiting CFSAN. You may wish to contact these locations directly for updated accommodation prices.

Comfort Inn & Suites
Address: 9020 Baltimore Avenue
College Park MD 20740
Direction: I-495/I-95 North Ex. 25B, or I-95 South Ex. 27 to 25B. Take 25B to US Route 1 South 1.5 miles. Hotel is on right.
Telephone: (301) 441-8110
Rate: $79.00 to $109.00 nightly

Clarion Inn College Park
Address: 8601 Baltimore Avenue
College Park, MD 20740
Direction: 1.6 mile south of I-95 Exit 25B on US Route 1; about 1 mile north of University of Maryland
Telephone: (301) 474-2800
Rate: Standard $69.00 to $119.00 nightly
Suite $149.00 to $179.00 nightly

Holiday Inn
Address: 10000 Baltimore Avenue
College Park, MD 20740
Direction: I-95 / I-495 & US Route 1 at exit 25A
Telephone: (301) 345-6700
Rate: Standard $129.00 nightly
Suite $350.00 nightly

Super 8 Motel
Address: 9150 Baltimore Ave.
College Park, MD 20740
Directions: I-95 / I-495 Exit 25, south on US Route 1
Telephone: (301) 474-0894
Rate: $55.69

Quality Inn
Address: 7200 Baltimore Avenue
College Park, MD 20740
Direction: I-495 / I-95, exit 25 US Route 1, 3 miles south to hotel
Telephone: (301) 864-5820
Rate: $75.00 to $129.00 nightly

Howard Johnson Express Inn
Address: 9113 Baltimore Avenue
College Park, MD 20740
Telephone: (301) 513-0002
Rate: $70.00 + nightly

Hampton Inn
Address: 9670 Baltimore Avenue
College Park MD 20740
Telephone: (301) 345-2200
Rate: Standard $105.00 +nightly
Suite $135.00 +nightly

Econo Lodge
Address: 9624 Baltimore Avenue
College Park MD 20740
Telephone: (301) 474-0003
Rate: $75.00 nightly

Days Inn
Address: 9137 Baltimore Avenue
College Park, MD 20740
Direction: I-95 Exit 25B to College Park, after 1 mile Days Inn is located on the left.
Telephone: (301) 345-5000
Rate: $68.00 - 75:00 + nightly

Marriott College Park
Address: 3501 University Blvd
Hyattsville, MD 20783
Telephone: (301) 301-985-7300
Rate: $139.00 per night

For additional places to stay and/or visit while in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, contact the Convention and Visitors Association at 1212 New York Avenue, N.W., #600, Washington, D.C. 20005-3992. The telephone number is (202) 789-7000; fax (202) 789-7037

What is the nearest metro stop to CFSAN?

The nearest metro stop is College Park - U. MD on the Green Line

To find out how to get around the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area using Metrorail or Metrobus, see: http://www.wmata.com.  

Do I need a visa to visit CFSAN for an extended period of time? If so, what type?

Yes. A valid working visa is needed for individuals requesting a long-term visit. Obtaining the visa is the responsibility of the individual. 

What are the directions to CFSAN's Headquarters?

CFSAN Headquarters is located 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, Maryland 20740.

Directions to CFSAN's Headquarters Office:

  • From: Ronald Reagan National Airport, 1 Aviation Circle, Washington, D.C. 20001. Contact the airport at (703) 417-8600.
  • Accessible by METRO. Take Yellow Line to L'Enfant Plaza. Change to Green Line in the direction of Greenbelt. Exit at College Park-U. of Md. METRO Stop.
  • From: Baltimore/Washington International Airport, 7062 Friendship Road, BWI Airport, Maryland 21240. Telephone Number: 1-800-435-9294.
  • Start out going northwest on Friendship Road toward Airport Exit. Friendship Road becomes Airport Exit. Stay straight to go onto I-195 West. Merge onto MD-295 S via exit number 2B toward Washington, D.C. Take the exit toward MD-193 (Greenbelt/NASA Goddard). Take the ramp toward MD-193 (College Park/University of Maryland/Glenn Dale/NASA). Turn left onto Southway. Take the MD-193 West ramp toward College Park/University of Maryland/Greenbelt Park/U.S. Park Police/Campground. Turn slight right onto MD-193 West (Greenbelt Road). Merge onto Kenilworth Avenue (MD-201 South via the ramp on the left). Turn right onto Paint Branch Parkway.
  • From: Dulles International Airport, 45020 Aviation Drive, Sterling, Virginia 20166. Telephone Number: (703) 572-2700.
  • Start out going east on Aviation Drive. Turn left onto ramp. Merge onto Dulles Airport Access Road. The Dulles Airport Access Road runs directly into the Capital Beltway - no toll. Merge onto I-495 North/Capital Beltway via exit number 18 toward Baltimore/Bethesda Maryland. Take the MD-201/Kenilworth Avenue exit, number 23, toward Greenbelt/Bladensburg. Take the ramp toward Bladensburg. Merge onto Kenilworth Avenue/MD-201 South. Turn right onto Paint Branch Parkway. 

Can you provide me with a listing of possible places to visit while in town?

There are numerous sites to visit in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Provided is a sampling of places to visit in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area (includes Maryland, and Virginia). Please note the hours and fees are subject to change, contact the sites directly for current information, Names, addresses, telephone numbers and descriptions are as follows: 

Places to visit in Washington DC:

White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington DC 20500
Phone (202) 456-2200
Web: http://www.nps.gov/whho
Description: The home of every US president except George Washington. Tickets are required year-round for the self-guided public tours. The National Park Service distributes the tickets from the White House Visitor Center, located at the southeast corner of 15th and E Streets. The closest Metrorail station is Federal Triangle (Blue and Orange lines). Tours have been suspended until further notice.

Library of Congress
10 First St., SE
Washington DC 20540-4990
Phone: (202) 707-8000
Web: http://www.loc.gov
Description: The world's largest library with almost 119 million items in three buildings. The Thomas Jefferson Building houses one of the world's three perfect vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible and changing exhibitions. On permanent display is American Treasures of the Library of Congress, a rotating exhibition of rare and unique items. Metro: Capitol South.

Bureau of Engraving & Printing
U.S. Treasury Dept.
14th & C Sts., SW
Washington DC 20228
Phone (202) 874-3019
Web http://www.bep.treas.gov
Description: The Bureau is responsible for the design, engraving and printing of paper currency. It is a world leader in printing technology; the Bureau produces postage stamps, White House invitations, Treasury obligations and other U.S. securities.

Walk around D.C. areas. Places and monuments to visits:

Lincoln Memorial
West Potomac Park at 23rd St., NW
Washington DC
Phone: (202) 426-6841
Web: http://www.nps.gov/linc
Description: This grand monument overlooks the Reflecting Pool, the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol. Inside the 19-foot marble statue of the 16th President is flanked by inscriptions of his Second Inaugural Address and the famous Gettysburg Address. Open daily except Christmas. Free. Park Ranger in attendance 8 a.m. - midnight. Metro: Foggy Bottom/GWU.

Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool
15th & Constitution Ave., NW
Washington DC 20001
Phone: (202) 426-6841
Web: http://www.nps.gov/wamo
Description: President George Washington earned the title "Father of his Country" in recognition of his leadership in the cause of American independence. It is with this monument the citizens of the United States show their enduring gratitude and respect.

Jefferson Memorial
Tidal Basin, south end of 15th St., SW
Washington DC
Phone: (202) 426-6841
Web: http://www.nps.gov/thje
Description: Beneath the marble rotunda, the 19-foot statue of the third U.S. President is surrounded by passages from the Declaration of Independence and other famous Jefferson writings. Open daily except Christmas. Free. Park ranger in attendance 8 a.m.-midnight.

National Zoological Park
3001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington DC 20013-7012
Phone: (202) 357-2700
Web: http://www.si.edu/natzoo
Description: Thousands of exotic animals, including two giant pandas. Amazonia is a re-created microcosm of the world's largest rain forest. Open daily. Free admission. Guided tours and group tours by appointment; call (202) 673-4717 or (202) 673-4823 (TTY). Metro: Woodley Par-Zoo.

Places to visit in Maryland:

NASA Goddard Space Flight Visitor Center
Greenbelt MD 20771
Phone: (301) 286-8981
Fax: (301) 286-1781
Web: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/home/index.html
Description: Established in 1959 as NASA's first major scientific laboratory devoted entirely to the exploration of space.

College Park Airport & Aviation Museum
1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive
College Park, MD
Phone (301) 864-6029
Web: http://www.collegeparkaviationmuseum.com/
Description: College Park Airport, established in 1909, is the world's oldest continuously operating airport. It is perhaps only second in importance to Kitty Hawk in the first 25 years of American aviation history. The airport is also home to the College Park Aviation Museum. It displays a number of historic flying machines with period displays and artifacts. The museum includes a 1911 Wright B and a 1918 Curtis Jenny, an animatronic Wilbur Wright and aviation simulators. There is also an aviation theme restaurant adjacent to the museum. The museum is open daily 10-5 p.m. The museum is closed for major holidays. Group tours available by appointment. ($)

Brookside Gardens
1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902
Phone: (301) 949-8230
Web: http://www.brooksidegardens.org
Hours: open every day of the year except December 25.
Gardens: Sunrise to Sunset
Conservatories: 10am to 5pm
Visitors Center: 9am to 5pm
Gift Shop: (Visitors Center and Conservatory): 10am to 4pm, Monday through Saturday, and Noon to 4pm on Sundays
Admission: Free

U.S. Naval Academy - Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center
52 King George Street
Annapolis MD, 21402
Phone: (410) 263-6933
Website: https://www.usnabsd.com/the-armel-leftwich-visitor-center-2/ 
Description: Undergraduate college of the U.S. Navy, established in 1845. Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center features guided walking tours, film To Lead and to Serve, gift shop and gallery. Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
$6.50 adults
$5.50 seniors (62+)
$4.50 students (1st-12th grade) Pre-school free

Places to visit in Virginia:

I-395 south to Boundary Channel Dr. Exit
Arlington VA
Phone (703) 695-1776
Fax (703) 614-1642
Web: http://pentagon.afis.osd.mil
Description: Headquarters of the Department of Defense. Groups interested in touring the Pentagon should contact the Pentagon Tour Office at (703) 695-1776.

Arlington National Cemetery
Across Memorial Bridge, about 3/4 mile from Lincoln Memorial
Arlington VA 22111
Phone (703) 697-4967
Web: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/
Description: America's largest national burial ground with more than 600 acres of landscaped hills. Among the thousands of white headstones are the graves of President John F. Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, world champion boxer Joe Louis and the Tomb of the Unknowns. Open daily 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. (to 7 p.m. Apr.-Sept.). Free admission. Choice of self-guided walking tour or paid shuttle tour (information available at the Visitors Center). Metro: Arlington Cemetery.

Busch Gardens & Water Country USA
One Busch Gardens Blvd.
Williamsburg VA 23187
Phone (757) 253-3584
Fax (757) 253-3399
Web: http://www.buschgardens.com/buschgardens/va/
Description: An Anheuser Busch theme park with 17th-century flair, boasts more than 40 thrilling rides, dazzling shows, quaint shops and European cuisine. Open March-October. Group rates and meeting space available. Call for details.

George Washington Masonic National Memorial
101 Callahan Drive
Alexandria, Virginia 22301
Phone: (703) 683-2007
Web: http://www.gwmemorial.org
Description: Just a mile from the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia, and overlooks the nation's capitol; stands the 333 ft. George Washington Masonic National Memorial is on historic Shooters Hill. Patterned after a lighthouse in Alexandria, Egypt, the Memorial stands as a living reminder of Washington's life and leadership. The Memorial displays a magnificent 17 ft. bronze statue of George Washington and an outstanding collection of Washington memorabilia. The observation deck offers a spectacular view of Alexandria.
Hours: 9:00 to 5:00 (last tour 4:00). Admission free.

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