Chances are, you are already in the final stages of making sure everything is in place for the new semester – but there are always the last minute things you need to prepare and we hope we can help with some guidance and assistance. Our checklist of things to do:
Student Visa – by now, your student visa should be all confirmed and ready for you to enter the USA, but you should also spend some time to make sure you understand your visa, what you can and cannot do when in the USA with regards to working and much more….
Health Care – probably one of the most important aspects for any international student, but one that is often overlooked or students are not concerned about it. Most schools will offer health insurance which you can purchase, or you can find your own insurance plan if you want to save some money.
Travel Arrangement – making sure you have all your travel booked and ready before you leave will help reduce your level of stress when you land, and make life easier for you. If you have not booked your flight yet, you can still do this and there are some great deals around if you book last minute. You also will want to make sure you have booked and made arrangements for your first few nights after you land – as most of you will not arrive and head straight to school. You can find great resources for making your travel plans through our travel center.
Communications – an extremely important point (that a lot of people overlook) is how you will communicate with your family and arrange things when you have landed. You can take your mobile phone from home, but this will be very expensive. Your best option is to purchase an sim card to use immediately when you land – this will make arranging things locally much easier (as you will have a local number for people to call you) and coupled with a calling card, you can easily call your family anytime you want.
Familiarization – you are going to be traveling and living in a foreign country, take some time to understand the culture and lifestyle. This will help you to acclimatize better to your surroundings and hopefully things will not be so much of a shock when you first arrive.
We also recommend that you start planning ahead early – so:
- Meetings: know when and where you need to be, a great tip it so make a timetable or keep a calendar and put all your important dates and times in there such as the start of your orientation so you know where you need to be and at what time.
- Make Copies: always make 2 copies of all your important documents, keep one with your family back home and take the original and 1 copy with you.
- Passport Photographs: you will always need passport photos for things such as ID cards, so best to take some with you so you are not trying to find a passport photo booth with thousands of other students.
If you have any other hints, tips or good advice for new international students, please post your comments below!