Excited that you’ve got your student visa to the United States of America? But before you go make sure that you have everything you need such as necessary documents, insurance, accommodation, etc. Below is a checklist for international students going to the US.
You can use the following checklist to make sure that you don’t forget all the major things that you need to remember before beginning your journey to the USA. A few of the things that you need to take care of once you reach the country is also mentioned in this article
Checklist For International Students Going To The US- Travel And Immigration Documents
The first step before beginning your journey to the USA is to make sure that you have all your travel and immigration documents in place.
- An up-to-date passport with you recent photographs
- Student Visa to the US
- Recent passport sized photographs
- Flight tickets
- Your passport, visa and flight tickets need to be easily accessible.
- Make sure you keep it in your handbag or your carry-on luggage.
Documents Needed At The College/University
- Have you taken care of all the financial requirements for the semester/year/entire course at your University?
- Do you have all the documents that support your admission to a college/University in the US? This includes:
- College Enrolment letter and supporting documents
- Receipt for payment of fees
- The original documents that prove your qualification
- Have you taken care of all the necessary paperwork?
- Apply for a college identity card and student concession for transportation beforehand
- Have you checked with the University regarding any additional applications that you need to fill in and submit?
- Details of your day to day schedule in the college/University
- Have you notified the International Studies Office regarding your date of arrival in the country?
- Purchased all your course material including textbooks or have you made arrangements for the same?
Checklist For International Students Going To The US – Accommodation And Housing
This is very important should be a part of the checklist for international students going to the USA. Most of the campuses appoint security personnel to watch over the accommodation facilities that are within the campuses and for the ones that lie close to the institutions.
This is to ensure the safety of their students. They understand that students will refuse to take an admission where there are issues of security.
- You can save a lot of money if they choose to stay within the college/University campus
- Students can also choose to live in a shared apartment or a homestay facility
- Unless you’re a friend or relative in the US with whom you’d be staying temporarily make sure you find accommodation before moving into the US
- You can find several apartments and homestays quite near to the educational institutions that are secure enough
- Keep in mind the distance between your college and accommodation
- Find out the ways by which you can commute to and from college
- Most of the colleges provide free pick-up and drop to and from the institutions between 10 pm and 7 am to ensure the safety of students.
- If you are staying in a college accommodation inform the authorities the date you’d be arriving there
- If you’ve rented an apartment or chosen a homestay to make sure you inform the owner/families regarding the date of your arrival
- Pay a month’s rent or an amount in advance as required the owner of your accommodation to ensure it is confirmed.
- Make sure you have all the correct addresses and phone numbers with you
- Arrange for transportations to get you to your place of stay from the airport
Checklist For International Students Going To The US – Medical And Health Care
Make sure you’ve taken care of the following before moving to the USA.
- Vaccinations that are necessary and a letter certified by your Doctor regarding all the vaccines you’ve taken.
- If you are under specific medications get it transferred to a pharmacy in the USA
- An overall health check-up to make sure you are fit to travel
- General health care services are provided by most of the University and college campuses in the USA.
- The health care services provided vary from basic first aid care and treatment of minor health issues to giving complete health care by specialist doctors
- On-campus health care services are generally not too expensive.
- You can also choose to get treated at a private health care facility outside your college campus.
- This is going to be quite expensive.
Good medical insurance with overall health care coverage is essential while living in the USA.
- Apply for appropriate health insurance that you need while living there
- Most of the Universities and colleges in the US provide health and medical insurance for their students
- These insurances are integrated with the medical facilities within the campus
- You could also consider applying for private insurance specifically designed for international students living in the US
Consider the following while choosing an insurance policy
- The hospitals and doctors recognized by the plan
- Does it cover both illnesses as well as emergency cases like an accident?
- Does the cost incurred outside the hospital setting get covered under the plan?
- The limitations and exclusions
Checklist For International Students Going To The US – Mobile Phone Connection
A mobile phone connection with a budget-friendly package is necessary when you move to the USA.
- Carry a smartphone with you if you have it
- This allows you to make urgent calls using your mobile apps like WhatsApp or Viber on arriving there (Wi-Fi can be accessed in all the major public places)
- Apply for a cell phone connection in the USA
- AT&T, Verizon, Mint Mobile, and T-Mobile are some of the major mobile providers
- Offers good international calling packages to India.
Checklist For International Students Going To The US – Social Security Number
An international student living in the USA requires a Social Security Number for a number of reasons.
- To work in the USA
- To file for a tax return
- For Social Security benefits (only US citizens are eligible)
- For governmental services
- Banking and financial services
- Approach the nearest Social Security Administration Office in the US
- Duly fill in Form SS-5 which is the Application For A Social Security Card
- Provide original/attested supporting documents that prove your residential and visa status in the USA along with your Passport
- A receipt will be provided
- The Social Security Card along with the number will be sent to you by mail in 2-3 weeks
How To Open A Bank Account
Opening a bank account in the US is necessary for international students since it wouldn’t be safe to carry huge amounts of money.
Things to consider while opening a bank account in the USA.
- Most of the University and college campuses in the USA have Credit Union Banks
- They are your best choice as soon as you arrive in the country
- You can also approach a bank that has a partnership with your educational institution
- Look for an account with no fee and that which provides online services
- Most of the banks have student accounts that address the specific requirements of students
- Understand the money transfer cost in each bank
Packing Your Bags – Things To Remember
- Understand the weather in an around the area where your college campus is situated
- Choose the appropriate clothes comfortable for that weather
- Since there wouldn’t be a large amount of storage space make sure you pack your bags smartly
- Make sure that you’ve packed everything according to the air travel codes
- Check at least twice so that you won’t forget to pack some of your important belongings
- Carry enough money with you so that you can buy things that you forget to take or do not have with you
Some Of The General Things To Remember
- Do online research to find out more about your residential area and college campus in the USA
- Find out where the closest supermarkets, clothing stores, and public transportation facilities are
- To track expenses between friends you could use apps like Split Wise
- Scan all your important documents and save it on your email address
- Or save your documents in a drop box or your Google drive
- Make sure that you have a list of all the contact information you need
- Write down the mailing addresses and telephone numbers in a separate note pad
You need to make sure that you’ve got everything done correctly to head out with no worries. Follow this checklist to avoid forgetting important things like your visa, travel documents, details of college admission, accommodation in the US, medical and health insurance, bank account, and personal belongings that are necessary.
Don’t forget to take care of the rest of the things like your Social Security Number, Health Insurance and starting a bank account once you get there.
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