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Don’t Board Without This! 8 Step Pre-Departure Checklist for International Students in US

Don’t Board Without This! 8 Step Pre-Departure Checklist for International Students in US

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You must know 8 points pre-departure checklist for US by Srijith, an MS student at Michigan State University and Vivek MS student at Indian University Bloomington.

GyanDhan
GyanDhan
Updated on:  17 Jan 2024  | Reviewed By: 
Aman 
| 899 | 3  min read

pre departure checklist for international students in us

Embarking on the thrilling adventure of studying in the USA? Gain invaluable insights for a seamless transition from Srijith (MS student at Michigan State University) and Vivek (MS student at Indiana University Bloomington), who share their experiences in this comprehensive pre-departure checklist.

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Booking Your Flight Tickets

Srijith suggests, "Consider booking tickets through a direct phone call to the official Emirates line. The personalized service and potential student discounts make a significant difference."

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Vivek recommends, "Utilize online fare comparison websites like Skyscanner and Google Flights. They help locate the most economical flight options. Don't forget to check baggage allowances for a smooth journey."

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Managing Currency Exchange

Srijith advises, "Opt for forex exchange before leaving for the USA. Exchange a portion of your Indian Rupees into US Dollars for initial expenses upon arrival. Having some USD readily available is practical."

Vivek shares, "In addition to cash, consider using a Forex card provided by your loan provider. It's a secure and convenient way to manage finances abroad, functioning like a debit card for various transactions."

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Using Forex Remittance Services

Srijith shares his experience, "I used a forex dealer to transfer funds from my Indian bank account to my US bank account. Inquire about any charges associated with the transfer and plan your finances ahead for a smooth transition."

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Setting up Payment Methods in the USA

Vivek provides insights, "Opening a US bank account is a top priority. Choose a bank partnered with your university for perks like lower fees. Initially, use a linked debit card for transactions."

Srijith highlights, "Consider applying for a credit card once you have a Social Security Number (SSN). Building credit in the USA is essential for future financial endeavors."

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Obtaining a US Bank Account

Vivek advises, "When opening a US bank account, bring your I-20 and a valid passport for documentation. Seek referrals for potential rewards or incentives offered by the bank."

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Getting a SIM Card

Srijith suggests, "For the initial week, use international roaming from your Indian network. Consider major US network providers like Verizon and AT&T. Start with a prepaid plan and switch to postpaid later."

Vivek recommends, "Explore budget-friendly options like Mint Mobile for affordable plans. Family plans, where friends or relatives add you, can significantly reduce monthly expenses."

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Packing Essentials

Srijith recommends, "Bring Indian products that might be expensive or hard to find in the USA, like pickles and specific spices, to enjoy familiar flavors from home."

Vivek advises, "Consider bringing a pressure cooker if you use one frequently. It can save you money, as kitchen appliances can be more expensive in the USA."

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Networking in the USA

Srijith emphasizes, "Start networking before arrival on platforms like LinkedIn. Connect with fellow students and professionals for initial connections and learning about opportunities."

Vivek shares, "Attend university-hosted events and career fairs to build connections. These events connect you with representatives from various companies and offer insights into potential job opportunities."

Additional Insights and Advice

  • list items Be open to new experiences and cultures.
  • list items Understand the healthcare system and ensure you have health insurance.
  • list items Familiarize yourself with campus resources, including the library and career center.
  • list items Budget wisely to manage your finances effectively.  

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Your journey to study in the USA, enriched by the experiences of Srijith and Vivek, is an incredible opportunity for personal and academic growth. Embrace the adventure, stay organized, and seek support when needed. Safe travels and best of luck with your studies!

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