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Insights on Pre-Departure Checklist for Studying in the USA

Insights on Pre-Departure Checklist for Studying in the USA

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GyanDhan brings you insights on pre departure checklist for Indian students travelling to US from a MS in US student . From bank accounts, sim cards to currency rates Vivek shares his experience.

GyanDhan
Updated on:  28 Nov 2023  | Reviewed By: 
Aman 
| 1.19K | 2  min read

Studying in the USA is a dream come true, but it requires meticulous preparation. Gain essential insights from Ashrith (MS in IT student at the University of North Texas) and Abhishek (MS in CS student at the University of Texas Arlington) to make your pre-departure journey seamless.

 

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Booking Your Flight Tickets

Ashrith emphasizes that booking your flight tickets is a crucial first step. He advises booking early to secure the best deals and avoiding last-minute stress. Consider major airports like New York or Los Angeles for more transportation options. Keep an eye on baggage fees and other charges when budgeting for your journey.

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Abhishek adds a practical touch, suggesting to start looking for flights 1 to 2 months early. He recommends Google Fl     ights for its comprehensive list of flights, filters, and price ranges. Early bookings not only save money but also provide time for essential pre-arrival activities.

Read: Must have 8 point pre-departure checklist for US

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Handling Currency Exchange

Ashrith shares insights into handling currency exchange, highlighting the importance of having US Dollars upon arrival. He advises against airport currency exchange due to potentially unfavorable rates and high fees. Instead, he recommends using forex remittance services like TransferWise or Remitly for cost-effectiveness and fair exchange rates.

Abhishek, drawing from his experience, obtained a forex card from his bank, providing convenience in transactions. He later transferred funds to his US bank account, preferring Chase for its no-fee services and mobile transaction capabilities.

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Sending Money Abroad for Living Expenses

Ashrith provides options for sending money abroad for living expenses. While wire transfers and money orders are available, he recommends forex remittance services for their cost-effectiveness and convenience. Abhishek, having obtained a forex card, found it universally accepted in the US for various purchases.

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Choosing Your Payment Methods

Abhishek outlines three main payment methods in the USA: forex card, credit card, and debit card. He suggests choosing based on individual spending habits and associated fees. Ashrith reinforces the importance of opening a US bank account for long-term stays, citing Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, and Wells Fargo as popular choices.


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Getting a SIM Card for Communication

Both Ashrith and Abhishek stress the importance of communication. Ashrith recommends checking phone compatibility and comparing providers before choosing a SIM card. Abhishek shares that his Forex provider in India facilitated a US SIM card, offering free calls and internet for a month. Mint Mobile, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Mint Mobile are noted as popular providers.

 

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Packing Essentials

Packing is a challenge, and both bloggers offer practical tips. Ashrith suggests making a list, checking the weather, and using packing cubes. Abhishek advises considering weather conditions, carrying essential medicines, and opting for easy-to-cook food items. Both highlight the importance of not overloading luggage.

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Final Thoughts: Embracing the Journey

In conclusion, both international students encourage early planning, thorough research, and an organized approach to pre-departure preparations. Studying in the USA is not just an academic pursuit; it's an opportunity for personal growth, new experiences, and cultural exploration. With insights from Ashrith and Abhishek, your journey can be more enjoyable, organized, and successful. Safe travels and best of luck with your studies!

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