Travel Tips for Indian Students Before Going to USA
Thousands of students dream to study in the USA, but only a selected few fulfil the dream of going to the USA on a student visa. It must have been a long wait for the final confirmation, and you would have had many sleepless nights. Now, everything is in place, all the efforts and wait must seem worth it.
Going to a new country requires a lot of preparation - sometimes more than you can think of initially. If you are going to the USA for studies, this article will cover all the details you need to know. You can dream of your coming days as we have done all the homework for you.
Tips related to Health
You should understand what is expensive in the USA and accordingly plan for it. One of the things that are super expensive in the USA is medical treatment, especially dental and eye care. If you think you may need to get an eyeglass or dental care, get them sorted in India.
All students require health insurance for studying in universities abroad. You can get health insurance from an Indian insurance company or get in touch with your university to know the plans. In most cases, you will save a lot of money getting insurance from India. As mentioned above, medical treatments are super expensive and so are medicines. It is always better to travel with all basic medicine. For example, you should have medicines for cold, fever, body plain, throat infection, vomiting, etc.
Tickets and Luggage
You should book your ticket as soon as you receive the approvals and your I-20. Try to get a direct possible to the state where you are traveling. Get on social media and get in touch with other students traveling to the same university. It is always better to travel with fellow citizens to a new country.
Check the dimension of the baggage allowed by your carrier. In general, the maximum allowed weight per bag is 23 kg. Depending on the airlines, you can carry 1 or 2 check-in bags. You can also carry one hand baggage and your laptop bag. Buy Transportation Security Administration and travel insurance to protect yourself from loss of luggage and accidents.
Tips Related to Shared Accommodation
You can choose from different types of student accommodation. You can either opt for Private rented houses and rooms, University-managed houses, and rooms, or opt for Family stays or Homestays. Shared accommodation i.e., staying with other students can prove to be cost-effective and convenient. You can find Facebook groups, WhatsApp groups for each university.
Tips Related to Bank Accounts/Credit Cards
You can start building credit with student credit cards. There are numerous college student credit cards available, all offering a variety of benefits for different types of students. It is possible to be approved without a credit history with some cards that don't require one. Once you land in USA, University will arrange to open your student checking accounts. You do not have to worry about USA bank accounts while you are still in USA. You can then offload your forex cards in USA bank accounts after coming to USA.
Tips related To Clothes and Apparel
Carry extra pair of clothes in the cabin bag. In the worst-case scenario, if the luggage gets misplaced, you can easily manage. Check the temperature of the city you are traveling to. You should be preparing for at least a few months in advance as well. If you are some more space available in your luggage, you can take a blanket and bedsheets with you. If not, you should not worry at all. It should be last on your list.
Tips Related to Cooking and Food
If you love Indian food, you are surely going to miss it in the US. It is not that you will not find Indian restaurants - most cities have Indian restaurants. The problem is they are less in number and costly. You should learn to cook the basics - dal, rice, chapati, and vegetables.
You don't have to carry the raw food from India like dal, rice, and cutlery items like cups and bowls as they are easily available. You can prepare some handmade food for the first few weeks, it will come in handy before you settle down.
Tips Related to Electronics
If you plan to buy a new electronic item for your studies, it is better to buy them in the US only as they are cheaper. You can buy from India as well but make sure you check with your university if they recommend any specific configuration. Most students in US would be able to avail electronics on interest-free EMI, which would make a lot of difference.
You will also need an Indian to US plug/adapter. Carry at least two of them to save yourself from culture shock.
Tips Related to Foreign Currency
You should carry some cash with you. An average amount would be $1000, you can carry a higher amount as well if that makes you comfortable. The bulk of your money should be loaded in forex cards. Carry some lower denomination of dollars for making calls and eating during the travel. If you have not got a forex card, don't delay it. Compare the option available and get the best one. You don't have to carry your tuition fee on your card. It is recommended to transfer it directly to the university.
Tips Related to International Calling
If you are a student studying in the US or plan to go there to study, you must purchase a reliable cell phone plan. Most cell phone plans in the US have become comparatively cheaper recently. Number of telecom companies like H2O Wireless, Xfinity mobile, Boost mobile and more offer good plans.
Tips Related to Necessary Documents
Last on the list but most important is documents! Carry all the university documents - your university would have sent you the list well in advance. Carry your passport, VISA, and air ticket. Also, carry your education documents as asked by the university.
With the above information, you are all set to take a long flight to transform your life. The initial few months may seem difficult, but you would surely settle down well and enjoy this new phase!