Yocket Editorial Team
on 30 January, 2011

Pre departure to-do list for students planning to study in US





All your hard work has been paid off and it’s time to bid adieu to India and leave for the States. You’ve successfully managed to cross all the hurdles right from GRE to the Applications, never-ending wait for the Admits and the nerve wrecking VISA interview(s).

Now before you leave for a new country, there are obviously a lot of things you need to consider as you’re going there to study and not for a holiday. Moreover, you’re going to stay alone (okay, we know it’s fun) away from your home. So, we’ve done all the homework for you. What’s more, we have also given links to purchase those products so that you can add ‘em to your Amazon cart, if you need to buy it.

Here is a list of the things you will need, put them on a checklist and start ticking them off.

Health Related Things to carry / to do for study abroad:

  1. Full body check-up: Treatments are very expensive in the US, in particular Dental and Eye Care.
  2. Immunisation: Each university has its own list of mandatory vaccinations, so check that out and start early.
  3. Insurance: Student health insurance is a requirement for studying in universities abroad. A student health insurance can be obtained from an Indian insurance company as well as from your university. Getting it from India can save you a lot of money, as much as 80% in some cases.
    Get personalised, university specific guidance and have all your insurance related queries solved by the Yocket insurance team.
  4. Medicines: Get as many basic medicines as possible. Some of them are expensive in the US. Here is a list of some basic tablets that you should carry:
    • Cold, Fever - Crocin
    • Body Pain - Crocin
    • Indigestion, Gastric Problems - Gelucil, Zinetac
    • Throat Infection - Erythromycin
    • Allergies - Avil .25
    • Vomiting - Avomine
    • Tooth-Ache - Combiflam
    • Cold, Headache – Amurtanjan, Crocin, Vicks
    • Stomach Pain - Cyclopam
    • Sprain - Esgypyrin

 

To-do list for booking flight tickets for study abroad:

  1. Book your tickets immediately after you receive the I-20 and book your Visa interview (Generally in the month of May end/June first week). Try getting a single direct flight if possible.
  2. Look for other aspirants on Yocket going to the same university as yours and team-up to get sweet discounts on group bookings.
  3. If you’re amongst those who miss your family a lot (certainly you will in the first few months), then it is recommended to book a return ticket (for December). If not, be prepared to shell a lot of money if you book at the last minute.

 

To-do list and information about luggage allowance for students going for study abroad:

  1. Total linear dimensions of each check-in bag should not exceed 158 cm (62 inches). Total weight must not exceed 23 kg (50 pound). Again, this varies from flight to flight but anything around 23 kg should do good for you.
  2. You are allowed to carry one hand baggage, plus a briefcase, laptop, purse. Maximum weight of hand baggage should not exceed a certain limit, usually 5 to 10 kg.
  3. If you are traveling with a group of friends, you can share your luggage with someone who is under limit.
  4. The most preferred brands for suitcases are: American Tourister, Samsonite and VIP
  5. VIP is the cheapest but quality isn’t the best. American Tourister is mid-range but the quality is very good. Samsonite is very expensive.
  6. There is hardly any difference between hard and soft cases. Stick to soft ones as hard ones get easily scratched too.
  7. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) locks are a must.
  8. To protect yourself from loss of luggage and accidents, make sure you have a travel insurance cover. Speak to Yocket’s insurance expert for help with choosing your insurance.

 

Checklist for clothes and apparel to carry for study abroad:

  1. Take a few extra pairs of clothes with you as finding a laundry or washing them will be difficult till you settle down in the apartment
  2. Carry location specific clothes since the same country can offer you a wide variation in climate. Know more about the weather conditions from Yocket’s university reviews.
  3. Blankets (only if you don’t get sleep without it), bed sheets and covers. You may completely skip this point if your luggage is exceeding the weight limit.
  4. Don’t forget to carry your toiletries.

 

To-do list and essentials to carry for cooking and food:

Learn to cook essentials like dal, rice, chapati and vegetables. Things to include:

  1. Pressure cooker of 3 to 7 litres
  2. Masala and spices.
  3. Carry some ready to cook food in case of emergency
  4. Rest of the items like rice, dal, vegetables, spoons, knives, plates, cups, and bowls are easily available abroad. Do not pack them.
  5. Pack a lot of homemade food that lasts for the first few weeks (like thepla) as it comes handy in the early days.

 

Electronics and gadgets to carry for study abroad:

Electronics are usually cheaper in the US but you may take them from India, if you want:

  1. External Hard Drive Disk  and Laptop: If you have your own laptop, pack it. You may sell it later. Many Universities have specific requirements with respect to laptops. Make sure to check with them.
  2. Indian to US plug/adapter: Carry a couple of these adapters to power the electronics that you are carrying from India and to save you from a culture shock.

 

Books to carry for study abroad:

Talk to the seniors in your university and carry only the important books from India. Get some fundamental books for revision.

 

Documents to be carried for study abroad:

  1. University Documents

    1. University specific letters like admits, aid, forms.
    2. Original transcripts
    3. I-20
    4. Syllabus copies
    5. Immunisation documents (specific to university)
    6. SEVIS fee receipt
       
  2. Travel and ID documents

    1. Passport photocopy
    2. VISA photocopy
    3. Air Ticket
       
  3. Educational Documents

    1. Original marksheets
    2. Attested marksheets
    3. Degree certificate
    4. Final year project report
    5. Recommendation letters
    6. GRE and TOEFL marksheet

 

Foreign currency to carry for study abroad:

  1. Most students carry about $1000 in currency and the rest can be taken in loaded forex cards. Carry some loose change for calling and eating/drinking during travelling.
  2. Forex cards are preferentially priced so consider carrying most of your money on the forex card. If you still haven’t got one, get your forex card delivered to your doorstep in one day by Yocket.
  3. For tuition fee, it is best to wire the money directly to the university. Get the best exchange rates and pay your tuition fees on Yocket’s wire transfer service.

Share your questions with other Yocketers on Yocket discussions. Connect. There is a special ‘pre-departure’ section where you can post your questions regarding this stage of your journey or find questions that others have posted to learn from their experience. Hope you do not miss  out on anything important. Good luck and have a safe journey.


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Yocket Editorial Team

Yocket is the largest regional online community for students with a desire to pursue higher education abroad.


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