Careful planning is one thing that you will have to do in order to make your time abroad a success. With so much to plan, you need to start early and use a timetable in which to do things. As with your application process to select a school you need to make a list with everything you will need to make your time abroad easier.
Before you leave for the USA, you will need to plan for the following:
Your student visa is extremely important for your studies in the USA. Among other things, the type of visa you are issued will determine whether you have the option to work in the United States while you are at school.
Anyone who will be studying in the United States could be issued one of the three following visa types for international students: F1 Visa, J1 Visa or M1 Visa. The F1 and J1 Visas allow for the possibility of employment but does not guarantee it. The M1 Visa, however, does not allow for the possibility of employment.
For more information you should visit the US government’s student visa page.
The US healthcare system is the most advanced, the most complex (and therefore the most complicated), and one of the most expensive in the world. It is important to know what kind of healthcare to receive when heading over there.
Most college and university campuses offer some type of general medical care; services vary from basic first-aid and treatment of minor ailments to sophisticated multi-doctor primary care centers offering x-rays, laboratory tests, prescription drugs and access to specialists. The cost of on-campus medical services is normally not very expensive.
During your first week on campus, take a copy of your medical records (including immunization and vaccination records and prescriptions) to the school’s health care center or infirmary.
If you prefer to visit a medical practitioner off-campus, you have several choices (though the cost is generally higher). Private doctors treat non-emergency patients by appointment during regular office hours, typically 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Minor emergency clinics do not require appointments, and are usually open on weekends and holidays.
In case of a serious emergency, go to the nearest hospital emergency room — by ambulance if necessary. Hospital emergency rooms are designed to treat life-threatening ailments; this is typically the most expensive place to receive care.
If you need to use a medical facility, but are uncomfortable with your English skills, ask a friend to go with you. Proper communication is very important.
Keeping in touch and staying connected to friends and families around the world is important so that you do not feel cut off. It is natural to feel homesick from time to time. When this happens, one of the best ways to combat homesickness is to talk to a family member or close friend from back home. Thankfully, there are now plenty of apps and programs that allow you to communicate with people anywhere in the world for free, such as Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Facetime, and Snapchat. If you are willing to expend the effort, you can send a letter in the traditional form, using pen and paper.
You will need to make sure you have some temporary accommodations and plan ahead for when you first get to the USA. Preparing for an overseas adventure is really an education in itself, taking care of all details with regard to admissions offices, enrollment procedures, immigration, and transferring funds.
You will likely plan to explore parts of the country before or after the academic semester. Sometimes they opt to travel during school holidays such as Fall Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Spring Break; check your own school’s calendar for specific vacation dates and be sure to visit the student travel center for your travel needs.
It is important to plan a general itinerary before you leave your home country for the States, if you want to budget properly and take advantage of lower costs by purchasing your travel tickets in advance. Try to use a combination of airplanes, trains, buses and automobiles to get the most out of your travels (and your funds). Amtrak, for example, is the United States’ primary passenger rail provider. Luckily for you, the Internet has made it easier than ever to gather information about your travel options, so make the most of that resource and get researching!
SEE ALSO: How to Get a Student Visa