Have you just completed your graduate studies and are you planning to go abroad for higher training? Are you looking at USA as your preferred study destination? If your answer to these questions is “Yes”, you might want to have at least 8 points in mind to help you plan for your stay in USA. Here are some preparation tips for students planning to study in USA:
- Prepare well in advance: Time is an extremely important factor that should be considered while planning for your study abroad. Don’t take anything for granted and start preparing for your study abroad journey at least two years in advance. This is really important as you will have enough time to prepare for the English proficiency tests, calculate the expenses and prepare a budget, look for appropriate accommodation, apply for scholarships, student visa, etc. After all, “Haste makes waste.” Hence, be sure to allow yourself enough time to do some research on the top ranking universities in USA and some of the best student friendly cities in USA. You could also use this time to talk to family members or friends (who are already residing in USA or pursuing a course in one of the universities in USA) in order to get firsthand information about various things.
- Ensure that your paperwork is in order: Once you have received an offer letter from your desired college and are ready to accept the offer, you will have to start with the visa application process. Again, start preparing in advance to avoid last-minute issues. Once you have completed all the necessary procedures and have all the required documents in hand, make multiple copies of all the documents and keep one or two copies in your check-in baggage and one copy in your hand luggage. Also, leave one or two copies with your parents or guardians in case of an emergency. Also ensure that you have easy access to soft copies of documents wherever possible.
- Keep enough currency in hand: Make sure that you have enough US dollars to help you during the first two or three months of your stay in USA. Once you settle down, you can open a student bank account in USA. Till then, keep some cash with you. In addition, the most important thing to keep in mind is to spend wisely.
- Buy air tickets in advance and ensure that you’re comfortable on the flight: Studying abroad is an expensive affair. So, students would naturally like to save on expenses wherever they can. One of the ways by which students could cut down on air fares is by booking tickets in advance. Furthermore, ensure that you carry a neck pillow, an eye mask and other essentials to ensure that you have a safe and comfortable 24-hour flight.
- Select a suitable accommodation option before you land in USA: It is always advisable to be fully prepared while going abroad for education. Although you could initially stay at a relative’s place in USA, it would be a good idea to book one of the on campus facilities in advance. This would give you the opportunity to interact with your classmates and ease the transition process.
- Familiarize yourself with local customs and traditions: Even though you might have watched all the seasons of “Friends” and might be proficient in the English language, it would still be a good idea to read up about the local life at the city where you would be living. There are multiple blogs and YouTube videos that will provide you with this kind of information.
- Pay special attention to your health: Health insurance is pretty expensive in USA. Hence, ensure that you get all the vaccinations and medical checkups done in your home country. You might also want to check with your university for student medical insurance plans available. But most important of all, don’t neglect your health.
- Attend the Student Orientation Program: The Student Orientation Program is the ticket to one of the most exciting moments of your life. Be sure to attend it as you will get to know your classmates better and it would also help you get rid of feelings of homesickness and loneliness.