25 Jun 2022 | Migration Checklist for Indian Students When Moving to the USA
When Indian students think about studying abroad, the USA is the first place they strive to get admission. The American education system is deemed to be the best flexible education system as it offers rich and versatile courses to international students. Students from all streams get an unparalleled chance to excel in their respective fields once they get admission to one of the American universities or colleges. The American economy needs new talents every year; hence studying in the USA opens many doors for profitable job opportunities and high-quality life in the USA.
However, once you have crossed all hurdles of securing a seat in the American education system, getting your VISA approved, arranging funds to finance your cost of study and stay in the USA, etc., your next most salient activity is to prepare a travel checklist. Since you will be staying in the USA for a longer duration as a student, it is of utmost importance to carry your own belongings to curb your daily expenses. In this post, you will find the ultimate packing checklist for packing your belongings to stay as a student in the USA.
What Documents Do You Need to Travel to the USA?
You have to first apply and get accepted into a US university or school before you start preparing for your migration. Once you get accepted, you will receive a Form I-20 from your selected institution's international student office. This form is a paper record of all your information in the database called SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.)
- You need a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your stay period in the US ( 5 copies of passport xerox.)
- Acceptance letter from a SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) approved US university or school along with an I-20 form (5 copies of I-20 form.)
- Non-immigrant VISA application (5 copies of VISA xerox.)
- DS-160 confirmation page.
- Application fee payment for the SEVIS.
- Your photograph is in the required format.
- Academic documents such as diplomas, transcripts, degrees, or certificates (attested mark sheets + 3 copies of degree certificate.)
- Proof that you have sufficient funds to sustain your living expenses throughout your stay in the US. This evidence could be a bank statement, scholarship program, or a financial undertaking by your sponsor, who would take care of your living and accommodation costs.
- Proof that you will leave the US once your study course is over. It could be in the form of an air ticket that flies you out of the US to your home country.
- Immunization form (this is specific to universities.)
- GRE original report and five xerox copies of the same.
- TOEFL original report and five xerox copies of the same.
- Project report of final year.
- Copies of the syllabus.
- Letters of recommendations.
Checklist for Indian Students Moving to the USA
Moving to a new country involves a series of important tasks that need to be accomplished before departure. Here's a detailed checklist to ensure a smooth transition:
Visa Application and Documentation
Before you begin your journey, ensure you have the necessary visa and documents in order. Key documents include:
- Passport: Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay.
- Student Visa (F-1 or J-1): Apply for a student visa well in advance and schedule your visa interview.
- I-20 or DS-2019 Form: These are issued by your U.S. institution and are necessary for visa application.
- Financial Proof: Provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and living expenses.
Moving abroad involves significant financial planning. Take these steps:
- Bank Accounts: Open an international bank account or get a forex card for easy access to funds.
- Scholarships and Financial Aid: Explore scholarships and financial aid options available to international students.
Secure your accommodation before arrival to ensure a smooth transition:
- On-Campus Housing: Check if your university offers on-campus housing options.
- Off-Campus Housing: If living off-campus, research neighborhoods, and find suitable housing.
Prepare for your academic journey in the USA:
- Course Selection: Familiarize yourself with your chosen courses and program requirements.
- Transcripts and Documents: Arrange for transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other required documents for admissions.
Health and Insurance
Prioritize your health and well-being:
- Health Insurance: Enroll in a suitable health insurance plan to cover medical expenses.
- Immunizations: Ensure you're up-to-date with required vaccinations.
Plan your travel details meticulously:
- Flight Booking: Book your flight tickets well in advance for the best deals.
- Itinerary and Transportation: Plan your route from the airport to your accommodation.
Familiarize yourself with the local culture and customs:
- Cultural Etiquette: Learn about American customs, greetings, and communication styles.
- Local Laws: Understand the laws and regulations of your host country.
Pack wisely to make your new environment feel like home:
- Clothing: Pack clothes suitable for the climate and academic settings.
- Essential Documents: Keep your important documents, including passport and visa, in a safe and accessible place.
Stay connected with loved ones back home:
- SIM Card: Consider getting a local SIM card for affordable communication.
- Time Zones: Be mindful of the time difference when communicating with friends and family.
Once you arrive, focus on settling in smoothly:
- Orientation: Attend orientation sessions organized by your university.
- Exploration: Explore the campus, surrounding areas, and local amenities.
Other Important Commodities to Carry With You
Once you land in the US, you will be busy getting formalities done at the university, unpacking, and adjusting to the new atmosphere, meeting people, making friends, etc. Amongst all these activities, it is not possible for you to go out and buy the necessary items you need for your everyday life. Hence, it is vital that you have a Migration Checklist and carry some of the basic things that you would need in the US. This checklist will help you ensure you have everything you need for a smooth transition. Do note that most American airlines allow two pieces of baggage that do not weigh more than 23 kgs.
- Personal care items:
- Clothes and formal shoes (at least seven pairs of casual and formal wear along with undergarments.) You could also carry sports shoes and swimming trunks, but they are optional.
- Towels, socks, sunglasses, light jacket (depending on the weather of the city you are moving to.), umbrella, flip flops, bedsheets.
- Toothpaste, toothbrushes, soaps, shampoos, shaving kits for boys, combs, and essential creams that you use on a daily basis.
- Digital items:
- External HDD to carry your movies and music.
- Pen drive as you might need to download online study materials.
- Laptop, USB mouse, and keyboard.
- A table clock that has an alarm.
- Converters for Indian pins to USA pins
- Headphones with mic.
- Blank DVDs
- Kitchen items:
- Pressure cooker, pan, serving spoons, knives, steel glasses, forks, spoons, tea strainer, and vegetable chopping board.
- Ready to eat pastes, rice, Maggi, pickles, homemade sweets, snacks, curry powders, and lentils.
- For cold, fever, body aches, toothache, and headache.
- For allergies, throat infections.
- For stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion.
- For sprain
- Pens, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, markers.
- Notebooks, A4 sheets
- Stapler, pins, glue sticks.
- Ruler, cellophane tape.
We have provided an exhaustive Migration Checklist of items to carry; you may omit a few things which are not needed, or your school provides them initially. It is not easy to settle down in a foreign country while aiming to excel in your studies. Therefore, it is vital that you refer to the Migration Checklist and carry your daily necessities from your home country. This way, your days will go smoothly, and you won't find yourself scrambling to purchase things during your initial days at the university.