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Pre departure checklist for Indian students to USA

Travelling abroad is as fancy as its challenging. Especially when you are going to the US as an international students.

Picking the most important points from US Gov. website, recommendations from our US counselors and alumni, we have prepared a list called the US Pre Departure checklist. Here it goes:


1. Visa and Immigration:

  • Apply for your student visa (F-1 or J-1) and pay the SEVIS fee.

  • Schedule and attend your visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in India.

  • Gather all necessary documents for your visa application, including the I-20 or DS-2019 form from your U.S. university.

  • Prepare for the visa interview by reviewing potential questions and practicing your responses.


2. Travel and Accommodation:

  • Book your flight tickets with appropriate travel dates.

  • Arrange for transportation from the airport to your accommodation in the USA.

  • Confirm your housing arrangements (dormitory, apartment, etc.) and communicate with your future roommates or housing office.

3. Finances:

  • Open a bank account in the USA, if needed.

  • Familiarize yourself with the U.S. currency and exchange rates.

  • Inform your Indian bank about your travel dates to avoid any issues with international transactions.

  • Ensure you have sufficient funds to cover initial expenses.

4. Health and Insurance:

  • Purchase health insurance that meets your university's requirements.

  • Obtain any necessary vaccinations and carry your immunization records.

  • Pack a sufficient supply of any prescribed medications.

5. Academic Preparation:

  • Confirm your enrollment with your U.S. university and ensure you have received your I-20 form.

  • Register for courses if required before your departure.

  • Pack essential academic materials such as transcripts, certificates, and study materials.

6. Legal and Documents:

  • Make photocopies and digital scans of important documents like your passport, visa, I-20/DS-2019, and academic certificates.

  • Carry passport-sized photos for identification purposes.

  • Create a folder or digital storage for organized document storage.

7. Communication and Technology:

  • Check if your phone is unlocked for international use and consider getting a U.S. SIM card.

  • Ensure your laptop and other electronic devices are compatible with U.S. voltage or bring voltage converters/adapters.

8. Cultural Adjustment:

  • Research U.S. culture, customs, and etiquette to help you adjust more easily.

  • Learn about local transportation options and download relevant apps.

  • Pack clothing suitable for the U.S. weather and any specific cultural events.

9. Networking and Social:

  • Join social media groups for Indian students studying in the USA.

  • Connect with current students or alumni from your university to gain insights and advice.

  • Attend any pre-departure orientations or events organized by your university or educational consultants.

10. Miscellaneous:

  • Notify your local Indian embassy or consulate about your travel dates and contact details.

  • Share your travel itinerary, emergency contacts, and accommodation details with family and friends.

  • Carry a small amount of local currency for immediate expenses upon arrival.

Customize this checklist based on your personal circumstances and the specific requirements of your university and program. Planning and preparation will help you transition smoothly into your new academic journey in the USA.

Note: We strongly recommend to follow US Embassy in India social media channels especially Twitter and Instagram, alongside following Indian Embassy in the USA. Lastly, bon voyage!

Important Links: USA Embassy in India: Twitter

Indian Embassy in USA: Twitter Education US checklist


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