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By on May 5th, 2017

6 Tips for International Students Traveling to the U.S.

Are you signed up to go study abroad in the United States? If so, the following six tips are important to follow before you leave.

Consider the Climate

If you’re traveling somewhere that has a very different climate than your own, you’re probably going to have to do some shopping to get the appropriate clothes for your trip.

That might seem obvious, but you should still do some research to find out about odd weather quirks you may not have anticipated.

For example, many international students are surprised to find out that San Francisco actually receives a lot of fog during the day that can be a bit chilly. You’ll want some sweatshirts or even a light jacket for this.

Pack Light

At the same time, many international students make the mistake of packing just about everything they can think of. The problem is that they don’t have enough room to bring back new purchases and it’s also just a pain to move that much luggage around.

Well before you embark on your trip, you should make a list of your essentials: things you absolutely need. Then consider how many of those you can purchase in your new city.

Then go through your wardrobe and get rid of the items that just aren’t required. Again, you’ll probably pick up a lot of clothes once you’re settled in.

Think About Trips You May Want to Take

International students will find all kinds of ways to occupy their time when they get to their host city.

Still, you should think about taking a trip to another part of the state or even country once you’re here. It may be your last opportunity to do so for a long time.

While you don’t need to book the trip right away, it would still make sense to get a good idea of when you might have some free time to slip away for a few days or so.

Consider the Opportunities on Campus

A lot of international students regret that they never pledged a fraternity or sorority. This can be an unbelievably fun experience, so you should begin looking into your options before you arrive. Email members with questions you have. Pledging usually begins early in the fall, so you’ll want to be ready.

There are plenty of other opportunities like this that international students often miss out on because they just weren’t prepared, so start researching them now.

Make Sure You Have Access to Your Money

Most international students set up a local account in the place they’ll be staying and then wire money there from their home account online.

That being said, you should take time to check and make sure this is how your bank and a local bank will do things. Don’t travel with a large check in the hopes of making an initial deposit if you can help it. By getting started on this sooner rather than later, you’ll have an easier time accessing the money you need once you arrive.

Get a Physical Before You Go

Finally, before embarking to the United States, go see a doctor and tell them of your plans. They’ll give you a full checkup to make sure your health won’t be an issue. This is almost always a formality, but you’d hate to be the rare exception who finds out there’s something wrong once they’re thousands of miles away from home.

The big takeaway here is to start all of your preparations early. Being rushed with your packing will not end well. Some people even pack their suitcases the week before and then, day by day, they check to see if they’ve forgotten anything. If they can wear a favorite outfit, for example, without jumping into their suitcase, they’ve clearly made a mistake.