Pre-Departure Do’s Before You Leave India to Study in the US
Congratulations! Your efforts have borne fruits, the university has accepted you as a student officially. You’ve made your parents proud, and your D-day is just around the corner, but hang on, before you bid adieu to India, you’ve got an entire laundry list of things to do.
Joining university groups on social media platforms
Social media groups offer a great platform to connect with the University community online and join in the excitement of starting your studies in a new country. They help you get to know your coursemates, ask questions, clarify doubts and even find potential flatmates online. Staying connected on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to check out what’s happening in town keeps boredom at bay, but take care NOT to post personal details or any sensitive information. Also, make sure you join the University’s official groups because each year scores of unofficial groups are created by anonymous people.
Checking your inbox for university communication mails
Generally, universities prefer communicating with incoming students via email to share important information about enrolment procedures, course information, timetables and other relevant schedules. So, check your emails as well as junk mail folders regularly to avoid missing any communication. Also, you may not be aware that emails are by far the most popular way of contacting with university staff regarding any queries or doubts you may have before you leave India. Although, at times, students could be dissatisfied with the turnaround time in getting responses, but that doesn’t diminish the popularity of emails.
Finalizing a health insurance policy covering your stay
Getting a comprehensive health insurance prior to your departure to the U.S. is an absolute necessity. Before finalizing your health care policy, check if it covers the university insurance requirements adequately, as some American educational institutes may also require additional coverage for mental disorders including substance use disorders.
As you’ll be staying in the US for a good amount of time, therefore while choosing the best policy, you need to check the policy flexibility, and size of the cover and most importantly the current tie-ups with hospitals on or near the campus.
Creating a master file for all important documents
While packing your stuff, the last thing on the mind would be a list of documents to carry abroad and how to carry them all safely to your new destination. The travel documents generally include I-20, passport(s)/visa (both current and expired), your college admission letter and copies of your flight ticket that you’ll carry in your hand baggage.
Do NOT pack these documents in your check-in baggage. Ensure all of your documents are safe and secure in a master file or folder with multiple pockets as you cannot afford to lose or damage them in any way.
Planning a financial budget for monthly living costs
As a foreign student on a fixed budget far away from home, it makes a lot of sense to have a clear picture of your weekly or monthly expenses ahead of time. First, think about the bigger picture, fixed-cost things such as tuition fees take priority, followed by accommodation costs and course books.
Then you need to look into your personal and household expenses like your mobile and internet bills, electricity and gas bills, travel card charges, clothing expenses, especially during winters and food and entertainment expenses. Well, you have a lot of homework to do to manage your finances well and avoid any future shocks.
Bon voyage, and have a safe flight!