Free consultation

Fly

Fly



Firstly, there are certain things that have to be done in advance, i.e., as soon as get you your visa much before the flight

  • Block/book your flight tickets
  • Learn typing – helps you in chatting and assignments
  • Learn driving and make sure you are fluent with it. If you can drive on Indian roads, you can drive anywhere. International driving permit is not mandatory as it is valid only for few days after you land in the US.
  • Learn to cook, else you will end up dish-washing
  • Apply for a bank loan (if necessary)
  • Take care of currency requirements – cash, traveler’s cheques, Money Cards, etc
  • Get in touch with seniors in the university either through facebook groups or Indian Student Association (ISA) Web pages and make sure someone is coming to pick you up from the airport when you land in the US. ISA generally takes care of pick up and temporary accommodation for all newly arriving Indians
  • Get in touch with other students from your city/state who are going to the same university. You all can pool up and get together to discuss various things and help one another. You can become friends and even decide on becoming room-mates. I have also seen people finding there boy friends and girl friends in such meets, but don’t be desperate.
  • Find out the necessary immunization info and get everything done. Generally there are some vaccines like Hepatitis B, which require 3 doses once each month, So do it early. These vaccines are very costly in US and you certainly do not want to start spending money the moment you land in US. Get requisite immunization done (especially MMR)

    You may have trouble finding tickets as it is the student season so first go and block your tickets. You need not pay anything while blocking, it’s free! You can pay later (generally 7-10 days after you block)

  • Try and book flights so that you arrive at your final destination, even if you have to take a local airline it is better and safer than greyhound, which usually has its stops in the shadiest area of towns. Buy a single ticket all the way through – add ons are very expensive. Avoid change of airline Carrier.
  • If change of airline carrier can't be avoided' leave at least 4-6 hrs gap between the scheduled arrival of one flight and the scheduled departure of the connecting flight, especially at your port of entry.
  • Baggage is usually safe with a single airline carrier- change of carrier sometimes leads to misplaced luggage. Some airlines don't take care of baggage transfer - you may have to personally carry them; cross check everything you were promised by the Travel agent with the original air lines, even if you have confirmed ticket in your hand.
  • Remember to ask for student concessions. Generally all the airlines will come up with one or the other discount offer for students, so check all this out before you pay.
  • Typical expenses: Rs.35, 000 - Rs.65, 000/-
  • Give our reference for some special discounts and/or extra luggage allowance facility

    Luggage is the essential thing one has to buy. This has to be done after proper planning as luggage is an expensive item and is to be retained for years, now that you will be doing lot of traveling in flight.

  • Start your packing well in advance
  • Buy two good suitcases - they should be able to withstand a lot of mishandling. They should be as large as possible within the size limitations (however most airlines are not very strict about baggage size)
  • You will also need a roll-able cabin suit case (hand baggage) and some airlines will also allow a back pack apart from the 3 suit cases
  • Put identification marks and labels on both the inside & outside the luggage (apart from this, the airlines will also provide you with adhesive labels)
  • Some medicines (including for air-sickness)
  • Novel/mags/books for in flight reading
  • Sweater and head gear if needed in the flight where it is generally cold
  • All Original important documents
  • Enough money (little cash, traveller's' checks)
  • Address book/phone book (Indian & US)
  • Copies of your photos (passport size)
  • One complete set of dress, a napkin
  • Kit of toiletries – brush, paste, soap, etc which you might need during long journeys
  • Shorter extract of contact details - especially of people coming to pick you up.
  • Receipt of travelers’ checks - in case you lose the TC's.
  • 1 handbag to carry in flight stuff with you (buy a good quality, spacious one 'cause you might have to use it for carrying clothes to the laundry later).
  • 1 backpack (get a good one, you will use it almost all the time in US).
  • Cash and all forms of currency
  • Other than you fee requirements you may have to take $1000-$2000 depending upon where you are going (you can get this info from your seniors over there). You can get foreign currency from Thomas Cook/American Express and of course any Foreign Exchange bank like SBI, SBH IOB etc. Do this after you buy your ticket. And remember! Take major part of the money in DD or TC's. The typical combination is: DD for the entire fee you have to pay, $1000-$2000 in TCs, and $300 in cash, a combination of notes and coins. These days you also get Cards which can used anywhere in the world (any airport too, if needed)

  • Get a driving license and a IDP (international Driving Permit)
  • Get at least $750 if you get paid within one month of arriving and at least $1000 if you get paid after a month and a half of arrival. If you have a very good friend well settled at the place where you are going to, you may take some less cash with you as you can borrow from him and repay later. You'll have several deposits to pay for the first month of stay like gas, telephone, and electricity. You'll have to pay a month’s rent as deposit and a month’s rent advance (around $250 per person/month).
  • Get your application material if you wish to reactivate your applications at a better place for the next quarter/semester.
  • Get a set of transcripts in case you apply all over again for a PhD.
  • B.Tech. Degree certificate (laminate it in thin plastic is possible).
  • Get 2-3 passport size photographs.
  • Get an address/phone number diary.
  • Have a set of copies of visa, passport, I-20 in each piece of luggage.
  • Depending upon the weather in your area get a folding umbrella.
  • Carry Indian currency too in case you want to eat some desi food when you fly back and land in India
  • If you are having a camera then get it endorsed on your passport.
  • Have a RBI permit ready for the dollars you are carrying with you.
  • Take all your songs collection.
  • Get a good wallet that has several sections of "visiting cards" size, you'll need those for the bunch of credit cards/key cards/ID's, etc. you'll accumulate in no time in US.
  • Carry medical prescription for all your medicines you bring.
  • If you have glasses, get a through eye-check-up before and get 2 extra pairs of glasses.
  • Keep passport, visa, I-20, and other admission documents in the handbag you'll carry on your shoulders all the time.
  • Confirm your ticket a couple of days prior to the flight directly through the airlines you are flying no matter how reputed your travel agent is.
  • Carry all documentation safely, and have photocopies to back you up - letter from Univ., mark sheets, etc. (the visa stuff basically). Things to get photocopied: Make two sets of the following copies, keep one set at home and take the other set with you, along with the originals.

  • Visa
  • Xth, Inter (10+2), Degree marks sheets, Convocation Certificate of Under graduation.
  • I-20 and acceptance letter from the university.
  • Take all the I-20's with you if you have more than one.
  • Give power of attorney (authorization letters) to your father, mother or sibling or to someone on whom you rely
  • Put your signature on a 10 plain papers, write you name below it, keep these at home, they may need it for any purpose like authorization to collect marks sheets, Provisional certificate, Transfer certificate, Bonafide certificate, Degree certificate, Migration certificate from the university, applying for the refund from the college etc.
  • Make all bank accounts joint
  • List of addresses/phone numbers at which info about you can be obtained.
  • One copy of all your important documents.
  • A copy of all relevant parts of medical history files.
  • Arrange to collect/redirect mail from your room/hostel.
  • Arrange to apply/collect/mail your transcripts and the final degree
  • Your tailoring measurements.
  • Call up and find if there is any change of the schedule of the plane (inform the people coming to pick you up of any such change).
  • Get ready to face the long journey.
  • Bid adieu to all concerned.
  • Find out the name of the person who is coming to pick you up at the airport. Remind those people of the flight timings, airline no, your name. inform all these to your people at home.
  • Relax the day before journey, and check all the documents you are taking with you once again.
  • Arrange for the conveyance if you don’t have a car. You can book with any private transport facility like City cabs.
  • Eat all your favorites within a decent limit, you would not want to spoil your stomach in the last week.
  • Prepare your family for the tough time they are going to have without you in the house.
  • Prepare yourself too for getting home sick very soon. Lifelines: Video calls have become very common and easy these days. Once your classes start in the US, you will have to take time to get home sick, that is how busy you will be. However, It will be a tough time for your parents and family, for sure.
  • Since it is going to be a long flight wear something comfortable (cotton dress + full hand shirt). Wear your shoes - in flight you can remove them (some airlines give in flight shoes - else relax in socks).
  • Check all the documents once again and keep them at appropriate places.
  • Be at the airport 3-4 hours before the departure.
  • Make sure you have $1 bills for the carts and vending machines in US airport
  • Relax during flight, sleep as much as possible.
  • For vegetarians - watch out before you eat - you may get non-veg even if you had asked for veg. Before ordering anything on board check if, you have to pay for it separately. Don't hesitate to ask questions.
  • You might have to fill immigration and customs forms in the plane.
  • Once out of India be very careful (from sheer experience of seniors). Don't trust anyone. Don't hire a taxi (unless emergency) till you reach your destination. If required don't hesitate to spend money.
  • You are now in the USA! Once you are out of the plane go straight to the immigration counter - rush for them to beat the queue. It might take 0.5 - 1 hour here. Keep your I-20, passport, admission & aid letters ready. They might ask a few questions like

  • Is this your first time in the US? Student? F-1 Visa? Which Univ.? They will attach an I-94 card to your visa. It is important to hold on to the I-94
  • Then go to the baggage counter to fetch your luggage. Pick up a cart (you get this at a machine for about $1) to carry the bags. Then pick up your bags as they come out on the conveyor (suitable eye-catching labels help here) we suggest you tie your baggage with rope of a bright color that is visible from a distance. All this is to make your baggage appear distinct. If you don't get your baggage, inform the inquiry section - you may have to wait 0.5 - 1 hour here.
  • Cart your baggage to the nearby customs. If asked tell them that you are a student, F-1 visa, school, dept., coming to US for the first time if asked to open your baggage do so slowly - do not mess up the place. If asked about the masala powders tell them that they are "dried Indian spices" to make traditional Indian food like curry. If asked about "vibhuti" tell them that it is a holy Hindu powder. Be patient with them and do not panic in case this is taking a longer time than expected
  • Note: In most cases, you will not be asked to open your luggage at all & you will be simply waved through.

  • Now go & wait at the nearest exit for the guys who are supposed to pick you up. If nobody turns up after some time (say 0.5 hour) make a collect call (at public phone dial a "0", get the operator & ask for a collect call) else call
  • Your Prof
  • Department
  • International Students' Office
  • Admissions Office
  • Any Indian guy in the directory Go and ask for an announcement to be made over the PA system. Get a card, write your name & hold it up.
  • If this is not your final destination, then roll your luggage to your airlines’ checking counter and give your luggage and get your next boarding pass and then walk to the corresponding gate to board your next flight
  • Never leave your baggage unattended. Don't go out of the airport until somebody comes & picks you up. If you have doubts about the guy who comes to pick you up, don't hesitate to ask for his ID. (All this is of course being a little extra cautious). Make sure you are pleasing while you identify his identity.
  • Once you reach your friend's house (or your intended destination) call home & inform them of your reaching safely. If you get your hand on Internet, do type few words of your experience and email it to us.
  • If you miss one of your connecting flights or if your luggage is missing, there is nothing to worry. Approach the counter of your airlines and they will help you with everything – they will give you the next flight and they will make sure your luggage reaches the address in US that you give to them. In some cases you might held up in a city for more than a day, do not worry, they will give you accommodation and you can relax. However, it is important to convey all such delay related information to the person who is coming to pick you up and also to your family back in India. Be responsible that way
  • There are certain primary things to be done on reaching US. They are discussed in this section

  • Your first task is to meet the foreign students or the advisors in the International students' office (ISO) along with your your details (passport, visa, I-20 and I-94)
  • Report to your department and enroll yourself.
  • Meet your prof if you have got an RA or a TA.
  • Open a bank account immediately. Ask seniors for a good bank.
  • Find an apartment and/or roommates.
  • Complete all the official procedures at the school like
  • Attending the orientation
  • Getting your student ID
  • Getting your Social Security Number.
  • Paying the Fee
  • Registering for the classes etc.
  • Apply for a state ID and Driving License – these are very useful Generally your seniors will guide you through everything. So don't worry about that. Do not completely go insane after you land there with the sudden burst of freedom and opportunity to enjoy. Pace yourself well and enjoy within your ethical limitations.
  • A new chapter of your life unfolds here! Work hard to make your dreams come true! Team MSKools wishes you success in all your future endeavors!

    ALL THE BEST!!!