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Use this list to check that you have taken care of all essential arrangements before you depart for the United States.
  • Request information about health insurance from your university. Obtain suitable insurance.
  • Obtain certified copies of your secondary and postsecondary transcripts, along with detailed descriptions of your courses and the books used in the courses.
  • Obtain copies of important medical records, X-rays, and prescriptions. Have prescriptions written in English in generic terms.
  • Check to see that your passport is up-to-date and valid.
  • Apply to your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for a visa upon receipt of your I-20 or DS-2019 form. Do this well in advance of your departure date. Application packets are available from many U.S. educational information and advising centers. See chapter 3 for further details.
  • Learn how to reach the university from your point of entry in the United States.
  • Make travel arrangements. See chapter 4 for more information. It is advisable to arrive on campus a few days to one week before orientation and registration begin.
  • Contact the International Student Office (or similar office) at your university with details of your arrival plans, and confirm details of any orientation for new students held by the university.
  • Finalize arrangements for housing with your university. Inquire about temporary housing, hotel, motel, or other arrangements that need to be made if arriving early or during the weekend.
  • Organize finances: arrange to transfer funds to a U.S. bank and make sure you have funds for travel and expenses on arrival; consider buying traveler's checks to cover costs during your first month in the United States; consider obtaining a credit card, if possible.
 

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