Your Final Checklist
So now you’re on your way to studying in the United States. You’re starting to pack up, but you want to make sure that you’ve got everything done that you need completed before you head out.
This checklist will help you determine whether or not you are really ready to head out for your United States university adventure.
Are your Visas and Passports Ready to Go?
- Did you fill out all of the appropriate paperwork?
- Did you successfully complete your embassy interview?
- Do you have your visa settled?
- Is your passport up to date?
- Do you have several recent photographs with your passport?
- Have you reviewed our Visas and Immigration Information page?
- Do you have everything with you when you go to the airport?
- Do you have your visa and passport somewhere that they are easy to access (carry-on or handbag)?
Is everything settled at your university?
- Is your financial aid and other financial concerns settled with your university?
- What does your schedule look like?
- Do you have all of the necessary paperwork completed?
- Have you purchased or rented your textbooks?
- Are there any extra applications that you have to fill out?
- How much time do you have between your arrival and the first day of classes?
- Does your international studies office know when you are arriving in the country?
Accommodations and Housing
- Do you have somewhere to stay temporarily if necessary?
- Has your housing deposit or security deposit been paid, or do you have arrangements regarding that when you arrive in the United States?
- If you are residing on a university campus, do they know when to expect you?
- Do you know where you are going when you get there?
- Is someone picking you up or do you have a rental car available to get you to where you are staying?
- If you are staying with a family in the United States, do they know when you are arriving? Do you have a gift for them?
- Have you gotten all of your necessary vaccinations?
- Have you applied for the appropriate insurance that you will need while in the United States?
- Are you ready for travel health-wise?
- Do you have any medications that need to be transferred to a pharmacy in the United States?
- Have you talked to your primary physician about your trip?
Packing Your Suitcase
- Do you have all of the clothing that you want to bring? The clothing you will want will depend on what part of the United States that you are residing in.
- Do you have mementos to help remember your loved ones while you are away?
- Is everything that you have packed according to air travel codes? You can find the regulations on the airline’s website or through your country’s transportation authority.
- Have you double checked your bags? Do you have everything that you need and won’t be able to obtain upon arrival to the United States?
- Do you have some cash on you in case you forgot something that you will need as soon as you come into the country?
Important Note: If you aren’t exactly sure what you want to pack in your suitcase(s), here are several websites that you can use that have some great packing lists.
- StudyAbroad.com’s packing list
- The Study Abroad Blog’s Ultimate Packing List
- The Culture Shock Blog’s Basic Packing List
- College Fashion’s Clothing Packing Suggestions
- Have you taken a look at the area around where you will be living and studying?
- Do you know what is available in the immediate area in terms of stores?
- Have you taken a day to look at what is available to do in the area you will be living in? Online maps, such as Google Maps, can help you check out the immediate area, even if you are still in your home country when you do it.
- Do you understand how the transportation works in the state you are living in? It varies depending on where you are located in the United States.
Social Concerns: How to Say Goodbye
- Do you have all of the contact information that you need? Emails, social media, video chat, mailing addresses, and phone numbers may be important.
- Consider starting a blog and writing updates there during your time in the United States. This is more of a convenience than a necessity; instead of having to write individual updates, you can keep everyone up to date at the same time with one blog post.
- Have you spent time with those that you love? Too many people will get busy with their preparations, and forget to spend time with their loved ones. Avoid this by throwing a going-away party or some other type of social gathering for those you love before you go.
If you still have concerns about your final checklists, the international studies office at your university will also be able to assist you. They can help you address other concerns and make sure that everything that you need is ready to go.
We hope that this checklist will help you to get everything together in preparation for your academic pursuits abroad, and good luck on your adventure to the United States.