3 Things to do Before Traveling to the U.S. to study English
Fall is approaching which means hundreds of thousands of international students will be traveling to the US for the first time to start Intensive English classes or degree programs. Between visa interviews, packing suitcases, and seeing friends, it's easy to forget a few practical "to do" items that every international student traveling to the US should do before moving to the US. Below are 3 things you don't want to forget to do before you leave home.
1. Visit your doctor and dentist
Many students may need an MMR immunization or health records signed for their school, but seeing your doctor or dentist before you move is also a great time to haveyour annual physical and get your teeth cleaned. It's important that you travel with recent prescriptions for any regular medications you take so the health care center at your campus can help you access the same medication in the US. Regarding teeth, most student insurance plans do not include routine dental cleaning or other maintenance. Dental work in the US can be more expensive than what you're used to so we recommend you get it done before you travel.
2. Register your address in the US with your country's consulate
Even though you're far away from home it is still possible to access services provided to citizens of your country while abroad in the US. One of the most frequently usedservices is voting. It is possible to vote in many major elections by absentee ballot through the consulate. Do this before traveling or shortly after arriving and you won't have to worry about missing any registration deadlines. The consulate can also help you obtain official documents from back home and notarize them should you need them during your studies, CPT, OPT, or internships.
3. Make a friend!
Message your advisor or the international student office at your new school and ask if they have a "buddy" program. Pace University's International Buddy Program is a great example. Being matched with a buddy is an excellent opportunity to ask questions about life on campus and receive help navigating different departments, the neighborhood, and can introduce student events and clubs at your new school. Some schools will even offer to pair you with a student from your home country who can help you find stores to shop at for ingredients you may want to cook with or buy books written in your native language.
WRITTEN BY DANIEL LENKOWSKY