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Education TodayComplete guide for students heading to US

Complete guide for students heading to US

Published: 25th Jul 2021 11:58 pm | Updated: 26th Jul 2021 12:20 am

Hyderabad: The horizon beckons and an amazing future lies beyond the realm of the travel that awaits you. It must be such an overwhelming feeling to note that the struggle of the last few months is now coming to its fruition. Students from across the nation now have confirmed admissions to foreign universities and most have also applied for and got the much cherished visa to go abroad for study.

Here is a summarisation of what to expect when you land in the US

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Each state/ university shall have its own regulations for you to follow:
1) Airlines may insist on producing a negative RT-PCR Test report (72 hours before travel)
2) Most Ports of Entry in the US too will need a negative test 3 days prior to travel
3) You may also need to produce proof of vaccination (WHO approved list).
4) You can land in any city. Your visa is for traveling to the US, not just to the city where your university is located

Let us consider a few examples

* New York State has no quarantine requirement. The state does not even have a mask mandate! (Though it is advisable to wear one at all times)
* California too is fully open and is welcoming students with a negative RT-PCR Test
* Places like Chicago, and Nebraska might need quarantine, but this is not set in stone
* Washington DC also needs a negative test/ proof of vaccination, failing which there is a two-week quarantine
* Rhode Island also has a 10-day quarantine requirement which can be reduced to 7 days in case of negative Covid test. (Vaccination will eliminate said requirement)
* Oregon, New Mexico, encourage self-quarantine but do not impose it
* Massachusetts has a quarantine requirement until one can produce a negative Covid test. (You can test 3 days prior to travel, and if negative forego any and all quarantine)
* Hawaii has a very specific set of rules – negative test needs to be uploaded to their safe travel portal or one can carry a hard copy of the test and present it on landing

This is true as of now, but things can change. Please derive the benefit of referring to this site for more precise guidelines: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/amp/us-state-travel-restrictions-covid-19/index.html

You need to plan to reach the US at least 20 days in advance of your Orientation-Day. This will enable you to complete all the vaccination regulation and quarantine (if any). Typically this is what you should expect: most states will want you to produce a certificate of vaccination (from a WHO/ CDC approved list). If the vaccine is not approved, and you have not received the mandatory two injections, you will need to undergo vaccination in the US (Most universities are providing it under the insurance cover). Please do access this site for further help: https://www.vaccines.gov/

You can schedule your vaccination appointment on reaching the US. Almost all universities have made arrangements to ensure that you are taken safely to the medical centres for vaccination. Let us make your life easier by providing you with a list of various things that you will need to take with you to foreign shores:

Let’s club these into imperatives:

I) A list of things you MUST carry with you in your handbag/cabin luggage:
1. University documents
• University admission letters (Carry admission letters from ALL universities)
• Your original marksheets and transcripts of your education in India
• I-20
• SEVIS fee receipt

2. Travel and ID documents
• Passport (Keep a soft copy on your phone and a photocopy in your handbag)
• A photocopy of your VISA
• A printout of your ticket

3. Educational documents
• Original marksheets and transcripts (10th onwards)
• Attested marksheets
• Degree certificate
• Final year project report
• Recommendation letters
• SAT/ GRE/ GMAT/ TOEFL/ IELTS/ PTE marksheets

4. Financial documentation
• Documentary evidence of financial documents (You took these to get your visa)
• A copy of your travel card/ credit card

5. Sanitisation
• Hand sanitiser
• Face wipes
• Sanitising tissues (For cleaning the area around you)
• Face masks
• Deodorant (for sanitizing any odours)

Please do refer to www.imfs.co.in for a more detailed list of things to carry with you.

(The author is the CEO of IMFS)


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