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HyderabadPreparing to leave for US for study

Preparing to leave for US for study

Published: 4th Jul 2021 12:06 am | Updated: 3rd Jul 2021 11:23 pm

For the last several weeks, we discussed EducationUSA’s 5 Steps to master’s programmes in the United States. In the series, we have so far covered ‘Step 1. Research your options,’ ‘Step 2. Finance your studies,’ ‘Step 3. Complete your application,’ and ‘Step 4. Apply for your student visa.’ Today, we start our discussion about the last and final step – ‘Step 5: Prepare for Your Departure.’

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Once students have received admission in a master’s programme at a US institution and have completed their visa processing, they need to prepare for their departure to the United States. Students should consider some dos and don’ts, especially as international students. In the next few columns, we will discuss travel preparations and aspects of social/academic life in the United States to be aware of before students depart from India.

The first important step in this process is to work on a checklist for preparations to be done before departure, which includes:

Prepare for travel

• Book tickets based on the travel dates. Students should take note of the date of the orientation programme for international students at their department and university before planning their travel.
• Arrange for pick up at the airport in the United States. This may be done either through the international student office, with help of current students at the university, or other students going to the same institution.
• Pack bags as per the baggage allowance policy of the airline. Students should avoid packing any restricted items in their bags. It is suggested that they check the Transport Security Administration (TSA) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) websites and– visitors for related guidelines.

Keep all important documents:

• Students should keep their passport, I-20 form, financial documents, university admission letter, academic marksheets/transcripts, etc. in a safe place

Get health-related checks

• Each US institution has different vaccination requirements for incoming international students. It is important that students get all vaccines as per the university requirements and take along proof for the same.

• General health check-up and dental/eye check-up. Given that the students will be travelling to another country, they should get done with these health checks before their travel.

Buy a health insurance plan valid in the United States

• Health insurance is mandatory in the United States. Students should search and buy health insurance for themselves that is valid in the United States.

 Pack prescription medications

• If a student is taking any prescription medications, they should pack these medicines along with the doctor’s prescription note

Set up housing arrangements in the U.S

• When the student arrives in the United States, they should have a place to stay until they make a final housing arrangement. Students may seek support from their department, other students going to the same U.S. institution, the international student office, or Indian student association at the university to arrange for this temporary accommodation.

In addition to the above list, students should arrange for some U.S. currency, traveller’s cheques, and/or FOREX card

We would also like to bring to the attention of students that EducationUSA India is organising the US University Prepathon Webinar Series from July 1 through August 12, 2021; every Thursday, 6:00 – 7:30 pm (IST). This series is especially designed for admitted undergraduate and graduate students who will begin their US higher education soon. A variety of resource persons will share their knowledge and experience with the audience during the sessions, including university representatives, professors, students, alumni, and parents – all of them carefully selected to give students a first-hand and comprehensive perspective on transitioning to academics and life in the United States. Students may register for the session at

Next week, we will discuss another aspect of pre-departure planning.

— Monika Setia ( Regional Officer and EducationUSA Adviser at the U.S. – India Educational Foundation based at the U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad)


Q. Our daughter is in 12th standard, and she is interested in becoming a nurse. What are options to study nursing at bachelor’s level in the United States?
— Rajeswari

A. The study of the nursing profession in the United States starts at the undergraduate (or bachelor’s) level. The different degree options in nursing at the undergraduate level are: Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN), Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), and diploma programmes. The three degrees are entry options for students to become a Registered Nurse (RN). The BSN degree, which is a four-year programme, is offered by universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges offer the two-year ADN degree. Diploma programmes are administered by health institutions (like hospitals) and are of 2-3 years duration. At any level, the curriculum in the undergraduate programme includes coursework in anatomy, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, nutrition, behavioural sciences, and the liberal arts. Training also involves internships at hospitals and other health care settings for applied learning.

Q. My son is currently pursuing his master’s degree in the United States. He has lost his passport. What should he do to get a new passport while he is there?
— Ashwin Reddy

A. Loss of passport should be immediately reported to the Indian mission (Embassy/Consulate) nearest to your city in the U.S. You may then apply for re-issue of the passport. Please contact the ‘Consular, Passport, and Visa Division’ of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India for further details regarding re-issuance of passport

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