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prepare for your departure to the US

Step 5: Prepare for Departure

Community College

Studying in the United States is a memorable and rewarding experience – congratulations on taking this exciting step towards your future!

In planning your move to the United States, you may want to ask for assistance from an EducationUSA Advising Center in your home country and from the international student adviser at your chosen community college. The more that you prepare for your study experience, the more you will enjoy it.

Make Travel Arrangements
Before making travel arrangements, confirm with your community college when you are expected to arrive on campus to comply with visa regulations. It is also important to finalize health insurance, communication plans with family and friends, emergency plans and other travel related items. Remember that you are not allowed to enter the United Stated more than 30 days prior to the start of your I-20 or DS-2019.

Attend a Pre-departure Orientation in Your Country
EducationUSA Advising Centers around the world organize pre-departure orientations for students making final preparations to depart for their studies in the United States.

EducationUSA advisers and students who have returned from the United States provide information and resources that will help prepare you for new experiences and skills to adjust to new challenges. Topics discussed include cultural differences, motivation, changes from your home environment, academic systems and expectations, housing, and handy tips for settling into your new home.

Gather Pre-departure Materials & Important Documents for Arrival
Everyone arriving in the United States passes through an inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers. Learn more about this arrival process and the documents required for entry.

Reporting to Your School & Attending Orientations 
U.S. community colleges typically offer a special orientation for international students in addition to a regular student orientation. New students should plan on attending both as they cover different information. At these orientations you will meet your Designated School Official (DSO) to check in, complete your required visa information session, and learn additional information about the institution's international student policies and procedures. Attending these orientations is crucial for all new international students on campus.