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packing and preparing to study in the US

Step 5: Prepare for Your Departure


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 university. 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 graduate program when you are expected to arrive on campus. 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 States 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 organize pre-departure orientations for students to help them prepare for their departure to the United States.
During these pre-departure orientations, EducationUSA advisers and students who have returned from studying in the United States provide information and resources to prepare you for new experiences and provide advice on how 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 community.
Gather Pre-departure Materials and 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 process and the documents required for entry.
Report to Your School and Attend Orientations
U.S. universities 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. Upon arriving on campus, you need to report to your Designated School Official (DSO) to check in, complete your required visa information session, and learn more about the institution's international student policies and procedures. Attending orientation is crucial for all new international students.