preparing for your departure to study in the USA

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 college or 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 institution when you are expected to arrive on campus to comply with visa regulations. Finalize your health insurance, communication plans with family and friends, emergency plans, and other travel-related items. Remember that you may not 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 as part of final preparations to depart for the United States. EducationUSA advisers and students who have returned from their U.S. studies provide information and resources that will prepare you for new experiences as you focus on strategies 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 Necessary Documents for Arrival
Everyone arriving in the United States passes through an inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Learn more about arrival and the documents required for entry.

Report to Your School and Join On-Campus Orientations
U.S. institutions offer a special orientation for international students, in addition to a regular student orientation. New students should attend 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 more about the institution's international student policies and procedures. Attending these orientations is crucial for all new international students on campus.