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Now that It's All Done, Let's Get Ready for Your Trip

Congratulations! When you get to this step, you will have done all the hard work. It is only fun from here on, we promise.
By GPA Admin

Now that It's All Done, Let's Get Ready for Your Trip

Plan Your Travel Dates

Plan to arrive prior to new student or international student orientation dates so you can meet advisers and get tips on college and student life.  Give yourself enough time between arrival and the first day of school to settle in, find your way around, acclimate to your new environment and establish a new routine before you get busy with classes.

Book Your Flight

If you have never been to America, talk to someone who has about the trip. It can be a very long flight if you come from Asia, Africa or Australia. Look for the most affordable and comfortable flight for traveling to the U.S. Remember to compare various airlines and flight itineraries. You may have to make one or two stops in between your country and the destination city. Try to avoid long layovers in between flights as those can be exhausting. Book an arrival time that is not too early or too late as you will be in a foreign country and finding local transportation can be difficult at midnight or four o’clock in the morning.  Once you’ve booked your flight, Inform your International Student Office of your travel plans.

Learn About America

Start reading about the country that will be your home for the next few years, beginning with the city or town that your university is located in.  Most cities and towns in the U.S. have websites with information pertaining to climate, things to do, nightlife and entertainment, neighborhood activities, outdoor/indoor recreation, public transportation, etc. within their locale and their neighboring towns. You can also contact the international student office at your university if there is specific information that you need.

Shopping and Packing

You are literally packing for a new life at this point, so it will be difficult to be 100 percent precise about what to bring. Since you are traveling a long way, think about what you really need for the first few weeks when you arrive and what you can buy later. Shampoo and soap for instance are things that can be found easily anywhere in the U.S. so no need to haul it over. But personal items such as clothing, backpacks and shoes are more important, so make sure you have enough to use for the first few months until you figure out where to shop. Bring what you own and what you like (music instruments for instance) that are useful in America, while keeping in mind the weather and environment may dictate what you need and leaving room for some local shopping later. Note that new students arriving on campus often get discounts for things like laptops and cell phones. So it may be a good idea to buy those when you arrive.


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