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Things to do after reaching USA on F1 Visa as International Student :

Things to do after coming to US on F1 Visa I was digging through some of the information I collected back in the days when I came to USA as a student on F1 Visa. I found this list; I have added some additional things as necessary and removed some that are not important.   These are the list of things you have to do. The recommended order is based on the priority.  I have included only the important things here. NOT Everything.  Good articles to check if you are planning to come to US are :

List of actions items to do in the same order after reaching USA on F1 Visa:

  1. Call home: Parents wait for your call. Ask seniors and call HOME FIRST, do not feel shy to ask seniors. Do not worry about money for calling , etc for India call and feel shy to ask !
  2. Report to the Office of International Admissions or International student advisor listed on your I20 with your Passport, I-20, and I-94, Admissions letter, etc.
  3. Attend the International Student Orientation Program.
  4. Get University e-mail account activated.
  5. Register for Courses, talk to seniors for selecting professors. Register online.
  6. Open a bank account. You need to get cash your Travelers checks and checks too. If they ask for address, you can give your seniors. If you have the rental place picked, give that address. If you are not sure, find apartment and then do this.
  7. Find a good place to rent and live. (First one week or so, you can stay with seniors, ask them for help and suggestions )
  8. Sign lease at Rental agency for apartment. If you have friends, Add them too.
  9. Apply for utilities like Electricity, Water, Gas as needed.
  10. Apply for internet connection. May be landline as needed.
  11. Pay Tuition fees (On or before the DUE DATE, if NOT, get extension letters signed for delayed payment )
  12. Meet your Graduate Student Advisor and discuss course work and Assistantship availability in your and other departments.
  13. Get Student ID, it should be given right away after taking your picture !
  14. Apply for State ID. Do NOT carry passport with you all the time.
  15. If you have a on campus job offer apply for SSN. ( You need letter from supervisor)
  16. Prepare a good one page RESUME ( For On campus Jobs)
  17. Apply for On-campus jobs.
  18. Apply for Scholarships (if any) or TA, RA, GA Positions(if any)

Additional helpful suggestions:

  • Do NOT carry too much cash. Try to use your Bank Credit or debit card. You can track everything with cards.
  • It is NOT advised to Carry Passport. Be careful
  • Be careful with the documents when you are carrying them all around.
  • Make sure you are having health insurance. It is mandatory to have health insurance and most schools include with fees. If you have got it waived, make sure to buy other good insurance immediately.
  • Be helpful to seniors with cooking, etc when you are staying at their place first week or 10 days. I did some mistakes here which I regret. Honestly I did not know, I was childish…but realized later.  Do not do the same mistakes. I know most of you come to US directly from home and are not used to staying away from home…
  • In the first week, it will be hard to adjust to timings of sleep because of jet lag. DO NOT sleep during day or avoid sleeping early. Get away from home..
  • Tour the campus and find out where the buildings are and your classes are…check libraries, computer labs, study rooms, food places, etc
  • If you are in a cold place and you did not get good jackets, ask seniors to take for shopping for snow jacket.  Health is more important !

If you know something that I have missed or you think is important, Please add them as comment !

Image Credit : http://www.flickr.com/photos/ethanhein/2424198118/


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  1. Few things i would add
    1. Get a sim card as you need a number to communicate with everyone.
    2. Open a Discover credit card account as it helps you build your credit after you get your SSN. use the following link and get $50 credit in your first statement

  2. can a f-1 visa holder defer admission for the 1st semester in freshman classes and still remain till the next semester in the states and is this person eligible to work?

  3. Hi i would like to know what should is do after getting an f1 approval letter for getting student visa on my passport?


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