- Write to the universities that offered to admit you. Accept or decline the
offers and return any official forms that you will not use.
- If you are being sponsored by an organization, notify that organization of
your plans. Maintain contact with the sponsoring organization, which can
assist with pre-departure arrangements.
- Learn how to reach the university from your point of entry into the United
- Give your family a contact number, such as that of the international
- Obtain certified and translated copies of your post-secondary transcripts,
along with detailed descriptions of your courses and the books used in those
- Other documents you might want to bring:
- vaccination records
- marriage certificate
- birth certificates of children
- international driver’s license
- Obtain English translations of these documents and have the translations
certified by a U.S. educational advising center or a U.S. consulate or
embassy. Retain photocopies of all original documents for your records.
- Obtain a valid passport.
- Reread the University’s Catalogue
- Request information about obtaining insurance from your university. Get
necessary inoculations, if any.
- Obtain copies of important medical and dental records, X-rays, and
prescriptions. Have prescriptions written in generic terms. If you are
bringing any prescription medication with you, have a note from your
physician explaining what the medication is and why you are taking it. If
you wear glasses or contact lenses, obtain a prescription from your doctor.
- Apply for a student visa at the American Embassy or Consulate where you
live. Application packets are available at many U.S. educational advising
- Make travel arrangements as soon as possible. Plan to arrive on campus at
least a few days before orientation and registration begins.
- Advise the International Student Services office of your travel plans.
- Buy traveler’s checks (at least $1000) to cover costs during your first
month in the United States. Keep in mind that your first month here will be
the most expensive one - it will not be as expensive once you settle in. Be
sure you understand U.S. currency (bills and coins) and the exchange rate
between your country and the U.S. Arrange to transfer money to a U.S. bank.
- Label your luggage inside and out with your name and the address of the
University. Know your airline’s luggage policy. Purchase a folding luggage
- Reconfirm your flight reservation 72 hours before departure.
- Prepare items to carry with you in a carry-on bag (not checked). Be sure
to set aside your passport, I-20, U.S. money and any other necessary
documents. Your carry-on bag should contain any items you will need in case
your regular baggage is temporarily lost. Never leave any luggage
- If you wish to ship some of your belongings in advance, check with the
International Student Advisor for appropriate delivery address and procedure
- About two weeks before your departure for the United States, start a list
of the personal items you use on a daily basis (alarm clock, sunglasses,
cosmetics, favorite hat, teddy bear etc.) The list will remind you of the
items you want to take with you.
- Familiarize yourself with the climate and bring appropriate clothing
(Source: Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange, NAFSA’s
International Student Handbook)