Things to Bring while Coming to USA



Once your US Visa is approved, its time for you to begin preparing for your trip to USA.

First and foremost, you should book a ticket for Flying to USA. Please visit our Air Travel section for more details. Secondly, you should start shopping for things that you will need to use in the US.

Just to let you know, you can find almost anything you want here in the US. However, since you are a student and possibly are on a low budget, it is better to bring things from your home country where they are cheaper to buy.

Related Links
  Things to Do
  Things to Bring   
  Things to Know
  Traveling to USA
  Arriving in USA




 

Typically, students who are planning to travel to the US, should bring the following items with them:

Documents

Below are some important documents that you might want to carry with you:

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Airline tickets (if applicable)

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Immigration documents: passport with stamped US visa and your I-20 (Student Copy) or DS-2019

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Letter of admission from US college / university and the admission packet if your college / university has sent it to you

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Academic documents: transcripts, certificate of graduation, recommendation letters from your previous school, your TOEFL / GMAT / GRE / SAT scores, etc

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Financial documents: assistantship contract, proof of scholarship grant

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Medical documents: proof of immunization, proof of health test, medical records (if applicable)

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International Driving Permit (if applicable)

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Contact information in the US and in your home country

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Some recent passport-format photographs

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Your profile documents: resume or statement of purpose

To be in a safer side, we suggest you to also carry multiple copies or certified copies of these documents, and place them in different compartments of your luggage. Also, keep a copy of all the documents in your home country.

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Money

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Cash

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Traveler’s Cheque

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Receipt of Traveler’s Cheque

Note:

  • Some of the cash that you carry should be in a small denomination $1, $5, $10, or $20. If possible, you should carry some US coins with you, especially quarters, because you might need them to make a call from the phone booth in the airport or to get a cart for your luggage.

  • If your education in the US is financed by yourself or your relatives, you can convert all the money that you have into US dollar and carry them in cash. However, it is advisable that you carry your money in cash and in the form of Traveler’s Cheques.

  • The amount of cash (US dollar) should be enough for the first two or three weeks of your stay in the US (it will provide you enough time to open a bank account).

  • You can carry the rest of your money in a Traveler’s Cheque. The reason we suggest you to carry a Traveler’s Cheque is because Traveler’s Cheque usually can be replaced if they are lost or stolen. Therefore, it is safer than if you carry your money in cash.

  • As additional information, your will get the refund for stolen or lost Traveler’s Cheque faster if you can show your Traveler’s Cheque receipt. Therefore, keep your Traveler’s Cheque receipt in another safe place separate from your Traveler’s Cheque.

  • If you have a scholarship to study in the US, usually your sponsor will send you a cheque that will cover your first two or three weeks cost. After that they will either send you a cheque or transfer the money directly to your bank account every certain period of time.

  • Keep in mind that some scholarships use a reimbursement system for your living cost. It means that your sponsor will pay for your tuition. However, for your living cost, you will have to spend out of your pocket first, and then after you send the receipts of your purchases to your sponsor, they will reimburse it up to a certain amount.

  • You should contact your sponsor or scholarship provider for more detailed information on this issue.

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Clothing

Below is the list of clothing items that you might need in the US. You can bring them from your home or buy it in the US. Keep in mind that some clothing items are big and heavy, and you have limited baggage allowance.

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Formal clothes (long / half sleeved shirts with collar, trousers / skirts, suit).

Three most common color of suit in the US are black, navy blue, and gray

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Casual clothes (T-shirt, jeans, short pants)

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Accessories: tie, belt, scarf, handkerchief, gloves, cap

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Sweater and jacket

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Sport clothes

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Traditional clothes (for special occasion)

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Under garments, thermal underwear

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Swimsuit

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Footwear: socks, slippers, sandals, formal shoes, casual shoes, shoe polish

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Jewelry

We suggest that you bring clothes that suit the weather in your place of study. For instance, if you are going to study in New York, you should bring more warm clothes than if you are going to study in Los Angeles.

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Bed and Bath Items

The items in the list below are also easy to get in the US. However, some of you might prefer to bring them from your country to save on money.

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Bed sheet and pillow cover

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Comforter

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Towels

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Soap, face soap, shampoo, tooth paste, tooth brush

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Shower cap

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Shaving kits

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Hair dryer, hair oil, hair brush, comb

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Cosmetics, lotions

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Nail cutter

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Little mirror

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Cookware and ethnic spices

In your home country, probably you use special cookware and special spices to cook your food, and you might wonder if you can find that special cookware and spices in the US. Based on our experience, most likely you will be able to find your cooking needs in the US. Remember that the US is a country of immigrants. Therefore, here you can find many ethnic grocery stores that sell the special cookware and spices that you need. However, if you believe that it will be hard for you to find the cooking items that you need, you might want to carry those items from your home country.

For the general kitchen utensils and general cookware, we suggest you to buy them in the US. However, if you have space in your luggage and you want to bring them from your home country, below is the check list.

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Plates, bowls (microwavable, if possible)

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Glasses, mugs

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Spoons, forks, knives

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Frying pan, boiling pan

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Special cookware

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Special spices

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Some instant food

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Healthcare Items

Below is the list of related healthcare items that you might want to carry with you.

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Glasses (2-3 pairs), contact lenses (6 to 12 pairs if you use disposable contact lenses), contact lenses solution, eye drop

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First aid kits (e.g. band aides)

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Tablets for cough / flu / fever / headache / stomachache

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Personal medicine (e.g. spray for asthma)

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Balms

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Personal Items

You can find almost all of the items mentioned above in the US. However, your personal items might be hard to find. Therefore, it is advisable to provide some space in your luggage for your personal items, such as:

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Family / loved one’s pictures, albums

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Diary

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Favorite CDs, DVDs, or video tapes

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Favorite musical instrument (check with your air lines before carrying instruments such as guitars, etc)

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Favorite show piece

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Dictionary (English – Your language), books or journal that are relevant with your field of study

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Please note:

Remember that your baggage allowance is limited. The limit varies depending on the airlines. However, normally you are allowed to bring two check-in baggage 50 pounds each and one or two carry out items.

General school supplies are easy to find in the bookstore here in the US, so you don’t really need to carry them from home.

The US uses 110 volt electric system. We suggest that students coming from countries that use 220 volt systems, need not bring electrical appliances to the US, unless the appliance has adapter that can accommodate to both the voltage systems.

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