Prepare for Departure

 IBook an Apartment

If your university provides accommodation, and you have no acquaintance there, it is best that you live in the school dormitory. School dormitories tend to be in short supply. Hence, to successfully get the desired accommodation, you should get clear about the dormitory type, rent, whether men and women are living in the same building, etc, and also send the application to the school accommodation office(Housing Office) as soon as possible, accompanied by the application fee or deposit before the deadline.

If the university does not have dormitories, you need to seek off-campus accommodation. You might first spend a few days in a hotel. In case you have to live in a hotel for a long period of time, you can talk to the hotel officer to see whether the hotel is willing to negotiate a reduced rate. If you are not clear about the safety and traffic conditions, you should try your best to find an apartment near the school. When renting off-campus housing, you must take into account the following things: house type, rent, security, whether it has convenient transportation to the school,whether it is furnished or not, whether the water, electricity, telephone service charges are included in the rent or not, and whether the building allows pets or not. Before signing the contract, you should always read it carefully.

 II. Exchanging Renmingbi to dollars and carrying money abroad

Go to the bank to exchange Renmingbi to dollars. Please carry all documents with you. The documents you should bring to the bank for the first year study include: private passport, valid visa, the official admission notice, billing statement, ID card or household registration book. From the second school year on, the materials you need to bring include: a copy of your passport with a valid visa, the current school year fee notice or proof of payment for the last year or the last semester, a letter assigning another person to exchange the money for you, your student card, proof of study, the agent ID card or household registration book. More information can be obtained on CITIC Bank website. For online inquiries regarding the dollar and the RMB exchange rate, please click here.

Funds can be brought to USA in a variety of ways.

III.Make a Flight Reservation and Prepare Your Luggage

When making a flight reservation, you must understand that you can enter the U.S. only 30 days before the school registration days written on the I-20. If your flight reservation requires you to transfer to another flight, you must set aside enough time between the flights. If you need to leave and enter the customs, you should also be clear whether the luggage is “checked through” or if it will need to be re-checked before you enter customs. If so, be sure to leave enough time for the luggage retrieval and security screening.

We suggest you arrive at least 3-5 days in advance of the school registration days in order to become familiar with the surrounding environment and adjust your jet lag to give yourself a good start to your college life. Most universities will arrange for officers to meet students who are to live in dormitories at the designated airport.

Different airlines have different baggage requirements. Before going to the United States, ask the airline in advance about the permitted baggage weight and size. If you wish, you could also look at the list of things for studying abroad to get an idea of what you need to bring to the U.S. 

Buy a small suitcase or a large travel bag as carry-on baggage. You'll use a small trolley often when you travel later. Hence, you'd better buy a beautiful small suitcase of good quality, and be sure its three dimension together add up to no more than 115cm.

Buy a large suitcase for checked luggage. The sum of the length of the three sides must not exceed 158cm. As checked luggage, you will be moving it less often. Usually you won’t use it again until you return to China, thus a case of ordinary quality should be OK. You should buy canvas, because its shipping weight is less, and also it's not easy to be broken during handling. You should use a special custom lock for your checked luggage. If you do not want to spend money on a custom lock, don't lock the luggage with a password, or if you do, write your password down near the luggage lock for the customs officer to inspect your luggage. Otherwise, your lock may be broken by the customs officer when they inspect your luggage. Put a label on each piece of checked luggage, writing down clearly your full name, flight number, departure location, destination address and telephone number.

In case your luggage is lost, do not panic. You should immediately contact the airline at the airport to fill out a lost luggage form( lost baggage claim form). Each airline has its own compensation rules for lost luggage. You should ask about them and make sure you understand the entire process clearly. Also, remember to make a note of the airline enquiry number, in case you need it for future enquiries.

IV. Work on Your Health Issues

1.Check your vision, get a new pair of glasses if needed

2.Check your teeth, repair any bad teeth, fix broken crowns, etc.

3.Learn some basic medical knowledge. Please read See a doctor in the United States, which will help you understand why you should do so.

 V. Entering USA customs

Before entering U.S. customs, you are required to fill out an I-94 and customs declaration card, and so on. If the value entered on the custom declaration form is more than eight hundred U.S. dollars, you are required to pay tax. When entering the customs area, wait in your visa line (Non-immigrant visa holders should wait in the nonresident line).

When it’s your turn, give your passport, I-20 or IAP-66, I-94 and the declaration form to the officer for inspection. The custom officer may ask you some questions, such as your purpose for entering the United States and your final destination. After that your fingerprints and take photograph will be taken.

The U.S. Custom officer will stamp your I-20 or IAP-66 and I-94 card, and staple your I-94 entry card to your passport. The officer will then give you your I-94, and the third page of your I-20 or IAP-66. Please keep them in a safe place.

VI. Call Home

Please call your family in China as soon as you arrive at your destination, and let your anxious parents receive the news of your safe arrival.

1. Buy phone cards online

2. Make domestic phone calls or video calls through gmail

3. Make domestic calls using Skype

4. Use QQ to talk