At this time of year, universities are just getting back into session. Freshmen and first years are arriving in new cities, and even new countries, for the first time and getting to know the place where they will spend the next few years of their lives. Our bloggers remember what it was like to arrive in the U.S. for the first time, and give their number one piece of advice for traveling here.
In this part, our bloggers look at the practicalities of travel, including what you’ll need and what to pack. Part 2 will look at how to get settled in and adjust to life in a new country.
Entering the US requires more paperwork than just your passport and visa. As a student, you need to have your I-20 ready, signed recently by the listed responsible official of your college. It doesn’t hurt to have your SEVIS receipt either, especially if it’s your first arrival.
On top of that, everyone entering America fills out a form or two, something called an I-94 and a customs declaration form. They are pretty self-explanatory, but you will require an address to fill in and perhaps a telephone number of where you will be in the country (your university’s address, if you’re living on-campus). The I-94 gets stapled into your passport. Needless to say, be very cautious and make sure you don’t lose it!