Preparing to study overseas is not only exciting, but daunting as well. A lot of things need to be considered, and elaborate preparations needs to be done before you embark on your journey to study abroad. However, the following pre-departure tips will make your preparation organized and stress-free: PREDEPARTURE CHECKLIST
Important documents: predeparture checklist
University-related documents: predeparture checklist
Health and safety: predeparture checklist
Finance: predeparture checklist
Other Documents: predeparture checklist
Luggage: predeparture checklist
Communication: predeparture checklist
The prospect of studying abroad evokes myriad emotions. It makes you feel nervous, excited and anxious all at the same time. Meticulous planning and preparation is required to ensure that you comfortably settle in a foreign land. However, one of the most important aspects that will determine whether your experience will be a memorable one or not is finding a suitable roommate. Whether you decide to use your personal network, pick up an expert roommate service provider or sign up on Craigslist, it is important that you set your expectations right before your roommate-hunting drive. Try deliberating on the below-mentioned factors before you zero in on your roommate! Read More
Preparing to study overseas is not only exciting but daunting as well. A lot of things need to be considered, and elaborate preparations needs to be done before you embark on your journey to study abroad. However, the following pre-departure tips will make your preparation organized and stress-free: Things to do before going to USA for Higher Studies
Important documents: Things to do before going to USA for Higher Studies
University-related documents: Things to do before going to USA for Higher Studies
Health and safety: Things to do before going to USA for Higher Studies
Finance: Things to do before going to USA for Higher Studies
Other Documents: Things to do before going to USA for Higher Studies
Luggage: Things to do before going to USA for Higher Studies
Communication: Things to do before going to USA for Higher Studies
Packing list for travelling to USA
1.T-shirts (round neck) – 8
2. T-shirts (with collar) – 3-4
3. Jeans (stick to blue/black) – 6-7
4. Formal shirts – 3
5. Formal trousers – 2
6. Undergarments – at least 15 pairs (very important)
7. Formal suit – 1 complete set
8. Ties – 2-3
9. Shorts/three-fourths – 5-6
10. Track pants – 2-3
11. Swimming trunks – 1 (if you plan to swim after coming here)
12. One traditional dress for festivals
EXTRA APPARELS:- Packing list for travelling to USA
1. Towels (any kind, but I would prefer Turkish(Or Tunisian) – 1 turkish,3 Simple
2. Hand towels – 3-4
3. Leather belts – 1-2
4. Belt for jeans – 1
5. Formal leather shoes – 1 pair
6. Woodland all-weather shoes – 1 pair (very important)
7. Sneakers (optional) – 1 pair
8. Sports shoes (optional) – They are very cheap in the US. You will most probably have a pair already. Wear it and come. Wait till the black friday sales where you will get awesome pairs of shoes for cheap.
9. Sunglasses – 1 pair (any good brand is okay)
10. Socks – 6-7 pairs
11. Sweater – 1-2 good warm ones
12. A light jacket (you can get a thicker one once you land in the US)
13. A good umbrella (don’t get the cheap ones, they can’t stand the wind)
14. Handkerchiefs – 12 nos.
15. Hawaii slippers – 1 pair (for wearing inside the apartment)
16. Flip-flops – 1 pair (for summer and spring)
17. Bedsheets – 2
18. Blanket – 1 (optional)
19. Pillow covers – 3
20. A good wallet (leather) – 1
21. A wallet for passport
22. Shoe polish – 1 (don’t get liquid, might spill during travel)
23. Shoe polishing brush – 1
24. Monkey cap – 1
ELECTRONICS:- Packing list for travelling to USA
1. External HDD (get the portable one) – You might need this for bringing all those movies, music and files from back home. Minimum of 1 TB. Any brand is fine. Flipkart has a sale on Transcend and WD till 26th May.
2. USB keyboard and mouse (optional) – gamers might need this. Even otherwise, it is a good thing to have. Get Logitech.
4. If you already have a laptop, you may bring that. Even if it is quite old, preserve it till black friday. You will get super deals, both online and in-store.
5. IPod/mp3 player (optional) – You might need this if you have to wait for long times at airports. Else, get it in the US.
6. Digital Camera- Get it from India. It might be a little more expensive, but you will need it to record all those initial snaps in the US. Preferred brands are Canon, Sony and Nikon. Don’t buy cameras that require AA batteries. Buy models with Li-ion batteries.
7. A good pair of headphones with mic.
8. A branded spike-buster.
9. Indian pin to US pin converters – 2-3. (very important)
10. A small table clock with alarm functionality
11. A scientific calculator (very important) Casio fx991MS or fx991ES – This is damn expensive in the US.
12. A good branded, decent wrist watch.
13. An extra battery for your wrist watch.
14. Blank DVDs – 4-5.
PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS:- Packing list for travelling to USA
1. Tooth paste – one large tube. Brands also available in the US – Colgate, Close-Up, Pepsodent, Aquafresh (Note: The Pepsodent here is not the same as the Pepsodent in India, it is owned by a different company, not by Unilever. (This is a very important fact))
2. Tooth brushes – 3-4
3. Soap – 1-2 bars. Brands also available in the US – Dove, Palmolive and Pears. If you don’t use any of these brands, then better get used to them. No use bringing lots of soap bars from India.
4. Shampoo – 1 bottle. Brands also available in the US – Head and Shoulders, Sunsilk, Dove, Pantene, Nizoral. Again, get used to any one of these brands.
5. Shaving razor(for guys) – A couple of disposable ones.
6. Shaving foam (don’t buy cream) – 1 small can
7. Cold cream – 1 bottle
8. Vaseline – 1 bottle
9. Good clean combs – 2-3
10. Comb cleaner/old toothbrush for cleaning the combs.
11. Soap cases – 2
12. Hair oil – 2 bottles
13. Deodorant – 1 can
14. Nail cutter – 2
15. Earbuds – 1 small pack
16. Sunscreen – 1 bottle
17. Lip balm – 2 tubes
UTENSILS:- Packing list for travelling to USA
2. Pressure pan – 1. As far as possible, get both the cooker and the pan from the same brand so that you can interchange the gaskets and the weights.
3. Medium size kadai for cooking vegetables – 1
4. Serving spoons (of various sizes) – 3-4
5. SS Plate – 1
6. Kadai for boiling milk/water – 1
7. Knives – 3-4
8. Vegetable chopping board – 1
9. SS glasses/tumblers – 3
10. SS spoons – 3-4
11. Extra weights and gaskets for the cookers – 3
12. Chapati roller – 1
13. Butter knives – 2
14. SS forks – 2
15. Kadai for making sambar/dal – 1
16. Tea strainer – 1
17. Water bottle (preferably Tupperware) – 1
FOOD ITEMS:- Packing list for travelling to USA
1. Ready-to-eat paste – 5-6 bottles minimum.
2. Rice – 3-4 kg for initial use
3. Maggi – 10-12 (minimum). You won’t get Maggi in the US except in Indian stores. So carry as much as you can.
4. Some home-made sweets for yourself as well as for seniors you need favors from.
5. Pickles – 3-4 bottles
6. Some snacks – how much ever you want, for the initial days
7. All powders – chilli, garam masala, rasam, sambar, asafetida, other powders you use – 0.5 to 1 kg each
8. All dals that you use in cooking – 2 kg each
9. Salt and sugar – 0.5 kg each
10. Papads – 2-3 packs
11. Tamarind – 1 kg
12. Ginger-garlic paste – 2 bottles
STATIONERY ITEMS:- Packing list for travelling to USA
1. Pens – 3-4
2. Notebooks – 2-3
3. Pencils – 3-4
4. Erasers – 3
5. Sharpeners – 3
6. Key chains – 2
7. Staple machine – 1
8. Pins – 2 boxes
9. Glue sticks – 2
10. Markers – 2
11. Highlighters – 1
12. A4 sheets – 1 quire
13. Small ruler – 1
14. Phone book – 1. Keep all your friends’ and relatives’ phone numbers written inside before you leave ( or use Google sync like a normal person)
15. Cellophane tape – 1 roll
MEDICINES:- Packing list for travelling to USA
These are very important since for getting any specialized medicine in the US, you need a prescription.
1. Cold, Fever – Crocin
2. Body Pain – Crocin, Combiflam
3. Indigestion, Gastric Problems – Gelucil, Zinetac
4. Throat Infection – Erythromycin
5. Allergies – Avil .25
6. Vomiting – Avomine
7. Tooth Ache – Combiflam
8. Cold, Head Ache – Amurtanjan
9. Stomach Pain – Cyclopam
10. Diarrhea – Lopomide
11. Dizziness – Diziron
12. Sprain – Esgypyrin
13. Common Cold – Coldact, Vicks Vaporub
DOCUMENT LIST:- Packing list for travelling to USA
(1) Passport Xerox(5 copies)
(2) VISA Xerox (5 copies)
(4) I-20(5 copies)
(5) Air Ticket(2 copies)
(6) Original marksheets + Degree Certificate
(7) Attested marksheets + Degree Certificate (3 copies)
(8 Original transcripts + Degree Certificate (3 copies)
(9) Immunization form(specific to university)
(10) University specific letters like admit, aid, forms.
(11) SEVIS fee reciept(3 copies)
(12) GRE Original + Xerox copies(5 copies)
(13) TOEFL Original + Xerox copies(5 copies)
(14) Final Year Project Report
(15) Syllabus Copies
(16) Reco Letters.
PACKING Packing list for travelling to USA
Don’t procrastinate packing till the last moment as you won’t find time later, and in the tension you may miss out on some important things. Start packing early. Make sure you make a list of all stuff you are carrying. Label all the suitcases both inside and outside with both your home address in India and your university address. Include the phone numbers also. Make sure you are within the luggage allowance (you can do this by carrying the suitcase to the nearest scrap metal shop/rice mundi), though it can exceed upto 1-2 kgs. Packing list for travelling to USA
Things to Do after Reaching USA on F1 Visa
One of the defining moments in a student’s life is when he clicks on the mail from his dream university and finds the acceptance letter waiting to be clicked open. Unadulterated happiness and ecstasy are soon dwarfed by anxiety about the university. After all, it’s the place which you will call home, where you will be spending years studying, growing and establishing the foundations for a successful career in your chosen field. There’s a lot of advice that applies to Indian students. First is to try to prepare for the culture shock by learning about the customs of your new country and coming up with strategies to deal when you feel homesick or overwhelmed.Things to do after reaching USA on F1 visa Read More
Increasing career benefits of a foreign education coupled with an enriching global exposure has increased the number of students who aspire to pursue their higher education abroad. In spite of a plethora of advantages of studying abroad, the exorbitant expenses involved discourage students from following their dreams. Although many scholarships and financial aid options are available, all students do not become eligible for them. As a result, educational loans become significant to the study abroad plan for the student. Education loans for studying abroad are provided by almost all the major banks in India, but parents and students are apprehensive about the complicated and cumbersome loan application procedure. With easy repayment options and reasonable interest rates, securing funding for study abroad plans has become much simpler than what is perceived. Below are a few tips to obtain student loans. Dos and Donts of Student Loans in India
While you are anxiously awaiting the offer letter from your dream University, start applying for an educational loan. For this, you must research the available loan options thoroughly. Make use of this period effectively to study the various loan options. Being proactive will give you sufficient time to properly weigh all your option before you choose the most suitable loan scheme.
As you research on loans from leading banks, you will find that they offer loans with varying rates of interest. Compare the student loans that are on offer and make a thorough comparison. State-run banks normally have lower interest rates as compared to private ones. The current interest rates usually fall between 11% to 14%; however most of these are offered on a floating rate basis. This means you should be prepared to face an increase or decrease in interest rates later depending on market conditions. With respect to security requirements for the loan-
(a) Loan up to Rs. 4 lakh- No collateral security is needed, parents are the joint borrower. Dos and Donts of Student Loans in India
(b) Loan amount between Rs.4 to 7.5 lakhs- along with parents as joint borrowers, collateral security in the form of a third party guarantee must be given.
(C) Loan amount above Rs.7.5 lakhs- Parents must be joint borrowers plus tangible collateral security of suitable value is required.
Do not depend on just one bank for your loan. It is advisable to apply to multiple banks, in case your loan application gets rejected by one.
When a loan amount exceeds Rs 5 lakhs, you must indicate who your cosigner is. A cosigner (usually parent) is a person who must sign the loan agreement with you, will be responsible for your debt and agrees to pay your debt, in case you fail to repay the loan. Dos and Donts of Student Loans in India
Contact the bank and obtain a checklist from them in advance to have all documents and papers ready for the loan application. You must find out if the University has any tie-ups with banks for educational loans as it could expedite the loan process. Dos and Donts of Student Loans in India
The Application Check List should comprise of-
For an overseas study, loan worth Rs 7 lakhs and above are approved against fixed deposits or property worth the loan amount, NSC certificates and a margin of 15 percent (means you get 15 percent less than the amount sanctioned as a loan). Also, if a loan below Rs 4 lakhs comes at a particular interest rate, the loan over Rs 4 lakhs is usually charged at one percent higher. This is a general overview but for more specifics and schemes on the amount, the rate of interest and repayment options, you must check the individual bank websites.
1) Mark sheet of the last examination for school and graduate studies in India
2) Proof of admission to the course
3) Schedule of expenses for the course
4) Copies of the letter confirming scholarship, etc.
5) Copies of foreign exchange permit, if applicable
6) 2 passport size photographs
7) Bank account statement of the borrower for the last six months
8) Income tax assessment orders not more than two years old
9) A brief statement of the assets and liabilities of the borrower (usually the parent or guardian) and proof of income.
10) In case you are not an existing client of the bank from which you wish to avail the loan, you will also need to establish your identity and give proof of residence.
Education loans usually cover tuition fees, books and any other supplies, room and board fees, transportation costs, health insurance, as well as other living and education related expenses. The bank usually does not hand over the money to you, but will credit it to the University’s account at the start of each year or semester as required.
Take time to go through the loan agreement’s fine print before you sign it. You should check for the interest rate structure, the pre-payment details, and any options to extend loan repayment in case of unemployment after graduation. Understand the entire loan disbursement process, its various clauses and clear any questions that you have with the bank officials.
A list of banks that provide education loans for study abroad in India
Thus, by preparing for an education loan application well in advance, gaining a clear understanding of the moratorium period and repayment options and conducting an extensive research about the various loan schemes available, you will ensure that the loan application process is smooth and you will be that much closer to fulfill your dream of studying at a prestigious university abroad.
In order to improve and expand the training opportunities, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is all set to issue a new rule regarding the student visa regulations on optional practical training (OPT) for students who are earning degree in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) from the US universities. As per this new rule, international students who are pursuing 12 months of OPT in the United States can now enjoy an extension period of 24 months, i.e 36 months of OPT in the U.S. This 24 month extension effectively replaces the 17 month STEM OPT extension that was previously available for the STEM students. Read More
A new rule is going to be issued by the federal government which is all set to change the future of many international students for the better! In all likelihood, the period of Optional Practical Training (OPT) which was extended from 12 months to 29 months for non-immigrant students who were on F-1 Visa and pursuing a STEM degree (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) will now be 36 months.
As a result, of this new rule which will come into effect on May 10, 2016, foreign students who have earned degrees in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics will now become eligible to stay for three years for on-the-job training, i.e., seven months longer than the 2008 rule. This new rule is sure to bring a new light of hope for those students who wish to work in the US. Apart from offering graduates more experience in their respective fields, this extension will also aid students who aspire to work within the country. If their work visa (H-1 visa) gets denied, they still have the opportunity of applying again and at the same time, they can continue to work within the country.
This new regulation, however, has given rise to a boiling controversy. It is no doubt a cause of celebration for international students, but it has also sparked an outrage amongst American workers. Many American workers view the training program’s extension as a threat to their work rights. However, the new rule clearly states that a STEM OPT student will not replace a full or part time, temporary or permanent US worker and also the terms of the pay package for the US and a foreign worker will be based on a common measure and divisor.
The motive for introducing this new rule is to enhance the training sessions and not to unfairly disadvantage any US workers. This new rule is indeed in favour of skilled talent and has no intention of taking away any opportunities for American workers. It is an opportunity for ensuring innovation and economic growth. This rule will ensure that the foreign students who come to the U.S. and receive degrees in sought-after STEM fields, do not leave soon after finishing their programs due to visa restrictions but instead continue to contribute to the economy.
STEM OPT extension from 29 Months to 36 Months STEM OPT extension from 29 Months to 36 Months STEM OPT extension from 29 Months to 36 Months STEM OPT extension from 29 Months to 36 Months STEM OPT extension from 29 Months to 36 Months STEM OPT extension from 29 Months to 36 Months