Things to Do after Reaching USA
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.
Making new friends
Making new friends may sound like something given, but don’t underestimate the importance of emotional support starting from day one. You can combat homesickness by trying to get involved on campus and making friends right away. Along with that, you need to address a few issues immediately, which would help you in settling down comfortably before your course commences.
Admission Office and Campus visit
Most campus visits will include an information session, where an admission representative will talk to you about the college before the campus tour begins. You will be able to see the main parts of the campus and have a chance to ask questions. You can meet professors, visit classrooms, meet the financial assistance in-charge, visit the dining hall. Prepare a list of questions. Give some meaningful thought as to what you would like to find out about on the tour such as academic specialties and professors, food and campus safety, athletic teams and other clubs and student associations. Asking questions will help you to gather information about study pressure, expectations set forth for new candidates and about the student culture.
Visit the campus Medical Centre
Health care is expensive in the US and so you need to be covered by a comprehensive health care insurance plan. Once you land up on campus, you need to visit the Medical Centre and provide details about the vaccinations and other initiatives taken by you beforehand. The Medical centre would guide you on getting a suitable health care plan in place, which would take care of your general health and would ensure timely medical care in times of emergencies.
Scout for close-by shopping centres and Indian stores for utilities and grocery
After you settle down into your room, you need to explore the nearest shopping centres to cater to your on-going needs like utilities, grocery, medicines and others. You can visit the nearest Indian store to buy spices, pickles, sweets and snacks that would make you feel that your new place is a home away from home. You could also look for Indian restaurants in the vicinity to enjoy native delicacies once in a while.
Apply for SIM card, driving license
Getting a SIM card is a top priority to keep you connected with friends and your family back home. Locate the facility on campus or close to it for recharging the same. Unless the city that you’re moving into has a well-established public transit system, driving is the best way to get from one point to another. In case you cannot get a driver’s licence, using car pool is a good idea. Car pool is an arrangement where you can move in a pre-booked car on daily/monthly basis with others who have to travel to the same area every day from the same locality.
Do your homework on emergency numbers
Knowing the emergency services in the US is very important. It may come handy any time. Moreover, it is your responsibility to let your relatives and friends know about your whereabouts as it is always safe to have a cushion in case of any unforeseen event like an accident or things of similar nature. Never hesitate to ask for help as the US has many service providers that can help you by providing useful information or services when you need them, whenever you have them.
Save all your contact information on a Google doc so that you can retrieve the same in case of loss of your mobile or tabs. Keeping a hard copy of the emergency numbers is also a good idea in case you lose your cell phone and are unable to find other electronic media to retrieve your saved data from the internet.
Taking care of these immediate important issues will make your transition to the US a smooth one. It would help you settle down comfortably and allow you to concentrate on your studies. Systematically addressing them would save on valuable time and money, and leave you with enough time to make new friends and ward off the overwhelming home-sickness that you would be besieged with initially.