First of all hearty congratulations for getting an admit from one of the top-rated universities in the world. You’ve worked hard enough for this and you deserve to celebrate your success…..but not yet :P. The process doesn’t end at getting an admit from a university. In fact you could say it actually starts. The idea might seem crazy because it definitely is. However, the things that remain to be done do not require any expertise. It’s just plain old logistical stuff. We’ve prepared a kind of a checklist that can help you glide through these insipid tasks.
- Alright the first thing that needs to be done is to arrange for the god of everything: money ‘coz as they say “Na Biwi Na Bachha Na Baap Bada Na Maiyan
The Whole Thing Is That Ke Bhaiya Sabse Bada Rupaiya”. You’ll need to show that you have enough funds for the I-20 as well as the visa so I suggest you take care of this as a priority. Now if you are going to a fully funded program, let me take a break here and double the number of congratulations that I gave earlier. You’re done kiddo! Move on to the next point and let the suckers read the rest. Next, if you’re one of those people whose dads can shell out enough cash to fund your entire tuition and stay in the US, I might have nothing for you as well, please proceed to the next point. Now who’s left? Oh, that’s right, stupid and poor people like me :). Don’t you worry dear, you’re not the only one out there. For people like us, they’ve made institutions like the bank. Go ahead and apply for a loan as soon as you can because sometimes these things take time and your visa won’t be approved unless you show them the availability of enough funds. One hack that you can do if you’re getting late for the I-20 and the visa and the loan has still not been approved is to ask some of your relatives to temporarily transfer enough money in your account so that you can get an official statement of the available funds as a proof. You can return the money when your loan gets approved. That way you can start the other process in parallel to the loan approval. However, I suggest that you use this hack as a last resort as you may end up in complications.
- Now you should be ready with all the documents that your school needs in order to issue you an I-20. Please follow your school’s guidelines on which documents might be needed and how to send them to different schools according to their requirements
- The next step is to apply for the visa. Note that you can’t start this process until you get the I-20 from your school. Applying for the visa is a fairly simple process when you have all the required documents. What documents you ask? Don’t worry we already wrote a post for that.
- A good idea would be to book your tickets as early as possible. Almost every university start their curriculum at around the same time which leads to a huge number of students trying to book the tickets near the joining date. You can be the early bird and get your tickets at a lower price than the other crowd. You should essentially plan to arrive at least 3-4 days prior to the date you are first required to be present in the US. Our post on Planning your travel may help you.
- The whole visa thing can be a bit monotonous I agree. Luckily there are other things that you can do simultaneously (other than chilling out with your besties and savoring those Indian delicacies…….if you’re not already doing these things, you better get started, you’ll miss them soon). You can start exploring housing options around your university. While every school has a list of neighborhoods that students generally tend to prefer living in, we’ve prepared some things that you should keep in mind when you go hunting (for houses you idiot……didn’t you already learn from Bhai that hunting could land you in trouble :P). Do visit this link before you start looking for your heavenly abode.
- The next step is to start packing your stuff or at least start thinking about it. You may need to buy new luggage for your stuff so you could start with that. Regarding all your kitchen needs, you can safely leave all that tension to the mothers, they somehow have this weird power of preparing a list of all the things that you might need for the kitchen and pack all that stuff for you. I clearly remember fighting with my mom over how I wouldn’t need an egg beater ever while I was away, whereas I use it almost every day to make an omelet :P. We have prepared a list of things that you must absolutely pack when you leave in our post on Planning your travel.
You should also try to get in touch with other students, both who would be joining in your batch as well as senior students. By talking to them, you can find more about the funding opportunities at the school, in case you don’t have a funding. Those people can also be a potential roommate so you should keep an eye on your next buddy out there. Lastly, every school has several groups on facebook where students sell/buy stuff at a very cheap price. So you should try to get into one of those groups to get a good deal for the things that you might want to buy.
Finally coming to the most important thing of all. Please make sure you enjoy whatever little bit of time you have left with your friends and family. You’ll miss your folks a lot after you leave, especially when the semester catches its full flow and you get deeply engrossed in the study. Make sure you relish your last meal cooked by your mom, the last party with your friends and the last tea at the corner street stall. Because as they say, it’s the last thing that you’ll always remember. Just kidding, “they” don’t say this, I just made it up :P. But yeah do enjoy your time before you leave the country.
Oh and how could I forget this, they don’t have cheese burst pizza in the US (I know, how can they be so dumb….they fricking put the cheese in everything they put in their mouth….but whatever). So if you are a big fan of that dripping cheese coming out of that sweet little pizza bread (Oh god, I have already started missing it…..again), make sure you fill that belly of yours with all the cheesebursts that you can ;). As an insider tip, you can say the last goodbye to that friend of yours at the airport too :P.