Foreign Students’ Guide to Traveling to the USA

The United States is known for its multitude of foreign exchange students, which it accommodates on a yearly basis. In fact, there are more than 764,000 students that enrolled in U.S. universities and colleges during the 2011-2012 school year. Based on an article published in The Telegraph, around 9,000 British undergraduates and postgraduates studied in the U.S. last year and experts predict that the number will soar further in 2013.

If you are one of those who are planning to travel to the United States to study, then here are some things that you need to prepare before leaving your homeland.

Student Visa

There are three student visas that could be issued to you so make sure to know their differences. The most common visa is the F1 visa, which is given to a student who attends an English Language Program or an academic program. J1 visas, on the other hand, are issued to students who need to obtain training that is not available in their country. A person attending a vocational or non-academic school will need an M1 visa. Students need to prove that they have enough funds or scholarships that cover their tuition in order to obtain any of these visas.

Flight and Accommodation

It is important to book a flight in advance so you can get the best deals on airfares. Those who are coming from the UK can take advantage of dialaflight‘s direct flights to key U.S. cities including New York where you can find Columbia University and Cornell University. Study the map of the city, so you will know what ride to take once you arrive in New York. When it comes to accommodation, it is best to stay in a hostel because of its affordability. There are several branches of YMCA in New York covering Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Communication

International calls are quite expensive, so it is best to establish communication even before you arrive in the USA. Because of WiFi’s availability, people can now use VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) to get in touch with their loved ones overseas. The most popular application is Skype, but there are now other apps that offer free calls and text messaging for free. It is also advisable to have a calling card available in case there’s no WiFi. For long term use, it is always better to purchase your own sim card.

These tips will help you get started with your travelling plans. Enjoy your new journey!

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