US Travel Checklist: Essential Things to Take to USA for Indian Students Image
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US Travel Checklist: Essential Things to Take to USA for Indian Students

Yocket Editorial Team
4 mins read

You have got the admit to your dream university! You have got your Visa approved! And you are all set to fly to the USA to pursue your higher education. But, before you embark on your highly anticipated journey to study in the USA, you need to know exactly what is going in your ‘Essentials’ Checklist.

There are ample things you need to take care of in order to make sure that everything is up and ready. To ease you out, we’ve curated an all-essential checklist with a list of things you need to take to the USA from India for students.

What all things to take to the USA for students?

There are a lot of things a student needs to pack when moving to the USA. All these things are mentioned in different checklists mentioned below:

  1. Travel Checklist

  2. Health Checklist

  3. Food & Clothing/Apparel Checklist

Let’s have a closer look at the list of things to pack for USA under each checklist.

Travel Checklist

Travel Checklist is the most important checklist when you are packing for essential things to carry while traveling to the USA from India. The most essential things that you need to carry before you travel to the US are your Flight tickets, Passport, Payment Cards, and Student Visa Permit.

  • Passport:

Your Passport will be required for identification purposes as you enter the US.

  • Payment Cards:

Initially, you will need a credit or debit card to secure basic necessities and utilities while in the US. A Mastercard, Visa, and American Express in particular are popular payment methods in the United States.

  • Student Visa:

A photocopy of your approved student visa will be required at the airport before you travel to the US.

Besides the above-mentioned essentials, you will also need the following important documents while traveling to the US from India:

University-specific documents to carry to the US:

  • University-mandated admits, aid, forms.

  • Original transcripts: These will also include your original/attested mark sheets, degree certificate, school certificate, letters of recommendations, etc. Make sure to carry copies of the same too.

  • Standardized/ entrance exam score sheets (TOFEL, GRE or GMAT, etc.)

  • Immunization report: All universities have their mandatory vaccination requirements so remember to check those out and follow them carefully.

  • I-20 Form: This document is issued by a US government-approved educational institution that certifies your admission to a full-time study program with the approved financial ability to stay in the US. You would have received this form from your Designated School Official (DSO).

  • SEVIS Fee receipt: All international students need to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee, separate from their student visa fees. At present, the fee is 350 USD, and it must be paid online.

Foreign Currency to Carry to the US:

  • Carry about $1000 in the currency more or less, and the rest can be taken in loaded forex cards. Remember to always carry loose change that you can use for eating/drinking during your travel journey.

  • Forex cards are cost-effective so make sure to carry most of your money on these cards.

  • For tuition fees, it is best to wire the money directly to the university.

Electronic Gadgets to Carry to the US:

  • Laptop/Mobile/Tablet and its charger

  • Pen-drive/Hard-disk

  • India to US plug/adapter: This is an absolute essential. You will need them to power the gadgets you are carrying from India to the US.

Health Checklist:

What are some health-related things that must be included in my US travel checklist from India?

The most important health-related things that need to be included in your US travel checklist from India are: getting Student Health Insurance and a Full Health Check-up.

  • Health Insurance:

The average cost of a trip to the emergency room is $700, and getting tests or prescriptions can push that cost well over $1000. All universities abroad require Student Health Insurance. This can be obtained from any Indian insurance company and is cost-effective, too, rather than getting it from your university.

  • Health Check-up:

Make sure to get total health check-up done before you leave. Treatments in the US, especially Eye and Dental care, can be pretty expensive.

Clothing Checklist

What is the list of things to pack for USA while traveling from India?

Here is the list of things to pack for USA:

  • Depending on the varying climates of your destination state, carry extra winter/summer/fall clothing.

  • Carry toiletries.

  • Carry extra blankets/pillows if you feel you cannot do without it. However, make sure you are not exceeding your luggage limit.

Also, important to note here are luggage guidelines/rules/specifications:

  • Total linear dimensions of each check-in bag should not exceed 158 cm (62 inches). The total weight must not be more than 23 kg (50 pounds).

  • You are allowed to carry one hand baggage, plus a laptop, briefcase and a purse. Maximum weight of hand baggage should not exceed a certain limit, usually 5 to 10 kg.

  • Don’t forget to acquire Transportation Security Administration locks.

  • In the case of loss of luggage and accidents, make sure you have a travel insurance cover that can protect you. An Indian Insurance company can provide this service to you.

Food Checklist

What is the list of food items to carry to the US? Can we take spices to USA from India?

  • Masala/ spices/oils: According to the US Customs and Border Protection site, you can carry masalas, oils, honey, coffee, tea, and packaged spices to the US. So yes, you can take spices to USA from India.

  • Ready-to-cook food: You may carry ready-to-cook food to the US (for instance, Maggi) in case of emergencies.

  • Pressure cooker of 3-7 litres.

  • Rice, spoons, knives, bowls, vegetables, dal, etc are all largely prohibited and also inessential. You will find these abroad as well.

Now that you have all of your essentials in order, you can be rest assured that these are not subject to change. All of the above must be ticked off before you begin your journey. Once they are, remember to keep updating yourself with any new documents/reports that may be required by your university of choice. Good luck and safe journey!


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