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US Travel Checklist: Things to Carry to USA for International Students

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Fiona
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You have been admitted to your dream university and you have got your visa approved! Congratulations on this exciting milestone!

Before you embark on your journey to study in the USA, there are a few essentials you need to take care of, such as packing your belongings, finding accommodation, opening a bank account, getting travel insurance, and settling into your new surroundings.

Doing all of this on your own can be overwhelming, especially if you are moving to a new country for the first time.

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We can help you with everything from finding affordable accommodation to opening a bank account to getting travel insurance. We can also provide you with guidance on your academic studies and post-study career prospects.

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Table of Contents

Documents Required to Travel to The USA

Before moving to the things to carry to the USA for students from India, let us first make you acquainted with the most essential documents without which you'll be denied entry into the US.

Given below are the documents required to be presented to the officers at the US airport for immigration purposes:

  • University-mandated admits, aid, and forms.
  • Original academic transcripts: These will also include your original/attested mark sheets, degree certificate, school certificate, letters of recommendation, 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 INR 29,200, and it must be paid online.
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Acceptance letter from your university
  • LOR, SOP
  • Departure letter

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USA Student Packing List

There are a lot of things to carry from India to the USA. All these things are mentioned in different USA student packing lists mentioned below:

  • Travel Checklist
  • Health Checklist
  • Food & Clothing/Apparel Checklist

Let’s dive into its details with the help of this table:

Travel Checklist 

Health Checklist 

Food Checklist 

Clothing/ Apparel Checklist 

Passport

Health Insurance 

Masala/ spice/ oils

Carry extra winter/ summer/ fall clothing

Payment cards

Health Check-up

Ready-to-cook food

Toiletries 

Student visa

Medicines for cold/ fever/ cough

Pressure cooker of 3-7 liters

T-Shirts/ Shirts

USD currency 

Eye contact lenses

 

Undergarments

Electronic Gadgets like Mobile, Laptop, Calculator, extra batteries, etc

Prescription for Medicine, if any

 

Trainers 

Let’s have a closer look at the packing list for Indian students going to USA:

Travel Checklist

A student packing list for the USA is the most important travel 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. Mastercard, Visa, and American Express in particular are popular payment methods in the United States.
  • Student Visa: A photocopy of your approved F-1 student visa will be required at the airport before you travel to the US.

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Besides the above-mentioned essentials, you will also need the following important things to carry to the USA for students from India:

Foreign currency to carry to the US

  • Carry about USD 1,000 (INR 83,300)  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 USA

  • Laptop/Mobile/Tablet and its charger
  • Pen-drive/Hard disk
  • India to the US plug/adapter: This is absolutely essential. You will need them to power the gadgets you are carrying from India to the US.
  • Digital camera
  • Headphones with mic
  • Calculator
  • Extra batteries
  • Table clock
  • External HDD

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Health Checklist

Let us now help you with some health-related things that must be included in your USA student travel checklist from India.

The most important health-related things that need to be included in your US student packing list from India are:

  • Health Insurance: The average cost of a trip to the emergency room is INR 58,200, and getting tests or prescriptions can push that cost well over INR 83,200. 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 a total health check-up done before you leave. Treatments in the US, especially Eye and Dental care, can be pretty expensive.
  • Medicines for cold/fever/cough: Crocin, Combiflam, Diziron, Vicks, Avail.25, etc.
  • Eye contact lenses.

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Clothing Checklist

Here is the clothing packing list for students going to the 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 them. However, make sure you are not exceeding your luggage limit.

Specific essential clothing items to be carried to the US have been listed below:

  • Tshirts
  • Jeans
  • Formal shirts
  • Coat and suits
  • Shorts
  • Track pants
  • Undergarments
  • Ties
  • Dresses
  • Swimming costumes
  • Winter jackets
  • Wallet
  • Socks
  • Trainers
  • Sandals

Food Checklist

Moving on, let us now provide you acquainted with some essential food items to carry in your student packing list for the USA:

  • 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 the USA from India.
  • Ready-to-cook food: You may carry ready-to-cook food to the US (for instance, Maggi, pickles) 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.

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Luggage Guidelines for Students Travelling to the US

After getting to know about the packing list for Indian students going to the USA, it's also important to stay updated about the luggage guidelines/rules/specifications:

  • The 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, a briefcase, and a purse. The 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.

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From the Desk of Yocket 

Moving to a new country to study can be an exciting but also daunting experience. There is so much to think about and prepare for, from packing your belongings to finding accommodation to opening a bank account.

To make the process a little bit easier, we have put together this US travel checklist for international students. This checklist covers all of the essential items you need to bring with you to the USA, as well as some additional items that may be helpful.

Of course, the specific items you need to bring will vary depending on your individual needs and circumstances. But this checklist should give you a good starting point.

Yocket counselors wish you a safe and successful journey to the USA!

Frequently Asked Questions about US Student Travel Checklist

What are food essentials one must keep in their USA student packing list?

What are the electronic gadgets one must take to the US, as students?

What are the documents required at the time of immigration?

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