Essential Pre-Departure Tips for Indian Students Going to the USA


Studying in the United States offers Indian students an exciting and transformative experience. However, proper preparation is crucial to ensure a smooth transition to a new country. To assist you in navigating this process, we have compiled a comprehensive list of pre-departure tips for Indian students planning to study in the USA. By following these suggestions, you can set yourself up for a successful academic journey abroad.

EdElevate’s tips

  1. Research and Plan Ahead: Before departing for the USA, conduct thorough research on your chosen university, city, and American culture. Familiarise yourself with academic programs, course requirements, campus facilities, and available resources. Additionally, explore local customs, weather conditions, and transportation options in your new city.
  2. Visa and Documentation: Make sure you have obtained the necessary student visa and completed all required documentation. Apply for your student visa well in advance to avoid any last-minute complications. Keep all essential documents, such as your passport, admission letters, financial records, and health insurance details, in a safe and easily accessible place. Maintain copies of all important documents on the cloud (such as Google Drive, iCloud, etc.) so that you may request copies of them easily in case you lose the originals.
  3. Financial Planning: Create a budget plan that considers tuition fees, accommodation costs, living expenses, and additional fees. Explore scholarship opportunities and research potential part-time job options on campus. Familiarise yourself with the banking systems in the USA and consider opening a bank account before your arrival. You can carry some US Dollars in cash for ease of meeting expenses for the initial few days.
  4. Accommodation: Thoroughly research housing options provided by your university, such as on-campus dormitories or off-campus apartments. Understand the rental agreement terms, costs, and proximity to your university. Connect with fellow students or university groups to find roommates and share expenses. Initiate your accommodation search early to secure the best options.
  5. Health and Insurance: Understand the health insurance requirements of your university and ensure that you have adequate coverage. Familiarise yourself with the healthcare system in the USA and be aware of the process for seeking medical assistance. Carry copies of your medical records, prescriptions, and any necessary vaccinations.
  6. Luggage rules: Before embarking on your journey, it is important to familiarise yourself with the luggage rules to ensure a stress-free trip. Most airlines permit one or two checked bags with a maximum weight limit of 23 kg (50 lbs) per bag. However, baggage rules and fees may vary depending on the airline and type of ticket purchased. To avoid any confusion or extra charges, it is essential to check the airline’s website for specific information on baggage allowance and fees. Most airlines allow one carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a backpack/laptop or purse. The carry-on bag must fit in the overhead bin, and the personal item must fit under the seat in front of you. It is crucial to keep in mind that liquids, gels, and aerosols in carry- on bags must be in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and placed in a quart-sized clear plastic bag. Certain items are restricted or prohibited on flights to the USA, including explosives, flammable materials, firearms, and certain chemicals. It is crucial to check the airline’s website for a comprehensive list of restricted items to avoid any potential issues during security checks.
  7. Packing Smartly: Consider the climate of your destination and pack accordingly. Remember to bring essential documents, including your passport, visa, and university-related paperwork. Pack a few personal items that provide comfort from home, but avoid overpacking since you can purchase many things upon arrival. Among the top items on Indian students’ agendas are Indian spices, OTC and prescription medications, ready-to-make foods, and pressure cookers (if you want to cook to your preferences). Crocin, Avomine, Combiflam, Zinetac, Avil are some common medicines that you may carry.
  8. Driving: When it comes to driving in the USA, it is advisable for Indian students to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) in India before travelling. The IDP serves as a translation of your Indian driver’s licence and can be beneficial in situations where your licence may not be easily understood. Remember to carry the IDP along with your Indian driver’s licence while driving in the USA.
  9. Communication: Inform your family, friends, and university about your travel plans and contact information. Consider purchasing an international calling plan or a local SIM card upon arrival to stay connected with your loved ones. Familiarise yourself with communication apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, or Zoom to communicate easily and cost- effectively.
  10. Culture and Etiquette: Learn about American culture, customs, and social norms to avoid any cultural misunderstandings. Understand your university’s code of conduct and academic integrity policies. Approach this experience with an open mind, showing respect and receptiveness to different perspectives and cultures.
  11. Transportation: Research the public transportation system in your new city, including buses, trains, and subway routes. Understand the transportation options available on your campus, such as shuttle services. Familiarise yourself with local traffic rules if you plan to drive.

Networking and Support: Join online forums, social media groups, or connect with Indian student associations to interact with fellow students who are also heading to the USA. This will help you build a support network even before you arrive. Reach out to alumni or current students from your university for guidance and advice.


Thoroughly preparing yourself before departure is essential for a smooth transition to studying in the USA. By following these pre-departure tips, you can ensure that you have made the necessary arrangements and have the knowledge to adapt to your new environment. Remember to maintain a positive attitude, embrace the opportunities that come your way, and make the most of your educational journey in the USA. Good luck!

EdElevate’s expert guidance

Want to get started on your journey to your favourite university?

Our expert counsellors at EdElevate will guide you and help you throughout your application process with our unique offering of customised admission mentoring based on your interests, with coverage of the best colleges in every discipline. Right from choosing the best study abroad option for you to mentor you, to building a strong profile, we offer a variety of services to assist students in realising their dream of study abroad.

Apart from offering mentorship to students, we provide assistance in crucial admission processes including shortlisting universities based on the student’s unique profile and area of interest, essay ideation and brainstorming, essay review, reference letter and resume reviews, interview preparation sessions, and more.

With all of these advantages, EdElevate is the greatest place for you to join and work toward your dream of studying abroad and establishing a successful profession.

Attend a Discovery session at EdElevate today to chart out your road to success!

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