Moving To The USA: The Complete Immigrant Student Guide
Embarking on the journey of moving to the United States can be exhilarating and challenging at the same time.
As you prepare to make this significant transition, taking concrete steps will help you navigate the process with confidence and ease. From securing the right documentation to immersing yourself in American culture, here's a detailed guide to ensure your move is a successful one.
This is the complete guide for any immigrants college students.
1. Visa and Documentation
Research the visa category that fits your situation. For instance, if you're moving for employment, apply for the appropriate work visa like the H-1B visa.
Collect necessary documents such as educational certificates, work experience letters, and passport photos. Real-life example: Maria, a software engineer from Spain, researched and applied for an H-1B visa, ensuring she had all required documents ready for a smooth application process.
2. Download Apps to Use for College Students
weCall is one of the best video call app where you can show your environment and your face simultaneously.
The app is very popular among college in the US, starting from University of Texas and UC Berkeley, currently it is spreading to all over the states.
You can use this app for sharing your environment with your friends in your country as well.
You might have one but this is one of essential tools to text.
Google Maps is not just map direction app, but also public transportation information, it is connected to several apps like Lyft or other public transport station or stop and car service ordering capabilities.
You can find place to eat, do laundry, parking lot etc.
Uber and Lyft
If you don't have car or driver liscense, you might need to ride Uber or Lyft to reach your destination. Lyft can be more affordable.
Venmo can be necessary since that is how everyone sends each other money. Cash app can be okay as well.
2-4. Security & Privacy
This app is very popular in the US since a lot of people have encountered the spam calls.
This will be making your home safer, by connecting Amazon Alexa. You can remotely view both the interior and exterior of your home, control appliances, and arm or disarm your system from a distance.
The home security control app also includes seamless integration with Apple Watch and geo-fencing features.
3. Budget Planning: Financial Readiness
Manage your finances with apps like Mint or You Need A Budget (YNAB).
Calculate your budget meticulously. Consider costs beyond the obvious ones, like rental deposits and daily expenses.
4. Health Insurance: Protect Your Health
Explore health insurance options using platforms like Healthcare.gov for marketplace plans, or websites like eHealth for comparing different providers.
Secure health insurance before you arrive. Look into options provided by your university, employer, or private insurance companies. Real-life example: Emily, a recent graduate from the UK, chose a university that offered comprehensive health insurance coverage for international students.
5. Housing Arrangements: Find Your New Home
Research neighborhoods and housing options. Whether you're renting an apartment or sharing a house, conduct virtual tours if possible.
6. Financial Matters: Manage Your Money
Choose online banks like Ally or Chime for convenience. Payment apps like Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App simplify money transfers and transactions.
7. Legal Requirements: Understand Local Laws
For driving regulations and license requirements, visit the official website of your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Apps like DMV Genie offer practice tests for written driving exams.
8. Transportation: Get Around Easily
For public transportation, apps like Transit and Moovit offer real-time schedules and route planning. Car-sharing platforms like Zipcar and Turo provide flexible transportation options.
9. Cultural Integration: Connect with Communities
10. Networking and Support: Build Your Network
Join expat forums like ExpatForum.com and Expat.com for advice from experienced immigrants. LinkedIn helps you connect with professionals in your field.
11. Education and Career: Seize Opportunities
Websites like CollegeBoard and Peterson's offer information about universities and programs. LinkedIn Learning provides online courses to enhance your skills.
12. Packing and Essentials: Pack Smart
Apps like PackPoint and MyPackingList create customized packing lists based on your destination and trip duration.
13. Language Skills: Improve Communication
Boost your English with language apps like Duolingo, Babbel, or Rosetta Stone. They offer interactive lessons to enhance your language skills.
14. Social Security Number (SSN): Secure Your Identity
Visit the official Social Security Administration website to apply for an SSN. Keep your SSN confidential to prevent identity theft.
15. International Driver's License: Drive Legally
Check the validity of your home country's driver's license with your local DMV or relevant authority. The American Automobile Association (AAA) provides information and application for international driver's licenses.
16. Mobile and Internet Services: Stay Connected
Explore mobile carriers like AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile for prepaid plans that offer strong coverage. Compare plans and find the best fit for your needs.
17. Shipping Belongings: Time Your Shipments
For international shipping, consider reliable companies like FedEx, UPS, and DHL. Check their websites for shipping rates and guidelines.
18. Weather and Clothing: Dress for Success
Weather apps like The Weather Channel or AccuWeather offer precise forecasts. Pack clothing for different seasons, including warm coats and appropriate footwear.
19. Local Services: Find Essentials
Use Google Maps to locate grocery stores, pharmacies, and public transportation options nearby. Yelp can help you find local services and restaurants.
20. Embrace Change: Embrace the Adventure
Approach your new journey with an open mind. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and exploration.