Important things to do once you arrive in USA
Register yourself in College/University
Go to University's international students office and register your name. You might be asked to get health insurance and deposit fees etc.
Open a bank account
First of all open a bank account (find good bank near your university). Open Savings and Checking account (both accounts are recommended).
Get Health insurance
Health insurance is compulsory for all international students. You can have it from university or private (depending on university). Check if your health insurance covers eyes, dental... etc. Talk to International Student's office in your University.
Get your name on Housing Lease
Guys this is very important to have your housing history. Always get your name on lease. We have seen cases where students share apartments and they don't have their name on lease. If you don't have name on lease and in case if you have to move out or like if you get internship in different city you might get hard time to find an apartment.
Get a P/T job
In case if you don't have any scholarship then start looking for P/T job. Maximum number of jobs are available when Fall session starts (actually few weeks before Fall session). There are less jobs in summer session (but many 20 hrs jobs become 40hr job). You can work 40 hrs/week during vacation(Summer)!
Apply for credit cards
Apply for Credit cards after coming to USA. Its very important. Don't misuse
them. Try to make good credit history.
Apply to Credit cards Like
- American Express (blue for students)
- Bank of America
*Note: Don't apply to too many credit cards. Most Students get AMEX (American Express) and Credit card from your bank( in which you have savings/checking account).
Get State ID or Driving License
Get your state ID from Secretary of State office. Always keep this with you . You will get it
within an hour (off course if its not crowded). Don't forget to take all your documents Like Passport and Sevis I-20.
Get driving license
Learn driving properly before you arrive to USA. Get Driving license as soon as possible. Firstly you have to qualify written test if you qualify it you get TIP (Temporary license) with this you can drive with anybody having permanent license.
It's valid for about 6 months (I think I am right). After one month of getting TIP you can appear for driving test.
Make sure you file your taxes every year! This is very important. Remember to close unused/joint accounts from your home country. You will have to pay tax on interest income earned worldwide.
Keep an eye on student visa, CPT/OPT, H1B rules
Keep eye on visa rules as they can change and it might impact your future plans.
Keep track of visa related information (especially if you are on Student visa)
Keep yourself updated on F-1 visa
Also be tuned to H1-B visa (work visa)
I would highly recommend to learn some basic skills like web designing/programming. It helps in getting good P/T job.
Start looking for internships after first semester (depending on your major, improve skills required for Internships).
I will highly recommend every student to learn one programming language c++ or java or python etc.
Learn more about American Culture
Some students might get a culture shock, it's better to get adapt yourself and admire American culture. It mgith take time to adjust and learn about expectations/languages/slangs, try to learn it fast. Your communication skills will help you to get a job.