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EAC / Preparing for Departure / Checklist (Things You Must Do)

If you have been admitted to more than one university or college, select the institution you wish to attend. Write a letter of acceptance to this university, indicating that you intend to enroll. Fill out and return all the forms they have sent.

Write letters of regret to the universities you have decided not to attend as soon as possible. Return to these universities any official documents that they may have sent you. Do not fill out any forms; return them blank.

Apply for a passport issued by your country for foreign travel.

If you wish to live on campus, fill out and return the appropriate application for housing. If a deposit is required, include an international money order.

Study the university calendar. Note the date for orientation sessions (usually held before formal registration) and plan to arrive in time to participate in these programs.

Begin making travel plans. Contact the foreign student advisor for directions on how best to reach the university from your point of entry into the U.S. Consult with a travel agency or directly with an international airline. Determine how you will reach your final destination -- by bus, train, or plane. Make all airline reservations well in advance of your departure date.

Apply for a visa from the U.S. Embassy; in addition to your passport, you will need the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or Form IAP-66) sent to you by the university you will attend. If you have received the Form I-20, you will be applying for an F-1 Student Visa. If you have received the Form IAP-66, you will be applying for a J-1 Student Visa. Visa applications are available at the U.S. Embassy.

If you do not have full funding from the university, proof of adequate finances from a sponsor or personal funds will also be required when you apply for the visa.

If your spouse and family are to accompany you, arrange for appropriate housing in the U.S. Ask the university about policies and services for families. Apply for the appropriate visas, (F-2 or J-2).

Have a physical examination. Bring proof (in English) of current immunizations. Generally, universities require students to be immunized against mumps, measles, rubella, tetanus, and diphtheria.

See a dentist. Most university health insurance plans will not cover dental work.

See an eye doctor. Optical needs (glasses/contact lenses) are generally not covered on university health insurance plans.

When your plans are finalized, write to the foreign student office. Inform the adviser of your itinerary, date and time of arrival, airport and flight number or bus/train information.

Seek information about services available at your point of entry into the United States.

Contact the airlines to check about baggage weight allowances. You are responsible for paying overweight charges.

Label all luggage inside and out with your name and university foreign student office or department address.

Plan to attend a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar at the EAC (dates to be announced in the spring.)

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