The time has come where you are finally starting to get yourself ready for the start of your Freshman year. New experiences, new classes, and new friends await. So exciting, but also a little intimidating. As an international student, you may be feeling overwhelmed, but don’t worry you’re not alone, even the local first-year students are feeling anxious. We thought it would be helpful to give some tips before you travel to America to start your Freshman year.
Book Flights in Advance
It is important to make sure you book your flights in advance in order you get the best deal. Travelstart is a great platform to compare and look for the best option. With the Department of Home Affairs having confirmed that South African students studying abroad can now travel, you are required to submit your request via email to Covid19travel@dha.gov.za. The department will get back to the student with all the information to make travel arrangements.
Travel with Necessities
Packing your bags for College can be a very emotional and daunting task, how do you get your entire life into two suitcases. It is important to remember that your dorm room is small with very limited storage space and as a freshman you will most likely share it with someone, only take the things that are absolutely necessary. Here are some tips to help you when packing.
- Do not overpack on the athletic wear as you will receive loads of kit when you arrive.
- No need for bed linen: There are fantastic stores such as Walmart and Target that sell linen that is specifically made for college dorms
- Take only essential toiletries and get everything else when you arrive
- Think about where you will be situated, if you are going to the Northern States it is better to buy winter clothes there, as it is suited for that environment.
- Remember to buy a USA plug adapter for your electronics.
Open a Digital Forex Wallet
The best way to save money on international bank charges is to open a foreign exchange wallet where you can transfer funds and pay any fees before you start at the university like; a housing deposit, tuition fees and pocket money. It will allow you to purchase dollars at a fixed amount without losing value on the dollars you have purchased. This app can also be used as a personal bank account, where you will swipe for any item you would need to buy in America. We recommend the Shyft App from Standard Bank, click here to read more about this app.
Arrange your transportation from the airport to Campus
Building a relationship with your coach is one of the key elements of the scholarship process, he or she will not only be your coach but your mentor as well. From our experience, coaches will always make sure that someone from the university will pick you up from the airport and welcome you on campus. If he or she does not mention it beforehand, it is good to ask and make sure, someone is expecting you at the airport.
Make the most of your Orientation week
During your orientation week, you will meet your international student advisor, who will help you with anything you need, from organizing a bank account, medical insurance, or help you to secure an on-campus job. Join clubs or campus groups according to your likes and interests, this way you will be surrounded by like-minded people and it will help with making long-lasting friends.
An incredible adventure awaits, one that will change your life forever. If you have any questions or need help with the US University application process, don’t hesitate to contacts us, we would love to help!