Pre-departure guide to studying in the United States (2022)

With the arrival of August, some students have already received their favorite offers and are eagerly looking forward to enrolling and starting a journey of study in the United States. However, don’t think that everything will be fine if you get the offer, there are a lot of things to prepare for studying abroad! The following is a compilation of pre-trip strategies for studying in the United States. I hope it will be helpful for students to enter the United States smoothly and study and live in the United States!

Entry Policy

Starting at 12:01 on June 12th (US time), international passengers no longer need to provide negative test results for the COVID-19 before entering the United States! At the same time, the CDC also reminded that international travelers should ensure that they have been fully vaccinated and provided relevant vaccination certificates before traveling to the United States. After entering the U.S., travelers need to take a COVID-19 test within 3-5 days of arrival in the U.S., self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, isolate and get tested if symptoms develop. Please follow all state, tribal, local and territorial recommendations or requirements.


Affected by the epidemic, the places and forms of visa application in various regions are constantly changing. Therefore, before the appointment date, please check the website for visa interviews to confirm whether the offices you are interviewing for are open and service normally.

Visa materials:

  • Passport, valid for more than 6 months
  • DS160 form
  • SEVIS payment confirmation page
  • Admission letter from foreign school and I20
  • College transcripts, language scores
  • Proof of property, such as proof of deposit, real estate certificate, vehicle ownership certificate
  • Photo, when filling out DS-160, you will be asked to upload your photo, please confirm that the photo conforms to the format requirements, and bring a copy to the scene
  • Visa fee

Vaccine physical examination

1. Routine vaccines

After obtaining the visa, students need to go to the local international travel health care center for medical examination and vaccination. Generally, the school will send an email to remind students to get vaccinated after admission. The specific vaccine requirements can also be found on the school’s official website by searching for immunization requirement or student health center. Routine vaccination items include: measles, rubella, mumps and diphtheria, tetanus immunization certificate. Students need to download the vaccine form, and after vaccination, have the doctor sign it and upload it to the school’s Student Health Portal. The specific submission method and deadline are subject to the school’s email and official website requirements.

Note: Vaccines and medical exams will affect subsequent registration and classes, so be sure to complete them as soon as possible!

2. Materials to bring during the physical examination

  • Original passport or ID card
  • 1-2 passport size photos
  • Admission Notice
  • School’s vaccine form, medical examination form (if any)
  • Vaccination records, if your childhood vaccination records are missing, you can re-vaccinate at the center or take a blood antibody test
  • Cash

Note: Before the physical examination, it is recommended to contact the International Travel Health Care Center in advance to understand the matters needing attention in the physical examination.

3. Covid-19 vaccine

International students need to provide a certificate of complete vaccination (Kexing, Sinopharm), which must be 14 days after the vaccine has been fully vaccinated (14-day calculation: The last dose of the vaccine must be 14 full days from the date you board your flight to the United States.). You can enter as long as you have a full vaccination certificate when you enter the country, but many schools now require a booster shot.


International students can choose from on-campus dormitories, homestays and off-campus housing. On-campus dormitories in the United States are mainly provided to undergraduates, and some schools stipulate that freshmen must live in on-campus dormitories. There will be more options for off-campus rental housing, and the degree of freedom and cost-effectiveness will also be relatively high, but the application is relatively complicated. Generally, there will be recommended off-campus rental resources on the school’s website, which is relatively safe. It is recommended that students who need to rent a house can go to the school’s official website or consult the relevant departments of the school. No matter what type of house you choose, you must handle it through formal channels. After signing the contract, you must properly keep the rental contract, deposit slip and other documents.


  • When entering the U.S., passengers’ luggage must not exceed 62 inches (158 cm), weigh no more than 50 pounds (23 kg). According to the requirements of different airlines, 1-2 pieces of luggage can be checked for free, which needs to be confirmed with the airline.
  • Students are advised to bring the following materials with them. At the same time, in order to prevent loss, it is best to leave a copy for your family, and also put a copy in your checked luggage.
  • Passport with a validity period of more than 6 months and a visa page, if you have an old passport, please bring it with you
  • Original Form I-20 or printed electronic copy with signature
  • Valid US visa
  • Original SEVIS receipt or printed electronic copy with signature
  • Airfare (entry must not be earlier than one month before the start of the course)
  • Emergency contact address book (contact information such as pick-up person, school contact person, family member, etc., as well as destination information, that is, address, contact number and route description)
  • Original academic materials: University graduation certificate and degree certificate stamped in Chinese and English, as well as complete transcripts in Chinese and English. In addition, there are various original transcripts, such as TOEFL, IELTS, GMAT, GRE, SAT and other scores.
  • Health certificates, including: medical examination and vaccine certificates, i.e. small red book and small yellow book; new crown vaccination certificate


  • Cash, it is recommended to bring 2000-3000 US dollars in cash and a Visa or Master Card. The cash should not exceed 10,000 US dollars, otherwise it will be declared at customs
  • It is time-consuming and expensive to find a professional ophthalmologist for glasses in the United States. Therefore, it is recommended that students who wear glasses should wear an extra pair of glasses, just in case. Students who often wear contact lenses can also bring more
  • Commonly used medicines: cold medicine, antidote, gastrointestinal medicine, anti-inflammatory medicine, etc.; it is forbidden to carry any medicine containing ephedrine (rhinitis tablets, cough syrup, emergency syrup, etc.), morphine, drugs containing glycyrrhizic acid, any drugs containing animals and animal organs
  • Books, reference books
  • Epidemic prevention supplies: disposable medical masks, N95 masks, hand sanitizer, etc.
  • Mobile phone card for international roaming business

Pick up

  • School pick-up: Some schools arrange pick-up for students. Students need to fill in a form, detailing the flight number, arrival date and time, or the school will provide the contact information of the relevant department, and students can contact the department by themselves. The general pick-up fee will be determined according to the local situation, ranging from ten to dozens of dollars, and also includes free pick-up service.
  • Organization pick-up: Various student societies in the United States will also provide free pick-up services, but you need to contact in advance, you can find it directly on the school’s website.
  • Students can also take the airport bus or taxi by themselves. The time and price of the bus vary, students need to know the information in advance. Taxis are expensive.


After arriving at the school, the school will arrange orientation to assist students in registration, course selection, tuition payment, and entrance examinations.

For more information about studying abroad, please follow the, a platform specially designed for overseas education.

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