Before you leave for the US to get an MBA

What you need to do before you travel


  • Read carefully (and save) the acceptance material
    sent by the B-School/University. It usually contains most of the information you will need
    to get settled, including travel information, Visa processing, housing details, and more.
    It should be your primary source of information.

  • Pay the deposit to ensure your place.

  • Visit the Campus if you didn’t visit it for the
    interview (and if you can afford it!). The earlier you visit, the better – you might
    be able to get the most sought after apartments. Many schools invite accepted students for
    a campus visit - it is very useful for networking, and also a lot of fun!

  • Check the School's web page regularly - many have a
    section especially designed for recently admitted students, where you can find plenty of
    useful and updated information.

  • Talk to your friends, family and colleagues. Let
    them all know what you are up to, and strive to keep in contact with them. Remember, even
    if you are planning on working in the US, maintaining a network in your country is
    extremely important (e.g. you job in the US could be related to your home country). Try
    leaving your employer in the best terms possible, even if returning to work for them is
    out of the question.

  • Get your Visa. This is usually pretty
    straightforward: you provide proof of having funds to cover for tuition and expenses, the
    University issues an I-20, with it you get your F-1 Visa at your local US Consulate. The
    Admissions office and/or the University's International Center should be able to help with
    any exception and/or problem you might encounter in this process.

  • Carefully plan your trip. A few things to keep in
    mind:

    • Book your ticket as early as possible to get better rates

    • Make sure fly to the right airport. The closest airport should be
      your choice; however, you might find better plane ticket deals if you fly to a smaller,
      less popular airport.

    • Most bargain tickets are found for a round-trip, 1 month limit. You
      will have to choose between a more expensive ticket (1 year or so) and a one way ticket.

    • Try to choose a US airline. During the MBA, you will probably have to
      travel (for your interviews), and you will want to accumulate as many frequent flyer miles
      as possible.

    • Plan to get there at least a week before classes begin - you will
      need some time to settle down and get ready. See the first week.

    • Book your ticket on-line:



  • Begin your housing search. Take some time to
    carefully research this. Not only choosing the right housing will make your life easier,
    but it might save you some money and nightmares. Here's what you need to know:

    • Start with the School's material - they should provide a carefully
      researched, up to date listing of available on-campus and off-campus housing. However...

    • Do not rely exclusively on the School's information. Although they
      have the best intentions, you will get a much better idea of what you need by: a) talking
      to current students and b) visiting the campus.

    • Choose between on-campus and off-campus:

      • On Campus: less expensive, convenient transportation, sometimes
        furnished, affordable food, but less amenities and college environment (e.g. parties,
        noise).

      • Off Campus: more choice, more expensive, difficult transportation,
        more amenities, quiet and relaxed.



    • When comparing different apartments, make sure you compare apples
      with apples. Some will include heating, utilities, parking and so on, while others won't.

    • Check the amenities: laundry facilities, parking, public
      transportation, utilities’ payment, heat/air conditioning, and so on.

    • The lease terms - off-campus apartments tend to lease for 1-year, but
      you will probably need only 9 months. Make sure you sign the lease for the right term.
      Also, keep in mind some communities will add a surcharge for a less-than-1-year lease.

    • Ask the School for roommate leads.

    • Read the Housing
      section
      at Edupass.org for more detailed housing information and terminology.

    • Begin your search on-line:



  • Pack your bags.

    • What to bring:

      • Your clothes and minimal personal belongings.

      • Your documents: school's transcripts, medical records, marriage
        certificate, birth certificate, driver’s license (an international license is
        better), professional certifications.

      • Any medicine, food or other items you might not find in the US.

      • Travelers Checks to cover for the first few weeks (while you transfer
        or deposit the money to a local bank account).



    • What not to bring:

      • Furniture - to expensive

      • Computer - probably outdated





  • Try to contact current students. They are the best
    source of information, and the best people to answer your questions. Browse through our
    registered users listings, where you can find other MBAs from your href="usrcount.shtml">country or your school. Also, the
    Admissions office will be happy to put you in contact (via e-mail) with one or more
    current students, maybe even from your country.

  • Enroll in any summer classes or workshops offered by the
    school
    (calculus, computer, english). Even if you don’t need them, they are
    a great way to meet people and schmooze without the pressure of regular classes.

  • Read a little bit about your country's history, politics and
    economics
    . As you meet people from all over the world, they will be anxious to
    learn about your country. It will also enhance your class participation.




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