Published on March 15, 2016
1. 10 things that every F1/J1 Student should do
2. 1. Get a job [GRA or GTA or GA or OPS] • You should aim for a GRA or GTA or GA position. • Start searching for these positions before you land and schedule a meeting. • GRA, GTA or GA pays your tuition fees. • Try for a grader or any OPS position in different depts, If you ran out options. • Apply for as many positions as you can.
3. 2. Open a Bank Account • Open within one week of your Arrival. • Look for any Referrals and Promotions. • Go for Paperless statements. • Request for Free Cheques. • Important Banks • Bank of America • Wells Fargo • Chase • US Bank
4. 3. Google Voice & Google FI • Try looking into Google FI for phone connection. • Can use WiFi to talk over the phone. • $20 – unlimited calls within USA and 1 GB Data. • Other phone service? • Register your Google Voice number at http://www.google.com/voice • Unlimited calls and texts free within USA. • 1cent per minute calls to India/Bangladesh/Pakistan.
5. 4. Driver’s License • Important task overlooked by many students. • Give your written exam before the classes start. • Can get material for free online. • Get a mentor and learn driving. • Give exam within one year before your learner’s expire. • You may need car during internship. • Will help you in building good history for auto insurance. • Will be your first togo Id Proof. [ID proof is must here] • Go for it even though if you have an Intl Driver’s License.
6. 5. Apply for a Credit Card • Building Credit history is very important in USA. • Look for good cashback deals or miles. • I would prefer the first one to be cashback instead of miles. • Recommended to go with company that you have your Checking account. • May need a security deposit of $300. [Don’t hesitate to give a deposit]. • Get at least two credit cards before your graduation. • Keep an eye on spending.
7. 6. Amazon Account • Open an Amazon Account before the school starts. • It is free for 6 months for the students with free 2 day shipping. • After 6 months till 2 years they charge $49 per year for students. • You can order all your stationery and household mini furniture stuff from Amazon. • They have very good deals for students in the Fall semester. • Free Amazon music, Amazon prime and unlimited photos storage.
8. 7. Free rides in Uber and Lyft • Its an hassle without transportation in USA. • Open an account with Uber and Lyft to get free rides for the first few months. • Go as group to split the rates. • Have a look into referral programs.
9. 8. Join a student organization • It’s good to join a Student Organization that suits your interest. • You will have a good scope to build connections. • You can improve your communication skills. • You will be exposed to American culture. • You can attend seminars for free and have free food • You can find many University Affiliated Student Org groups in Facebook.
10. 9. Know the deals • Its easy to save money in USA if you know what to buy and when to buy. • Subscribe to deals sites to get more deals in your area. • www.deals2buy.com • www.retailmenot.com • www.groupon.com • Note: Don’t be tempted for every deal • Look for sales group in your area for any used items. • Don’t buy everything new.
11. 10. Budget Planner • Its hard to maintain a strict budget and save money if you are a newbie. • Plan your budget for the month. • Use apps like • GoodBudget Budget Planner • iSpending • Mint • Get habituated to save money. • Use Splitwise to maintain your expenses if you are in a shared accommodation.
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