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Your World Visa Partner Est 2021

Living in the US- Practical considerations

Why are dorms often good choices for international students?

Some of the reasons are convince and affordability, socializing, safety and support.Although dorms typically offer less privacy and living space than private accommodation, they can help foster a smoother transition to life in the US.

What must students do to make sure a private accommodation is suitable for them?

The Housing Office of most education institutions are primarily concerned with on-campus housing, so students interested in private accommodation will generally have to make arrangements themselves, and determining the suitability of any accommodation.

What is the student responsible for in a lease? And the landlord?

Generally, a lease also requires tenants to keep the premises clean, to repair any damage caused by themselves or their guests, and to not disturb other tenants. The landlord also has responsibilities they must keep the property safe and in good condition.

Money Matters

What is a customary service tip in the US?

It is customary to tip bartenders, restaurant servers, hairdressers, and cab drivers by adding approximately 15% to the total amount of a bill, since the tip is not usually included in the bill amount. Students should only withhold a tip if they receive exceptionally bad service.

Why do many international students open accounts with American banks?

It may help them save on international transaction charges and make managing their money easier. As a first step, students can go to their current bank and ask if they have partnerships with US banks.


What are some documents banks will generally require in order to open an account for an international student?

Every bank will have its own requirements for opening an account. Students will usually need to bring the following documents with them to open a bank account:

  • There passport;
  • There I-94 card;
  • There I-20, DS-2019, or I-797 approval notice;
  • Any secondary form of identification they may have (such as their Student ID card, birth certificate, state driver’s license, or a letter from the International Students and Scholars Office);
  • An enrollment verification letter from their school;
  • Other documentation specified by the bank.

Why is it important that student who does open an account with an American bank to do so with one register with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)?

Students should make sure it is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The FDIC provides banks with insurance to protect consumers’ money, so if a bank closes, the FDIC will pay customers the amount of money in their account up to $250,000. 

How much can sales tax vary depending on which state a students is studying in?

When customers purchase something in the US, they typically have to pay sales tax on top of the item’s list price. Sales tax varies by state and county and can range from less than 1% to over 10%. Food items such as milk, bread, and butter are usually tax-exempt.



Safety Issues

What are the three digits all students must know to dial in case of emergency?

Students should call 911 in any life-threatening emergency or if they are witness to a crime. This is the central number for police, fire, and ambulance across the US. Calls to 911 can be made at no cost on any telephone and are usually answered within 12 seconds.

What should students do if they are stopped by a police officer while driving?

If stopped by a police officer, students should be polite and cooperative, and tell the officer if they do not speak English. If they are in a car, they should not get out until the officer tells them to, and keep their hands where the officer can see them. 

When is it the least expensive to travel by air?

Flying midweek and between fall and spring (excluding holidays) tends to be less expensive.

What is the advantage of rail travel in the US?

The Acela Express – Amtrak’s high-speed rail service along the Northeast corridor – links Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. Other commuter rail lines are found near Chicago, major West Coast cities, and around Miami.

How can international students legally drive in the US?

If a student has a valid driver’s license from their home country and an International Driving Permit (IDP), they may be able to legally drive in the US. 

Healthcare and insurance

Do institutions or international students pay for students’ health insurance?

International students must pay for their own health insurance, and this can be expensive so it is important to be fully aware of all costs involved. Many US education institutions have their own health insurance plans, and participation in the plan is often required for international students.

Do all institutions offer health insurance plans?

If the student’s education institution does not offer a health insurance plan, its International Student Office may be able to recommend a suitable one. Many private insurance companies offer health insurance plans for international students.

What is travel health insurance?

Students should also purchase travel health insurance to cover their departure to the US to a month after arrival.


How can international students access high-speed Internet access in their accommodations?

American universities generally have high-speed Internet access in residences, classrooms, and libraries. Most big cities have Internet cafés and small towns usually have at least one coffee shop with Wi-Fi.

How expensive are smart phones in the US?

The average cost of a new smartphone, such as an iPhone, Android, or Windows phone, is between $400 and $585.

What is a low-cost way of watching movies and TV shows in the US?

There are a number of television and radio stations in the US, offering diverse news and entertainment offerings. There are now more than 50 national broadcasting networks offering televised programming.