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Disclaimer: All the rights towards logos, material, information

and everything here belong to their respective owners. This

document is NOT endorsed, made or approved by BANK OF
AMERICA, CHASE BANK, USC Credit Union, Citi BAnk,
University of Southern California or the Trojan family. This was
created solely to help new incoming international students
understand the systems used in the United States. PLEASE
be used as a guide. I do NOT profit commercially or in any
other way apart from possible brownie points from some
students, neither should you. I have done my best to acquire
the right data but they MAY NOT be right and the procedures
may have changed. Please, Please, please verify all that is
written and ONLY then proceed with your decisions. I am NOT
responsible for hurt, injury, loss (material or financial) or
anything that happens due to following this document or my
advice in general. Peace.
Dear Fellow Trojan,
Congratulations on your admission & welcome to The Trojan Family.
This is a list prepared to help international students find their feet at
USC. Please use it ONLY as a guide from a fellow student.
LANDING: After disembarking the aircraft and recovering from the
sudden surprise of finally being in LA, go to Immigration. Your i-20,
passport will be veried and an I-94 stamped on your passport
near your visa page. Then claim your baggage and when you exit
the terminal, go right and in about 250 meters you nd a "Super/
Prime Shuttle boarding area". The shuttle's are big vans that take
people around.
Prime is a little more expensive 16$, while Super Shuttle costs 15$
to the USC area which is Downtown LA. You can ask the attendant
(Mr.Mahmood Suba for Super Shuttle) for the other places like
Culver city. The costs are pre-xed, you also have to tip the driver
about $2-3$ for helping you with the bags et al. Now reach your
accommodation and get some sleep. :D
GENERAL: Americans use Miles rather than Kilometers
( 10miles =16Kms) and gallons rather than liters (1Gallon = 3.8L) and
they drive on the right side of the road! You cannot walk across the
road unless there is a walk sign or zebra crossing, doing so could
get you fined about $150-$200, I hear.
FOOD: The US is also a very service oriented place which entails
15-20% tipping at most places from the waiter who serves you to the
doorman which is why everywhere you go you will find really good
service. A combo meal at subway can cost about $6 for a person.
The serving size is generally large especially of cola, which is simply
outrageous, eew! . Cooking will save you a LOT of money. Groceries
for a week will cost you less than $30. A restaurant meal can be about
25$ including a tip for one person.
SAFETY: USC is located in Downtown LA and is not at the safest
location. There is always the Los Angeles Police Dept. (LAPD), the
Highway Patrol and the USC DPS Patrol for your safety. Please keep
in mind the patrol zone when you go looking for housing. Though the
probability of you getting mugged or attacked is infinitely small, its still
a possibility and you need to be careful.
International Trojan Help-sheet
Im a Fall 2013 Grad student and Im really
passionate about acting, so in case you hear
about some auditions, I would really appreciate
you keeping me posted. Thanks. Godspeed.
University of Southern California, LA
USC is surrounded by Jefferson (N), Figueroa (E), Exposition (S) &
Vermont (W) & Tommy Trojan is at the Centre of the campus. Make
other locations relative to these places and you know the whole campus.
Simple. Also, long walks around the campus should help you get
accustomed while helping you recover from jet-lag.
CVS (Supermarket)
Fresh & Easy (Organic Supermarket)
Tommy Trojan
(Sword points North)
CVS (Supermarket)
Fresh & Easy (Organic Supermarket)
Viterbi School
Bank of America
(UV* Branch)
(Safe + Little India)
University Village
(Rumored to closing soon
as property has been
acquired by USC)
(Value Supermarket)
-Food Courts
Caruso Catholic Church
(Sunday Mass 10.30AM)
Citi Bank & some
shops and Eateries
Things to do
Passport Verification
-PPV will remove STU50 & STU60 holds on your account and allow you to
register for courses.
-You will need photocopies of your passport, your I20, the I94 and the new
student form
USC Student ID Card
-Once the PPV is done, you can get your Card at Parking X.
Class Registration
- You can register your classes online once the PPV is done.
International Student Orientation
-Happening on 12, 13 & 14 and there is also a visit to Santa Monica/
Downtown LA later.
-You need a certificate specifying the Month and year of each dose.
-The Tests can be done a week before your classes (Aug 19 onwards)
because you need to do it after your Medical insurance starts.
Degree Verification
Two ways but can be done after.
Drivers License & California State ID
-LA is a driving city, unlike NY which is a walking city. Everyone drives here
so get a drivers license and CalState ID will also be very useful.
Social Security Number:
-You will get an SSN when you get a job, even a part time job. Once you
get a job you have to apply for one and your SSN will help you build your
Part-Time Job:
-There are so many available n campus but with an F1 visa you can work
only about 20 hours a week, though most people work about 12-14 hours
a week, . The pay is usually about $8 an hour.
-Get a resume ready and hit every place on campus and ask for a job. :D
Housing Basics
1. Decide a budget (B):
2. Decide a location and amenities:
-Close to/far from USC -Furnished/Unfurnished
3. Talk to people, Walk around looking for To Lease boards.
If you are not sure you can come here and find a place,
please don't sign bad deals from home.
Housing prices near USC vary based location though they are reasonably stable, $100. Certain localities are
considered safe and may cost a little more. Visit or to help you decide on your
In the US the Utilities are charged separately (Water, Electricity, Internet, Cable), usually they cost about $80-150$ a
Ellendale is mini-Indo-China & considered super secure, but I think its over rated. Off Figueroa is commercial and fun, South Vermont is quiet but
sketchy. Lorenzo is in a sketchy area but like freaking palace. So make decisions based on your preferences. Happy home hunting.
i20 or Student ID
Deposit (One Months Rent)
First Month Rent
B ! $350: Shared Apartment
B ! $750: Single Room in an Apt
B ! $1000: Shared Upscale Living
B ! $1400: Individual Apartment
(Prices are relative)
CHASE is one of the big four banks
in the US having over 5100 branches &
16000 ATMs and is headquartered in
Near USC: 12 ATMs
How: 213 745 4290
Where: 3335 S Figueroa St Unit C
Los Angeles, CA 90007
CHASE College Checking Account:
-Free for 5 years IF you are a USC Student
below 24
CHASE Total Checking Account:
-$10 Maintenance Fee per month
or direct deposit of $500
or $1500 daily balance
CHASE Charges:
Incoming Wire transfer: $10
150 Checks $18.95
3 Checks $2
Get 25$ for new College Checking
Account (Till 31 August 2013)
Bank of America is one of the big four
banks in the US having over 5200
branches & 16200 ATMs and is
headquartered in Charlotte, NC
Near USC: 10 ATMs (1 inside campus)
How: 213 763 8900
Where: 2703 S Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
MyAccess Checking Account:
-Free up till your 23rd birthday IF you
are a USC Student below 23
-$12 Maintenance Fee per month
or direct deposit of $250
or avgdaily balance of $1500
Bank of America Charges:
Incoming Wire transfer: $12.50
50 Checks $12.50 (Not sure)
Special Benefits:Most Indian Students
bank with them
USC Credit Union is a bank serving
USC related people and USC students.
It has some great offers though limited
to USC.
Near USC: Bank & ATM inside
How: 213 745 4290
Where: 3335 S Figueroa St Unit C
Los Angeles, CA 90007
i20 Form
Citibank is a multi national bank with
operation around the world & has the
3rd largest holding after CHASE &
Near USC: 15 ATMs
How: 323-737-8335
Where: 3615 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Citibank Student Account:
-Free up for all USC Students (No age)
-Free online transfer from 20 countries
-0 minimum deposit
- Easy to get credit cards without SSN
NOTE:Most Students do NOT bank with
them. I don;t know why but they
are located south of the Uni.
Special Benefits:Money magazine
named them A Best Bank
for student checking in OCT
HSBC is also a multinational bank and I
hear has great service. Though it will
has very few branches right by campus.
Near USC: Bank at Downtown
How: 800 975 4722
Where: 660 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Most Americans have access to banking already, hence the banking policies in the US focus on service and not value banking
like in India. Usually students open a paid checking account to which money can be deposited, wired or withdrawn; its
costs about $10-$12 a month. Minimum amount to open an account is about $25. There is also a fee of about $10-$18 for
each incoming wire transfer from other countries and a small fee for checks. Some banks offer free checking accounts for
USC students below the age of 23 or 24. Some multinational banks allow limited funds to be transferred for free form a home
account to one in the US.
I get money wired to my account and then issue USC a check. Also I use my debit card for general expenses and carry not more than $20 in
The main telecom providers near USC are
Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Unlike some
other countries, the handset and the
connection are sold together by the
Incoming and outgoing, text messages and
calls, are charged in the US, therefore some
take an unlimited talk & text plan and add
data package to it. Students cell phone
monthly expense lies between $25 and 95$.
Verizon has the best network and is
expensive while AT&T has a good network
and is comparatively cheaper, therefore
used by most students but you will be
signing a 2 year contract! Also look at
Lycamobile which provides only a sim but
for $50 you get unlimited calls, texts, web
and intertational calls. Order online though.
If you are carrying a phone from your home
country that works in the US, you should
look at T-Mobile also.
T-Mobile has an offer for all new
students at USC, thanks to AIS.
-No Deposit if you have Student Visa
-$130 a month for 3 connections
including tax
-So $45 a month per line
-Unlimited Calls & Texts
-2.5GB of Data per line
-Call India(0.39)/China(0.18) @ $10 a
PHONE: 213-745-8683 (Denise)
2510 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90007
RADIOSHACK AT&T Family Talk package
-2 year contract
-About $55 monthly per line; 5 lines
-Unlimited calls & texts to cell phones
-300MB data per line
-$40 worth Phone Case & $40 Store Credit
-$50 Bill Credit after the first bill
-$36 Activation Fee waived after first bill
First PAYMENT " $800
$500 Deposit (Refundable in a year)
$199 iPhone 5 / Samsung Galaxy S4
$36 Activation Charges (Per line)
$65-$70 Taxes
PHONE: (213) 746-4850
University Village
Los Angeles, CA 90007

You are in a new land, you are the
representatives of your country. How you
behave and act here will be how people here
will perceive your country. Do not let down
your country.
You are here for a new experience, live it to
the fullest, meet people, ask questions and
get outside your comfort zone. It may be
difficult but nothing worth was ever easy.
Have a great time in LA, and do yourself,
your family and your country proud!
Cheers & Best wishes from me,
Rahman (Ra-Mone)
Radioshack, University Village