NEW STUDENT FAQ

PREPARED BY: INDIA ASSOCIATION at Texas A&M University COLLEGE STATION, TX – 77840

India Association, Texas A&M University

TABLE OF CONTENTS – NEW STUDENT FAQ
NEW STUDENT FAQ ...................................................................................................... 9 1. Disclaimer ........................................................................................................... 9 2. Credits ................................................................................................................. 9 3. Copyright............................................................................................................. 9 4. Document Updates .............................................................................................. 9 BEFORE COMING TO THE US of A.......................................................................... 10 1. I’m really nervous about travelling to the USA. I’ve never been out of the country before and I have no clue where to go once I leave India............................ 10 2. Do you suggest learning something like cooking, etc. before coming here?.... 10 3. Is there anything else that I need to take care of? ............................................. 10 WELCOME TO AGGIELAND, HOME OF THE 12th MAN!................................... 11 1. What is Aggieland? ........................................................................................... 11 2. What does A&M stand for? .............................................................................. 11 3. I have heard that all universities in the US hav e a lot of traditions behind them. Does A&M have any? ............................................................................................... 11 4. Who is the mascot of Texas A&M University? ................................................ 11 COLLEGE STATION AND GENERAL QUERIES................................................... 12 1. How big is College Station?.............................................................................. 12 2. What is the weather like in College Station? .................................................... 12 3. What is the time difference between India and College Station? ..................... 12 4. What is this DST - Daylight Saving Time?....................................................... 12 5. Are there any places to visit in Texas?.............................................................. 13 6. What about the safety issues attending evening classes and moving back to the apartment? Are there any emergency services available?......................................... 13 LIFE AS AN INDIAN STUDENT at TEXAS A&M ................................................... 14 1. Are there Indians in College Station? ............................................................... 14 2. Are there Indian stores in College Station?....................................................... 14 3. Do students come back to India on a visit, once they are there?....................... 14 4. Being there for the first couple of weeks will be exciting. Once we’re settled and get used to the place, are there activities to keep us engaged?........................... 14 5. What is the India Association all about?........................................................... 14 6. Is the India Association the only Indian student body at A&M? ...................... 15 IMMUNIZATION & MEDICAL RELATED.............................................................. 16 1. The Student Health Services (SHS) website says that "Effective May 2, 2003, Texas A&M University will no longer be requiring the submission of immunization records as a requirement for class registration". It also says that some international students are an exception. Are we Indians part of the exception? ............................ 16

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India Association, Texas A&M University

2. I have not received any Immunization form till date. Does A&M send the form or is it available somewhere on the site?.................................................................... 16 3. I have received a letter from TAMU regarding Immunization record. Now the question is from whom should I get the form signed as u may have done that? ...... 16 4. Does the doctor need to write anything separately on his letter head? If yes, what should he write? Is it about my general health or state that I have taken these vaccinations? ............................................................................................................. 16 5. What are the three sheets on the Immunization Record form for?.................... 16 6. I received just one sheet of the Immunization Record form. Where do I get the others from?............................................................................................................... 17 7. Should I send the Immunization Record to A&M right away?......................... 17 8. What kind of checkup should I have before I come to the US?........................ 17 9. I am taking the vaccination for Hepatitis-B for the first time. It needs three shots to be taken and I may not be able to take all of them by the time I come there. Can I carry a vaccine vial with me so that I can reduce the cost? Will they provide me just the injection if I give them the vaccine?....................................................... 17 10. The TB screening (Mantoux test) - is that compulsory for us? If so, can we take it here and come; i.e. are tests taken here accepted by the SHS people at TAMU? ..................................................................................................................... 17 11. My doc said that Indians take only one MMR vaccine (when they are about a year old) and Americans take another dose when they are five. So what do I do alongside MMR#2 in the Immunization Record? Do I leave it blank? .................... 18 12. Do I need to take vaccines for Rabies? ......................................................... 18 13. What medicines should I carry with me? ...................................................... 18 14. Do I need to bring my medical records with me? ......................................... 18 HEALTH INSURANCE ................................................................................................. 19 1. Is insurance purchased from India, say from ICICI, accepted at TAMU? This works out to be pretty cheap. Can I purchase it? ...................................................... 19 2. As far as insurance is concerned, will it will be more beneficial to take Medical insurance from INDIA or from US? I have visited many Insurance companies and they told me that it would cost around 14000/- for one year. What is the cost there? 19 3. I would still like to purchase my insurance policy from India. How do I know whether it meet the requirements set forward by the ISS?........................................ 19 4. What is the general procedure to claim medical expenses? .............................. 19 I-20 (CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY) RELATED QUERIES ............................ 20 1. I still have not got my I-20. Whom should I contact?....................................... 20 2. I received a scholarship from my department. However when I received my I20, it doesn’t show up. Does it mean that I won’t be getting the scholarship?......... 20 ELPE (English Language Proficiency Exam)............................................................... 21 1. I got my I-20 but there is something mentioned about the English Language Proficiency requirement. What is ELPE? ................................................................. 21

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India Association............................ 26 6..... 30 2...................... 30 Page 4 of 60 ............................................... What is a Social Security Number?..................... I want to know if a good TOEFL score helps in the granting of a TA........................................... 22 6..... Is it true that you never pass the test the first time? ............................. yet I heard from many seniors that they could not pass it the first time................................ 23 Social Security Number ............................. What do I have to do to get the SSN? .. I’ve heard that there is an airport in College Station.......................................................... So that means I don’t have to do anything right now in India? ..... What is a State ID? Do I need to have this?.......................... Which airline is the best? ............................... 27 8....................... Does it help to bring my Indian Driver’s License? .................................................................... 21 4................................................... Is there anything else I should keep in mind when I plan my flight? ................................ or is it only the ELPE that matters? ............ You’re saying that ELPE is easy............. Where can I get to read more about the SSN? ....... When can I apply for the Texas Driver’s License? What is the procedure? ........................................................ 22 7.... Why so? ..... 24 4..................... 27 7......... Where can I get a copy of the Texas Drivers Handbook?............................. 24 1................................................................ Where should I land or to say the airport? ......................................................................................... what should I do? .... Is there any place I can get more information about the ELPE?........................... 28 4......... When and where do I take the ELPE?............................. 21 3..................................................... 28 5......... Can I drive there without the IDP?........ 30 1........................................ What is this “check-in” that you are talking about?............................................................ 28 1................................ What is an identity theft? ........... 26 1. 25 5. Texas A&M University 2. 21 5.. I have a 300-will this help me in any way.......... Easterwood Airport? Can I come there directly? . 22 8........................... 26 5........... 26 2... How do I avoid identity threat?.......................................................... So how long will the test take place for each day? Will it be only these 2 specified days or is it according to our convenience? ................ When should I come there? .................. You mentioned duration of 2 days.......... 26 4................................... 25 7................................ 23 11............. Why is it necessary that I have to have a job to get the SSN? In case I don’t get a job what will I do?. 29 CHECK-IN and ORIENTATION ........................................... In case I don’t pass ELPE the first time................................................... 24 2........ 25 Drivers License................................................ 22 9........................ 24 3.. How do I prepare for the ELPE?. What is the Oral Assessment all about? .................................................... What are the various sections in the ELPE? ............................. FLIGHT DETAILS .......................................................... What should I keep in mind when I book the tickets? ................................... I have heard that it’s really difficult to get a driver’s license there.............. 28 2. Is the ELPE difficult? What are the sections in it? ................................... 28 3............. 25 6............................ Why is it important to get a Texas driver’s license as soon as I can?............................................... 27 AIRPORT....... 26 3................. Check in will start from 13TH Aug......... How do I get the IDP?..... 22 10.......................... International Driving Permit & State ID ..................

... 35 1......................................................... 35 4.................................. 35 3...................... I know a friend of mine who stays about 15 minutes away from campus......................... 37 2...? ............... What’s the difference between tuition and fees? ........................... What kind of initial accommodation will I get? 32 HOUSING.................. SCHOLARHSIPS................ If in case I take up a route wherein I land at Houston International Airport at the evening time at 5 pm or so................................. etc................ 30 INITIAL ACCOMODATION..................................................... What kind of food is available on campus and off campus?................................... Since I intend to come with my wife............ Can I get to see a breakdown of what’s there on my fee statement? ....... You mentioned about different types of assistantships........... 30 5................................................ 34 FEES.................................. Can I carry such a lot of foreign exchange with me when I travel?....... 33 4........................... Where do I register for the orientation and check-in?.......................... 32 3...... 33 5................................................................ I will not have a means of transportation when I come there? How will I manage groceries.. How about the transportation facility on campus?......... 37 1........................ MONEY TO CARRY........ What happens if I arrive late.............................. 36 9......................... Where will I go after first coming to US?........... Where do I get to see details about the fee structure?... What are the chances that I will get funding before I come there? ................. What kind of temporary accommodation is usually provided to incoming students for the first few days?.... 35 5..... 36 FUNDING... Do I have to book housing in advance........... before I come there? ............ I intend to come with my wife............................... What are the rates of On-campus and Off-campus housing facilities available? 2....... Isn’t that a bit far to walk in the hot summer?.................................................India Association.. 37 Page 5 of 60 ... What is in-state and out-state tuition? ...................................... 35 2.... how do I need to move from there to college station? Would there be any one to pick me up?...... 34 8....... could someone also suggest me a few locations where I could find Indian population close by?......................... 33 1.............. and I miss the orientation dates?.... I’m confused! What are the types of financial support and how do I get these? ............................. Texas A&M University 3......... .... 36 8................................. How will I inform India Association of the date and time that I will be arriving in Houston? .... TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES IN COLLEGE STATION...... Do I really have to take it?......................................... 34 7........ 32 1............................. 36 7...................... Off-campus or On-campus? ....................... How much money should I carry? .............. PICKUP . 32 2............. What is the currency system in the US?................... 33 6............. 33 3............. Which one is a preferable one............ 30 4......... In what form do I carry the money – DD/Travelers’ Check/ Cash? . 36 6....................... Some of my friends told me to take Travel Insurance when I travel.. STUDENT WORKER POSITIONS ......................... TRAVEL INSURANCE DETAILS ..... 32 4................................................................................

............................. Is it going to delay our MS? 42 3.................................. but when I look at the course details it shows the “Available Seats” as 0................................ What about full time jobs? Do companies visit the campus? .......... 41 SELECTING COURSES........ With interviews taking place outside College Station.... 45 2............................ What are credit hours.. 38 4................... Texas A&M University 3.................................................................................. I need to pick on a course................ What clothes do I need to get when I come there?................................. 38 7. How come I need fewer credit hours in summer?...... suppose I have to travel to another city for an interview?.................................. First of all...... 40 3........... How will I manage my expenses if I do not get an assistantship? Can I work on campus?......................................................... 43 9.............................................................................. 45 CLOTHES............................................. 46 Suggested Clothes (for all seasons):......................... What do I do now? ............ Is there anyway I can search for a job before I reach TAMU? .............. 43 7.............. 44 BAGGAGE AND PACKING........................ I also want to know which professors are good............. and is there a minimum requirement? .. What kind of boxes should I go for? ......... What can I do? .. What is the Degree plan you just mentioned? Do I need to do anything about that before I come there?.................................................................................. How do I prepare myself for these Career Fairs? I have no idea how interviews are in the US....... 42 2...... 43 8...... 45 1......................................................... What kind of jobs (positions) are available?..................................India Association....... I am not able to decide on what courses to take.............. FOOD TO BRING ............................................................. What should I keep in mind when I apply for a Student Worker position?............... I’ve heard that the system of education is quite different from what we have here in India........ There is a course that seems interesting....................................................................... How do I know what courses I can take?....... Can I contact the professor to ask about a course? ............. is there something that I should “NOT” bring when I pack my luggage? .................... 44 11... Can the current students help me? .. 40 4........................ ..................................................... 44 10............................................... 40 1.... 46 1.. 46 Page 6 of 60 .................. 38 5............ In what way is it so?....................... 43 6......................... 39 FULL TIME JOBS ...... What are the average expenses of students? ........................ would that not be a problem to my class schedule?............................................................................................................................. DECIDING ON SUBJECTS TO PICK....................................... Do I have to select my courses before I come there?. 41 5........................................ 38 6....... I wan t to attend the lecture......... UTENSILS......... 42 4...................................................................................... What about the time and costs involved...................... What is the style of interviews in the US? ................................. I would like to know what the Thesis option is for............. 43 5................................... Can I change my department after I come there?........................ 40 2...................... 44 12........ but I don’t want to take up the course..... DEGREE PLAN 42 1.........................

what do you suggest that I carry in it? ..... What’s all this hype about jet lag? ........India Association................ 56 3... What documentation should I carry with me? ................................... 47 Summarizing your Personal accessories list: .. The total journey is going to be about 20 hours.............................................. 54 1............................................................................ shaving kit............ Since the hand baggage is small............................................ 5............. IN-FLIGHT INFORMATION ................... 52 IT’S PACKING TIME .................................... 47 Shoes: ................................................................................ What should I keep in mind on the day I travel? ..... 51 4............................................................................. 4................................... 52 6...................... 56 4..... 54 ONE LAST REVIEW OF IMPORTANT THINGS .................... 53 3........................................................................... Can we bring some copied CDs and Photostat copies of books?.......... Which forms do I have to fill out during my flight in the USA? ................................................... 50 STATIONARY. 52 5............................. 51 3......................... 6............................................................. Any final things to be done in the last 2-3 days? ............................... 55 1........ 46 The suit is taking up a lot of space in the baggage? Do I really need one? ........................................ What should I do when I get there? .............. What should I do if I want a computer with internet connection at my apartment? ........... 57 Page 7 of 60 ....................................................................................................... Do I need to bring a calculator? ......... 47 Chappals:.............................................. 54 2............ 49 Should I carry any food with me? ....... Do I need to carry any stationary with me when I come there?..................................... 56 1................ 50 Recommended Food Items:.......... Texas A&M University 2....................................... What textbooks should I carry with me when I come here? ................................................................ etc................ 3... TEXT BOOKS TO BRING ... 47 Suggested Footwear (for all seasons):..... Do you have a check-list that I can use to make sure I haven’t missed anything? 55 ON THE DAY OF TRAVEL......... 48 Summarizing your Utensils list:..................................................................... Summarizing your clothes list:................................ 56 FORMS TO FILL DURING THE FLIGHT TO THE USA............................ 51 Suggested Stationary list: ...................? ................................... I’m having a transit..... What are the important things to do in the week before I travel? .................................... 53 2...................... Should I buy a laptop from India or should I get one when I come there? .................................. 51 1....................... 47 What kind of foot-ware should I use? ..................................................... 53 1....................................................... Won’t this be tiring?............................. 47 Personal accessories: ...................................................................... 47 Should I get any accessories such as razors............................ 56 2.......................... 48 What utensils should I bring?........................................................ 53 THINGS TO DO IN THE WEEK BEFORE TRAVEL ........... Any packing tips?............. 51 2............................................................. 57 1.....

....................................................... What do I need to do first? ................ at the Port of Entry? ........... does the India Association assist me regarding any help I need?............ Texas Driver’s License – Texas Department of Public Safety website .... 60 Page 8 of 60 ......................................................... Useful Resources – International Student Services website ................ 58 3...................................................... What do I do next?............ What is this all about?............... 60 1.................. Texas A&M University FINALLY LANDED IN THE USA .................................................... Useful Resources – Social Security Administration ...... 59 6...................... I have finally reached the Port of Entry...... I got the I-94 stamped............................... 60 1......... 58 4...................................... 60 2...... 59 APPENDIX 1 – ONLINE RESOURCES............................ 58 1........................................ I have heard about an issue with some students not getting “D/S” written on their I-20 and I-94................................................. I am still at the transit airport...........India Association.......... After I arrive at College Station. 59 5... What documents do I need to keep ready before I see the Immigration Official............... 58 2...... What do I do next?..........................

as long as the credits are mentioned. Texas A&M University does not hold any copyright to this document. “AFTER VISA WHAT DO I DO?” was instrumental to making this FAQ. reliability.2009 India Association. 4. and accuracy of the information on this FAQ document. Document Updates First Created on : Revision 1 : 01 June. The first revision of this document was done by Stephen. While maintaining the accuracy of the answers to their best. or view in relation to any query which is not specifically attributed to the India Association may not necessarily reflect that of the India Association. 3. Texas A&M University NEW STUDENT FAQ 1. opinion. We encourage you to take steps to obtain the most up-to-date information and to confirm the accuracy and reliability of any information on this document by directly communicating with us. 2006-07). The India Association at Texas A&M University may delete. A special note of thanks to the following: • Abhishek Padiyar. whose document. Some of it has been taken from official web pages of the university. • Santosh Suresh.Last checked on June 9. 2007 Last checked on June 9. 2006 01 June. Any statement. India Association – Texas A&M University does not hold any responsibility for complete authenticity. 2. Texas A&M University. Credits The information available on this document is based on the experience and knowledge obtained from former and current students at Texas A&M University. for providing information on the section about driver’s license. or amend information on this document without notice. This document is intended to provide information only. Disclaimer All reasonable measures have been taken to ensure the quality. 2009 Page 9 of 60 . you should – where appropriate – contact us directly with your specific query. If you are seeking additional advice on any matters relating to information on this document. You may feel free to distribute copy and/or host it on your web pages. add to. This document was compiled by Stephen Mathew James (President – India Association. Copyright India Association.

Do you suggest learning something like cooking. So learn all those dishes Mom makes. 2. using the IDP. before coming here? Well… a lot of things! Here is a suggested list of stuff that can help you a lot when you come here. Maple or MathCAD. Of course. especially for first timers. Excel. From the experience of previous students. Learn cooking! Buddy. Nearly every job here will ask you if you have word processor. Texas A&M University BEFORE COMING TO THE US of A 1. PowerPoint and Access. try to get most of them done. and your professor will expect you to know them. You can drive vehicles for up to a year. As we always start. They will be useful not only for a job. travelling to a new country can be scary. It helps a great deal with your monthly expenses. It’s just a matter of applying for it. Is there anything else that I need to take care of? A few things. apply for an International Driving License (IDP). Page 10 of 60 . it’s always a plus point to know these. As far as possible. You are about to emerge on one of the most exciting and enjoyable phase of your life. experience. In any case. but if you have more or less the knowledge to get around. if you’re going to survive here you BETTER learn something or else your room-mates will end up throwing you out! Well jokes apart. The India Association at Texas A&M University is committed to helping new students have a smooth and easy transition to the new life style here. Make sure that your passport is valid for valid for 6 months more than your stay indicated in your I-20.India Association. and you don’t need to take extra tests for it. if it applies to you: If you are going to be availing a bank loan. You can also rent vehicles with the IDP. it would be a good idea to learn mathematical software such as Matlab. 3. I’m really nervous about travelling to the USA. They are not all that difficult and nearly all of them are based on the C-language (especially Matlab). you have good chances of getting a student worker position as a web programmer (highest paid student worker jobs on campus). “Relax”… and a bunch of smilies☺. Learn Word. Some banks may take time before they verify your background and sanction the loan. but also for your own studies. If you are going to be taking a course that involves core engineering. or you’re going to miss them a lot! Web programming! That is something that will be of great use if you need the high paying jobs. etc. the effort will be less. It is an extremely useful thing out here. spreadsheet. Learn to use the Microsoft Office package… and a little more than just typing. Students here literally survive on these things. Leave the worries aside and enjoy the time you will be spending here. I’ve never been out of the country before and I have no clue where to go once I leave India. make sure that you apply ASAP. learn them. learn it! And after you get your Indian driving license. If you don’t know driving yet. You needn’t be a pro at it. So if you know C or C++. etc. most desis here cook on their own.

tamu. 2. etc. Texas A&M University WELCOME TO AGGIELAND. so we encourage you to visit these websites to learn more about Aggie Traditions. that cadet must sleep on the floor.tamu. HOME OF THE 12th MAN! 1. and she is a Five-Star General. land of the Aggies. may we point out that Reveille is a dog! Reveille is the most revered dog on campus. is the official mascot of Texas A&M University.tamu. She is the highest ranking member of the Corps of Cadets. Page 11 of 60 . and hence the name. It’s always good to sink in the Aggie spirit before you come here. Cadets address Reveille as "Miss Rev. Having said that. Midnight Yell. Muster.edu http://traditions. However the name stuck and so it is still called Texas A&M University.India Association. Who is the mascot of Texas A&M University? Reveille. have come to be a cherished part of A&M. If she is sleeping on a cadet's bed.edu/home/aboutam/amfacts/index. I have heard that all Universities in the US have a lot of traditions behind them. A&M therefore stands for “Agricultural and Mechanical”. Silver Taps. the class is to be immediately dismissed. To learn about Aggie Traditions: http://aggietraditions. Does A&M have any? “Does” A&M have any?! Texas A&M University is probably one of the only Universities where a lot of emphasis is placed on traditions. Many things like The 12th Man. it was called as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (AMC) — the first public university in Texas. What does A&M stand for? When the university was founded in 1876. Years later. Students enrolled at Texas A&M University are called Aggies." If she is in class and barks while the professor is teaching. (Don’t be surprised if you find some of the mechies constantly bragging about how they put the “M” in “A&M”!) 3. the college was turned into a University and many more departments were added. Company E-2 has the privilege of taking care of Reveille. There is a lot to write about these. ma'am. What is Aggieland? College Station for a long time has come to be known as Aggieland.html 4.edu/traditions/ (this site has illustrations) To know facts about A&M: http://www. Though it seems humorous. Gig ‘em. the first lady of Aggieland.

It does not snow here.g. Clock is once again set forward by one hour on the first Sunday of April at 2:00 am (Spring Season). Bryan. :) Feb – April: Spring Season (Best time of the year. is very close by (just about a mile) that these two are usually called the twin cities. More or less this is the year –round climate: April mid – Sep: Summer Season (Temp reaches 35o-40oC. This forces all activities to start one hour earlier so that maximum daylight is used till late in the evening. but it’s still a good place to live in. During summer. Texas A&M University COLLEGE STATION AND GENERAL QUERIES 1. People there do not ever change the time in their clocks. Wind blows but due to the chilly wind the temp may actually feel like s ub-zero. For those of you that are from North India. Arizona is the only state. which is not affected by day-light-saving. CS time is 11½ (eleven and a half) hours behind IST. The easiest way to remember this is FALL BACK. 2. CS has all sorts of facilities. What is the time difference between India and College Station? College Station comes in the “Central Time (US and Canada)” time zone. What is the weather like in College Station? College station has a varied climate from really hot summers to really cold winters. The neighboring city. occasional rains) Sep – Nov: Fall Season (Warm in the afternoon. the time is set in such a way that maximum daylight could be used. the climate of College Station is more or less like what we have in New Delhi (that’s for a reference in case you need to know what to expect). it pours! 3. Here they use the concept of Daylight Saving Time – DST (a correction factor used to accommodate for duration of day during winters and summers). College Station time is 10½ (ten and a half) hours behind Indian Standard Time (IST). but pleasant otherwise. the sun rises at around 4-5 o'clock.Daylight Saving Time? As the name suggests. 4. Page 12 of 60 . So the clock is set forward by one hour. By the way. but last Dec there was 1 day of snow. Therefore: The Clock is set back by one hour on the first Sunday of November 1 (Fall Season) at 2:00 am. E. It’s not as big as metro cities. occasional rains) Nov – Feb: Winter Season (temp goes as low as 2-3 C. SPRING AHEAD. When DST is switched on (as it is now). How big is College Station? College Station is a city with a population of about 70. When it rains. shops and a mall too. very hot in the afternoon. When DST is off.India Association.000. Weather is pleasant and there are occasional rains) Remember to bring a good big umbrella as the rains are pretty heavy out here. What is this DST .

etc.India Association. ‘round the clock. trekking. For longer breaks there are places like Conroe and South Padre Island. Campus Police. It’s a small city but still big enough. There have been stray cases of problems so we suggest that you try not to stay very late out by yourself. Houston. What about the safety issues attending evening classes and moving back to the apartment? Are there any emergency services available? College Station is a pretty much safe place and we don’t have issues like racism. San Antonio. EMS. Are there any places to visit in Texas? College Station isn’t one of those sky-scrapper filled cities that you would be having on your mind. Texas A&M University 5. Dallas and Galveston. Emergency services – 911. 6. Cities to visit are Austin. Corps of Cadets Escort service are available 24/7. There are lots of places to visit in Texas and most folks go away on camping. Page 13 of 60 .

What is the India Association all about? India Association is the largest and most functional organization on campus. they have the very latest ones too. Once we’re settled and get used to the place.India Association. Are there Indians in College Station? Oh yes! The Indian community is the largest international community in Texas A&M University. etc. 4. At times they also have recorded cricket matches! 3. Talent Show. two Indian students won the Epright Most Outstanding Student of the Year award (highest recognition for an international student at A&M). are there activities to keep us engaged? The good thing about life at A&M is that though you’re away from home. India Association organizes three major cultural events in a year. You’ll make a lot of new friends here. Texas A&M University LIFE AS AN INDIAN STUDENT at TEXAS A&M 1. and also takes part in International Week. and as a matter of fact some friends stay for life… if you know what I mean! ☺ 5. In addition to the students. In the last 4 years. And yup. once they are there? Sure! A lot of students pack bags and head back home during the winter holidays. and two IA presidents have won the Most Outstanding International Club President Award. It comes as no surprise to the international audience when India Association. They are open for most time of the day and are all in walking distance of your apartments. You live in a community with people from your same background. Dress Parade. you usually never feel the distance. Are there Indian stores in College Station? Yes. there are many families living in Bryan / College Station. That’s usually when you have the longest break. We have nearly 3 Indian stores here and you get nearly every Indian foodstuff and grocery that you need. All of them also have video libraries so you can rent movie DVDs. cultural events. grocery rides. Page 14 of 60 . bags most of the awards for best performances in Cultural Display. Being there for the first couple of weeks will be exciting. (Even Parle-G biscuits and Maggie noodles!). 2. This is addition to the awards we win at the International week speaks volumes about the activities of IA. representing India. The association has always been in the forefront of various activities throughout the year which includes – hosting & pickup. Students normally go for about 2-3 weeks and this varies depending on how hectic (or jobless) you are. Do students come back to India on a visit. IA has been on a winning spree for the last 6 years in a row.

here are other organizations that serve specific purposes: • AID-TAMU (Association for India’s Development – TAMU Chapter): A volunteer organization that raises funds for projects in India. Texas A&M University 6.tamu.edu/stuorgs/isa/) • • • • Page 15 of 60 . Raises funds for projects (http://cry. Also conducts events by students.India Association.edu/stuorgs/spicmacay/) CRY-TAMU (Child Rights and You – TAMU Chapter): A&M chapter of the CRY organization.edu/) ACC (Aggie Cricket Club): For cricket die-hards! Conducts cricket (and occasional soccer) tournaments around the year (http://acc. The India Association is one of the many Indian student organizations on campus. A great organization for those into cultural arts and dance (http://stuact.org/) SPICMACAY (Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth): Organizes Indian cultural events by inviting artists from India.edu/) ISA (Indian Student Association): Organization of second generation students from the Indian subcontinent (http://stuact.tamu. (http://tamu.aidindia. Though IA is the umbrella organization that includes all the Indian students at A&M. Is the India Association the only Indian student body at A&M? No.tamu.tamu.

Also as a matter of personal health and precaution. Texas A&M University will no longer be requiring the submission of immunization records as a requirement for class registration". Now in case you have not received it. you'll end up paying through your nose. Are we Indians part of the exception? Students from India are NOT an exception. It also says that some international students are an exception. it is extremely important that you take the Mantoux test for TB.tamu. For e. 2. You can bring a letter from the doctor. Just make sure that his signature and the seal of the hospital are legible on the form. 2003. make sure that the dates are adjusted well. If you haven't taken the TB test. Texas A&M University IMMUNIZATION & MEDICAL RELATED 1. then they will tell you to take a vaccination here.India Association. If this is the case. Make sure that you get shots for Hepatitis. I have received a letter from TAMU regarding Immunization record. if you have one. if that makes you feel more comfortable. and is required to clear your health insurance block once you come here. your registration will be blocked until you take it. Though it is true that they don't look much into most of the vaccinations. There are no exceptions to this. what should he write? Is it about my general health or state that I have taken these vaccinations? No. we would suggest that you are vaccinated against everything mentioned on the Immunization Form. In some cases you probably won’t remember all the dates of the various immunization shots (unless you have records of it). Does the doctor need to write anything separately on his letter head? If yes. In case you don't have a family doc. These are the important ones they look for. from India itself. and its very expensive ($300 for the Hepatitis shot). MMR and Meningitis. TB (Mantoux test). Does A&M send the form or it’s available somewhere on the site? You would have got the Immunization Record form when you got the admit letter from A&M.g. If you fall ill here. get it signed by a doctor from a good hospital (not any small clinic). Now the question is from whom should I get the form signed as u may have done that? The Immunization Record is a very important thing to fill up.: the first set of immunization shots should be in the first 3 months of birth and so on. 5. you can download it from: http://shs. However they really wont check it. The Student Health Services (SHS) website says that "Effective May 2. Your doctor need not do anything other than sign the Immunization record. What are the three sheets on the Immunization Record form for? First sheet – Report of Medical History – outline of your medical history Page 16 of 60 . It is advisable to get it done by your family doctor.PDF 3.edu/forms/MEDHISTO. If your records are not satisfactory. Medical bills are very expensive here. I have not received any Immunization form till date. 4.

India Association, Texas A&M University

Second sheet – Information about Bacterial Meningitis Third Sheet – This is the most important one. You have to fill this with information regarding the vaccinations you have taken.

6. I received just one sheet of the Immunization Record form. Where do I get the others from?
If you were sent the forms through mail, then you probably have the third sheet – the one that requires you to fill in information. If you don’t have the complete set, you can download it from this location:

http://shs.tamu.edu/forms/MEDHISTO.PDF 7. Should I send the Immunization Record to A&M right away?
No. You don’t have to send the Immunization Record to A&M now. Just make sure that you fill in all the necessary information before you come here. After your check-in with the International Student Services (ISS), you will be asked to go to the Beutel Health Centre and get your medical block removed. Hand the Immunization Record to the concerned individual at that time, and they will clear your block.

8. What kind of checkup should I have before I come to the US?
Get a complete medical check-up done, especially dental and eye-checkup. These are very expensive in the US and it is best you do them in India. If you use reading glasses, make sure you have at least 2 pairs of them because if they happen to break, you’ll pay a lot getting them fixed. (It costs around $160 over here to get a spectacle made!)

9. I am taking the vaccination for Hepatitis-B for the first time. It needs three shots to be taken and I may not be able to take all of them by the time I come there. Can I carry a vaccine vial with me so that I can reduce the cost? Will they provide me just the injection if I give them the vaccine?
No. The Preventive Medicine unit at Beutel Health Centre has strict guidelines that they cannot give you an injection for a drug that you bring with you. They will inject you only with drugs that are available here. If you are not able to take all the necessary doses before you come here, then the only option is to pay and get it done here. The only exception to this rule is an allergy serum and that too with proper and valid documentation from a doctor in India.

10. The TB screening (Mantoux test) - is that compulsory for us? If so, can we take it here and come; i.e. are tests taken here accepted by the SHS people at TAMU?
TB skin testing, utilizing the Mantoux test, is required for all incoming, high-risk students, domestic or international, who have arrived from countries where TB is endemic. India is included in one of the countries where TB is considered endemic, and hence it is mandatory that you take the test.

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India Association, Texas A&M University

Do note that the Mantoux test is only a means of knowing whether you have TB or not; it is not a vaccine. If your test becomes positive take the appropriate medication. Even though doctors in India will write you off as “TB negative” if your reading falls below a certain value, here it is very important that your reading shows 0 (zero). So if you are negative ask your doctor to write it as “0” and not just “TB negative”. More details on immunization can be obtained from: http://shs.tamu.edu/immunizations.htm

11. My doc said that Indians take only one MMR vaccine (when they are about a year old) and Americans take another dose when they are five. So what do I do alongside MMR#2 in the Immunization Record? Do I leave it blank?
You can leave the second one blank or you can write the date for MMR across the fields for both MMR#1 and #2.

12. Do I need to take vaccines for Rabies?
It’s not important and they won’t check for this. Take it only if you have had to take it when you were little. Dogs in the US are sometimes given more attention and care than people. So the chances are less that you’ll get an infection from the dogs here. Just don’t go and stick your finger at a barking dog!

13. What medicines should I carry with me?
Medicines are expensive here and we recommend that you bring medicines from India, for each of these categories: Fever, Body Ache, Headache Tablets for Air/Motion Sickness For stomach discomfort First Aid Kit – Bandages, Band Aids, Dettol, etc. Pain Reliever – Tiger Balm, Deep Heat spray, etc. Vitamin tablets – Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin C Make sure that if you have any specific medical condition, you should carry sufficient amount of medicine with you to last for some time. IMPORTANT: Remember to carry a doctor’s prescription for the medicines. Certain (strong) medicines contain narcotics and it is illegal to carry these without a prescription.

14. Do I need to bring my medical records with me?
Yes, you should. You are going to be here for some time now, and if you have had a specific medical condition in the past, remember to bring the doctor’s record sheets, prescriptions, etc. You don’t need to bring a huge file for this. You know your health best. Get what you feel might be useful in case you have a medical condition once you come here.

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India Association, Texas A&M University

HEALTH INSURANCE
1. Is insurance purchased from India, say from ICICI, accepted at TAMU? This works out to be pretty cheap. Can I purchase it?
You can buy insurance policies from India. It will definitely work out to be cheaper, but you will have to make sure that all the clauses are well understood and that the policy you purchase is good for use here. The best way to find out is to contact ISS and ask them about their exact requirements. There are quite a few students who opt for insurance from India, but we would personally suggest that you take it from here. The reason is that when you take a policy here, people at the ISS can tell you for sure whether it is accepted or not. And you do get reasonable insurance policies too.

2. As far as insurance is concerned, will it will be more beneficial to take Medical insurance from INDIA or from US? I have visited many Insurance companies and they told me that it would cost around 14000/for one year. What is the cost there?
The cost of health insurance is generally the same, whether you take it from India or from here. In some cases, policies taken in India are actually cheaper. In any case we would suggest that you take your insurance plan from here because: The ISS knows all about insurance policies here and they can tell which are approved, by the University, and which not. If you bring a policy from India and if all the conditions required by the ISS are not met, then it’s going to be a headache for you to get it changed. Policies are comparable in price, and once you come here you will soon realize that the small difference in dollars is actually not a big deal. If you start a policy here, it is easy to continue it for another semester. Also note that it is a common thing that when most students come here, they compare everything with Indian Rupees. Soon you will sink into the mindset out here and that really won’t be a big deal to you.

3. I would still like to purchase my insurance policy from India. How do I know whether it meet the requirements set forward by the ISS?
The requirements of the ISS for any insurance coverage, is specified at this website: http://international.tamu.edu/iss/insurance/forstudents.asp

4. What is the general procedure to claim medical expenses?
To claim medical coverage, you will have to submit your bills to the insurance company and then they will reimburse you based on the policy you have taken.

Page 19 of 60

This is not a problem with the VISA officer either. ISS would have already printed out and mailed the I-20 form to you. you should contact the International Student Services (ISS). 2. as you can show them proof of your funding. from 8am – 5pm (Central Time). As long as you have a letter from the department that states that you have been awarded a scholarship or assistantship. The ISS is open Monday – Friday. But just in case you don’t. If you get the new one in time. then you will surely be getting it. At times.India Association.edu It is recommended that you contact them by phone. But by then. Phone Number: 979-845-1151 E-mail: iss@tamu. I received a scholarship from my department. I still have not got my I-20. Page 20 of 60 . carry your aid letter with you for the interview. it doesn’t show up. They are processing the applications of thousands of students and may not reply back through e-mails as fast as you need it. Whom should I contact? If you still have not received your I-20 form (CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY). However when I received my I-20. that’s good. You can call them any time during their office hours. Does it mean that I won’t be getting the scholarship? Don’t worry. Texas A&M University I-20 (CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY) RELATED QUERIES 1. the department sanctions the funding and sends that information to the ISS. Request the ISS to issue you a new I-20.

I have a 300 and will this help me in any way. and is required by all international students if they are applying for assistantships. it happened to many students that they thought they could take the exam on any of the two days. In previous years. What is ELPE? Even though you submitted your TOEFL scores well in advance there is a good chance that you may have the I-20 mentioning about the English Language Proficiency requirement. Since TOEFL scores are valid for a couple of years (3 years). Texas A&M University ELPE (English Language Proficiency Exam) 1. only on the days when the testing is done. where all the scores are current and taken at the same time. Depending on the number of students. I got my I-20 but there is something mentioned about the English Language Proficiency requirement. The exam is usually on the day after your International Student Check-In. A&M wanted to have a standardized test specific to A&M requirements. So how long will the test take place for each day? Will it be only these 2 specified days or is it according to our convenience? On the first day you will have all sections except the Oral Skills Assessment. IMPORTANT: The ELPE exam runs for 2 days (separate tests on both days) and it is important that you attend both the days. 2. Note that your convenience is limited to the fact that you can swap the Oral Exam time with someone else. Certain departments (e. You will be notified about the time and date of the exam. but this alone wont help. You are expected to meet with the interviewing panel at your time. The time of exam will be common to all those who are taking the exam. and thus missed the chance to take the complete exam. Page 21 of 60 . I want to know if a good TOEFL score helps in the granting of a TA. while some (e. This generally lasts for about 1½ (one and half) to 2 hours. The ELPE (English Language Proficiency Exam) is given at Texas A&M. This provides time for the test to be scored before students have to register for classes.: Architecture) have it mandatory that all students take the ELPE. You mentioned duration of 2 days. the Oral Exam might start on the same day since each student is individually tested. Oral exam is for just 5 – 10 minutes.g.: Mechanical) require it only if you are applying for an assistantship. New students take it upon their arrival approximately one and a half weeks before classes start. or is it only the ELPE that matters? A good TOEFL score does help you to get an assistantship. You are allowed to swap the appointment time with any other student if both agree. especially TA. After the exam you will get your appointment time for the Oral Skills Assessment for the next day. They won’t look at your exact scores. It’s just enough that you pass in all the sections (more than 80% on each section). When and where do I take the ELPE? The ELPE is given at Texas A&M.India Association. This is why it is necessary that you take the ELPE. Most positions for assistantships (RA/TA/GA) require that you only clear the ELPE. 4.g. 3. once you come here.

Except for the oral interview and composition segments of the ELPE. students may prepare ahead of time by studying for the Michigan Test Battery (book may be available in India). 7. You’re saying that ELPE is easy. you need not memorize it all over again). we don’t see any reason why you would NOT pass the exam! In any case.India Association. Go through Baron’s TOEFL material once and you will be good to go. For undergraduate students. So don’t take the ELPE very lightly. Be warned that if your department states that it is mandatory to take the ELPE and if you don’t pass. if you don’t clear the ELPE the first time you can always take it again. 9. It is also a good idea to refresh the word list from GRE (just go through it once. since this standardized test makes up a large part of the ELPE. It is better if pass in the first attempt. Texans think that they are the only ones that speak English. Why so? If someone who is good at English did not make it through the first time. How do I prepare for the ELPE? There are reference materials in the Sterling C. 8. so if you don’t make it the first time you will have to wait till the start of the next semester. As a matter of fact. ELPE is very similar to the TOEFL exam and you should be able to do fine in it if you did well in TOEFL. 6. it will both cost you money and will add to your work load. everyone else speaks God-knows-what! Page 22 of 60 . then you must take ELI courses (in at least one of the areas not yet passed) no later than your second semester enrolled at A&M. yet I heard from many seniors that they could not pass it the first time. What are the various sections in the ELPE? The various sections in ELPE are: Oral Skills Assessment Writing Skills Assessment Reading Comprehension Grammar Vocabulary Listening Comprehension A passing score for graduate students is 80% on each of the six proficiency areas. Note that ELPE is given only at the start of every semester. a score of 70% is the passing score for each area. Texans have a very slow accent and they seem to emphasize each word when they speak. Texas A&M University 5. In case I don’t pass ELPE the first time. Evans Library at Texas A&M University. Is the ELPE difficult? What are the sections in it? Relax. Taking the ELI is equivalent to taking a course. what should I do? For the easiness of the ELPE. then there is a very good chance that he/she did not do well in the “Oral Skills Assessment”.

Explain the process – They will give you a simple picture of something like stuff needed to make coffee. i. These sections may vary and need not necessarily be the same. Is there any place I can get more information about the ELPE? The official A&M website for details on ELPE is: http://international.edu/iss/isselpe. thinking ability to organize things in a proper manner and approach used. Sounds easy. Interpret a cartoon.asp Page 23 of 60 . but what they test is your speech. 11. This is actually true. have a fast accent and the Texans can’t comprehend it.India Association. Texas A&M University We people. one of the first things they will tell you is SLOW DOWN! 10. When you attend the preparatory class for ELPE (once you come here). We have a very fast accent and most of the times they flunk you because they don’t seem to understand us.tamu. students can understand you well. who come from India. But this should give you an idea of what to expect.e. What is the Oral Assessment all about? In the Oral Exam there will be the following sections: Read out a passage from a book – this tests your skill to speak clearly so that if you take a TA assignment. come up with a story of what’s happening in it – This is to test your thinking and creative ability. and you have to tell them how to make a cup of coffee.

What is an identity theft? Identity theft is when someone steals your personal information and then uses it for his own purposes. and then they will tell you to authenticate your identity. report a possible identity threat. A Social Security number is important because you need it to get a job and businesses. Page 24 of 60 . Hang up the phone and call back the bank’s valid phone number. credit card numbers. If they say yes. cell phone. The SSN is a form of identification number that is assigned to you. You are not going to get a call from out of the blue saying that your card has been misused. ALWAYS check the URL in the browser. i. Identity thieves usually steal your SSN numbers. also ask for your number. some part of the URL should read americanexpress. then the earlier call was valid. etc. The most common example of how this happens is that someone will give you a call posing to be a bank or credit card agent. you should never give out your SSN to anybody. If you do your transactions online. Once a SSN is assigned to a person. etc. Being sensitive information. If your bank sent you a mail. read it before deleting it. In most cases you will think that this is a legitimate call and will give out your personal information. If you’re not expecting a call from the agency. Make sure that it is a secure site (URL will start with https://) and that the website address makes sense. How do I avoid identity threat? The best way to be safe is to be smart and alert. They will read out what they have and ask to simply confirm it by saying Yes or No. such as banks and credit companies. car dealers.India Association. No one will ever ask you for the full SSN number. Texas A&M University Social Security Number 1. credit card companies. Never give out your SSN on the phone. The only place where you will be required to use it will be in banks. What is a Social Security Number? The Social Security Number (SSN) is probably the most important thing that you will have to remember for as long as you are in the USA. 2. it remains until his or her death. Any agency that calls to confirm your identity will ask only for the last 4 digits. if you are on a American Express website. In case someone is asking you for information do not disclose it. Be informed through bank online alerts and general news. If someone does. These are some tips that can help you: A bank will never call you and ask you for your personal information. clear all cookies and browser information even if it is your own PC or laptop. If not. they will only ask for the last 4 digits. Ask the representative who picks up the phone whether they need this information. Do not disclose the number and report an identity theft threat as soon as possible. etc. If a bank representative is asking you to confirm your SSN over the phone. They will first tell you that your card has been under suspicious activity (basically frame up a story). 3. Once you are done. be alert. You also need a SSN to get driver’s license.e. take caution.

Sometimes it’s difficult for people looking for full-time jobs to come to the USA. 5.India Association. After you come to Texas A&M.html Page 25 of 60 . 6. students were assigned the SSN as soon as they came here. India Association will arrange a ride for you to go to the SSN office. So that means I don’t have to do anything right now in India? That’s right. come here as students. The DHS wanted to avoid this and so to make sure that you are a registered student at a University. Once they come here and get the SSN. Instances have happened where people. In the past students were assigned SSNs as soon as they came here. Once you have the papers ready. they would then apply for the full-time jobs. you will have to wait until you get an assistantship or student worker position. If you don’t have one. In order to be on the payroll (so that you receive your salary). However with change of rules by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). you will either get an assistantship or a student worker position. or decide not to take one up in the first semester. they changed the rule that a department at the University must first give you a job and then only will your SSN be issued. Where can I get to read more about the SSN? The Social Security Administration has its website as the following URL: http://www. 7. Texas A&M University 4. What do I have to do to get the SSN? Being an international student coming here on a F-1 Visa. In case you don’t have a part-time job. you have to have a job first.ssa.gov/pubs/10181. you will have to have a SSN.gov/ A special section for international students and social security numbers can be viewed at this URL: http://www. the SSN will be issued to you only once you get a job here. the hiring department will provide you with all the paper work.ssa. wanting to come to the US for full-time jobs. You can process your SSN only once you come here and have a job. Why is it necessary that I have to have a job to get the SSN? In case I don’t get a job what will I do? In the past years.

the point is not whether you have to buy a car or not in order to survive. Page 26 of 60 .) Take the written test. 3. The IDP is a simple process as long as you have a regular Indian license to drive a LMV (Light Motor Vehicle). Texas A&M University Drivers License. Why is it important to get a Texas driver’s license as soon as I can? Mainly because of lack of public transportation. For example. Some establishments will allow you to use the Indian driver’s license as a form of identification. Now. The Texas driver’s license works well for all of this.India Association. The Indian Driver’s License is valid in the states of Texas and California. Can I drive there without the IDP? No. you will have to read the Texas Drivers Handbook at least once to be informed about numerical data they may ask. though it has to be admitted that if you are fortunate (or influential) enough you may never even have to go to the RTO . patronize establishments that require an age verification . As long as you are going to be using the Indian driver’s license. This document is one of the most accepted forms of identification. you will need the IDP. Remember that the IDP is valid only for a year too. The procedure for getting a driver’s license is as follows: Obtain a letter from the ISS that states that you are a full-time student (This rule has come in effect from January 2007. you cannot drive here without the IDP. You can use this for up to a year. How do I get the IDP? The IDP is issued by the RTO offices in India and it takes anywhere between 1 – 3 weeks to get it. The note on clout and contacts is region specific. So apply well in time. it soon becomes a necessity to either own a car or be able to rent one. domestically of course. It is the document you require to be able to operate an automobile: The driver's license. and also whenever you write a check or use a credit card (sometimes) at an outlet. The test will consist of 20 questions and will be in the form of multiple choices. so after that you have no choice but to get a Texas driver’s license. Does it help to bring my Indian Driver’s License? Yes. how much is the fine for drunken driving? . 2. you can whiz past airports. Other than allowing you to drive. 4. you will receive your Instruction Permit (IP) which is the equivalent of the Learner’s License that you get in India. You can also do a computerized test.). International Driving Permit & State ID 1. You don’t need it if you are using a Texas driver’s license. you also need to supplement it with identification. it definitely does. so someone tells you that it’s not needed – they are not aware of the change. This is helpful when you need to rent a vehicle and you have not got your Texas State driver’s license yet. The Indian driver’s license is valid only when it is supplemented by the International Driving Permit (IDP). When can I apply for the Texas Driver’s License? What is the procedure? You can apply for the Texas driver’s license as soon you have your Social Security Number. Though most of the questions are common sense.-) 5. You will need the visa on the passport and also a fee.-) Once you have cleared the written (or computerized) test.

clubs. and all you need to do is fill out a form at the DPS (Department of Public Safety) office and pay $15 as a charge for it.state. for the first time. again depends on your skills (and part luck). it is of no use. and so traffic authorities are more careful in giving licenses. College Station is largely a majority student-populated city. The other option is to beg a friend or senior to lend his/her car for the purpose. So the chances of somebody lending you a car is in your “people-skills”. the common trend is that if you are above 25 years of age and are a reasonably good driver. the chances are better that you will get your license on the first trial. In Bryan/CS. 7. Where can I get a copy of the Texas Drivers Handbook? To prepare for the test. except that you cannot drive a vehicle. It gives you all the capabilities of a license. Take the driving test. Also. Is it true that you never pass the test the first time? A note on driving in US for all you big time drivers back home. What is a State ID? Do I need to have this? State ID is an alternative form of identification card. it is still good as long as you take an initiative and invest enough time and money on getting onto the streets. It is useful for banks. It looks exactly similar to the driver’s license. and Hertz. You can either use a friend’s car or rent a vehicle (this is where your IDP would come to use). 6. or you can wait for a week or two until you are confident to get the license. shops. The first agency will not rent you a car unless you have an IDP and also this is the only agency which is accepted at the DMV. You can either take the test on the day that you get your IP (for an additional charge of $25). Getting the license. where they require an ID. especially parallel parking. go through the Texas Drivers Handbook – available for free download at: http://www.India Association. Getting a state ID is extremely easy. please note that in US you cannot drive any automobile unless you are insured which is not very affordable. Texas A&M University Practice driving well because the driving test is the most difficult part. You may just end up as another statistic on the list of big time drivers who failed miserably several times before they could secure the license. Enterprise.pdf Page 27 of 60 .txdps.us/ftp/forms/DLhandbook. I have heard that it’s really difficult to get a driver’s license there. If you have never driven before. 8. we have three rental agencies. From the author’s experience. Advantage.tx. etc.

That way you are sure you have a ticket available. 4. as Houston. (Easterwood is a domestic terminal so there won’t be direct international flights to it). Air France. You can decide on the choice according to your budget. we will pick you up from Houston. in the US. HOUSTON (IAH). This will cost about $25 – $30. This is also helpful because once you are in the US. You won’t have to pay for it until maybe 2 weeks before departure. and you fly from another city to Houston your baggage may be treated as domestic baggage. As far as possible. you can still get a connection flight. Never the less. etc. When you enter the US (whichever be the city). The important thing is book a ticket right away. Where should I land or to say the airport? Your final destination should be BUSH INTERCONTINENTAL AIRPORT. so check all this out before you pay the money. Remember that this happens only if you stop on route for a day or more (to perhaps visit someone). Considering the luggage you bring. • • Page 28 of 60 . Try to make your port of entry as Houston (Bush Intercontinental Airport). It will be a good idea to come here directly as it will be easier for you (you can avoid the long travel by road). It is preferred if you keep your port of arrival. August is the busiest season in the US as a large number of prospective students come in. A direct flight is the best. Easterwood Airport? Can I come there directly? Easterwood airport is College Station’s domestic terminal and although you won’t get a direct international flight till here. College Station. it will also be good if you can continue your flight and book your destination till Easterwood Airport. British Airways. What should I keep in mind when I book the tickets? • Most important thing is to book a ticket. Ask for student concessions. then you don’t have to worry about excess baggage. and if you are late you may not be able to get a ticket in time. FLIGHT DETAILS 1. allow as much baggage as possible. Students coming from India choose from a range of airlines such as Lufthansa. Your I-94 card will be issued to you. and a destination to Houston. 2. Generally all the airlines will come up with one or the other discount offer for students. many airlines have intermediate stops so don’t worry if you have a transit. From Houston you will be brought to College Station by a Ground Shuttle. it will now be excess and you’ll have to pay for the extra. Confirm with your travel agent when you book your ticket. if you decide on that as your final destination. Which airline is the best? Choose an airline that can give you student discount. you will have to go through customs and verification. organized by the IA. book with a number of airlines. if you have not done so yet. 3. Keep this very carefully as you need it till you leave the US. I’ve heard that there is an airport in College Station. However. This will be convenient for both you and us. If you are transiting in the US. On the other hand. Texas A&M University AIRPORT.India Association.

since they may be allowed to go outside the airport. For example. Most airlines have options for veg. Airport regulations are getting to be more and stricter by the day. Be clear about: o All airports on your flight plan. the airport authorities may even put you on a flight back home. parents have been worried when they do not hear from their children. The best way to be informed is to go to the websites of the airports and read the rules (Every international airport has a website). low salt. Is there anything else I should keep in mind when I plan my flight? • Be very informed about the trip. Make sure that the travel agent who books the ticket for you knows exactly what the flight schedule is. A rule in one airport may not be the same in another.change of airline sometimes leads to misplaced luggage. be fully aware of the rules for transiting passengers.you may have to personally carry it (check this while booking) and cross check every thing you are promised by your Travel agent with the original air lines. This becomes important when some students take advantage of the transit time to visit a family member or friend. Some airlines don't take care of baggage transfer . from the author’s experience London Heathrow airport allows only 1 cabin baggage. This is fine. etc. just make sure that you stick to the rules. Baggage is usually safe with a single airline . The reason is usually that they are not aware of transit times. do let the airlines know about it. in London. well in advance. If you are transiting in a country. then it is your responsibility to take a visa before you come there. at a time that they expect to have reached here. 5. • • Page 29 of 60 . with terminal numbers o Travel time from airport A to airport B o Transit time at airport B before you depart to airport C In the past years. If you have any special dietary requirements. non-veg. If you don’t have one. Texas A&M University • • • If change of airline can't be avoided' leave at least 4-6 hrs gap between the scheduled arrival of one flight and the scheduled departure of the connecting flight. For example. while in the US – 2 cabin bags are allowed. if you are transiting and have to be in the airport for until 24 hours they will issue a transit visa.India Association. However if you stay beyond 24 hours.

This is mandatory and you have to attend it. The ISS also has early check-in dates.India Association. so if you come earlier than that. India Association will start its pickup and hosting from the last week of July. How will I inform India Association of the date and time that I will be arriving in Houston? India Association will open the web registration for Fall-admit students by midJune and Spring-admit students by mid-November. India Association will arrange for pickup and hosting when you arrive in December. What happens if I arrive late. Page 30 of 60 . They will also remove the ISS registration block (one of several registration blocks you may have) at this time. 5. By the time it’s ready to register and select courses. It is highly advised that you come here well ahead in time. Check in will start from 13th Aug. Texas A&M University CHECK-IN and ORIENTATION 1. The dates will be published by the ISS and you should keep track of it. The advantage of checking in early is that you will be able to register for courses earlier. If you want IA to pick you up at the airport and if you need to be hosted. please arrange for your own trip. for students who come here early. I hope you can walk a lot in the sun! ☺ On the published check-in dates. you will be adjusted to this place. What is this “check-in” that you are talking about? All new international students must attend the International Student Check-In. For more information. This gives staff at International Student Services (ISS) the opportunity to review and copy your immigration documents and to verify your legal immigration status.edu/iss/checkin_orientation/checkin. visit: http://international. beginning from the first week. Very limited numbers of appointments are available and you should reserve a spot in advance if you would like to do this. It will also give you the time to have a look around the University and meet your seniors. 2. If you are late and miss the orientation. It will give you about 2 weeks of time to search for a house and start up with groceries and stuff like that.asp 3. For spring admit students.tamu. in order to allow you to register for courses. When should I come there? It is suggested that you come here in August. you will have to go to these departments on your own and it will take a lot of time. Check-in dates are published by the International Student Services. it is absolutely necessary that you register at IA’s website. and I miss the orientation dates? In that case. 4. Where do I register for the orientation and check-in? You do not need to register for orientation and check-in. all the ISS departments come together and verify your documents.

Texas A&M University Page 31 of 60 .India Association.

2. how do I need to move from there to college station? Would there be any one to pickup? The India Association is organizing pickup for Indian students. What kind of initial accommodation will I get? IA will accommodate you in an apartment that has enough space for 2 people. 4. Tentatively. Since the trip from Houston to College Station takes about 1½ (one and half) hours. Houston. the pick up timings will be adjusted so that you won’t have to wait at the airport for long. PICKUP 1.India Association. so more detailed information about this will available to you soon. The India Association is arranging for your pickup from Bush Intercontinental Airport. You don’t have to pay for this and it’s a friendly and free service we here in College Station provide you so that you don’t have any tension in your first few days here. What kind of temporary accommodation is usually provided to incoming students for the first few days? You will be hosted for about 1-2 week’s time with senior students. We will arrange pickup shuttles that will pick you from the airport and bring you to College Station. A shuttle service – Groundshuttle – will be arranged to pick you up. 3. As far as possible. The India Association website is being prepared so that you can enter details about your arrival. Where will I go after first coming to US? Don’t worry about a thing. Texas A&M University INITIAL ACCOMODATION. 5:30 pm and then 9 pm. We are still in the process of creating this. you are advised to adjust your flight timing so that you land here at an appropriate time. the pick up times will be 9:00 am. Page 32 of 60 . The India Association website is being prepared so that you can enter details about your arrival. so more detailed information about this will available to you soon. according to Groundshuttle timings. I intend to come with my wife. If in case I take up a route wherein I land at Houston International Airport at the evening time at 5 pm or so. We are still in the process of creating this.

before I come there? Though some people do this. Once you come here. 2. etc. College Station has so many options when it comes to fast-food outlets and restaurants. so book for this as soon as you come here. They come with kitchen. Most Indian students here stay in Off-Campus housing facilities as they are more affordable. These are more expensive and there are hardly any Indian graduate students who stay in the on-campus dorms. Texas A&M University HOUSING. Pizza Hut. 5. you can apply for an apartment in the University Apartments. Off-campus or On-campus? We would suggest Off-campus apartments for the following reasons: • Cheaper and properly maintained • More facilities like kitchen. McDonalds. Many of these do not have kitchen facilities. a hall and a bathroom. could someone also suggest me a few locations where I could find Indian population close by? Most of the Indian students stay in apartment blocks that are close by to the University.India Association. Taco Bell. The only drawback is that it has a waiting period of sometimes up to a year. All the apartments are within 5-10 mins walking distance to the University. • More Indians stay close by 3. • A lot of apartments are available and there’s hardly a chance that they will run out of space. Which one is a preferable one. Page 33 of 60 . Do I have to book housing in advance. The rates vary from $375 (single bedroom apartment) to $550 (2 bedroom apartment). You get nearly everything out here – Subway. Since I intend to come with my wife. and in most cases these are folks who you’ve never met before. What kind of food is available on campus and off campus? The University has a lot of cafeterias that serve food from morning till evening. TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES IN COLLEGE STATION 1. we would suggest that you don’t book in advance for the following reasons: • It’s hard to decide on a house until you actually see it. There are also snack bars and vending machines that you can use. These are maintained by the University and are especially for married couples. Sometimes you may not like a particular floor plan layout and this would not be clear until you come here. Four people can comfortably stay in the 2-bedroom apartments so the rent gets divided. You’ll have to pick on something that suits everyone’s preference. What are the rates of On-campus and Off-campus housing facilities available? On-campus housing facilities are mainly used by undergraduate students. 4. • You’re probably going to be staying with roommates. These are good for families and there are many Indian families staying in these apartments. They are available as 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments. spacious rooms.

You can use the bus facilities to commute to and from University. Most students cook by themselves and have food at their homes. I know a friend of mine who stays about 15 minutes away from campus. It covers all of the campus and most locations out of campus. India Association has now put together the weekly ride services.? After a successful trial run. Name it. off-campus and on-campus.India Association. How about the transportation facility on campus? The University has its buses that run through a couple of routes. SSN office. This is more economical and is better for your health too. Isn’t that a bit far to walk in the hot summer? The University buses have routes that run through most apartment complexes. you have it. even if you don’t use the service it is still charged to your fee statement!) Once you come here you can also buy a bicycle (Americans call it bike!) for a cheap price. etc. There are many stores from where you can get Indian food (rotis. The fee for transportation is already included in your fee statement so you don’t need any separate bus pass to use this facility. Page 34 of 60 . It’s a common mode of transport here within the campus. You can ask for a ride to grocery. I will not have a means of transportation when I come there? How will I manage groceries. (Ironically. License office. etc.) 6. 7. etc. Texas A&M University Dominoes. 8. These rides are operated by the India Association with the assistance of volunteers. paranthas. etc. You can either get a new one from Wal-Mart or you can buy a used one. The rides are charged for a very nominal fee of $3 and takes you to and from your door step.

Out-state tuition is paid by someone who is “out of state” of Texas. and the rest would remain the same. 2. Fee + Tuition and Health Insurance mentioned is PER SEMESTER Fee + Tuition: Initial Expenses: Startup Groceries: Bank account: Health Insurance: Money in hand: @ @ @ @ @ @ @ $3000 (If you are an in-state student) $6000 (If you are an out-state student) $ 300 (Deposit for house + First month rent) $ 300 (For initial and one-time house expenses) $ 500 (To start an account here) $ 200 (depending on what plan you take) $ 150 (For any emergency use) So. you need not go to RBI for this. you will be sharing an apartment with 2-3 other people so you can share the expenses for rent and groceries with them. You can get this within a month of the date of the flight. (The difference is usually about $3000-4000 per semester depending on the courses you register for). library charges. especially when they cook by themselves and stay off-campus. health fee. Initially out-state applies to all international students. TRAVEL INSURANCE DETAILS 1. This varies from department to department and also on the number of courses you have registered for. What is in-state and out-state tuition? In-state is the tuition that is paid by residents of state of Texas and for certain other categories. and this means that you will have to pay more tuition and fees. sports fee. MONEY TO CARRY. Can I carry such a lot of foreign exchange with me when I travel? Indian Government regulation states that you need to have a permit to carry US dollars in excess of $1500 (Check with latest limits. computer lab charges. 4. if you are paying in-state about $4000-4200. Texas A&M University FEES. How much money should I carry? This is the suggested amount you should carry when you come here. then about $7000-7200. The safest bet is to count for the Fee section of our estimate based upon your I-20.India Association. Indian students do not end up paying that much. You can get the RBI permit ready for the dollars you are carrying on you. Remember that. What’s the difference between tuition and fees? Tuition is the money you pay for the courses you have registered for. it may have changed over last year). If you are paying out-state. etc. Fees covers anything that the tuition does not cover such as transportation charges. At times the amount mentioned in your I-20 may seem to be exorbitant. This can also be got from any bank authorized to do so. This is because they evaluate your accommodation and food expenses based on their dorms. Page 35 of 60 . should be more than sufficient. An outstate student can however become in-state if he/she is awarded a scholarship or assistantship. 3. as with everyone here.

Some of my friends told me to take Travel Insurance when I travel.tamu. Where do I get to see details about the fee structure? Details on the fee structure for international students is available at: http://international. There are many who choose not to take travel insurance so. 9.pdf 6. addressed to Texas A&M University (payable at College Station.edu/ In the section for “Financial Resources”. it will be reimbursed back to you. Texas).India Association. ICICI. Though the chances of losing your baggage are less. Demand Drafts are preferred over Travelers checks. some Apartment offices and banks. AVIVA. The money required to start up a bank account can also be brought in DD or Traveler’s Check. Bring minimal amount of cash because it is not safe to travel with a lot of money. though we recommend it. you will find a link for “AggiE-Pay College Station”. the risk is still present.edu/iss/Webfile/Handouts/estimatedexpensesNewProgr am. It is ok if you don’t have the exact amount on the DD. and there is money left over. If after your tuition & fee has been paid. Taking insurance can help cover this as well medical emergencies you may have on the way. In case the total amount is more than $1000. Click on the link for students. Traveler’s Checks can also be used and are accepted by the University. Texas A&M University 5. If the money is not sufficient you can pay the remaining in cash. In case you are planning to take Travel Insurance. Carry just about $100-200 as cash so that you can use it for emergencies on your way here or in the first 2-3 days here at College Station (until you get your check book and ATM card from the bank. and you can view the HTML or PDF versions of the statement that you are looking for. In what form do I carry the money – DD/Travelers’ Check/ Cash? The safest way to carry money is in the form of Demand Draft (DD) or Traveler’s Check. etc. some banks will take 2-3 days to process it. it is offered by a number of companies in India such as TATA AIG.tamu. Can I get to see a breakdown of what’s there on my fee statement? Log into the following website using your NetID: http://myrecord. 7. You can carry the amount required for the Tuition & Fee in a Demand Draft. Do I really have to take it? It is recommended that you have Travel Insurance when you travel. its up to you to decide whether you need it or not. There are many cases where baggage has been misplaced or arrived late. What is the currency system in the US? Dollar: 100 cents Quarter: 25 cents Dime: 10 cents Nickel: 5 cents Penny: 1 cent Page 36 of 60 .) 8.

The chances that you will have an assistantship before you come here is very low (depressing to hear. 2. Some offer it. There are exceptions though.). etc. If you get a scholarship. You will have to contact your department directly for this. Teaching assistantships are limited and unless you contact a department well ahead of time. and you get your full tuition waived. Fellowships: This is very similar to scholarships and is awarded by the department. Scholarships and fellowships are granted by the department and they are usually communicated by the graduate program advisor. for undergraduate students. etc. and in some cases your fee. Though your resume and work experience record (if any) serves as a basis. (If you’re lucky you won’t pay anything at all). 3. Graduate Assistantship Research (GAR . so contact the department for TA availabilities. Keep in mind that a professor can only recommend a student for TA. Scholarships: This is awarded by either a department or an organization (like International Student Services. 1. I’m confused! What are the types of financial support and how do I get these? There are mainly 5 types of financial support that students can get.also called Research Assistant or RA): These are offered by individual professors when you work under them on a research project. while we can provide you with information that will be helpful to assist you. SCHOLARHSIPS.India Association. This is generally the only assistantship that you can get in the first semester. We’re sorry but. some don’t. Contact your department Graduate Program Advisor to know more about this.D. Ph. A professor can’t directly help you on this. Former Students Association. You mentioned about different types of assistantships. that the department wont pay). etc. transport fee. A research assistantship is generally not available because a professor will need to know what kind of a student you are. STUDENT WORKER POSITIONS 1. waived. You may have to only pay the fees (stuff like sports fee. 2. You also get paid anything Page 37 of 60 . You will get your tuition. but that’s the truth). we do not have details of assistantships that are currently available. you will not get it. What are the chances that I will get funding before I come there? Getting funding depends on the department you are joining. TA pays between $900-1200 a month. 4. students usually have a better chance at being funded before they come here. It is the department's final decision on who they want to give it to. it is not a criteria for them to select someone. teaching. The reasons are fairly simple. then you will get to pay tuition at in-state rate. You will have to assist in grading. Texas A&M University FUNDING. Teaching Assistantship (commonly known as TA): These are awarded by a department and it is for the requirement of professors who take large classes. Certain departments offer scholarships to all incoming international students as a way to help them in their first year of study.

3. Considering that you will also be cooking at home. 6. You will have to contact individual Profs for this. There are many positions that open up during the Fall semester and you are pretty sure to find something. That means you can’t work in an establishment that is not part of Texas A&M University. 5. Pays about $700-1400 a month. Is there anyway I can search for a job before I reach TAMU? Jobs that are posted by various departments are generally put on this website: https://jobsforaggies. rather than eating outside. you can still work as a ‘Student Worker’. The money you earn will be good enough to take care of your monthly rent and grocery expenses. even if it pays you a lot more. Texas A&M University between $900-2000. groceries. What should I keep in mind when I apply for a Student Worker position? Important things to note for Student Worker positions for Intl’ students: You are allowed to work ONLY inside the campus. This is normally taken care of by the department that hires you. 5. 4. Tuition (and sometimes fee) is waived. Remember that this is the usual range and the best average that we can suggest is $375. We suggest that you don’t be too choosy about what you get. The only exception is break weeks (the weeks in between semesters). You will be deported if caught! You are allowed to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week.edu/ Page 38 of 60 .5 (State minimum) to up till $12. Graduate Assistantship Non-Teaching (GANT . This is strict. 95% of students coming from India stay off-campus and that is the cheaper option. This has to be followed by looking at the websites and University public listservs regularly. when you may be allowed to work full time (40 hours) if your hiring department agrees. Your pay scale will vary from $5. Your work permit has to be authorized by the International Student Services (ISS). You can always leave it any time you want. The higher paying jobs are mainly for web programmers so it will be a good idea to learn some web programming before you come here. utilities. take it up anyway.tamu.Also called GA): This is similar to scholarships and is offered by departments and organizations. What are the average expenses of students? The average expense of a student depends on a lot of factors. most importantly being whether you stay on-campus or off-campus. and the occasional lets-go-for-a-movie expenses. it will come to anywhere between $300-450.India Association. If you get a job. but you have a better chance only from the second semester onwards. when you find another better job. How will I manage my expenses if I do not get an assistantship? Can I work on campus? Even if you don’t get an assistantship right away. Generally for folks who are to work as web programmers for their website or something like that. This will cover rent. Don’t violate this rule.

This website posts positions for all students. It’s enough that you look for a job after coming here.5/hr. so it may include off-campus positions which you cannot apply for. Texas A&M University You need to login with your NetID and you can look at the various positions available. but you won’t be able to apply without being here.India Association. as in most cases you have to submit an application form. 7. REMEMBER to look only for on-campus jobs. or may have to meet with them for an interview.about $6/hr-7/hr) Library Assistant (lowest paid $5.@$6-$7) Administrative Assistant (more or less like office assistant) Page 39 of 60 . but easiest and relaxed job) Article writers (for TAMU’s newspaper Battalion – pays @ $25 per article) Office Assistant (file papers. You can go through the site. carry small boxes . attend calls. What kind of jobs (positions) are available? There are a lot of job profiles available that include: Food Services (many take this as you get a good pay $7/hr and a free meal) Web Programmer (highest paid @ $9/hr-$12/hr) Lab Assistant (assist undergrad lab .

Once this is over. The career fairs are usually held within the 3rd week of the start of a semester. The career center helps you in this regard and they polish your resume. some also choose to come mid-way through the semester. Every year. You’d want to get information from current students. one in the Fall semester and one in Spring. 2. Texas A&M University has two career fairs. Usually for internships it is best to have a single page resume. there are lots of opportunities. you will be ready with a “healthy” resume to register with the center. business. What about full time jobs? Do companies visit the campus? Of course. Once you have been here for a semester. the company usually responds to you within 3-4 weeks about their decision. (Note that the summer semester does not have a career fair. This is the screening round.) Each college (engineering. both. though most of them have a general trend.India Association. You can pay only for the semesters that you want to be registered with the center. etc. 3. When a company visits the campus (on career fair or otherwise). Each career fair is attended by about 300-400 recruiting companies.edu/). architecture.) has its own dates for the career fairs. The center has trained faculty members that assist you in preparing your resume. etc. what they are looking for. Full-time jobs may have your resume run into two pages. Sometimes the second interview may also be telephonic. unless you have done some astounding work that you would want the recruiting company to know. One-on-one interviews usually follow and depending on the company they may choose to give you a personal interview (conducted by the HR department of the company). shortlisted candidates will be invited to visit the company for a “company visit” – that’s the fancy term they use for the second round of interviews. they usually first have an information session.tamu. Page 40 of 60 . and the charges are not for every semester. Texas A&M University FULL TIME JOBS 1. technical interview (by a team specialized in your area) or in some cases. Once screening is over. which are announced well in advance. Though a majority of the companies come during the career fair. Do not exceed two. The important step in getting an internship or a full-time job is to be registered with the Career Center (http://careercenter. What is the style of interviews in the US? This varies from company to company. The Career Center charges $50 for each semester. etc. as soon as you arrive you may not want to register right away. etc. brushing and polishing your interview skills. For example. How do I prepare myself for these Career Fairs? I have no idea how interviews are in the US. where they talk about the company. keeping you informed about upcoming company visits.

unlike in India. What about the time and costs involved. would that not be a problem to my class schedule? This is something that you have to work out with your professors. If you are travelling to a far off city and need to stay there overnight. If you think a professor is too strict about it. while some of them don’t allow you to. they put you in a good hotel accommodation with all expenses paid. Some companies will even reimburse flight tickets if you have little time to travel and need to get back fast. All companies will ask you for some convenient interview dates before they set one up. the company will almost always reimburse your travel costs. You can get to choose when and at what time you would like to have the interview. just don’t mention it. Texas A&M University 4. If you need to travel to another city. Some of them are ok with the fact that you go on company visits and interviews. suppose I have to travel to another city for an interview? The good thing with most companies is that. 5. You can rent a vehicle and the company will pay for the rental and gas charges.India Association. Page 41 of 60 . they treat you as an important asset even when you are going on an interview. The good thing about the career fairs taking place in the first one month of the semester is that the chances are low that you would have a midterm test that clashes with your schedule. With interviews taking place outside College Station.

was offered in Fall 2006. E. Most departments do not require a grad student to submit his/her degree plan until the end of their second semester here. there is absolutely no rule that is will be offered in Fall 2007. It all depends on the professor who is teaching the course. You don’t have to decide on what choice you want to take until the second semester is over (that’s when you will have to file your degree plan). they may not have funding. Most of the folks who opt for Thesis option graduate before the 2 years time.tamu. It is purely a matter of choice. Having said that. i. You will just have to do course work. if you are taking the Thesis option. You can also select courses from another department with the approval of your advisor or graduate program coordinator. it becomes 36. This The reason some choose Non-Thesis is that they don’t have an interest to do research. 3. students here decide on what courses they need to take. If you choose the Thesis option. Every semester a large number of courses are offered by various professors and you can choose from these. a Thesis option does not necessarily “delay” your MS. I’ve heard that the system of education is quite different from what we have here in India. so relax… you don’t need to do anything about this right now.India Association.e. but you will have to take more credit hours. DEGREE PLAN 1. 2. nearly everything is different! Unlike most universities in the Indian system. attend classes. you will be doing research.g. there are some students who are classified as Non-Thesis and they still work for a professor. under an advisor. then you won’t have to do research.edu/OGS/pdf/degfact.g.: In Mechanical Engineering. In what way is it so? For a start.pdf Page 42 of 60 . Is it going to delay our MS? Contrary to general belief. REMEMBER that all courses are not offered in every semester. they may not find a topic or a research area that they want to do something in. say “Dynamics of Machines”. e.: If a course. DECIDING ON SUBJECTS TO PICK. etc. you will have to take 32 credits in all to complete the MS degree. Masters majors have got 2 options: Thesis and Non-Thesis. Texas A&M University SELECTING COURSES. If you’d like to know more about the Degree Plan. What is the Degree plan you just mentioned? Do I need to do anything about that before I come there? A Degree Plan is your “plan” of courses that you and your advisory committee have selected to fulfill the degree requirements. I would like to know what the Thesis option is for. If you choose Non-Thesis. go to the following link: http://ogs. Based on your educational goal and the field you want to specialize in. it is up to you to decide what courses to pick. Generally non-Thesis is an easy option. and this will form an important part of your degree plan. If you are choosing a non-Thesis option.

In case the Instructor shows up as “STAFF” then it means that either the class has not been decided upon or a Teaching Assistant is teaching it. I also want to know which professors are good.: A Mechanical engineering student can pick certain courses from Aerospace. 8. Contact that professor for more details on the course. 5. Use the help of current students to decide on the courses you want to take. Texas A&M University 4. Please be courteous and short in your queries as most students are Page 43 of 60 . Can the current students help me? Contact students from your department. so that once you come here you don’t need to waste time in contacting professors. How do I know what courses I can take? Go to the URL http://courses. and is there a minimum requirement? Credit hours are the number of credits you get for taking that course. Mechanics & Materials. 6. you must have a minimum of 9 credit hours in the FALL and SPRING semesters. Decide on what courses you would like to take in FALL ‘09. Certain departments allow you to select up to two 400-level courses that you can put on your degree plan. and it will show you the name of the professor who is taking it. What are credit hours.tamu. and some 2. E. he/she will let you know. How come I need fewer credit hours in summer? The summer semester is only a 10-week semester as compared to spring and summer. It is suggested that you at least decide on what you want to take. you will not be allowed to register for a course until your check-in is over. Civil. You can also pick courses from another department. Do I have to select my courses before I come there? Although you can go through the course listing and decide on what you want to go for. 7. Remember that to remain as a Full-time International Student. etc. and 6 credit hours in the SUMMER semester. based on your semester. which have longer terms. It all depends on what course you pick.edu . Some have 4. I am not able to decide on what courses to take. Hence you will be taking less number of credits.g. the number of credit hours will be mentioned in the Credits column. For Graduate students the courses you can select are the 600-level courses. Most graduate subjects have 3 credit hours. Click on the appropriate link.India Association. When you look up a course on the listing. Now choose your department from the list provided and click on its appropriate Courses link.

Please be very short and straight to the point in your e-mails to them. Usually this is not a problem and many students change their departments once they are here. What do I do now? Hard luck buddy! Most graduate courses have maximum class strength of 30 – 40. the best thing to do is keep watching the website frequently so that you know if this course is likely to get filled. and what textbook to use. Address them as “Dear Dr. but you need not take the exam. better research opportunities. Remember that this can happen only with the approval of the professor taking the course and in every case. Since you cannot register until your check in is over. You can get in touch with them to know what the pre-requisites of a course are. (Last name)”. provided both the departments permit to the change. I want to attend the lecture. don’t wait for anything. but I don’t want to take up the course. you can. There is a course that seems interesting. 10. etc. etc. but when I look at the course details it shows the “Available Seats” as 0. Can I contact the professor to ask about a course? By all means. 11. submit assignments. That’s a British form of address and some Profs just hate that (beats me why!). Texas A&M University 9. so it’s your (good or hard) luck whether you get a course or not. I need to pick on a course. he/ she will need a very good reason from you as to why you want to audit and not take the course. What can I do? There is an option called “Audit” by which you can attend the class lectures for a particular subject. Page 44 of 60 . Sometimes they may be willing to take 2-3 more students than the class strength. talk to the professor who takes the course. Even current students may take up these courses. And right after you check-in at the ISS. Can I change my department after I come there? Yes. as most of them are very busy all the time and they have better things to do than read your essays! Don’t address them as “Dear Sir / Madam”. Most students do it for reasons of funding. 12. Run and register! Now in case you very badly need that course.India Association. YES! Professors here are very helpful and will answer all your questions regarding courses.

mixers. and grinders can be bought for cheap from Wal-Mart. as they are now available in light-weight and durable materials. so avoid them. Try to go for boxes that have identification marks and labels both inside & outside the boxes. 2. First of all. Page 45 of 60 . Texas A&M University BAGGAGE AND PACKING 1. File folders: US filing system use the 3-hole system which is different from Indian system. unlike the ones we get in India (230-240V systems). so it’s best to know this before you start. Remember that even gram saved in the box’s weight is a gram you can bring as luggage. IMPORTANT: Get baggage that have wheels as you may have to move them around a lot during your trip and you don’t want to tire yourself carrying them. What kind of boxes should I go for? Before you buy the boxes. you will use it almost all the time in US. so please do not carry these unnecessarily. They will be helpful when you need to retrieve your baggage here at your destination. Get a good carry-on hand baggage – cabin baggage (again. as per airline regulation). In any case. they will be useless.Get a good one. BUY A BACKPACK . You can get cheap and good ones when you come here. as regulated by your airlines. Unless you bring a converter. Electrical Appliances: Most appliances here are designed for 110-120V. appliances like ironing box. Here are some tips when you buy the box: Buy two good boxes .they should be able to withstand a lot of mishandling. contact your airless and confirm what are the size specifications and the weight in it that you can carry. Go for the good branded ones. is there something that I should “NOT” bring when I pack my luggage? These are the things that you can avoid when you shop: Cloth hangars: They are an unnecessary weight addition. Strictly follow size limitations. All airlines are very strict about this.India Association.

Get those ones. If you are doing a MBA. though these are the recommended clothes that you bring from there.These would be good during Cultural meets of India Association.10-15 pairs we stress upon this because you may go to the laundry only once in two weeks!! Socks. etc. (good for REC centre. (one for jeans and 2 formal) 2 no.a lot of them. but is good for the winter 1 no. Sweaters – 1 full + 1 half sleeve. Page 46 of 60 .. What clothes do I need to get when I come there? Texan weather varies from harsh summers to really bone-chilling winters. Get a muffler. T-shirts: 6-8 Cotton shirts: 4-5. which are. (formal) 6 no. Out here one rarely tucks in the casual dresses. (not required. monkey cap. Summarizing your clothes list: 1) Cap 2) Wind cheater 3) Under garments 4) Shirts 5) T-shirts 6) Bermudas 7) Trousers 8) Jeans 9) Handkerchief 10) Socks 11) Belts 12) Track Suit 13) Sweater 14) Leather jacket chill) 15) Woolen jacket 16) Thermal wears 17) Ties 2 no. Texas A&M University CLOTHES. 4 formal + 4 half sleeves 6 no.. Do not take nylon socks. 3 no. 3 no. UTENSILS. (recommended for Winters) 2 no. Kurta-payjamas. (a must as the winter is harsh) 2 no. Undergarments. Cotton ones are better... woolen gloves and windcheater. It should be good to cover you for all seasons. You rarely need them. playing) 2 full + 2 half sleeve 1 no. long and go a 2-3 inches beyond knees. (important to protect you from the heat) 1 no. then you will definitely need them. Night clothes: 2-3 pairs Formal suit & Ties ..once in a year or so on occasions like Convocation ceremony and interviews.10 pairs you can bring even more because you would be wearing shoes most of the time. This is only a suggestion... You may certainly carry personal preferences. Suggested Clothes (for all seasons): Jeans: 4 to 6 pairs Shorts: 6-8. 1 dozen.1-2 pairs. 6 no. 2 Turkish towels and two napkins.. Cotton clothes are good for Texan Summer. 10 pairs. You’ll need them in winter. A good woolen Jacket (Winter is harsh here and you need this) Handkerchiefs-1 dozen 2-3 belts one formal leather belt and others as you please.India Association. (you need this for the wind chill in winter) 10-15 pairs. FOOD TO BRING 1.

2. Footwear is affordable in the US and so you can get these for the time being and buy the rest from here (if you need to). Page 47 of 60 . Chappals: You can buy leather footwear. you will be using them more. Even high quality and branded ones that you get in India are cheaper than most medium quality ones you get here. If you are going to the business school. So do not spend too much money for these. Slippers – at least one pairs.Blazer + matching trouser 19) Kurta Pyjama 20) Churidar 21) Churidar jacket 22) Night dress 23) Gloves 24) Towels 25) Napkin 1-2 no. you don't get the India type slippers in US. and it will be better (and cheaper) for you to get them from there. Personal accessories: Wallet . etc. etc. Formal clothes are quite expensive here.. Brush & toothpaste (these are also expensive in US). so you can buy one even after coming here during sale time – Christmas. Sports shoes are cheap in US (you get decent ones in Wal-Mart). 1 formal shoe and at least 2 sandals when you come here. You can change this according to your preference. 2 no. 4.India Association.you normally don't carry much cash with you in the US. The suit is taking up a lot of space in the baggage? Do I really need one? You will definitely need one to attend interviews and for social functions. Get good and strong leather shoes. What kind of foot-ware should I use? It is better to bring 1 sports shoe. (Depending on your usage) 1 white 1 no. Shaving kit & Blades (get a good stock. Suggested Footwear (for all seasons): Shoes: SPORTS SHOES: 2 pairs. Some accessories are expensive here so you might want to get sufficient amount with you to last for some time. 1 pair (for the winter chill) 2 no. These are the recommended accessories that you get when you come here.one that has space for cards . LEATHER SHOES: 1-2 pairs. Texas A&M University 18) Blazer / Suit . they are costly In US). 3. 1 no. Thanksgiving. shoes that have good grip are preferred.? By all means yes. shaving kit.But we advise Sandals. Get one moderately priced and good one so that you need not buy them immediately after coming to US. Get two pairs of them.. Should I get any accessories such as razors. 6 no.

2-3 bottles 1-2 no.so keep this in mind when you buy vessels. no one is going to laugh at you. thick + 2 thin no. 1-2 no. (these are expensive here so get them) 3 no. since most people don't get time to cook daily. Get the grandfather one (don’t worry.1. stuff is generally prepared for two days at a go . Page 48 of 60 . (get the large tube) 3 no. even if you are not a narcissist! Nail cutter. Umbrella – Texas rains come as a surprise and it can rain anytime during the year. you get good ones in Wal- 2 no. This way you can both share the stuff. White . (Get the gel or foam. (Winter is very cold here. Blue . (Get the big grandpa one. 20 packs (or more if you use them very 1 1 2 2 1 1 no. Winters are very cold here in Texas and you will need one. no. 2-3 no. 1 packet 1 pair 1 packet Black . Combs & hair oil (if you use hair-oil get a years supply of your favorites). (not necessary. Summarizing your Personal accessories list: 1) Sunglass 2) Umbrella pour!) 3) Soap 4) Shampoo 5) Body sprays 6) Perfume 7) After shave 8) Tooth paste 9) Tooth brush 10) Shaving gel /foam 11) Razor 12) Blades regularly) 13) Blanket 14) Duster 15) Scrub 16) Sponge 17) Bed sheets 18) Pillow Mart) 19) Comb 20) Nail cutter 21) Rubber band 22) Scissors 23) Needle 24) Thread 25) Safety pins 1 no. It is better that you team up with someone you know is coming here. Small mirror (just in case. It really pours here so get a good and big umbrella when you come here. You can also ) no.1 1 dozen 5. What utensils should I bring? Depends on whether you guys plan to cook alone or with your housemates. Safety pin bunch. and will also relieve you off some of the baggage weight. and decide to buy utensils. (for the bright summer) 1 no. In fact most folks here use that. Texan rains 6 no. 1 no. 2 no. Mini-sewing kit with some buttons. (for cleaning) no. Much easier to use) 2 no.) Blanket – Get a warm blanket or a quilt. Texas A&M University Soap (get a couple of bars of bathing soap till you go for the first groceries in US). etc.India Association.1. Small scissors.

India Association. remember to go for melamine and plastic stuff over steel. no. ask your prospective roommate to get one too Cooker containers and spares (rings and valves) – Very Important as it’s very common for first-time chefs (!) to blow up pressure cooker valves. as the weight will be less. no. no. no. Do not buy chapatti makers as you get ready made chapattis. Get microwave-safe plastic as you will use the microwave oven a lot. no. no.3 liters (buy this. no. curry and rice) 13) Knife& Fork 14) Sauce pan 15) Microwave safe containers to heat food 16) Plate 17) Katori 18) Glass 19) Cutting board 20) Eating knives 21) Small size plastic spoons for masala 22) Tea strainer 1 2 1 1 6 1 1 2 1 2 1 3 6 2 4 3 3 3 1 2 4 1 no. Typical stuff you may want is: Plates (2-3 plastic plates of normal size) 5-6 Spoons (tea spoons and table spoons) 2-3 Glasses 2-3 plastic bowls (katories) and Cups 2-3 Serving spoons Forks and Butter Knives (get plastic or steel ones) Serrated knife. no. Most important things about all utensils: Try to minimize steel utensils as they have more weight. no no + spares (with their lids) (useful but not necessary) (with lid) (only if required) Page 49 of 60 . no. no. and paranthas here in nearby Indian stores. as Americans don’t use Pressure cookers) 1 pressure pan (Prestige). no. no. Couple of cooking vessels Pressure cooker . no. Texas A&M University Even if it may cost a little more. no. no. no. Non-stick frying pan with turner Tongs and knives Cutting board for vegetables 2-3 patella’s that fit into each other and that preferably have handles Utensils holder Summarizing your Utensils list: 1) Cooker 2) Cookers Containers 3) Kadai 4) Non stick tawa 5) Spoons 6) Grip 7) Chapati fork/tong 8) Laddle for stir fried food 9) Spatula types used while making roti) 10) Knife 11) Peeler 12) Serving spoons (for dal. no. no. rotis. no.

clove. Sambhar powder. Dhania. Texas A&M University 6. as people don't have much time for cooking in the US. Tamarind paste Asafetida powder.India Association. Fruits. just a little till you buy them from stores here. vegetables and other biodegradable items are not allowed by customs in USA. (If you dig sambhar!) Pickle bottles (get sealed ones and cover them so that they don’t leak) Instant coffee + tea leaves or powder (if you are a regular drinker. (Only if required) Page 50 of 60 . Instant Masalas (like Chicken Masala. Paneer Masala. Don't come loaded with these as you may have problem with baggage weight and customs. Red Chilly Powder. Recommended Food Items: Some of the common food items that students carry are: Rice (a week’s quantity to get you started) Different dals in small quantity for initial use. 1-month supply of masalas. Jira (powder or seeds). It is recommended that you bring small amounts of the following stuff so that you can cook for the first few weeks without worrying about where to get them from. Bring approx. Try to get "instant" stuff. or till you shift to beer!) Sugar Salt Elaichi. Should I carry any food with me? Most Indian foodstuffs and spices are available here. etc. etc. Get 1-2 packets each of Haldi. Rasam powder. Garam Masala.) Mustard seed packet.

Contact students from your department. (quite useful) 1 no. 1 no. 1 packet 12 blue + 12 black 2 no. Here they use a 3-pin filing system Don’t carry more than 3-4 photographs.tamu. give out class notes and they say that it is sufficient for their subject. In case the Instructor shows up as “Staff” then it means that either the class has not been decided upon or a Teaching Assistant is teaching it. TEXT BOOKS TO BRING 1. This is the URL to students who joined last year.India Association.asp 3. 2 no. It’s ok to bring a few CDs. Contact that professor and ask them. depending on your semester.edu . Many professors here. as in the case of photographs.12" 12) Stick on pad 13) Cello tape 50 no. however. You will never use it! All the departments here take your photograph digitally and that too instantly. (if you use one) 1 no. Now choose your department from the list provided and click on its appropriate Courses link. 1 no. Can we bring some copied CDs and Photostat copies of books? Though a lot of students bring music CDs every year. 4 no.edu/ia/displaystudent. Don’t carry more than 2 sets of photocopies because. They take it whenever they need it. If you have a lot of songs. 2 no. 1 no. Do I need to carry any stationary with me when I come there? Stationary is pretty cheap out here and you will get good stuff from Wal-Mart and other stores. he/she will let you know. What textbooks should I carry with me when I come here? It will be a good idea if you can get text books from India as it is going to be much cheaper. The best way to know what to do is: Go to the URL http://courses.tamu. Decide on what courses you would like to take in FALL ‘06. 2 no. Texas A&M University STATIONARY. Suggested Stationary list: 1) White sheets 2) Pencils (get mechanical clutch ones) 3) Erasers 4) Blade 5) Stapler 6) Stapler pins 7) Pens 8) Scribbling Pad 9) Glue stick 10) Pencil Box or Pouch 11) Ruler . Don’t carry the files we get in India. but don’t bring a whole bunch of it. all departments here will make copies when they need it. write them onto DVDs so that you can get the whole thing in a few discs. it’s best you carry something with you when you come here. so that you don’t have to run around for stuff in the first few days. and it will show you the name of the professor who is taking it. Click on the appropriate link. For Graduate students the courses you can select are the 600-level courses. 2. However. Photostat copies also follow the same rules and its Page 51 of 60 . Please be courteous and short in your queries as most students are now on research/internship and may not have a lot of time to spare: http://dsa-stuorg. please be advised that this is technically illegal.

HP. What should I do if I want a computer with internet connection at my apartment? There are a number of DSL Internet providers such as Verizon Online. If you are picking on a major that requires intense mathematical calculations. and that’s a big deal out here. Unless you need a laptop very urgently. The speed is good enough even when 3 – 4 computers use the same connection. Nearly all professors permit students to use these even on exams. those Casio one are pretty good.India Association. differentiations. Do I need to bring a calculator? It is definitely suggested that you get a good calculator. You can get those sci-fi calculators by Texas Instruments. If they find it. etc. Most people buy their laptops from online sites that give you amazing deals. Most students here share a connection by using wireless routers. they will confiscate it because it violates copyright laws. 4. They are much more advanced and are capable of doing complex math like integrations. All of them provide the Cable Modem and some of them also give you a free wireless router along with it. Page 52 of 60 . then wait till you come here. It will cost you much less.). it is highly recommended that you buy your laptop from here. They provide you with easy installation kits and you can do this once you come here. As far as possible avoid it. 5. Partial Differential Equations. a lot of things go for "dirt-cheap" prices. etc. Cox Internet. All apartments here are pre-wired for internet and cable TV connections. Texas A&M University best not to take a chance. Most students here tend to buy the graphing and programmable calculators. and if at all you must limit the number of sheets you are bringing. Should I buy a laptop from India or should I get one when I come there? The average cost of a laptop over here varies from $800-$1200 (this includes brands such as Dell. etc. FFTs. Sony. 6. Especially during Thanksgiving.

Inter (10+2). What documentation should I carry with me? All of the following documents should be carried in original (no exceptions!) Passport and VISA (this will be stamped in your passport) Xth. This will save space in the box. If you rush at the last minute. Since you will be buying at least 2 boxes. Any packing tips? Some tips while you pack: Start your packing well in advance. Scholarship / Assistantship letter from your department (if applicable) Take all the I-20's with you if you have more than one. Since the hand baggage is small. Pack at least one pair of clothes in the carry-on hand baggage (cabin baggage).) Address book/phone book (your contacts in India & US) One pair of clothes (for emergency) Some medicines (something for air-sickness. Drafts. other certificates such as Birth certificate. cash. You never know. and other very important stuff in the boxes. certificates. you may get refunded by airline insurance. you are bound to forget something. But if you loose your original documents. but in the rarest case both your boxes might arrive late! NEVER ever pack any original documents. etc. don’t do that to your expensive formal shirts and suit!) 2. That way you won’t have to wonder whether you forgot something. then you’re in big trouble! Keep one pair of shoes aside to wear on the journey. headaches. If you loose your box. Always keep them with you in your hand baggage. Page 53 of 60 . You can still use stuff till the other one arrives. Traveler’s Checks. tickets. Driving License and International Driving Permit (if you have one) Remember to take photocopies of all your original documents and keep at least one set in each of your luggage boxes. visa. etc. Degree marks sheets. as far as space permits: Original documents (I-20. what do you suggest that I carry in it? These are the suggested things you can carry in your hand baggage. Keep a list of what you pack in each box. it will be a good idea to divide all the things to pack equally in both the boxes. Reason is that sometimes one of your boxes may get misplaced by the airlines. fever) Novel or magazine for in flight reading (though all airlines provide this) Sweater (it may be cold inside the aircraft cabin) 3. Convocation Certificate of Under graduation. Texas A&M University IT’S PACKING TIME 1.India Association. I-20 and acceptance letter from Texas A&M University. Roll your clothes so that they take less space (of course.) Instruction Sheet (with College Station contacts – this will be provided by the India Association towards your departure date) Money (Cash. This is extremely important.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO GET DONE: Reconfirm your ticket. if you don’t have a car. or else you may lose your booking. Relax the day before journey. Provisional certificate. make it joint so that your parents have authorization to use it. One copy of all your important documents. call up and find if there is any change of the schedule of the plane (and also inform the people coming to pick you (IA) up of any such change). keep the late-night partying to the week before you travel!) Get ready to face the long journey. It’s going to be a while until you see your relatives and family again. What are the important things to do in the week before I travel? You will be traveling soon and it is important that you feel relaxed. A monetary exchange or bank will be able to provide this for you. Migration certificate from the university. Bid adieu to all concerned. you could ask your folks to send you clothes) 2. Most airlines require that you do this 72 hours prior to departure. Degree certificate. Also remember to carry at least 3-4 dollars in quarters (25 cents) Have your RBI permit ready for the dollars you are carrying on you. THINGS TO BE LEFT AT HOME: List of addresses/phone numbers at which info about you can be obtained. Put your signature on 10 plain papers. if the need arises. A copy of all relevant parts of medical history files. These are some of the things you should get done in the last week to avoid a last minute rush. Your tailoring measurements (if your friend visits India. Have sufficient sleep. Get sufficient change for dollars (in 1s. It may be needed for any purpose like authorization to collect mark sheets. 5s and 10s). Find out the name of the person who is coming to pick you up at the airport. your name. Arrange to collect/redirect mail from your room/hostel (if applicable).India Association. applying for the refund from the college etc. Give power of attorney (authorization letters) to your father or brother or to someone whom you rely upon. You can book with any private transport facility like City cabs. Bonafide certificate. and check all the documents you are taking with you once again. Do not forget to inform all these to your people at home. Arrange for the conveyance to the airport. (For your own good. airline no. Any final things to be done in the last 2-3 days? First of all. write your name below it. Remind those people of the flight timings. Page 54 of 60 . Transfer cer tificate. and keep these at home. Texas A&M University THINGS TO DO IN THE WEEK BEFORE TRAVEL 1. If you have a bank account.

India Association.) in place. All boxes are packed well and secure. Your address book / phone book are with you. Your travel insurance paper. Make sure you have completed the health documentation (immunization record) that you may have to submit when you arrive there. etc. Do you have a check-list that I can use to make sure I haven’t missed anything? This is a suggested check-list to make sure that you have everything in place on the day before you leave. license. Keep a printout of any specific information India Association will give you. it may not necessarily cover everything. if you chose to take one. All the money that you are carrying is on your hand-baggage and not in the luggage box. Make sure you have ALL your documents (certificates. Passport. VISA and I-20 ready. Texas A&M University ONE LAST REVIEW OF IMPORTANT THINGS 1. Page 55 of 60 . Note that while comprehensive. Keep your ticket.

For vegetarians . Page 56 of 60 . And when they dim the lights. you can wear your suit save weight in your luggage-but be warned. Avoid sitting in the seat for too long.fruits/juices are good choices. Won’t this be tiring? Yes. If you were not able to get change for dollars.India Association. If you wish. get them at the airport. (This is usually made in-flight before you land) Proceed to the terminal from where you will depart. Once out of India be very careful. (Before ordering anything on board check if. 2. you have to pay for it separately). The best way to counter this is to have plenty amount of sleep in the plane. Wear your shoes. carry your hand baggage with you. All airlines recommend this to relieve you of any body aches. so take a break and watch one of the in-flight movies. It’s no big deal. Be at the airport 3-4 hours before the departure. you won’t feel like sleeping the whole 20 hours. What’s all this hype about jet lag? When you’re flying from India to the US. When they serve you food. All airports have wellmarked sign boards and you should be able to find your way. this gets upset because your body is not used to it. The human body has a natural biological clock that makes us wake up in the morning. The longest leg of the journey will be from Europe to US (about 10-11 hours). take some time to sleep well. What should I do when I get there? Most flights originating from India have a transit stop somewhere in Europe (usually: Swiss Air in Zurich. Relax during flight. IN-FLIGHT INFORMATION 1. Don't trust anyone. it’ll get crumpled and dirty during the long flight. You will hear information about departure time.watch out before you eat . I’m having a transit. 3. sleep as much as possible. be at the designated gate within 1 hour of your flight's departure for the onward journey. ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS to the staff. If in doubt at any point. do eat it even if you are not feeling very hungry. Although you can move around in the airport. All international airports have authorized money exchange counters. Don't hire a taxi (unless emergency) till you reach your destination. etc.). Don't hesitate to ask questions. it will be. 4. and so on. Since it is going to be a long flight wear something comfortable and take a sweater or jacket (It gets cold inside the plane). You can get up and take a walk. Keep your eyes on your baggage and documents all the time. Vegetarian food is generally bland . feel drowsy at night. British Airways in London. What should I keep in mind on the day I travel? Check all the documents once again and keep them at appropriate places so that it is easy for you to take them. Lufthansa in Amsterdam. you will be flying across nearly ten time zones. 'cause they may require checking your tickets etc. If you need visit the restroom. The total journey is going to be about 20 hours. If required don't hesitate to spend money. When your flight reaches your transit: Listen carefully to any instructions given by your flight attendants before you disembark.you may get non-veg even if you had asked for Veg. When you change time zones. Of course. Do not leave your baggage unattended even for a short while. Texas A&M University ON THE DAY OF TRAVEL. gate number etc.

Page 57 of 60 . The bottom part of the card. Form – must be filled out and surrendered to the U. It’s a declaration of the things you are bringing into the country.India Association. This card consists of two stubs. Which forms do I have to fill out during my flight in the USA? In the final part of your trip. This card is more important than your visa (the visa is just a permission to enter the US). The first stub must be filled out before your arrival and will be detached and withheld by the immigration inspector on your arrival. just before you land in the US. Customs inspector at the port of entry into the United States. Customs Declaration (Form 6059B): The second form – Customs Declaration. Take care that you do not lose this I-94 Departure Record because it proves (together with your I-20 form) that you are in the country legally. you will have to fill out two different forms: I-94 Immigration Form: Students with an F-1 visa have to fill out an I-94 card.S. will be stamped by the immigration inspector and must be kept in your passport together with your I-20 form until your departure back home. Texas A&M University FORMS TO FILL DURING THE FLIGHT TO THE USA 1. which is for your departure. but you still have to fill it out. This is not a very important form.

letter. passport + VISA. After that. Scholarship letter. but follow any instructions if given. airport (international airport where you first land in the U. At the immigration counter you might be asked some questions.rush to beat the queue. What is this all about? VERY IMPORTANT: This is the most important thing to do after you get the I94 stamped. Once you are out of the plane go straight to the immigration counter .S. What documents do I need to keep ready before I see the Immigration Official. (Same process that you would have had at the Visa interview).5 . If this is not present.India Association. such as: “Is this your first time in the US? Student? F-1 Visa? Which University?” TALK ABSOLUTELY TO THE POINT. There is no strict order on how they are to be arranged. they will fingerprint you. Avoid the problem later on. DO NOT leave the immigration counter if you don’t have this written – both on the I-20 as well as I-94. etc. I have heard about an issue with some students not getting “D/S” written on their I-20 and I-94. you should be able to see it written “F-1 D/S”. MAKE SURE THAT WHATEVER YOU SAY IS WRITTEN ON THE PAPER. Texas A&M University FINALLY LANDED IN THE USA 1. You will be given the counter foil of I-94 form. (generally they don’t ask for these) 3. It might take 0. or else you will end up waiting for a long time. Passport VISA (this is usually stamped inside your passport) I-20 I-94 Immigration Form (to be filled up before you land) Customs Declaration – Form 6059B (to be filled up before you land) Other documents such as Dept. What do I need to do first? The first thing you need to go through at the port-of-entry U. Check on the I-20 as well as the I-94 card.S. On alighting from the plane you may ask people or signs will guide you to the immigration. I have finally reached the Port of Entry. Also make sure that you have filled out the I-94 and Customs Declaration Forms. DON’T TRY TO LIE. Keep your I-20.1 hour here. Normally they staple this to your passport. but in case they don’t keep that very carefully. Many students in the past had to make trips again to Houston and San Antonio because of this small mistake. Page 58 of 60 . go back to your immigration official and tell him/her that they did not write it. You can staple it later. 2. In the place where they put the seal of Department of Homeland Security. at the Port of Entry? Keep the following documents ready with you.). after landing is the immigration and customs clearance. admission & Aid letters ready.

This is required even if you are in transit. • Rides – IA will arrange rides to Wal-Mart. Ask questions when in doubt. so that you can purchase all necessary stuff to get started. • Weekly informal meetings – This is for new students to get acquainted with each other.. If asked about "vibhuti" tell them that it is a holy powder. If you don't get your baggage. go to the baggage counter to fetch your luggage. F-1 visa. Pick up a cart to carry the bags.5 . school. Remember as we suggested earlier. and board your aircraft for Houston.do not mess up the place. etc. but also to ensure that things run smooth with you while you settle down here. volunteers will give you a quick tour of the campus before your orientation so that you know where to go. Seniors from various departments will also come so that you can ask and clear any questions you have regarding courses. it’s a pain. in most cases. Normally they don’t ask students to open their baggage. Indian Association will regularly conduct these things: • Tour of the campus – As per availability. Studies and enjoyment go hand in hand. All this is to make your baggage appear distinct. The India Association at Texas A&M University once again welcomes you and we hope that your stay at College Station will be rewarding and eventful. inform the inquiry section . Pick up your bags as they come out on the conveyor (suitable eye-catching labels help here). find out which gate you need to proceed to. coming to US for the first time. tie your baggage with rope of a bright color that is visible from a distance. These rides operate every week. HEB. What do I do next? Once you are done with the I-94.you may have to wait 0. at some places you may have to pay). 5. What do I do next? In case you are at the transit airport. In time of need. Cart your baggage to the nearby customs. I got the I-94 stamped.India Association. but if asked to open your baggage do so slowly . I am still at the transit airport.1 hour here. etc. dept. Texas A&M University 4. contact the India Association. does the India Association assist me regarding any help I need? Of course! We are here not just to make sure that you have arrived here. Note: Based on previous student’s experiences. (At some places the cart is free. Have a great time here… Page 59 of 60 . Rarely might they ask you to go the agriculture dept nearby – if that happens. 6. Good luck for your academic pursuits and remember to have fun as well. you will not be asked to open your boxes at all & you will be simply waved through. Your airline ground staff will be there to help you. You should check in your baggage again. If asked tell them that you are a student. If asked about the "masala powders” tell them that they are "dried Indian spices" to make traditional Indian food like curry. After I arrive at College Station. We are here to assist you with everything. profs.

Useful Resources – International Student Services website http://international.tamu.gov/ 3.txdps.tx.ssa.us/ Page 60 of 60 .edu/iss/checkin_orientation/orientation_main. Texas A&M University APPENDIX 1 – ONLINE RESOURCES 1. Texas Driver’s License – Texas Department of Public Safety website http://www.asp 2.India Association. Useful Resources – Social Security Administration http://www.state.

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