1. CONNECTION WITH FAMILY
As soon as you will know who your family is -> CONTACT THEM. This is one of the best things you can do so far. Find them on facebook, email them, and make them know about your existence. Ask them about important things as the transformation to school, how long it will take to get there… Ask them about the weather so you can prepare your clothes and buy something you will eventually need. Stay in touch with your host family and as soon as you will have the flight information, let them know your flight number, the outfit you will be wearing, time of your flights, etc.
2. GET DONE ALL THE PAPERWORK
You will be required to fill in and get signed a whole bunch of papers but make 100% sure you have following:
- Paper from your principal
- that they let you leave the school for the exchange program
- Certificate of your health condition and all vaccination
- Start to fill out paper work for your visa ASAP because it takes more time than you can imagine!
- Copies of your most important documents
- One never know!
- has to be valid 6 months after you will come back from the program to your home country
- Document DS 2019
- which you will receive from your home agency and will be literally EVERYTHING for you. Under any circumstances, you can not lose this document so better make a couple of copies
3. AIRPORT AND FLIGHT INFORMATION
- Check the maps of airports on their webs
- This helped me a lot. At least I had some idea of where I am and need to be. It also gave me some extra confidence which you will need.
- Make sure you know your luggage requirements
- The number of suitcases and their weight varies from agency to agency.
- Do NOT pack last-minute.
- Memorize your flight numbers
- You will need to hear and recognize them more than you think
4. CREDIT/DEBIT CARD
- If you don’t have your own card yet, make sure you will get one, which is also valid in the US, before you will leave!
5. GIFT TO YOUR HOST FAMILY
- I know this can be hard because you don’t know anything personal about your host family yet so it can be hard to buy them a gift. But it is a nice and important move to show some extra effort from your side.
- Try to look for something that will reflect the country you are from or is typical for it.
6. TAKE ALONG AMERICAN CHARGERS
- As you probably know, Americans have other plug-ins than Europeans do. Therefore, make sure you will take along as many of those, as you will need.
7. THE RIGHT PHONE
- One of the things that I didn’t expect to do was buying a new phone. There is something different in the US operators so American numbers only work for I-phones and Samsungs (or American operator’s phones which you can buy only here). Any other phone will not work here.
8. FLYING TICKET
- My tip for setting up the date of your flight is: LEAVE ASAP! You have to have time for overcoming jet-lag, getting to know people and environment, school, family, before you will actually start your school year.
- Get done all of them. You are leaving for a long time and there is no room for health complications that could be avoided!
- Visit your dentist, eye doctor, women’s doctor, your general practitioner, and any other you can think of!
- Yes. the saddest part has to be done as well. Visit with your closest friends and family to say goodbye and I love you. You will not see them for probably the longest time. Take some time and give some gift for the most important ones. Write them a letter or give something personal that will remind them of you.
These were my 10 most important points that must be done before your flight. I hope this helped you a bit and you will be more organized and aware that I was!
Love, Laura ❤