Search any words, questions and so on here.

Check list : Things to do after coming abroad for the first time (This list for USA, Canada but there are many things common to every country)

Check list : Things to do after coming abroad for the first time (This list for USA, Canada but there are many things common to every country)

It’s not always easy to cope up with the new environment, new culture after coming abroad. There are tons of things to take care of which could be quite overwhelming especially for the first few months. Following is the list of few things that you should be aware of (This list for USA, Canada but there are many things common to every country)

Before going

Contact with the leasing office from where you are going to rent your house. Ask them to clean the carpet or paint your house if applicable. Sometimes they will not do if you don’t ask for.

Get the electricity connection before going there. It might take some time to get the connection. Electricity is given to the residents of the house, not to the house owner. It’s most likely that there is no electricity in your apartment because the last tenant will close his utility account when he/she would leave the apartment. Go to the utility website of your city, create your account and make sure you will have electricity when you are there.

The Same rule applies for internet connection too. Check the internet provider's website in your area, you can ask help from your apartment complex lease office. Sometimes apartment comes with free internet.

You don't have to bring everything from your country e.g. clothes, spices, pillow etc. You can find almost anything in North America and sometimes the price is cheaper. Don’t be worried too much what you can or cannot find abroad. We suggest bringing some dry food for first few hours or for at least one day.

Do some research on how to get grocery in your area and how to go there. Most common grocery stores are Walmart, HEB etc. Gas stations are very common and easy to find in North America and they have a small grocery store attached with. Unfortunately, they are expensive compared to big grocery stores. There is usually no concept of Bazar here.

Try to make friends in your university/area. Look at Facebook/LinkedIn, you will get someone over here for sure. Believe me one good friend in abroad can make your like way easier.

First week

If you have not got your electricity and internet, get it immediately. One thing to remember about internet connection, do not take the modem and router from the provider, they will charge for it every month. Go to nearby Walmart or BestBuy to get them. You can look at craigslist of your area and there is a very good possibility that you will get some used modem and router there at very cheap price. Want to buy used furniture, used car used electronics go check craigslist.

Talk to your fellow classmates, make some new friends. Check with your university and department if you have any hold on course registration. You must do your ID card, TB test and few other things depending on your university. Don’t procrastinate on this matter, you would not be allowed to register for the semester without clearing those holds.

Do some research on the courses that your department is offering in this semester. Choose your courses wisely in the first semester. We would suggest not to take all hard courses in the first semester. Take one easy, one easy/medium, one medium/hard course. Keep in mind that difficulty of the course mostly depends on the professor, not on the subject. Do some research on the professors too. A project-based course will help you to enrich your resume. If you cannot find your course of choice in your department, look at other departments too. It’s not unusual to take courses from another department.

The first week of semester:

Unlike other countries, course pressure is evenly distributed in USA/Canada. You might start getting assignments from the very first week. Be attentive from the very beginning, final grade depends on assignment largely. Don’t be shy, make some friends in class.

Open your bank account. Almost every bank is very professional and friendly here. You don’t have to stretch much on selecting banks, choose whatever convenient to reach from your location. Some banks offer credit cards for students, you might want to take that opportunity which will help you to build credit score from the very beginning. A good credit score can help you in many aspects in future.

For those who are holding TA/RA or any other position, make sure you get your Social Security Number (SSN) as early as possible. Without SSN you will not get your salary at the end of the month.

2nd Week of Semester:

You might have to take another English test to continue to work as Teaching Assistant (TA). Check with your department. For those who are looking for some TA opportunity, don’t forget to check this matter. Get prepared for the test, writing section will be the most difficult one to pass.

Make your resume ready. You must review your resume with university writing center. Resume structure might be very different in that country. Most of the University will have career fair on 3rd or 4th week of the semester. This is a great opportunity for you to grab an internship, especially for masters’ student. Working experience in that particular country is of utmost importance for getting a job after graduation, an internship often leads to a permanent position. Masters’ student will not get too many of this opportunities, do not let this opportunity go away.

The first month of the semester:

Look for working opportunity in the university if you don’t have any funding. Look in library, canteen, labs and every possible corner. Start sending mail to professors if they have any opportunity to offer. Do not be shy to talk in person with professors. This is applicable to not only professors from your department but also professors from another department. Physics, chemistry, math, biology and many other departments often need a large number of TAs and student workers.

Get involved with student organizations in your university, build up your network.

You will find tons of professional workshops happening all around. Try to attend as much as possible. Keep in mind, networking is the key.

Related Posts

Recent Posts