Are You Prepared? Checklist for New International Students
Good news: You’re about to go on an exciting and rewarding adventure. And while there’s a lot to get done before you start, we’re here to help!
You don’t want to miss a thing, and we don’t you to, either. So here’s what you should do as a new international student preparing to study abroad (we suggest printing this out so you can check things off as you go).
Staying close with friends and family
- Organize fun “going away” events with loved ones
- Take lots of photos with people – you’ll be glad to have them at school
- Download WhatsApp, Skype or other mobile apps for staying in touch
- Help your older relatives set up Skype and other video chat programs or apps
- Email everyone your school email address, mailing address and other contact details
- Set up an Instagram account or blog (Tumblr, WordPress, etc.) so loved ones can stay up to date on your adventures
Tip: Schedule a regular time to chat with your loved ones during the school year. A routine will help you feel settled in at school and will give you something to look forward to each week.
Packing for college
- Prioritize things that you use regularly or provide sentimental value – you won’t have a lot of space in your room.
- Get a power adapter or two – US electrical outlets are 120 V with a frequency of 60 Hz (plug a surge protector or power strip into your adapter to expand your number of available outlets)
- Bring mostly warm weather clothing – the Miami temperature averages 90° F (32° C) in the summer and 78° F (26° C) in the winter
- Pack bed sheets, a pillow and other sleeping or relaxing comforts
- Remember posters, photos and other decorations for your room
- Don’t forget your favorite toiletries, snacks and other things you’d have a hard time finding at school
Tip: If friends or family are going to send you care packages, ask them to send food separately from toiletries and other scented products. You don’t want your favorite snacks from home to taste like shampoo!
Getting ready for classes
- Register for your first semester’s classes on the first available date – you don’t want to miss out on a required or cool class because you waited too long
- E-mail your first semester’s professors ahead of time to introduce yourself and ask for the syllabus and reading list so you can start preparing
- Start mentally preparing yourself to be more active and outgoing in class – in general, US education encourages student participation
- Look for your textbooks online – Amazon, BIGWORDS and Chegg are often cheaper than buying through your school store
- Set up on online calendar, such as the free Google Calendar, so you can track deadlines and send yourself automatic reminders
Showing your school pride
- Learn the FIU Fight Song
- Join some student organizations focused on culture, academics or other interests of yours
- Check out the FIU Bookstore website for school apparel and other ways to show your school pride
Tip: Check out the school calendar so you can take note of events you want to attend or learn more about – school events are a great way to make new friends!
Other useful resources
• Like the Global FIU Facebook so you don’t miss any updates and can connect with other international students
• Download the Student Guidebook from the FIU G1Y welcome page for more tips
Tip: Subscribe to the Global FIU blog using the form on the right side of the page. You’ll be the first to know about news, tips and other fun stuff for international students!