Diary of Asa: Preparing Departure to the US (Part 1)
It's unbelievable that time flies super fast! I still remember, two years ago around this time of the year, I was preparing everything upon my departure to Minneapolis. It was a bit hard to take care of a couple things since I was not in the US yet; therefore, I decided to write a series of how I got settled in at the University of Minnesota. Everything that I am going to write here would be my personal experiences. I am hoping they could be good references for you all, but am also hoping you would keep your minds open to other options (I am going to include them in the series or you could find them on your own). You decide what is best for you (but definitely feel free to leave a comment if you have any concerns ^^).
The first two questions that came to my mind after I heard the news that I was admitted to the University of Minnesota were what I should do next and what I should bring. After sitting in front of a computer in an internet cafe for a couple hours, I found out that I needed to:
1. Confirm my enrollment
The following link gave me information about the deadlines and how to complete it: http://www.isss.umn.edu/new/confirmenr.html.
2. Apply for my student visa
When I clicked on the following link, I was able to find detailed information on how to obtain a student visa: http://www.isss.umn.edu/new/visas.html. Frankly speaking, I was a bit lazy to read all of it, hhehe. I decided to just type 'obtaining a US visa' at google.com and found this following website http://www.usembassy.gov/. I chose the closest embassies to my hometown and found the information on how to request a student visa under the 'non-immigrant visas' tab.
Note: transfer students need to complete their visa transfer process (visa transfers are students coming from another US college or university) http://www.isss.umn.edu/new/visas.html
3. Plan my expenses and payment of tuition
I lived with my parents in Indonesia for 17 years. They always gave me pocket money every month, but of course, most of it was for my own pleasure. They already took care of the grocery, phone-electricity-internet billings, school tuition, etc. I knew if I was going to continue my education in America, I needed to be an independent individual, including knowing how to handle my own expenses (http://www.isss.umn.edu/new/pay.html).
4. Send my immunization record
It was interesting when I found out about the whole immunization form thing because we do not need to submit one in Indonesia. However, Minnesota law, apparently, requires all students to be immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and diphtheria. I needed to complete and sign the Student Immunization Record (http://www.bhs.umn.edu/services/immunizationservices.htm), then send it in an envelope, together with my enrollment confirmation form, to the address on the form ( do not forget to provide in writing the month and year you received each immunization). I remember I did not get one of those vaccinations in Indonesia; therefore, I needed to receive it after I arrived here (at my own expense).
5. Initiate my University of Minnesota email account
This was particularly important when I needed to apply for an on-campus housing. At first, I was confused when I was asked to provide my social security numbers because I did not think I had one. Later on, I found out that international students do not have social security numbers, so I could leave it blank https://www.umn.edu/initiate/.
...to be continued to the second part ^0^