Preparation Checklist

There is a LOT to remember and keep track of before and after you arrive in New Jersey. Use this checklist as a reference to make sure nothing gets lost in the process. Please note this may not be a comprehensive list, but rather a helpful guide.

Getting Started:

  • You will need a valid passport
  • You will need a valid visa that allows study, such as the F-1
  • Take extra passport photos
  • Determine if you need to visit a doctor and/or receive vaccinations before arrival
  • Arrange air or land transportation
  • Make arrangements with a responsible person and forward your mail to them while you are in the United States, if necessary
  • You will need your I-20/DS-2019 form if on the F or J status (pack this in your carry-on bag)
  • Your I-94 card (given after arrival)
  • Your admission letter (given by your school in NJ)
  • U.S. currency or travelers checks
  • Be familiar with the health insurance information provided by your school/program

Before You Travel:

  • Make two sets of copies of important documents (i.e. passport, visas, insurance card). Leave one set of copies with a trusted person and bring an extra copy with you.
  • Fill any necessary prescriptions and bring them with you in your carry-on bag.
  • Reconfirm flight with airline at least 48 hours in advance and check baggage weight limits.
  • Agree upon communication schedule with family, especially for arrival.
  • Be sure to inform the International Student Services Office at the school/program you will be attending of your travel plans, and make arrangements for transportation from the airport to campus.
  • Review CDC guidelines for COVID-19 information

Documents and Legal Items –

We recommend having printed/paper copies and electronic copies of each. Pack paper copies of documents in your carry -on luggage:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid visa that allows study
  • Supporting financial documents to show funding
  • Airline tickets
  • Banking information and credit card
  • Insurance information
  • Photocopies of important documents (passport, visa, insurance card, etc.)
  • Extra passport-sized photos
  • Phone card
  • Emergency contact information (both for your home country and in the U.S.)
  • Contact information of person you are meeting in the airport
  • Luggage lock and tags
  • Your I-20 form
  • Your I-94 card (if current student; otherwise given at arrival)
  • Your admission letter
  • U.S. currency or travelers checks

Packing Basics:

  • Clothing for all four seasons (shorts, short-sleeve shirts to pant, boots, and sweaters, clothes that can layer easily)
  • Bath towel and shower shoes
  • Phone and computer chargers
  • Camera
  • Specific or special toiletries (you can buy generic items in NJ)
  • Anti-bacterial hand lotion
  • Jacket and umbrella
  • Eye glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and cleaning solution, and eye bring prescriptions
  • First aid kit (including: motion sickness medications, laxatives, anti-diarrhea medicine, antacids, pain relievers, decongestants, antiseptics, and bandages)
  • Prescription medicines and written prescriptions
  • Laptop
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Backpack
  • Snacks and water for trip

At the Airport:

  • On the plane, you will complete the Form 1-94 Arrival/Departure Record.
  • At port of entry, present your passport with visa, I-94, and sealed envelope to CBP inspector.
  • Present your I-20 and original financial documents, which should be sealed in an envelope marked “For presentation at port-of-entry.”
  • If placed into secondary inspection, this may delay your entry into the U.S. Please speak with your school before arrival to prepare for this situation.
  • Once you reach New Jersey, call the contact person at the school/program you will be attending to notify them of your arrival and start making your way to campus. You can read more about transportation options here –

We look forward to meeting you in New Jersey!

Have Questions?

For more information about Study New Jersey, partnership opportunities and/or membership with Study New Jersey contact us for more information.

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