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You will arrive at Raleigh-Durham airport (RDU) - this airport serves the tri-city area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.  
You will arrive at Raleigh-Durham airport (RDU) - this airport serves the tri-city area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.  
[[Image:Rdu welcome.jpg|frame:center|Raleigh-Durham Airport]]
[[Image:Rdu welcome.jpg|frame:center|Raleigh-Durham Airport]]

Revision as of 16:17, 19 May 2008

Preparing for the US
Before you leave
Packing your Bags
Traveling to the US
Arriving at NC State
Living at NC State
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Welcome to the USA !

You will arrive at Raleigh-Durham airport (RDU) - this airport serves the tri-city area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.

Raleigh-Durham Airport

Airport Pickup and Temporary Accomodation

It is a tradition amongst the Indian graduate students at NC State University that new students are always picked up from the airport and given temporary accomodation till they get their bearings here in Raleigh.

Maitri (The Indian Graduate Student Association) is responsible for co-ordinating this effort and ensuring that the first week for new students in the US is as smooth as possible. Every effort is made to ensure comfortable accomodation for all those who ask for it. Please understand that this is essentially a volunteer service and the volunteers are students who are not paid to pick you up or accomodate you. With this in mind, please cooperate with the Maitri members to ensure that all students are given the benefit of the services.

Please contact Maitri at the link below as soon as your flight details are confirmed.

Our student hosts do not charge new students for the airport pickup or for lodging. This has been a long-standing tradition passed on from year to year here at NC State. If you do feel you can contribute towards food expenses however, please feel free to do so.

The duration of stay averages around a week, although hosts are generally flexible and would allow more time if required as long as the new student is actively making efforts to secure his or her own accomodation.

To dial a number in the US you need to dial the three digit area code and then the 7 digit number e.g 919 is the Raleigh area code, so most phone numbers in Raleigh (except some cellphones) are dialled as 919.xxx.xxxx. It costs a quarter to dial within the same city from a public phone (your first phone call is to your Maitri pickup !)

Opening a Bank Account

One of the first things you should do as soon as you arrive at NC State is open your bank account. You will need access to your money for a variety of things very soon and you should not delay this procedure. There are a number of good banks around the NC State Campus like Wachovia, Bank of America, BB&T etc. Most students opt for an account at Wachovia Bank opposite the D.H Hill Library on Hillsborough Street.

To open a bank account you need your passport, I-20, letter of admission and any other specific documents the bank may require (check website). If you have brought your fees as a International Demand Draft or Traveller's Checks you will need to bring that along as well.

Most students create two accounts - a Checking and a Savings Account

  • Checking Account : This account earns no interest but is used in your day to day transactions. The money for checks you issue will come out of this account. Similarly, any ATM transactions or purchases you make using your ATM/Debit card will be billed to this account. You should not keep all your money here because it is unsafe (in case your ATM/Debit card gets lost or stolen) and inefficient (because it earns you zero interest)
  • Savings Account : This account earns you a nominal rate of interest. It comes with some restrictions. For example, you can only perform a limited number of transactions on this account every month. Check with the bank for more details. You should deposit your fee DD and funds in this account. Using the Netbanking facility that the bank will provide, you can periodically transfer some money from your Savings account to your Checking Account.

NOTE: Wachovia usually gives you about 20 free cheques. Additional cheques can be bought from Wachovia, but you do not need to do this immediately. If you find that your cheques are close to exhaustion, ask for a change over to the Wachovia At Work account, which entitles you to 100 free cheques.

As soon as you apply and receive your Social Security Number (SSN) you should inform the bank of the same, as well as any future address changes.

Looking for your own accomodation

Looking for your own accomodation should be a priority as soon as you arrive. Your temporary accomodation will only be able to host you for about a week so as to make room for other students.

There are two main areas where most of the Indian graduate students stay - Avent Ferry Road and Gorman Street. Both these places are considered close to campus and are served by the Wolfline (NC State's Bus Service). You will have to meet the apartment managers of the various complexes and ask them what places they have available. Besides the rent, they will also tell you when they can hand over the house to you.

Here are some of the housing complexes you can visit :

  • On Avent Ferry Road :
    • Champion Court [currently $800/month] www.beckleerealestate.com Becklee Real Estate
    • Ivy Commons [currently $?/month]
    • Avery Close [currently $675-725/month]www.wpminc.net Wilson Property Management
    • Kensington Park [currently $?/month]
    • Western Manor [currently $?/month]
    • Colonial Arms [currently $?/month]
  • On Gorman Street :
    • Gorman Crossings [currently $?/month]

Visit the Office of International Students (OIS) and check-in

NCSU Starter Map

Within a few days of coming to the US you must visit the OIS located currently at Daniels Hall (Building 38) in the North Campus map. They will make copies of your passport and I-20 and other documents. You will also have to attend a mandatory International Students Orientation- you can find out more details from the OIS.

The orientation deals with some of the following topics :-

  • Academic standards and practices in the US
  • Building credit history
  • Getting along with fellow students here
  • Driving and getting a license
  • Rules and regulations you should know about
  • Best places to visit and shop

There is also a Graduate Students Orientation which you may or may not want to attend. By most accounts it is a rehash of what they talk about in the International Students Orientation with an emphasis on academics.

You must always maintain your current address with the OIS. Any change in address must be notified to them as part of your non-resident status here.

Also, dont forget to go to West Dunn Hall to get you ID card.

Visit your college and check-in

Check in with the Engineering college, Business school, Design School or wherever as well. They may have important information regarding your school's orientation program - date of start of classes etc.

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