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Ncstate:Before you leave

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Revision as of 13:30, 9 September 2007 by 189.21.156.2 (Talk)

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H O M E
Preparing for the US
Before you leave
Packing your Bags
Traveling to the US
Arriving at NC State
Living at NC State
Finances
Academics
Questions?
Checklist
About
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Health Checkup

Get a complete health check-up done. This information is necessary for the Medical Records form - one of the other confusing pieces of documentation NC State requires.

Several vaccine shots are required (e.g Tetanus) and some are recommended (e.g Meningococcal vaccine). Hepatitis-A vaccines require a 6 month time frame to deliver so act now to avoid having to pay for costly shots in the US.

Make sure that your TB test reading has been noted down on the form, signed by your doctor. Apparently since we all have taken a BCG shot as children, the TB ("Mantoux") test is almost always positive. However, NC State University requires a clear reading of this test on the form and if this test returns a positive (and assuming you don't actually have TB) you have to get your chest X-rayed and submit this as proof.

Dental Work

Costs for dental treatment in the USA are astronomical. Listed below are the average fees charged by dentists in Raleigh.

  • Exam and Cleaning: $70 - $100
  • Fillings: $100 - $150
  • Root Canals: $500 - $1000

Source: www.bracesinfo.com

Please get your teeth checked up by a competent dentist in India long before you leave, just in case any time-consuming root canals need to be done. You may want to carry two tubes of toothpaste and several toothbrushes.

Please ask your dentist to check your wisdom teeth as well. Impaction may require surgery before you leave.

Travel Insurance

Before you finalise any travel plans, please get yourself Travel Insurance. It costs somewhere between Rs. 1,500 - 2,000 and is available from any of the big insurance firms like ICICI Lombard, LIC or Oriental Insurance. You can even get your policy done online with ICICI Lombard - very convenient when in a time crunch. Also ,get insurance for your initial 1-2 months only as everyone at NC State has to compulsorily take Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance package.

Your travel insurance must cover upto and beyond your first day at school from where your mandatory Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance should take over. You do not want to be uncovered from insurance here. To give you an idea of medical costs, it would be cheaper to fly to India to get a root canal done than to do it here.

Driving License

Don't bother about getting an International Driver's Permit (IDP). The state of North Carolina does not recognize this document. An Indian driver's license will suffice if you must drive initially (for the first six months) - however you must carry your passport with you as well if you do. I don't foresee you having the need to drive here for the first year at least unless you have visited here before and are familiar with driving in the US. I'm sure you are aware that because traffic moves on the right of the road (unlike India and other countries with a colonial hangover) all the rules you are familiar with are flipped over. Almost everyone I know has had the heart stopping experience of turning into the left lane of a road and facing oncoming traffic. Any wrong-way accidents are almost always fatal because of the relative speed of the two vehicles moving in the opposite direction. I would advise not driving here till you are very familiar with the rules of the road.

It pays to get used to the rules here, though. Familiarize yourself with the NCDOT (North Carolina Dept of Transportation website. You can then get your learner's permit very soon after coming here. More on that here

If you plan to travel in the U.S. and are confident about driving, note that some states do recognise the IDP, so it may be worthwile bringing it in specific cases.

Do remember to get letters from your car insurance. It will help in reducing the amount you have to pay for mandatory car insurance here if you ever plan to buy a car.

Notify Maitri

Maitri, the Indian Students organization, does a very good job of coordinating pickups and temporary accomodation. However, you must inform them in advance as soon as (and only if) your plans are final. Visit http://www.ncsu.edu/stud_orgs/maitri/newArrival.php for more details.

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