7.1 Pre-Trip Preparations
Besides air-travel arrangements, you need to decide what you should carry with you and where you will go immediately upon arrival in America or Canada. We will not focus on your purchase of a plane ticket, other than to say that you should shop around. A plane ride is a plane ride; the idea is to get "there." Information from your colleges will tell you the most convenient airport(s).
7.1.1. The Paperwork and Money
This is singularly the most important item; all other items are for personal comfort and convenience. You must carry your international student visa authorization, letter of acceptance from the college, offer of financial assistance if applicable, and proof of adequate financing. Your entry in the new country is subject to the same examination you have already been through at the consulate. You should carry all supporting documentation, such as your passport, degrees/certificates, birth certificate, communications with your college, and so on. Keep these documents well organized; it will demonstrate your diligence and professionalism to the officials at the port of entry. You must carry these items on you in the plane; do not pack these documents in the check-in luggage. Occasionally, airlines lose luggage, and you can not afford to lose these items.
You may also wish to carry the college catalog and other informational materials. Most such items are available on the Web but you may not have an Internet access immediately upon arrival.
You should carry at least $1,000 or Cdn$1,500 cash or travelerís checks, depending on what provisions you have for accommodation and for incidental expenses until you can establish a back account and a mechanism for on-going availability of funds.