Check with your travel agent or the airline on how many bags (weight and size) you’re allowed to check in and how many carry-on items (weight and size) are allowed in the aircraft.
Bring at least two sets of personal clothing and personal grooming items, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush or comb, on the airplane with you in case your luggage is temporarily lost.
Visit the Transportation Security Administration for information about carry-on restrictions.
Listed below are more items to bring in your carry-on bag.
- Airline tickets
- SEVIS form I-20
- Evidence of financial resources
- Receipt for the SEVIS I-901 fee, Form I-797
Name and contact information of school official
Center for International Studies
Angelo State University
- Official academic transcripts and English translations
Bring enough money for your initial expenses. However, you do not want to carry thousands of dollars in cash with you. Always bring additional money in the form of traveler’s checks or money orders.
Make sure to bring enough small bills ($1s, $5s and $10s). You will need them to tip the taxi driver, buy a quick snack from the vending machine, or make a phone call from a coin-operated phone.
Carry a list of the names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of key contacts, both in the U.S. and at home, including the contact information for friends and family who live in the U.S.
Bring your medical and dental records, including immunization and vaccination documentation and prescriptions, eyeglasses and insurance records.
If you have a valid international driver’s license, bring it with you.
Due to the international airline baggage limitations, it is generally advisable that you bring only what you absolutely need, and plan to purchase the other items upon your arrival. The Center for International Studies will provide transportation to local stores where you can buy the various items needed the first day or two after your arrival.
However, there are some things you want to bring from home.
San Angelo has an average of 251 sunny days a year with a mild, dry climate.
- During the summer months (June to September), temperatures often reach the 90s and higher. Lightweight clothing is worn during these months.
- The winter months (late October to March) require warm clothing and an overcoat. Temperatures sometimes drop below freezing during winter and it occasionally snows.
Bring a variety of clothing for the changing seasons. Students usually wear casual clothing. Both men and women wear trousers, blue jeans, short pants, shirts, sweaters and jackets. Men find a suit or jacket and tie appropriate for more formal occasions. Women will probably want a few dresses, skirts and blouses. Traditional, national attire is appropriate for many occasions.
It is better to bring clothes that are easy to care for, such as “wash and wear” items. Coin-operated washing and drying facilities are available in campus residence halls and in some off-campus apartment buildings, as well as at nearby laundromats. Dry cleaning is more expensive.
If you plan to bring any electrical appliances or computer equipment, remember the electrical current used for small appliances in the U.S. is 120 volts/60Hz and requires plugs with two flat prongs. Appliances from outside the U.S. may require adapters that can be purchased at local stores.
Many students choose to bring laptop computers with them from home. In addition to computer labs open to all students, ASU also has wireless internet services available in most areas on campus that enable you to use your laptop or any other mobile device. All the residence halls on campus also provide Internet access. For more information, visit Information Technology.
The Center for International Studies hosts an annual cultural event called International Education Week, which highlights the cultural heritage of foreign students attending ASU. We encourage you to bring items of cultural interest, such as traditional clothing, music and photos, for this and various other events.
You can bring reference books and novels that you enjoy reading. Carry a good bilingual dictionary if needed to assist with your translation.
Food from Home
U.S. Customs prohibits travelers from bringing any fresh fruit, vegetables or meat from other countries.
Large Amounts of Cash
Do not bring large amounts of cash as it can easily be stolen or misplaced. Bring your money in the form of traveler’s checks or money orders and deposit the money once you open your bank account here.
Students bringing prescription medication to the U.S. should bring a physician’s letter stating what the drug is, what it treats and the quantity. The note must be in English. Some medications used in other countries are considered illegal in the U.S., are not permitted and may be confiscated.
240 Voltage Appliances
Do not bring 240-volt appliances because they are not compatible with the 120-volt sockets in the U.S.
Arrival at U.S. Port of Entry
Plan Your Arrival
You may be refused entry if you attempt to arrive more than 30 days before the start date on your SEVIS I-20 form.
If you put documents in your baggage and it’s lost or delayed, you won’t be able to present your documents at the port of entry. As a result, you may not be able to enter the U.S. Do not place the following in your baggage:
- SEVIS form I-20
- Evidence of financial resources
- Receipt for the SEVIS I-901 fee, Form I-797
- Name and contact information of school official
Expect an Inspection at the Port of Entry
You’ll go through U.S. customs and immigration for inspection* and be asked to show your passport, visa and I-20. The officer may ask questions about your studies. These questions are usually general in nature. It’s important to remain friendly, polite, patient and completely honest while going through this process. For more information, review these frequently asked questions on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.
*Students from countries on the U.S. Homeland Security or U.S. State Department high alert list may require additional inspection procedures. These countries are Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Students from other countries may also be subject to secondary inspection if the officer at the port of entry cannot initially verify your information or you do not have all the required documentation.
Make Your Customs Declarations
Prior to your arrival in the U.S. and while you’re on the plane, you’ll be given a customs declaration form to declare the amount of money and the value of items you’re bringing into the country. You may be asked to pay taxes on money or goods exceeding a certain amount.
Although the inspection at the port of entry is generally efficient, plan on at least an hour delay. Students requiring additional or special inspection procedures may want to plan for a longer inspection time. This is important if you have to make a connecting flight.
Once inspection and immigration is complete, make certain you have the following:
- SEVIS I-20 unless taken by port of entry official
- Any additional letter or documents relating to financial support, scholarships, etc.
Use Travel Safety Precautions
Be cautious if you stay overnight at a port of entry like New York, Los Angeles or Dallas. While most Americans will be helpful and honest, there’s a possibility of someone trying to take advantage of you.
If you stay overnight in the city, ask about the availability of bus or limousine service from the airport to the hotel when you make your reservation. Hotels sometimes provide free transportation. If you need a taxi, use only those clearly marked as “TAXI” with a properly identified driver. Tell the driver where you need to go and ask how much it will cost. Most drivers are familiar with the cost of traveling to area hotels.
Travel and Transportation to ASU
The Center for International Studies will be glad to recommend transportation options from the San Angelo, Mathis Field Airport (airport code: SJT) to the ASU campus. If you wish to request more information on transportation options to campus, please send your travel itinerary by completing our online form. International Student Arrival Information Form
Transportation to ASU
When making plans, make sure you schedule your arrival at the San Angelo Airport (SJT). The Center for International Studies will arrange for your transportation from the San Angelo Airport to the University.
If your flight is delayed, contact the office as soon as possible at (+1)325-942-2083 or email email@example.com. In the email state your full name, country, airline, the change in flight plans, and a number and/or an email where you can be reached, if possible.
Bringing Your Family
Issues to Consider
Bringing a spouse and/or children to join you in San Angelo is an exciting option. It can help you succeed in your studies, ease stress and bring family unity and comfort to your household. Furthermore, it can be an everlasting memory of happiness and joy.
Nonetheless, many students have met some unexpected difficulties. Potential causes of disruption are language barriers, cultural differences, idle time for spouse and children, and a lack of cohesiveness within the environment.
To assist you and your family in fully understanding the consequences of living in the U.S., the Center for International Studies recommends you answer the following questions to the best of your abilities.
- Where will you live with your family?
- How will your spouse and children get around (transportation)?
- What will your spouse do during the day?
- How will you access information for your family’s needs?
- What is the English proficiency of each family member? How do you plan to address their language needs?
- How will your experience as a married couple be different here than in your own country?
- What will be the biggest source of stress on your marriage?
- How will you deal with the isolation your spouse and children may feel without grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended family members?
- Where will you send your children to school?
- What type of stress will your children experience in school, in a new country?
- How will you deal with cultural shock individually and as a family?
Procedures for Dependent Visas
Students who choose to bring a spouse and/or children to the U.S. during their study period must apply for a dependent visa(s). This type of visa is called an F-2 visa.
The Center for International Studies can assist you with the necessary documents to apply for a dependent visa. The process for obtaining a dependent visa and the documents required are similar to those required for an F-1 visa.
Dependents must receive a dependent I-20 from the Center for International Studies to apply for an F-2 visa. The documents required are:
- Passport biodata page copy (for each dependent).
- Proof of finances ($3,000 for spouse, $1,500 per child). These finances are in addition to the finances shown for the F-1 student visa.
- Proof of medical/health insurance (recommended).
Dependent I-20s should be discussed with the Center for International Studies staff at the time you apply for admission.
Do you have a question or need help with the application process? Complete the International Studies Help Request Form and we’ll be happy to help you.