With all the interesting people, cultures and landscapes that the U.S. hosts, it is no wonder that thousands of students from around the world choose to study in America. In the 2009-2010 academic year, over 200,000 students from foreign countries studied in the U.S. The U.S. provides the perfect environment for any student looking to learn about a new culture or simply looking for a new experience in a new place.
Choosing a country for your study abroad experience can be difficult. Since you’ve already decided to study in America, you’re a step ahead of the rest when it comes to making your travel dreams a reality. However, there are still a few more steps to take before the process is complete.
Pick A Program - Picking the right program is just as important as picking the country you want to study in. A number of student exchange programs to America exist for all types of students, including undergraduate, graduate and high school students. The U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement provide instructions on how to navigate the U.S. immigration system and information on approved programs for international students.
Get Medical Insurance - When you travel to a foreign country, your domestic health and medical insurance may not cover you. It is important to have coverage at all times, and having student insurance while abroad can offer a much-needed sense of stability while you are studying abroad. By staying covered, you eliminate risks and feel better protected. HCC Medical Insurance Services (HCCMIS®) offers three separate StudentSecure® plans depending on the level of coverage needed: StudentSecure Elite, StudentSecure Select, StudentSecure Budget, and StudentSecure Smart. StudentSecure insurance plans are made for students who are traveling to a foreign country to study. With StudentSecure, you can meet the requirements for the J-1 Visa, save money by paying the full premium in advance, and secure coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Get A Visa- The next step in the process to study in America is to apply for and receive a visa. Several types of student visas exist depending on the type of program in which you will be studying. If you are studying in an exchange program, you will need to apply for a J-1 Visa. If you will be a research scholar, you may need to apply for an F-1 Visa.
Travel - Traveling is a necessary, exciting, and potentially frustrating part of the study abroad process. Start planning your journey early, and be sure to scour the web for the best deals on airfare and other travel expenses. For up-to-date tips on travel and important travel tips, check out the HCCMIS blog!
Learn - You have done all the preparation, you have made the trip to the USA, and now, you finally get to learn! Learning takes place both in and out of the classroom, so remember to not just study books, but to also get out and explore your surroundings and meet new people!
Traveling to a new country and not knowing anyone can be a frightening experience, but if you remember to keep an open mind, you will be just fine. We have made this short list of tips to help you adapt to your new home:
Be Respectful- It is important to always be respectful, even after a long and tiring journey. It can be tough to adjust at first, but showing respect for the customs and manners of your host family and classmates will make your trip much more successful.
Keep An Open Mind - Keeping an open mind will allow you to learn, grow and see more. Don’t be afraid of new experiences; they’re why you traveled in the first place!
Research Your New Home - Many students experience culture shock when they arrive to their new home, but by doing a little research, you can take some of the stress out of your time in the United States.
Have Fun - Most importantly, don’t forget that you are studying abroad to learn and to have new experiences, so have some fun while you learn! Don’t forget to check out the HCCMIS blog for travel tips and destination guides!
HCC Medical Insurance Services, LLC (HCCMIS) is a service company that is a subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. HCCMIS is regulated by the State of Indiana in our capacity as Third Party Administrator. HCCMIS has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency Ltd.