Traveling to the U.S. for any reason is exciting. When you travel abroad you stand to gain some valuable knowledge about the world. Whether you are traveling for work, business, enjoyment, or medical treatment, you get the opportunity to learn from, explore, and discover new cultures when you travel abroad. And when you travel from South Africa to the U.S., you can guarantee that there will be some fairly big differences in the culture and the customs of the people.
The differences between your home country and the U.S. can sometimes be intimidating, but you have to go into your adventure with an open mind. You most likely will be a bit overwhelmed when you first arrive in the U.S. and experience some culture shock. But this is a completely normal reaction for anyone who travels abroad. It simply takes time to get used to new surroundings. Give yourself time to wade into the new culture, and get to know the people around you. You’ll learn more and enjoy yourself.
Atlas America® insurance is an excellent way to protect yourself against the high cost of medical treatment in America. Medical insurance comes in many variations from many companies in the U.S. Atlas America insurance from HCC Medical Insurance allows you the security of knowing you are covered by a company that has been taking care of American visitors for 15 years.
Before you can actually begin packing your bags and exploring that new culture, you need to determine if you need a visa, which type of visa you will need, and then you need to actually apply for that visa. If you are coming to the U.S. for educational reasons, an exchange program, business, tourism, medical treatment, or for a job, then you will need to apply for a visa. While these visas have slightly different requirements, there are a few basic visa requirements that you will need to meet by submitting and providing paperwork:
• The first thing you will most certainly need to do, no matter what type of visa you are applying for, will be to fill out and submit Form DS-160. This form is the online nonimmigrant visa application. From this form, a consular officer will begin your visa process, and they will use your information along with your interview to ultimately determine your eligibility for a visa.
• You will also need to make sure that you have a valid passport before you begin filling out your visa application. In most cases, your visa will require that your passport will still be valid for six months after you return home. Before you begin the application process, you will need to check your current passport and you may need to obtain a new one that will be valid for the time period required by your visa.
• The U.S. Department of State recommends that you purchase visa insurance and may actually require you to purchase the insurance. Having visa insurance when traveling to the U.S. can help you avoid high medical bills in the event of an accident or injury. You should also know that not having visa insurance might result in a denial of your visa application.
• After you have submitted your visa application, you will also need to schedule and attend a visa interview with a consular officer. For instance, if you are traveling from South Africa, you will need to schedule this interview at one of the U.S. embassies in South Africa. There are embassies in Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg. During this interview, a consular officer will ask you questions about your trip. It is in your best interest to answer every question as honestly as possibly. If you are not truthful during your interview, your visa could be denied. Your interviewer will ask you questions about your intended plans in the U.S., why you are traveling, where you are going, how you are paying for it, and when you will be returning. The U.S. Department of State provides embassy wait times by location, so you can plan ahead accordingly.
American Visitor Insurance from HCCMIS
American visitor insurance is a great option for security and peace-of-mind when you, your parents or other family are visiting America. Atlas America insurance plan provides affordable protection to non-US citizens who travel to America. Atlas America insurance is individual insurance designed for international visitors whose home country is outside the US and who travel to the United States. The plan provides short-term travel medical insurance coverage for illnesses or injuries that may occur during travel or a temporary stay in the US, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands. Atlas America insurance can be purchased for as little as 5 days with a maximum initial purchase of 364 days of coverage.
For those seeking American visitor insurance for their family or friends visiting the United States, we have listed a few key benefits and travel assistance services you may want to consider when deciding whether to purchase this type of travel health insurance coverage:
|Covered Benefits||Included with Atlas Travel® insurance|
|Guaranteed Acceptance||Yes: No medical underwriting is required for eligible individuals. See the Description of Coverage for full eligibility.|
|Coverage for pre-existing conditions (excludes chronic and congenital conditions)||Limited: Up to medical coverage maximum lifetime for eligible medical expenses for the acute onset of a pre-existing condition. See the Description of Coverage for more details.|
|100% coverage for accidents and injuries within the U.S||Yes: For eligible expenses within the PPO Network. See the Description of Coverage for more details|
|Sports coverage at no additional charge||Yes: Coverage for eligible injuries or illnesses related to sports activities. See the Description of Coverage for limitations.|
|Emergency medical evacuations available 24/7||Yes, $1,000,000 in coverage regardless of policy maximum|
|Complete online enrollment capabilities & immediate fulfillment||Yes: Selecting 'Yes' to online fulfillment when purchasing will ensure your policy information will be available to print once your application has been processed and your credit card approved.|
American medical insurance is easy to purchase with our secure online quoting system, you can obtain coverage in as few as 5 minutes!
Culture shock can be pretty difficult to deal with. Traveling to or moving from one country to another is a difficult process, and even considering the physical distance between South Africa and the U.S. is enough to create some shock. Besides dealing with the visa process, packing, and actually getting to your new home, you also have to live in this new culture. Though culture shock affects everyone differently, there are some ways that you can deal with it.
• Embrace the culture. Some people who travel abroad end up rejecting the new world that they have traveled to. In the case of students, some remain in their rooms and busy themselves with studying or with procrastination. Those traveling for business or work occupy themselves completely with their jobs, stay in their hotel rooms, and only talk to those they are working with. Don’t shut yourself away. Even taking a walk down the street will give you a window into the culture around you.
• Share your own culture. Even if you’re shy, you’re probably curious about the new culture around you. So chances are the new people you’re meeting are eager to learn about your own culture. After work or after class, head to a café or bar to talk about your cultural similarities, differences, and traditions.
• Get out and about. Instead of staying cooped up all the time, get out and explore the city or town you are currently living in. Eat where the locals eat. Shop where locals shop. Find a free musical event. Explore the nearest museum. If you’re not sure where to start, ask your co-workers or classmates. This is your chance to learn, so do whatever you can to make this experience worth it!
• Stay connected to home. The other side of culture shock is homesickness. It is easy for someone that is away from home for a long time to become homesick. Deal with this homesickness by talking to your family back home and writing letters to friends. Sharing your culture with your new peers will also keep you connected to home. Let those around you become a family away from home and embrace the bonds that you can make with them.
Traveling from to the U.S. can be overwhelming, but the cultural differences can be rewarding in the end. No matter your reasons for traveling, when you take the opportunity to learn from a different culture, you are most likely going to gain knowledge and experience that will continue to influence the rest of your life. In order to make the most of your time abroad, get out there and explore! Embrace the differences around you and approach new situations with an open mind. Before you know it, you will be making new friends, discovering new things, and having the time of your life!
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.