Remember that you will have to carry everything that you bring with you, so think about your packing list! You also might want to buy things in the United States – so it is best to bring the essentials and leave extra space for your purchases! Most airlines will allow you to check two bags and carry-on one small bag, but make sure to check your airline’s website for their regulations regarding numbers of bags and weight and measurement requirements. Some U.S. airlines now charge a fee for checked baggage, so pack light and smart! We also recommend packing a change of clothes in your carry-on luggage, in case your luggage is temporarily lost.
In addition to your standard clothing, toiletries, and what is on your Placement Agreement, some ideas of what you should bring include:
- Cell phone and computer (if you are able)
- An outfit for nice occasions
- A gift from your home country (for new friends or host organizations)
- Prescription medication (if applicable)
- Glasses or extra contact lenses (if applicable)
- Luggage lock and key
- A secure wallet or purse to hold your important papers and money while traveling
- Money – As one of our sponsorship conditions, you are required to have access to $1000 when you arrive in the United States to help you live and in case of an emergency. We recommend having this in the form of credit or debit cards.
- Greenheart Exchange and your host organization’s contact information – once you arrive in the United States you will be under Greenheart Exchange’s sponsorship – make sure you know how to contact us and your host organization!
- 2 copies each of your passport, DS-2019 form, J-1 visa, I-901 form, and your job offer. Make sure you keep all originals and 1 copy of each of your documents in your carry-on bag. Pack 1 copy of each in your suitcase. These documents are VERY important, and you should know where this information is at all times!
Do you have other must-pack items?! Share them in the comments! Need help preparing for your program? Find us online!