By: Julia Rabin, Greenheart Exchange Cultural Outreach Assistant
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!