Rarely does someone explain everything you need to know before making an exchange to the United States. There are many reasons to go on exchange to the United States: it is one of the largest countries in the world and with the most contrasts: different climates, states and traditions depending on your location.
But before you go on a trip to the United States, we will give you a series of recommendations that will surely help you organize your trip.
Among other things, this country stands out for its culture, mixture of many countries, cutting-edge technology, economic power, gigantic shopping centers, theme parks, etc. In addition, the United States is an excellent destination to learn English.
If you choose this country as the place for your exchange program, as the Americans say, “you are in for a surprise!” (You will enjoy it a lot). In this article we tell you everything you need to know before going on an exchange to the United States.
1. Your visa
In addition to considering the general recommendations to prepare for an exchange program, you should know that the United States takes the immigration issue very seriously.
Therefore, you must be careful with this matter in this regard and bring all the documentation of your student or tourist visa perfectly completed. , since not keeping the visa well can lead to serious consequences, such as the revocation of the visa and even deportation.
Therefore, you must find out at the corresponding educational center if you need to obtain a visa and what type, and in the event that you finally enter with a student or tourist visa, you are not allowed to work.
Another aspect that you must take into account is that after the attacks of September 11, this country increased its airport security, so today to fly to the United States, among other things, you must arrive at the airport 2 hours in advance. for security logs to apply.
As you know, there are objects that cannot be carried in hand luggage and even in suitcases. If you need more information about it, it is important that you contact the airline with which you will fly to that country.
2. Medical insurance
You cannot leave your country without insurance that covers accidents, hospitalization or repatriation. Is essential.
If you have private insurance in your country, ask that you are going on a trip, the dates on which you will be away and that they provide you with an emergency telephone number.
Always carry your health card and the emergency telephone number with you.
We also recommend that you memorize on your phone or on a card in your wallet, the contact person in case something happens to you.
3. The laws
One of the reasons why the United States is a great country is that there is a true Democratic State there; that is, it has a legal system that is the product of democracy and, on the other hand, it has a large number of officials who enforce the law.
Proof of this are the traffic laws: it is enough for someone to exceed the speed limit, pass a red light at a traffic light, park in the wrong place or for more time than allowed for a fine to be imposed.
As an exchange student, you are not exempt from this, so if you are going to drive it is important that you know the traffic laws well. Do not do anything illegal as it will remain on your immigration record and may cause you problems. If you have any doubts about the legality of an act, it is better that you consult with your host family or with a native of the country, before doing it.
4. Their culture
We already know that “there is everything in the vineyard of the Lord”, especially in the United States and as far as types of people are concerned. However, for the most part, Americans are kind, honest, and hospitable people. They give a lot of value to the given word, so if you commit to something, fulfill it without fail, this will make the people around you trust you, you will create good relationships.
Hispanics tend to be much louder and “chatty”, in our opinion they seem more reserved and serious, but they like to meet new and different people.
5. Your economic budget
calculate a budget
This is a law of life, but it is especially true that in the United States there are so many products and services to spend your money on, that it would be very easy to do it in the first days of your exchange program.
It’s not bad that you allocate your budget to treat yourself to certain treats, but remember that on this occasion the main objective of your exchange in the United States is for you to finish your study program, so it is essential that you have money to support yourself. yourself during your stay.
In this same sense, we recommend that you make a budget and set a maximum amount of weekly expenses, in which you include a budget to cover emergencies. In fact, if you’re short on money, one thing you can do is spend less than the guideline for each item.