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saurabh
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 at 9:38am
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Blog: International Student Guide to Housing and Accommodation

posted
10-Jan-18, 09:00
by saurabh
Avatar for saurabh
posted about 1 week ago
Booking a flight:
The first and most important step is to know the city and surroundings of your university well and identify the nearest international airport to your university. You will be flying there.
In case the airport near your university is regional, you will have fly there again in a domestic flight from the nearest international airport. While making this choice, always inquire thoroughly whether going by road to your university from the international airport or taking a domestic flight to the nearest regional airport, which one is cheaper.
Always try having company by flying together along with your friends. This way you can be more confident and tension-free. In case you don’t have anyone you know going to the same destination, don’t worry, you can always make new friends in the airport.
There are many others like you. Try reaching out. By now you would have joined many social media groups of your universities. So you can always try reaching out people there and then book tickets together.
The next step is to plan your travel properly. You should have a rough estimate of the usual flying time and airport procedures for international passengers.
If you want to book your flight online, always try booking directly from the airlines website instead of the third party websites. This way your fares will be cheaper. While booking, always make sure that there is enough time between connecting flights of at least 2–3 hrs. This way you can be sure that although the first flight is late by an hour or so, you have enough time to check-in for the next.
Make sure that your connecting flight is of the same airline or an affiliated airline so that your check-in luggage is directly changed to the next airline without your interference. In case you don’t find Ala cheaper connecting flight in the same or affiliated airline options and want to go for an other airline, make sure that you have enough time to collect your baggage and then do the check-in procedure again.
Always check transit VISA requirements of countries where you board connecting flights. If you are travelling from India to USA, then transit VISA is probably not required. But if you are travelling from USA to India, you have to be careful. Check out the link to know the transit VISA requirement for different countries http://www.immihelp.com/visas/transit-visa-requirements.html
Always check baggage preferences while booking a flight. We need the one which provides a reasonable amount of baggage at moderate prices only.
Always check reviews and comments before booking an airline. Airlines with poor customer service leave you with a bad travel experience. You don’t want to upset your first travelling experience by making mistakes. Hence, always do as much search as you can and be confident with the choices you make.
Booking your Accommodation:
This is exactly why we are here. You are the digital generation. You do things in a click. So just go to our website AmberStudent (http://amberstudent.com) and register yourself.
Packing your luggage:
You are packing to go abroad and you wouldn’t probably return back home till a year at least. So in case you don’t have bigger and travel luggage bags, purchase some. Purchase separately for cabin luggage and check-in luggage. Make sure that your check-in luggage has security locking system and tags where you can write your name and address for emergencies.
You should always start packing by making a list. Write everything down and then make checklist of what all you need. Imagine yourself already abroad and think of all the things you will need.
Filter out the things which are the highest priority separately and pack them first. After packing them, then check how many more kgs are left. Then pack in the remaining things as per the baggage allowance limits of the respective airlines.
Always make sure that you carry important things which you’ll have use during the flight or in the airport along with you in the cabin luggage. Airlines provide allowance limits separately for check-in and cabin luggage.
Just in case, for emergency conditions, carry enough stuff for a day along with you in the cabin luggage like a pair of clothes to wear, towel, your tooth brush etc for those situations where your check-in luggage may have been lost by mistake until your airline gets it back for you.
Take all the important documents with you. You never know when something is required. Always keep the photocopies in your check-in baggage too. Your important documents should include: The original copy of I-20, original passport with valid F1 VISA stamping, the original form of I-94, Cash, important Demand Drafts, any other documents that US consulate gave you, your previous academic certificates, vaccination certificate, Letter of admission.
Always carry enough cash with you. You need some to make phone calls and rent trolleys at the airport. You might also need to buy some food at airports. Cash is necessary even for emergency situations, if you miss your flight and have to stay at a nearby hotel.
Always make arrangements for pick-up from the airport to your home before hand.
If possible, buy a calling card here itself before you leave. This way you save yourself a lot of time and work. You can also make use of the WiFi in the airports to call your parents via Skype. This way it is a lot cheaper. But always keep back-up. You don’t want to leave your parents worrying.

Blog: International Student Guide to Housing and Accommodation

posted
10-Jan-18, 08:54
edited about 17 seconds later
by saurabh
Avatar for saurabh
posted about 1 week ago
At your university:
The first thing to do is to inform your university about your arrival. Report to the international student office of your university/international student adviser given on your I-20 along with your passport and I-20, I-94, admission letter etc.
Attend the International student Orientation Program of your university. This is very important to know well and thorough regarding your curriculum and other official procedures. You will be given an introduction regarding the various amenities and facilities you are provided with, whom to consult in case of emergency etc.
Visit the seniors in your department. Know well about your department as where the classes are held, labs if present etc. This will help you reach your first class on time. You can get any other doubts clarified too.
Knowing a few seniors is very helpful. They have some prior experience of living there. So they can show you around and help you regarding how to handle things, where to buy, what to buy, how to spend etc.
Get your university e-mail activated. Talk to your seniors regarding which professors to consult. Know your courses well and register carefully. Get your student ID.
Make sure that the tuition fees is paid before the due date. You don’t any trouble too soon.
Visit the campus medical centre and provide the details and certificates regarding the vaccinations. This is compulsory process in some universities. They may also guide you in taking up a sustainable health care plan.
Getting a part time job:
Try getting an on-campus job. These are jobs that tend to support the university operations. For some of these jobs, you may get a tuition waiver too. This is the best and easiest way. Be ready with a stellar Resume. Consult your seniors. They may help you in getting some good jobs. Most of the jobs are passed on like that only.
A more official way is to go the career development centre and apply for open jobs and vacancies.There will always be some information regarding this in your campus website.
Join some student organisations you find interesting. This way you will get to know more people and network a lot. This is the smart way to get a job.
Keep volunteering for any positions. This helps you in knowing the secretaries and chiefs of many centres and networking with other people. If they see you more often, they tend to develop a good impression on you and resulting to place you in a good job.
A good on-campus job pays you enough. A typical on-campus job has a pay of $7-$12 per hour. Hence an average of about $600 per month is a good amount too.
Off-campus Job: Anything that is not affiliated with the university is considered as an off-campus job. This kind of a job is ILLEGAL for an F1 visa immigrant unless your university grants permission under severe economic hardship grounds. This is risky and not recommended unless you are in serious need of money.
We do not recommend this kind of jobs. But just in case you are in a extreme need, you can work off-campus in gas stations as cashiers, malls and desi stores, hotels as a receptionist, Mc Donald’s, Subway etc. You can expect a nice and decent pay of $5-$10 per hour at off-campus jobs.
Starting your life as a citizen:
Once you got a on-campus job, you can successfully start applying for a Social Security Number (SSN). If you are a F1 visa immigrant and haven’t yet landed yourself a job, you are not eligible to apply for a SSN. Without getting an SSN, you cannot apply for credit cards/bank loans. Some Internet service providers too won’t give you an internet connection at your home without SSN. However, you can apply for a health insurance and driver’s license without SSN on F1 visa.
Now, in order to apply for the SSN, you will need your work-authorised immigration status(visa stamp on your passport), Age proof(passport), identity(passport/I-94), I-20 and job offer letter. Take all these documents to the nearest social security office in your city. For more details visit the link https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10181.pdf
Now that you got your SSN, you can move ahead to apply for your first credit card. Though you have a SSN, credit card companies will not issue you a credit-card without a good credit score. Credit Score is a rating given based upon how well you have paid your bills timely before, how much debt you have on your previous cards. So, first you have to build your credit score.
Paying rent, electricity and phone bills on time will not help much to improve your credit score. But not doing so, is going to affect your credit history. So start building your credit score by applying for a secure credit card which is similar to a debit card. You get a credit card based on your own money with a deposit of $500 into your account and your limit is the same amount. You will have to keep paying monthly just like a regular credit card.
A SSN is required to buy a cell phone in the US. If you already have a phone with you, which you brought from home and are confident that it would work there too, then it is well and good. You can buy a calling plan just for yourself or a family plan for 2–3 members to share among your roommates. Make sure you won’t exceed the calling plan minutes. If you will be calling back India using your mobile, you have to be more careful. A simple mistake may lead to a huge bill. Try internet calling. It is the best and cheap option.
Applying for a health insurance is the most important step. You cannot afford individual hospital bills. Everyone in the US will have a health insurance. As a student you pay $600–1000 per semester as health insurance to the university. Health insurance premiums are cheap for students at universities. If you have an on-campus job as a TA/RA, then the university will take care of your health insurance as you are considered as a university employee.

Blog: International Student Guide to Housing and Accommodation

posted
10-Jan-18, 08:52
by saurabh
Avatar for saurabh
posted about 1 week ago
1. Deciding to pursue education in foreign university
Studying abroad has advantages like better education, more opportunities, better lifestyle and much more. But, there are the factors which you should keep in mind before deciding to go to a foreign country.
You may have to take education loan from the bank, though currently easily available from firms like Credila.com.
After completion of education do you want to return to India or work in the country you will be studying?
The cultural difference will be there; so, are you open to explore the new culture?
2. Deciding which course and university you want to choose.
If you are going for the post graduation, you will have few options depending on the major.
Factors deciding course and university:
Your liking for the course
Future scope of the course
How good it is at the university you want to choose
Rank of the university
Tuition fees of the university
You can get your profile evaluated from msinus.com, profileevaluator.com etc. to have an idea which would be the universities to target.
3. Preparing for admission Exams like GRE, TOEFL.
Now comes the preparation part. You have to give GRE for most of the universities in US, UK, Australia, with the combination of TOEFL or IELTS.
GRE tests your writing, reasoning and quantitative abilities. Whereas TOEFL and IELTS test your English.
4. Shortlisting universities and course according to your score.
Now you have received your GRE and TOEFL or IELTS scores. If you think you can do better in these exams, you can apply to give these exams again in 15–30 days.
After you decided to stick to the score, it’s the time to actually see which course- university combination would be perfect for you.
You may categorise universities in 3 groups according to your profile
Hard to get Universities
50–50 chance Universities
Definite admission Universities
You should put 3–5 universities in the above groups and apply.
Hotcourses.com, stupidsid.com are some of the websites which can help you deciding course and university.
Applying to universities: Make a perfect resume, statement of purpose and get recommendations from professors and professionals.
You can use easyedge.com, statementofpurpose.com for the resume and Statement of purpose help.
5. Accommodation Search
Have you tried searching accommodation in any other city than your town? imagine how hard it will be to find accommodation in a different country with different culture and whole new sets of rules and regulations. You may end up paying more for the similar place which is safer and nearer to university if you don’t have an expert to guide you. Amberstudent.com is the place where they can help you with step by step process of shortlisting safe and affordable area and properties, documentation, leasing etc.
6. Visa process
For most of the countries, study visa is fairly easy to get but you should be fully prepared.
Prepare your documentation well
Know your course and university well
Prepare frequently asked questions
Refer to http://www.immihelp.com/ for all your visa related queries.
What to carry while going abroad
All documents.
Cash and if possible credit card.
Some spices if you miss home cooked food :)
Lots of love from home country.
7. Settling in for first few days
First few days in the new country can set the tone for your long term stay.
Explore the nearby area
Set up a bank account
Get accustomed to culture
Make as many friends as you can
Though the whole process may sound tedious, some research and professional help may work wonders for you.
amberstudent.com

Thread: Common Mistakes most International Students Make

posted
02-Jan-18, 09:19
by saurabh
Avatar for saurabh
posted about 3 weeks ago
Here are some important things to keep in mind:
Book your Flight Tickets!
Most direct flights are heavy in the pocket and usually difficult to find. That’s one reason you need to start in advance. In case you end up booking a last minute flight be ready to pay almost double than the early birds and also prepare yourself to have a layover. A lay over flight may force you to take an obligatory transit visa and running from one terminal to the other hoisting your luggage can be quite a pain.
Secure an Accommodation!
Leasing an accommodation once you land may seem like the most convenient option but it is hardly so. Hunting for a suitable apartment may take you roughly 3–4 days and an additional 4–5 days to go through with the lease process & signing leaving you without a place to crash for a week or more.
There are chances the landlord decides to decline your application, which just increases the pressure and leaves you stressed even without your classes starting. Also be prepared to pay a hefty price for a bad apartment due to the high demand for student housing.
Not only will you book a subpar apartment in the hurry to move in but also end up paying more than the market price for a speedy progress. It is a high possibility that your housing preferences will be washed down the drain in the rush to have a permanent place to crash in.
Don’t Underestimate the Paperwork!
It starts right after you land in the foreign country. Immigration officers will ask you for your visa, proof of lease(if you’re living off campus) and you college admit letter, offer letter or I20 depending on the country that you are travelling to.
It’s rather smart to always have a copy of your important documents back at home, and one in your international accommodation. And to be on the safest side have it scanned and saved on your phone so you always have it on your person, in the case of emergencies.

Thread: Student Housing Accommodation in US UK Australia- WhatsApp groups

posted
30-Dec-17, 07:54
edited about 26 seconds later
by saurabh
Avatar for saurabh
posted about 3 weeks ago
If you are looking for student housing accommodation related queries in US UK Australia, then join these WhatsApp groups.

Following are the WhatsApp group links for student housing assistance city-wise.

1. Sheffield, UK - https://chat.whatsapp.com/23zli2P9GvDAWLphYzPjSy
2. Leicester, UK - https://chat.whatsapp.com/3nkLIrfWa6J2SK0yDtWLIW
3. Glasgow, UK - https://chat.whatsapp.com/JdP5WVEvF5cFUpKBvCAD96
4. Birmingham,UK- https://chat.whatsapp.com/CRLlXLhNHglFl0JgGCgJZ0
5. Perth, AUS- https://chat.whatsapp.com/6sk61LHWf6l7SE0IrjFwCo
6. Dallas, US- https://chat.whatsapp.com/8Jn6vfsDskeCpACiDKijQB
7. Coventry, UK- https://chat.whatsapp.com/LbGHloVnN3v2gIuROEFIls
8. Manchester, UK- https://chat.whatsapp.com/CWYW1VNwMod5CPb904ORao
9. Nottingham, UK- https://chat.whatsapp.com/DB0LglbdE1n0MUVK8lvSMj
10. Leeds, UK- https://chat.whatsapp.com/9rGXjYD7a92A0rw06TXdST
11. Arlington, US- https://chat.whatsapp.com/D1Q9bGYaIJHJqfnNa4SCV8
12. Brisbane, AUS- https://chat.whatsapp.com/KsUSHqBog1EDQfPXn9T02u
13. Sydney, AUS- https://chat.whatsapp.com/Ai2NGG9I1Z7CQ4qhCKRjcd
14. Melbourne, AUS- https://chat.whatsapp.com/8tpxdcLU4tVGWd0n60XvUV
15. Chicago, US- https://chat.whatsapp.com/C6qYt58yFfGEkBBmRsyiyp
16. Boston, US- https://chat.whatsapp.com/498WjbHxpOM1xpY6Nov6iQ
17. Austin, US- https://chat.whatsapp.com/7E4Zt9wGN5oIBNwoXjFOTO
18. Houston, US- https://chat.whatsapp.com/9AaHu8zHXcdIRJgNKeCN6c
19. London, UK- https://chat.whatsapp.com/8bbMjOby3Bs3h6vszISq0d
20. Liverpool, UK- https://chat.whatsapp.com/KZ9GKCs4b5iDMybDGR5S7x

Thread: Step by step guide for taking education abroad

posted
19-Dec-17, 09:09
by saurabh
edited about 1 hour later
Avatar for saurabh
posted about 1 month ago
1. Deciding to pursue education in foreign university
Studying abroad has advantages like better education, more opportunities, better lifestyle and much more. But, there are the factors which you should keep in mind before deciding to go to a foreign country.

You may have to take education loan from the bank, though currently easily available from firms like Credila.com.
After completion of education do you want to return to India or work in the country you will be studying?
The cultural difference will be there; so, are you open to explore the new culture?
2. Deciding which course and university you want to choose.
If you are going for the post graduation, you will have few options depending on the major.

Factors deciding course and university:

Your liking for the course
Future scope of the course
How good it is at the university you want to choose
Rank of the university
Tuition fees of the university
You can get your profile evaluated from msinus.com, profileevaluator.cometc. to have an idea which would be the universities to target.

3. Preparing for admission Exams like GRE, TOEFL.
Now comes the preparation part. You have to give GRE for most of the universities in US, UK, Australia, with the combination of TOEFL or IELTS.
GRE tests your writing, reasoning and quantitative abilities. Whereas TOEFL and IELTS test your English.

4. Shortlisting universities and course according to your score.
Now you have received your GRE and TOEFL or IELTS scores. If you think you can do better in these exams, you can apply to give these exams again in 15–30 days.

After you decided to stick to the score, it’s the time to actually see which course- university combination would be perfect for you.
You may categorise universities in 3 groups according to your profile

Hard to get Universities
50–50 chance Universities
Definite admission Universities
You should put 3–5 universities in the above groups and apply.
Hotcourses.com, stupidsid.com are some of the websites which can help you deciding course and university.

Applying to universities: Make a perfect resume, statement of purpose and get recommendations from professors and professionals.


5. Accommodation Search
Have you tried searching accommodation in any other city than your town? imagine how hard it will be to find accommodation in a different country with different culture and whole new sets of rules and regulations. You may end up paying more for the similar place which is safer and nearer to university if you don’t have an expert to guide you.

6. Visa process

Prepare your documentation well
Know your course and university well
Lots of love from home country.

Thread: Postgrad Forum Hall of Fame

posted
14-Dec-17, 10:08
by saurabh
Avatar for saurabh
posted about 1 month ago
Quote From saurabh:
Quote From Zutterfly:
Waited a while to do this, but passed my viva in June 2017 with minor corrections, and was awarded my PhD in July 2017 :)

Congratulations

congratulations

Thread: Postgrad Forum Hall of Fame

posted
13-Dec-17, 12:20
edited about 13 seconds later
by saurabh
Avatar for saurabh
posted about 1 month ago
Quote From Zutterfly:
Waited a while to do this, but passed my viva in June 2017 with minor corrections, and was awarded my PhD in July 2017 :)

Congratulations
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