International Education Program > International Student Program
MAKE sure your passport is current and will not expire anytime soon. If your passport is going to expire soon after you arrive in the United States, the consulate may not give you a visa.
Itís a good idea to make photocopies of your passport and keep them separate from the passport in case it is lost or stolen. Leave one set of copies in a safe place at your home, and carry another set of copies with you when you travel.
YOU are going to apply for an F-1 Student Visa from the United States consulate in your home country. When you get the visa, make a photocopy of it and keep the copy in a safe place.
The visa will allow you to enter in the United States. The visa does NOT control or limit your stay in the United States. If you are flying into the United States from a foreign country, you will receive another document on the airplane before landing. This is the I-94 Admission Card. You should fill out the card and present it with your passport and your I-20. The official will stamp these three (3) documents and return them to you. Be sure to keep them in a safe place and bring then to the International Students Center at GCC as soon as possible.
THE best idea is to carry a combination of cash, travelerís checks, and bank drafts. It is difficult to exchange currency in the United States, so do not bring a lot of money in foreign currencies with you. Bring U.S. dollars. Try to get some $20 bills. Large bills, such as $100, are not always accepted at stores here. Also bring lots of $1 bills. These are handy to use as tips in taxis, hotels and restaurants, etc. Donít bring a lot of cash, however, for safety reasons. Bring some of your money in the form of travelerís checks. You should get some large denominations, such as $100, some $50, and some $20.
You will have to pay tuition and fees when you register for your classes. You should bring a bank check for $5000 for your first semester to pay tuition, fees, and insurance. You should plan to open a bank account with the check and then you will be able to get a bank card to use for your college payments.
AS soon as possible after your arrival you will want to open a bank account in Glendale. The international Students Program staff can help you find a bank. A checking account is the type of bank account most students have. It will allow you to deposit your money and then write checks against the balance. You can also use an ATM (automated teller machine) card to access funds in your checking account. To open a bank checking account you will need your passport, another form of identification, an address, and some money. If you bring cashierís check or a bank draft to use to open an account here, remember that it might take a week or more for your check to "clear". That means that you will not be able to use that money for a week. It is better to use travelerís checks or cash to open a bank account so that you can have access to your money immediately.
YOU can pay for your tuition and fees at Glendale Community College with a major credit card such as VISA, MASTERCARD, or DISCOVER. You can also use these cards in the bookstore and for many other purchases in the U.S. It is very difficult for foreign citizens to open these credit card accounts in the United States. If you want to use a credit card, bring one with you from your home country. Youíll probably have to make arrangements with your family to pay bills for you.
THIS is an estimate of the cost of one academic year:
EVERYBODY has personal preferences when it comes to fashion and clothing, so perhaps itís best not to try to tell you what clothes to pack in your suitcase. You might like to know, however, that because of the warm, sunny climate here (see "Weather" below) people in the Phoenix area dress very casual.
This means that we donít "dress up" as much as folks do in other parts of the world or even the United States. Shorts and T-Shirts are normal dress for many occasions. Most students at Glendale Community College wear casual clothes to class every day. Denim jeans, shorts, plain cotton shirts, pants, dresses and skirts are fine for women. Men wear jeans or shorts with a T-shirt or short sleeve shirt everywhere. Training shoes (athletic shoes) are normal footwear for almost any occasion . Men should have at least one suit and tie and women should have one or two nice dresses in case they are invited to a party or a special event.
YOU should not bring a lot of clothes with you from your home country because you can buy things very cheaply here. Since you will have to do your own laundry here, it is best to have clothes that donít need a lot of special washing or ironing. "Wash and wear" clothes are just fine. Cotton or cotton blend clothes are very practical because of the warm weather and the easy care instructions. However, a traditional national costume or dress from your home country could come in handy for festivals or special occasions when you are invited to speak about your culture.
Items you might want to bring with you includes:
Items you can purchase here after arrival
A Reminder on Electronics ...
ELECTRIC appliances and electronic equipments from other countries may not operate in the USA because the voltage is 110V.
SOUTHERN Arizona is in the Sonoran desert, which spans the border between the United States and Mexico. This is a unique environment unlike any other place in the country. Phoenix and Glendale are in a valley, surrounded by mountains on all sides. To the west lie California and the Pacific Ocean. To the north and east are the Rocky Mountains. All these factors affect the weather in our area.
The summer months of June, July, and August are very hot—the hottest metropolitan area in the USA. Daytime temperatures range from 40į – 50įC. Nights are a bit cooler. Almost every house, apartment, store, school, and public building has air conditioning.
In fact, indoor temperatures can often be uncomfortably cold because people here like to feel cool as soon as they enter a building. The only real relief from the intense heat is by staying indoors out of the sun or by enjoying hot weather recreation such as swimming or boating. Please remember that Americans use the Fahrenheit temperature scale. If you are not familiar with this scale, itís helpful to memorize a few simple equivalences.
In late August and September, Arizona experiences what is called the "monsoon" season. This is due to seasonal air currents that bring moisture and rain from the Pacific Ocean. Monsoon weather is characterized by higher humidity, thunderstorms, dust storms, wind and rain. It brings much needed water to this dry state, but can often be violent. Tornadoes are rare in Arizona, but sometimes the windstorms that come during monsoon season damage buildings and knock down trees and power lines. Once the monsoon season is over in late September, the best weather begins. The eight months from October to May bring nice, sunny weather to Phoenix. Many people visit the Phoenix valley during these months when much of the rest of the United States and Canada are under snow and ice. In June, the hot summer starts again and itís our turn to stay indoors.
Your Health before Arriving
BEFORE you leave your home country you should have a complete physical and dental examination. You should tell your doctor that you are going to study in the United States, possibly for several years. Ask your doctor what medical care or monitoring you might need while you are away from home for that long. Find out how you can get necessary or prescribed medications. Your home doctor or clinic might be able to help by referring you to a source for prescription drugs in the USA. Get copies of your medical records translated into English if your doctor recommends it.
Have your teeth checked thoroughly by your family dentist. Get all of your dental work completed before you come to Arizona. There are excellent dental care facilities in Arizona, but dental work can be very expensive and it is not covered by most health plans. If you need dental care or orthodontist care while you are in Arizona, talk to the International Students Center staff to help you locate a suitable facility.
Your Health after Arriving
THE desert climate of Phoenix makes it a healthy place to live, but it is wise to remember a few important things. Because the air here is very dry, newcomers donít realize that they are losing water from their bodies. You wonít sweat as much here, even though itís hot, because the sweat evaporates directly from your skin. Therefore, it is very important to drink plenty of water every day to replace the water you are losing. You may also find it necessary to use a moisturizing cream on your face and hands if they get too dried out. To guard against sunburn or skin problems, try to stay out of the sun. If you are going to be in the sun participating in outdoor activities, use a sunscreen product on your face, arms, legs, etc. Donít stay out in the sun for too long if you can avoid it.
GLENDALE Community College has a mandatory health insurance policy for international students. This means that you are required to have health insurance coverage while you are enrolled here as a student. The college has an insurance policy which all international students must purchase. You will learn more about this insurance plan when you attend orientation.
Arriving at the Airport
SKY Harbor International Airport in Phoenix is the closest airport to Glendale Community College. On arrival, collect your baggage, then proceed to a SuperShuttle pick-up point (usually outside by ďVan ServiceĒ sign). SuperShuttle will take you directly to your hotel or Glendale Community College. Prices usually range from $14.00 to $20.00.
You can also drive to Phoenix. Major highways connect the city to all parts of United States.
THE following hotels are recommended. Itís a good idea to call the hotel before your arrival to make a room reservation. They will probably ask you for a credit card number in order to hold your reservation. The hotels are located near some shopping malls, about five miles (eight kilometers) from Glendale Community College. When you call the hotel, ask them if they give a discount to Glendale Community College students.
OvECS Ltd. (Overseas Educational Consulting & Services) can assist you in finding an English speaking family to live with while you are attending Glendale Community College. The host family is located near the college and would like to share their American culture with you and learn more about your culture. This gives you an opportunity to improve your English with one Ėon-one interaction and feel safe in a family environment. Even if you plan to move to an apartment, living with a host family your first three months gives you time to get familiar with your surroundings and look for the apartment that is right for you. You are required to stay with your host family for at least 4 weeks and then you may continue to stay as long as you like. For more information on the Homestay Program, please contact OvECS:Phone: +1-480-633-8191
IN addition, a student housing board is available in the Student Union for posting rooms to rent and/or roommate ads. A listing of local apartments may be downloaded.
Please note that screening is not provided and it is advisable that students personally inspect any accommodations or request references before entering into housing arrangements.
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