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USEFI Pre-Departure Seminar


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This was one of the most useful seminars at USEFI. A definite must-attend. Each student received an information docket containing lots of handouts like:

Pre-departure orientation booklet

This booklet, prepared by the US Information Agency's (USIA) Office of Academic Programs, covers info on pre-departure preparation, passport and visa information, travelling to the US, beginning your US education, finding housing, practical information on everyday living and adjusting to a new environment.


Pre-departure essays

Non verbal behaviors of Americans, checklist of things to do before leaving, cooking etc.


A Personal Guide to America

Essays on shopping, Indian vegetarian cooking, restaurants, safety etc. Even topics like bathrooms, dating and pronunciations of Indian name are covered.


Random Handouts

These are handouts taken from the international student orientation programs of various US universities, covering topics like Immigration matters, Tax Planning, Plagiarism, Popular idioms/slang etc.


Thomas Cook Student Services Brochures

AT&T $10 prepaid calling card

A Huge Map of USA


The day long seminar had the following presentations:

Foreign Exchange Issues & Travel Arrangements (by Thomas Cook)

Video Show "Going to US" ?

This is a video shoot of students already in the US giving tips to Indians about to come there. Pretty useful stuff. They also showed what a typical student house looks like, incl. the bedroom, kitchen, living room etc.


Getting Ready for Take Off

This is a panel discussion with ex-students from the US, exchange students from US to India (and possibly educational advisors, if you're lucky) answering any questions that the students present might have.


Telephone Services in the US (by AT&T)

General info on the phone system in the US, as well as special rates that AT&T offers Indian students. For us, they were giving $ 0.80 per minute, if we signed up for their "Asian Value Scheme". This works out to Rs. 34 per minute, as compared to around Rs 60 if we call from here, using VSNL.


USEFI also gives a booklet called "Living in the USA: A handbook for Indian Students" if you give them a photocopy of your visa and fill up a feedback form. This is by far the best and most useful book I have read on the subject. The highlight of the book is the cooking section, where they have shown photographs of various food items alongwith their names, recipes of popular Indian food: even microwave recipes are included.

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Last Updated July 1, 1999