What You Need to Think About Before Departing to the US To Study an MBA

What You Need to Think About Before Departing to the US To Study an MBA

Chances are high that you are on the right track if you are considering attending an MBA school in the US. There are many universities around the country that offer this degree, and it is a useful one if you wish to secure a high-paying career in well-established companies all over the world. If you are going to the US for an MBA, you probably already have your undergraduate degree and experience living on your own. This is important because, although you will have many helpful resources at your disposal at a university in the US, you will mostly be taking care of yourself. However, if you have done very little travel outside of your home country, there are certain things you absolutely must think about and do before you purchase your flight ticket to the US.

  • Passport

    First and foremost, you are going to need a passport if you are traveling to another country. It can take months to receive your passport after you submit an application, so it is important to take care of this right away, maybe even before you apply for your MBA program. Sometimes, you can pay an extra fee to get your passport faster, but this can be both expensive and stressful. Save yourself some time and worry by making your passport the first thing you check off of your to-do list.

  • Visa

    A passport is not the only thing you need when you are going to a foreign country for an extended period of time. If you will be staying in the US for longer than 90 days, you are required by law to get a visa. Because you will be studying for your MBA, the good news is that it should be a relatively simple process to get a student visa. You need to start your application before you leave for the US. Once you are able to attend a Student and Exchange Visitor Program-approved institution, you can submit a US student visa application. The application also includes a fee and requires recent photos of you. You will also need to complete an interview before your visa is granted.

  • Insurance

    There is a lot that can happen when you study in any country for an extended period of time. You could suffer an injury or fall ill. Many universities offer student health plans to help offset the costs of doctor visits and treatment. You may also wish to research and purchase student or travel insurance. This can also help with unexpected expenses, including lost possessions and healthcare needs. Once you have been accepted to a school, you can look into their student health plan options. You can also contact the international student office of the university or college to find out what other insurance options are available for you.

  • Flight Tickets

    The US is a large country, and you will more than likely need to fly to your destination. You will want to select a flight that will get you to the university early enough for you to get settled in, purchase your textbooks and take care of any other last-minute needs before your classes begin. You may wish to research the best times to purchase your ticket. For example, flights on weekends tend to be more expensive than those on the weekdays.

  • Packing

    You will want to start packing your things early, but not so early that you pack away items you need to use before you actually leave. You may not be able to take a lot of possessions with you, but if there are many items that you need, you can ship them. Keep in mind that international shipping can be quite expensive – you will want to take only things you absolutely need. It might surprise you what you can do without. You should be able to purchase everything you will need after you come to the US. You can save yourself some money by taking only clothing and basic necessities until you get settled into your housing. Once you have a place to stay and your list of materials for school, you can start shopping.

  • Banking

    If you have not done much banking before now, you will want to start learning about it right away. You will likely need a bank account to safely store your money and easily access it while you study abroad. If you are able to work while you are studying in the US, you might also need a bank account for direct deposit paychecks, where your employer transfers your paycheck directly to your account. Most importantly, opening a bank account may motivate you to start saving money. It can be expensive to study abroad. You need to take into account tuition, textbooks, rent, food, and any incidental costs – such as clothing, souvenirs, and fun outings. It is a good idea to come up with a savings plan and to start putting away money the moment you decide to go to the US for your MBA.

  • Transportation

    One thing you might not think about until you step off the plane onto US soil is transportation. First of all, how will you get from the airport to your university? How will you get from your apartment, house or dorm room to your classes? You need to start researching transportation around your school as soon as you know you are accepted as a student. The good news is that most US universities have rather extensive transportation systems. You can usually find a bus or shuttle that will take you wherever you need to go, even to grocery stores in town. The bad news is that transportation is definitely going to cost money. If you decide to use public transportation, such as the bus, you might consider purchasing a bus pass. This will save you money over paying the full fee every day. If your university has a train system, you may also be able to purchase a train or rail pass. Some passes cover all public transportation as long as it’s with the same transportation company. Using school or public transportation is a popular option among international students. Check with your school to see if there is a student discount on passes for public transportation. It is also increasingly popular in the US to use rideshare applications. This is where you download an app onto your smartphone and can call a ride from a private driver. This still costs money, however, and may be more expensive than using public transportation, so use with caution. Another option is to save enough money to purchase your own vehicle. For this, you may need to also have a valid driver’s license. Talk to the international student office to find out if you can legally drive in the US with your home country’s driver’s license. You may need to pass the US test before you can drive your own car on the streets. While you can find some used cars for rather low prices, you will need to purchase gas regularly.

  • Housing

    Another thing you need to start looking into early is your housing options. You need a place to sleep while you are studying in the US There are many different options available: On campus: Many schools have dormitories, which are buildings with many rooms that share a common room. Dorms usually do not have large kitchens, and students who stay there often purchase meal plans for eating at restaurants and dining halls around campus. You may also be able to find student apartments on campus, which are more likely to have full kitchens and allow you to prepare your own meals.Off campus: You may be able to share a house with other students or find an apartment off campus. The downside to living off campus is that you will likely have to travel farther to get to your classes. You will also need to account for utilities in addition to rent (something that many on-campus accommodations include with the rent). However, you may be able to save some money by living off campus. It can take some time to find the right accommodations, so it is important to look for options as early as possible. You should be able to call your university’s student housing department or international student office to get some guidance on where to find appropriate housing. You will also want to keep in mind that some schools require students to live in housing that meets certain regulations – so be sure to choose an option that falls in line with those requirements. It is no small thing to pursue a higher education in another country. Before you submit your application, however, you should understand that there are many steps to preparing to get your MBA in the US. The better prepared you are, the fewer problems you are likely to have as you start your academic journey. While the preparations can seem daunting, your study abroad experience will probably stay with you for the rest of your life and shape the person you are in the future. Remember to make each of these preparations as early as possible. You can start your search for reputable MBA programs throughout the US by using the extensive database available through SchoolApply.

Levels Explained

  • Bachelor's

    A bachelor's degree (also called a first degree or undergraduate degree) is attained after receiving a post-secondary (high school) education and generally spans four years. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as bachelor or undergraduate students. A bachelor's degree is usually offered at an institution of higher education, such as a university.

  • Master's

    A master’s degree (or postgraduate or graduate education) involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees. This degree is preceded by a bachelor’s degree and generally takes two years to complete. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as master's, or grad students.

  • Pathway

    Bachelor’s and master’s pathway programs are designed for international students who need additional English language and academic preparation before continuing to a degree program at a university. The purpose of these programs are to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in college.