New Comer > What to Bring?

You should try to bring everything you are going to wear for the first year. Casual clothes are not necessarily expensive in the US. However, it may not be easy for you to go shopping before you have a car. Check out the weather condition in the area and decide how much winter clothes you need. Please note that in the US it is usually very warm inside during the winter. You need to have something to keep you warm outdoors, but easy to take off when you are inside a building. So you probably don't want to wear anything too warm for your lower body. Shirts (and skirts for girls) should not be too thin (it's not popular hear to wear something that is almost transparent). People usually dress casually, but change clothes every weekday that they show up at school or at work. So you need to have enough casual clothes. Formal suits (西服)are seldom needed. One set (made of good material) might be enough. Before I graduated, the only occasions I had worn a suit were: attending weddings, giving presentations at conferences, and going to job interviews. Things that you wear regularly should be machine washable (and preferably wrinkle-free)(可用洗衣机洗,烘. 洗后不缩水. 最好免熨烫).

You should bring your quilt (薄棉被)(one that you would use when it's 20-25 Celsius degrees in the room), a pillow(枕头), bed sheet(s)(床单), towels(浴巾,毛巾), and possibly a blanket(毛毯或毛巾被). Pajamas(睡衣) are recommended.

You need to bring a comb and a toothbrush. One toothpaste and one shampoo (plus conditioner)(洗发液, 护发液) are enough. You need at most one roll of bathroom tissue(卫生纸). Definitely bring some regular soaps(肥皂) (not fragrant soaps香皂), which are never seen in American stores. Bring a shoe brush(鞋刷). It's hard to find here. Three other useful things: a nail-clipper(剪指甲刀), a pocket-size foldable knife(可折叠水果刀), and a pair of pocket-size foldable scissors(可折叠小剪刀).

Bring as much cooking (and dining) utensils(炊具和餐具) as you can: a pot for rice cooking (high-pressure pot or electric rice cooker is preferred), a wok(炒锅), cutter (knife) and cutting board(案板). The wok is not available in American stores. Electric rice cooker can be bought in American stores for about $30-80 (in Asian stores these things tend to be more expensive, but more like what you use in China). Bring plate(s) and bowl(s) that can be used in a microwave oven(微波炉). The cutter (and the foldable knife mentioned above) should not be placed in the bags that you carry with you on the airplane, but rather in one of the large cases that you check in with the airline.

Bring an umbrella and an alarm clock. Bring a leather purse that can hold a picture ID and several bank/credit cards. One pen is good enough. Don't need to bring any notebooks or other paper products. Bring an English-Chinese dictionary and a Chinese-English dictionary (you can bring portable ones to save some space). Other books are usually not necessary, unless it's a Chinese book that you will constantly use. Libraries here are very good. It's expensive to buy books. But most textbooks are unpredictable (different professors often choose different materials and may add new stuff) and what you can get in China is probably going to be useless once you get here.

Bring a razor (刮胡刀), if you are a guy. For all electronics, be aware that it's 110v in US. You should not bring any food (except maybe several instant noodles方便面). Food is always a target at US custom(海关), especially for people from China. You can bring some medicine for minor things: headache, cold, a cut in the hand, etc. But don't bring too much unless it's something you are using regularly.

And now the most important thing: have the contact information (name and phone number) of the people who are supposed to help you settle down once you arrive in US. If you know where you are going, get the exact street address. If you still don't know where you are going once you get off the airplane, check out the Airport Pickup page to see if the Chinese student organization is listed there so that you can contact them. Otherwise, contact the secretary at your department or the international student office of your university to get help. Make sure you have all the contact information with you once you arrived at your destination airport.

ChineseInUS Homepage
Related Information
What should you do if you have some spare time?
  Have a haircut.
  Check to see if anything needs to be done with your teeth.
  Learn how to cook for yourself.
  Enjoy real Chinese food.
  Spend time with your family and friends.

What kinds of notarization (公证) are actually useful?

  Marriage. Definitely, if you are married.
  Birth. Useful when applying for green card.
  Work experience. May be useful if you look for a job without a US degree, or apply for a green card of Canada.
  No criminal record. Needed for immigration before. Not needed now.
  Relatives. Your parents' names are in your birth notarization.
  Single status. Useful when you want to get married.
If it's not too expensive, you should get all the above.

Contact Us

Copyright © 2000-2011 by All Rights Reserved. Contact Us.