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Upon Arrival

General Aspects

Arrival to US is virtually the beginning of a new life for you. There are so many new things for you to learn. These include such everyday activities as shopping, opening bank account, etc as well as more difficult and requiring time to adjust aspects as making friends with Americans, understanding different types of relationships in America, sexual harassment and other unusual things which are attributed to cultural differences.

Some interesting aspects are discussed here

Here are the links to some interesting and informative handbooks for international students prepared by American universities (check your university International Students Center web-site for similar guides):

Standard American Diet (SAD)

Please Do Not skip this section. You are now probably thinking that you have never cared about your diet and why should you now. The point is if you are moving to US from European or Eastern countries and have never cared about your diet you are very likely to gain weight. Remember, even though American food might often look and taste like food in your native countries - it's often not the same, it often has a lot of unnecessary preservatives, sugars, and taste enhancing agents. Have you ever seen butter, sour cream or yogurt having 15 ingredients in your native country? Well, you will in US. All of you are smart people so please also be smart in the aspect of food choices do not go for the cheapest food, read labels, don't turn your diet into SAD (Standard American Diet, an article about SAD).

List of common "bad ingredients" to be beware of
My favorite food stores
Organic vs. conventional food
Food labeling

Shopping, Internet Deals

All the information about local shopping you are going to find out from you new university friends.
Here I would like share my experience of internet shopping and good deals you can find.

First of all - books. Unless you really need the book right now do not buy it at the university bookstore, their prices are very high. Go to and choose the best deal (this site compares prices at many different sites which sell books). The best book reviews you will find at
Also when you won't need your books any longer you can easily sell them at or

For good deals on computers and other electronics check

My favorite website for finding different internet coupons is

Community Events, Libraries, etc.

I would like to draw your attention to public libraries. If you are coming with a spouse who won't have excess to your university library they are sure to like local public libraries. This libraries are absolutely free, you need just a proof of your address to register (at least where I live) and they have so many good things: magazines, video tapes, music, preparation guides for TOEFL and GRE, different study aids for learning English, free internet and much more.

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