Student Cover’s guide to studying in the US: Part 5 – Preparing for Departure

In part 5 of 5 part Student Cover’s guide to studying in the US, we focus on the things that a student must do after getting admission in the College or University in the US. These include getting education loan to finance the program, arranging relevant documents to travel to the US, getting oneself insured etc.

Arranging Education Loan

Education in US is very costly as the cost of UG or Grad. level degree course could be between  Rs. 25 Lakhs to Rs. 50 Lakhs depending on the discipline and the University. Not everybody can manage such a huge amount through one’s savings or other sources of income. Therefore, most students take loan from banks, NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies) or other financial institutions to finance their children’s higher education as well as living expenses during their stay in the US.

Such borrowings (Loans) can be of two types:

SECURED LOANS – Secured loans are those loans which are given by banks against collateral such as land, house, property etc. Student Cover provides such loans to students who want to pursue higher education in the US. A person can get secured loan of upto Rs. 1.5 crores according to the property value, to pursue any degree or diploma in the US, through Student Cover.

UNSECURED LOANS – These are loans given mostly by NBFCs without any collateral. They are usually given to meritorious students who want to pursue a degree/diploma course in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) or their related disciplines. Student Cover provides unsecured loans of upto Rs. 40 lakhs for US Colleges and Universities in STEM programs.

Click Here to know more about Student Cover’s Student Loan products for education in the US.

Booking flight tickets

In the last few decades, the number of people traveling by air has increased manifold. As a result, airlines use dynamic pricing technique wherein the price of airline ticket increases progressively as more and more tickets for a particular flight get sold. So hypothetically, if the cost of travel ticket from New Delhi to New York was Rs. 25,000, it would be Rs. 35,000 now and may reach even Rs. 40,000 on the day of travel. Therefore, it is wiser to purchase the tickets as early as possible in order to avoid high cost or any sold-out situation.

Getting Passport and Visa ready on time

Considering that it usually takes a lot of time to get a passport in India, one is advised to get a passport in advance (i.e. before applying for a course in US college or University). However, the introduction of Tatkal (immediate) Passport scheme, especially for students going abroad for higher studies, has considerably reduced the time it takes to get a passport.

With regard to Visa, international students going to the US for degree courses are issued F-1 Visa by their nearest US Embassy or Consulate. You can get detailed information on obtaining visa by visiting our blog titled ‘Everything you need to know about F-1 Visa.’

Get Student Health Insurance

Like education, cost of healthcare is also very high in the US. A visit to the doctor for even a minor ailment could cost hundreds of dollars and a surgery can easily cost thousands of dollars. Therefore, it is not just essential but mandatory for all International students to be covered by a good student health insurance plan.

With regard to health insurance, international students have two options. They can either enroll into a Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) provided by their respective university, or purchase a private plan through Student Cover.

  1. University Sponsored Health Insurance Plan – Most universities in US, in association with a private insurance provider, offer student health insurance plans to their students. These are student specific plans premium for which is charged from the student at the time of semester fees.Most universities allow students to purchase private health insurance if those plans meet the university’s insurance requirement. The money charged from such students are then refunded back to students or get adjusted in next semester’s course fee.
  2. Private External Health Insurance – Student Cover offers customized health insurance plans to students as per their need. Those plans are SC Essential, SC Basic, SC Plus and SC Elite. Students who purchase student cover plans can apply for waiver from university sponsored plans of their respective universities and colleges.
  3. Dual Insurance Plans – For Indian students, Student Cover also offers an option of dual insurance, where a student can purchase a low-cost plan from an Indian health insurance company operating in the US. These plans provide health coverage at a low cost and are accepted in hospitals all over US. The advantage of these Indian company plans is that unlike US company plans, they do not have Co-Pay and Co-Insurance costs.

Other Requirements

  1. Get International Calling Card – In order to stay connected in the US till one purchases a local number, one can purchase international calling card from Student Cover. Students can use this card to call back home or get in touch with their contacts in the US. These 4G Sims have a validity of 30 days and provide 4 GB data at 4G speeds. They can be renewed online in the US.
  2. Buy US Dollars – A student can either purchase Dollars from Banks in India or can get the rupee converted to dollar at the airport itself. However, one should know that a person is allowed to take only Rs. 25,000 in Indian currency. Therefore, it is advised to get the money converted to Dollar in India itself.

Let’s Wrap Up!

After getting admission in US College or University, a student can formally apply for education loan, either secured or unsecured to finance his or her education. Students must book tickets early and ensure that they have their passport and visa ready in time. It is also essential for students to get travel and health insurance done before leaving for the US.

Disclaimer: The content of the following article is based on the personal research of the writer. Readers are advised to exercise discretion. Student Cover will not be liable for any wrongful interpretation of the content of this article.

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