Welcome

Information for Prospective Students

Hello

Congratulations on your admission to UD! We welcome you to the Indian community at the University of Delaware. Please follow the tabs on the top of this page to guide you through some of the basic things we thought would help you plan your travel to USA and get adjusted to the new lifestyle. We recommend you to spend some time and go through the information assembled in these tabs. We also suggest every new student to visit the website of University of Delaware Office of Foreign Students and Scholars for further information. If you still have any unanswered questions, please feel free to send an email to IGSA Admin.

A comprehensive document on housing options along with department representative’s name and life at UD can be found at this link.

Pre Arrival Information

 Our Office of International Students and Scholars has a very detailed pre-arrival information. Please visit this link for more information.

More information will be updated soon.

Travel

Booking Tickets

Once you have decided to come to UD, your first task should be buying tickets. Shop around for the best price you can get for tickets. A good thing to do is to ‘block’ the ticket if you think you are getting a good deal. All it means is that you can reserve a seat for a certain number of days before you actually go ahead and buy the ticket. Shop around some more, block tickets with two or three travel agents and then finally decide which travel agent you want to buy the ticket from. This does not mean that you should block a ticket with every travel agent you meet! Do not wait for the last minute to buy tickets. If possible, book them as soon as you decide to come here. This will leave you with ample time to plan other things.

University of Delaware is located in Newark, Delaware. Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) ,  is the closest port of entry for you. It is about an hour drive from the university. Please avoid booking tickets to Newark Liberty International airport (EWR) or New York JFK airports as they are a little farther away from the university (unless you can arrange your own transportation). Please Note : Newark, DE does not have an airport.

 

Temporary Accomodation

IGSA is willing to find temporary accommodation for you upon arrival, if requested. Based on availability, IGSA arranges for volunteers to host you for a maximum of two weeks. You will be notified of the host’s address and phone number, which you must carry with you and inform the person picking you up from the airport about. Should you be able to find a different arrangement for yourself, kindly let IGSA know so as to not cause any inconvenience.

Money

For details about typical monthly expenditure, please visit ‘Finances’ tab on this page.

The safest way to carry money is in the form of debit or credit card. You can also opt for an international debit card issued by a reliable travel service (eg. Thomas Cook). MASTER and VISA debit cards work in ATMs and most shops, though there are certain charges associated with each transaction so please check with your credit/debit card provider about additional charges that you may incur upon usage.

You should also carry some cash for use during your journey and during the initial few days of your stay here. $100 should be a good starting point (carry the money in small denominations).

 Before You Leave

Call your airline and confirm your tickets before your travels. Make sure you keep ALL documents in hard copy format. Also, it suggested that you scan and keep a copy of the documents on your email.

Send an email to the person who is providing you temporary accommodation as a reminder so that someone is present in the house when you arrive. Carry a small pocket book with all important phone numbers; Just in case. .

As you may already know, it is going to be a long flight to your destination. Wear comfortable clothes. And carry a light sweater with you, in case you feel cold in your flight cabin. Please check the weather forecast for the next few days before you arrive in Newark, DE at this website.  

If you are arriving in the fall, the weather should be fairly pleasant, but the IGSA makes no promises.

 Arrival

After you are finished with the Immigration process, you should walk to the baggage claim area to pick up your check-in luggage. At the baggage claim, you will have to pay money to use a cart ($5 in dollar bills; so carry at least five  $1 bills!). If an airport staff helps you with the luggage, you should tip them. So, carry some cash ( reference the money section). You will go through a Customs check on your way out of the airport. Again, just as a friendly reminder, please make sure you do not carry anything that is express forbidden by the US Customs and Border Protection.

To get to Newark from the Philadelphia International Airport, the best and feasible option is Delaware Express.

Shopping

Below is a short list of things that you may want to carry with you to Newark. This list is compiled based on suggestions from previous students. It is by no means a complete and comprehensive list. Use your own discretion and add/delete stuff as you feel necessary.

Clothes

Typically graduate students machine-wash their clothes every two weeks hence two weeks supply of clothes is a good estimate. Clothes, especially cotton, can shrink significantly upon machine wash. So, make sure you bring a little loose clothes (and there is always a chance you may gain a few pounds.

Please do not bring heavy winter clothing from India, as it prove to be inadequate. You can find heavy winter clothing cheaper in the United States. The following is a list of recommended clothing for you to bring.

  • Shirts and/or T-shirts: 10 – 15
  • Jeans/trousers: 5 – 7
  • Light Jacket (if you are coming during Fall)
  • Heavy Jacket (if you are coming during Winter)
  • A few sweaters/pullovers/cardigans
  • A few pairs of formal clothing
  • A couple of pairs of ethnic clothing to wear during festivals/functions/etc.
  • A suit (for job interviews and functions)
  • Undergarments enough for 2-3 weeks
  • Sneakers/casual footwear 2-3 pairs (get extra shoelaces)
  • Pair of formal footwear
  • Slippers
  • Bed related clothing

Don’t worry too much if you are not able to bring any of the items listed above. Most of them are available for an affordable price here. You will need a heavy winter jacket and snowboots. Students coming during Fall semester need not worry about carrying these with them. You can always buy them here once the weather starts getting a little chilly. For students coming during winter, you should carry with you at least one heavy jacket and a pair of boots. Check weather forecast before you leave and dress up accordingly.

Books

 Books are expensive here. A general text book can cost anywhere between $60 and $150. If you can, buy all necessary textbooks in India only. You may want to contact current students in your department to advise you which textbooks to buy. You can also check out the websites of courses you plan to take for details about textbooks they are currently using.

Do not buy too many books either. Remember, there is a limit on how much stuff you can carry! And considering that books are quite heavy, you may want to bring only those books that you feel are necessary.

Cookware

Most cookware can be purchased at an affordable price here. You only need a few utensils (pans, plates, glasses and spoons) to get you started. Apartments come equipped with a refrigerator and cooking range. If you think you need a pressure cooker, you should get one from home. If you have a choice between cookware and books, we suggest you choose books.

Luggage

Don’t just over pack and realize at the airport that you have too much luggage. Check with your airlines how much luggage is allowed and pack your stuff accordingly. A shopping list is compiled based on suggestions from previous students. It should guide you through your shopping.

Typically, you are allowed to check-in two luggages and carry a small suitcase with you (refer to your airline’s website for more information about the sizes and weights of the bags). Make sure you carry all important documents in your hand luggage. There is always an occasional chance of your luggage getting misplaced during transit. If you keep your money and important documents in the check-in luggage, you may not get them in time. Or worse, you may even loose them! A short list of things you should be carrying in your hand luggage is given below:

  • Passport and tickets
  • I-20 (keep at lest two photocopies)
  • Degree and other certificates
  • All university related correspondence
  • A couple of pairs of clothes (in case your luggage arrives late)
  • Reading material (optional)
  • Any prescription medicines you need
  • General medicines for headache, etc. (optional)
  • Address book with names/phone numbers/addresses
  • Travellers Checks, Credit/Debit cards, Money

Your travel documents (Tickets, Passport, I-20, etc.,) must be carried with you at all times.

Finances

 Typical Monthly Expenditure

Typical expenditure is shown below. Depending on your lifestyle, these numbers may vary significantly. For information about tuition fees, books and medical insurance expenditure, please visit Office of Foreign Students and Scholars.

All expenses in this table are per person, per month when shared with another student.

Expenditure Amount (in USD)
Apartment Rent per room 550 – 650
Groceries 200-350
Utilities [Electricity and Heat] 50 – 100
Cellphone ~50
Cable TV and Internet ~50

As the table suggests, you can expect your monthly expenditure to run up to $1000. Initially, you would have to spend more in order to get started (e.g., buying household appliances ranging from toasters and microwaves to TVs and DVD Players). Apartments come equipped with a refrigerator and a cooking range; some apartments even have microwaves.

 Medical Expenses and Health Insurance

We strongly suggest that you get a comprehensive eye and dental examination before you arrive here. University health insurance policy does not cover these expenses. A typical eye exam is about $75 and a pair of spectacles can run up to $200. Dental problems are even more expensive to correct – anywhere in excess of $500! So we repeat, please take care of any eye/teeth problems before you leave India. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, ensure you carry an extra pair and the prescription. Bring ALL your immunization records. The university requires incoming students to fill out an immunization history form that needs to submitted at the Student Health Services center after your arrival. Although you can get immunized here, you may want to get all that stuff done before you arrive here. In addition, there may be some tests the University requires you to get done before you arrive. Please refer to your admission packet (sent to your India address by mail) for more information. If you are on some kind of prescription medication, carry sufficient supply to last you a few months. Also, bring your doctor’s prescription – in case the customs officials ask for it or you need a fresh supply after you arrive here. You may also want to bring some basic medication for headaches, fever, body pains, etc. Please be aware of the fact that all medication used in India, is not available ( or in some cases, legal) in the United States.

It is mandatory for all foreign students to have adequate medical insurance. In fact, this fee will be added to your semester bill automatically! Office of Foreign Students and Scholars has detailed health insurance-related information on their website.

Housing

 Housing

Try to arrive in Newark at least a few days (a week would be ideal) before your orientation (like ELI program) starts. That should give you enough time to overcome the jetlag, get around and explore the University and the town, and look for an apartment and/or roommate.

 

Both on-campus and off-campus housing options are available. On-campus housing has a lot of demand and mostly not available unless you apply 3-4 months in advance. Most graduate students rent apartments off-campus and there are several apartment complexes within 10-15 minutes of walking distance to the main University campus. Most of these apartments are connected via the University bus service that runs during the semester that students can use for free.

 

Most Indian students currently live in the apartment complexes listed below.  Some are more expensive than the others. A single bedroom apartment averages around $850. Two bedroom apartments cost around $1200-$1300.

 

Please look at apartments.com over the course of your apartment search. Other websites to look at include “zillow.com” .

 

The following are some apartment complexes where there is a significant Indian community:

  1. Studio Green
  2. West Knoll
  3. Colonials Gardens
  4. South Gate
  5. Retreat
  6. Pinebrook Apartments.