Helpful Links: The U.S.

General Information

Which time zone is the US in?

What holidays are observed?

What business hours are held?

What post office/mail/parcel services are available?

How do I address letters to the US?

Where can I find my place of worship?

What is the manner of dress in the US?

Are there any etiquette rules that I should be aware of?

Which electrical outlets are used?

University Life

Where can I find a list of US universities?

How can I find out more about my university campus?

What scholarships are available to me?

How can I make contact to find sponsors or partners for my research?

What is the average tuition?

Averages by years & types of institutions

What is the average salary of a professor?


What is the weather like in the US?

What is the weather forecast for this week?

What about extreme weather?

Moving Around

Is my driver’s license valid in the US?

How can I obtain a US drivers license?

How can I obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP)?

  • You must purchase your IDP before arriving in the US at your country’s certified Automobile Association.

Which side of the road do I drive on?

Can I rent a car?

  • You must have a valid driver’s license (with IDP, if foreign or not in English) and a major credit card.

How can I travel around within the US?

Is there public transport available in the US?

Where can I find updated safety & travel alerts?

What documents should I carry with me?

Visa Information

Can you give me an overview of the process to obtain a visa?

What type of visa do I need?

How long is my visa valid for?

  • U.S. Visa validity

Can I get a visa extension?

Am I allowed to work with my visa?

Am I allowed to study on my visa?

  • By visa type

Can I change my visa status while in the US?

What is the cost of a visa?

  • Visa fees

How long before departure should I apply for my visa?

  • Information on wait times for interview appointments and processing by consular post.

How do I schedule a visa interview?

What documents should I have prepared for my visa interview?

What types of questions are asked in the visa interview?

Will I be under increased scrutiny because of my field of study?

I was refused a visa, can I reapply?

  • Des, you may reapply. Depending on the reason for denial, you may be asked to resubmit additional information or an entire new application. A new application processing fee may also be required.

Can I bring my spouse/children with me?

Can I travel home/internationally while holding my visa?

Do I need a separate visa when traveling between states?

What customs information do I need to know?

  • List of items prohibited or restricted from crossing US borders
  • Customs duty information
  • What you must declare
  • Bringing food into the US

My passport has been lost or stolen, what should I do?

How can I obtain a social security number?

How can I become permanent resident (gain a green card)?


Can I bring my pet with me to the US?

  • Yes, depending on the type and health of the pet.

Can I return home with my pet?

  • Contact your country's embassy for entry requirements of your pet.

Medical Issues

Will my medical insurance work in the US?

Which medical insurance should I purchase?

Is my medicine available in the US?

My medication has run out, can I refill it with my doctor’s prescription?

What medications am I not permitted to bring into the US?

  • US Customs & Border Protection

What vaccinations and immunizations do I need before traveling to the US?

What are the general health risks in the US?

Where can I go in case of a medical emergency?

How do I find a doctor?


What is the current exchange rate?

Where can I change my money?

What is required to open a US bank account?

Can I obtain a US credit card?

Will my debit/credit card work in the US?

Do I have to pay taxes?

What are the average costs of living?

How does tipping work?

How can I make international money transfers?


Which is the best phone service provider?

Will my current phone work in the US?

Where can I purchase a sim card for my phone?

What is the country code for the US?

  • 1

How can I call home?

How much can I expect to pay to call home?

  • Varies by carrier and country. Check with your phone service provider

Are there international calling cards available

What about calls/video chatting on the internet?


How do I become a citizen?

What if I get arrested/in trouble with police?

Additional Questions

How do I contact my country’s Embassy/consulate?

How can I contact other expatriates from my country?

Who do I contact in case of an emergency?


Are my children eligible to attend public school in the US?

  • While parent is on student visa
  • Rules for foreign nationals attending secondary schools in the US
  • Who can study? Non-immigrants in the US.

Language Resources

Where can I find English classes and/or tutors?



Are there any online English study materials?

Are there any phone apps for improving my English?

Where can I find a bilingual dictionary for my language and English?


Hard copy

What are some American idioms/phrases?

Where can I find a translation service?