What to bring
Most people who go abroad for
the first time want to take as much stuff as possible. That is good. But,
in case that you have forgotten something, don't worry. There are several
Chinese stores in Denver,
so you can buy nearly everything you need. What I list below is the things
new students usually bring.
One thing to remember is that
we use electrical stove. Make sure the bottom of your pot or boiler is a
little flat so that it can sit on the surface of stove. Your pot will get
burnt up very easily if it does not have a thick bottom. Containers (such
as Fan4He2) are not necessary. They are cheap here and what you need would
better be microwave safe. But maybe you need one in case you arrive too
late and can't buy one at once. If you are used to the Chinese kitchen
knifes, you'd bring your own one. And you may also find the grindstone is
useful if you cook a lot.
Not every room here has
air-conditioners. But do not worry. Boulder
is the most suitable living town in USA. One of the reasons is that
the weather is quite mild in summer. It may be above 30 degrees in the
afternoon. But it is dry and in most times you will not sweat. The temperature
will drop quickly after the sun set to below 20 degrees. You will never
have difficulty to fall into sleep because of hot weather. But it is
usually a little cool in the summer morning. So, a quilt is
No need to bring blankets. There
are heatings in every room here. Usually, the temperature is kept around 20
degree Celsius, sometimes lower, in winter. Make sure your quilt is
suitable for 20 to 25 degrees use. We suggest you bring bed sheets, pillow,
towels, underwear, etc. If you do not like soft pillows, you'd better bring
Bring casual wears, such as
T-shirts, jeans, sweaters, a heavy duty jacket. Students, even professors
in the U.S.
seldom wear formal dresses. Suits are rarely useful in daily life. But it might
be worth bringing one set of suit with you in case of formal occasions.
A lot of clothes we bought in China will
shrink if put in dryer. You'd better buy those with good quality. People
usually change clothes, e.g., T-shirts, pretty frequently. It is not
unusual changing once a day in the U.S. So make sure you have
enough clothes, e.g., T-shirts, underwear, pants. We suggest that you bring
clothes made of cotton.
Sports shoes here are not very
expensive and of good quality. You can buy a pair of Nike shoes in no more
than $30 sometimes. And they are worn most often here. It is not very cold
in the Winter here. Thick leather shoes are not necessary. A pair of
slippers is useful.
(Eye) Glasses are expensive in
but of good quality. For example, cost for a basic eye examination is up to
$100 with a pair of disposable contact lens (lasts for two weeks), but
without any frame or glasses).
An English-Chinese dictionary
might help. A Chinese dictionary might be useful if you write to your
family or friends often.
Some cash, at least $800 as we
suggest, is used to cover the housing and living expenses for the first
month. You will not get your stipend until the end of each month, but there
is a lot of everyday merchandise to buy the first several times when you go
shopping. You might also need $350-$400(varied) to buy health insurance, if
you won't choose to buy the health insurance provided by the school. You'd
better also take some change with you. You probably need to pay a few dollars
to use the cart to carry your baggage in the airport.
Some basic medicine. Students
have access to the Wardenburg
But you have to make an appointment with the doctor. It is a good idea to
have some basic medicine with you for emergency. Too much is also
unnecessary because medicine will expire.
What not to bring
Strange Chinese medicine, e.g.,
medicine made from herbs, unless you know its function precisely and it is
really necessary. Food, except those are sealed airtightly. Any electrical
appliance. The voltage supply in USA
is 110V and plugs here are a little bit smaller than those in China.
What to keep in mind
Basic skills you
Cooking. You will cook for
yourself while you are here. So, some basic cooking skills will definitely
make your life easier. There is fast food available on or off campus, only
if you are used to those foreign food. Some Chinese, Japanese and
Vietnamese restaurants are pretty good. In general, $3-$4 will be enough
for a meal.
The dental care in the U.S. is
very expensive. It can take you a lot of time as well. Get your dental work
done in China.
There is no rest time at noon here, no special time for lunch. So try not
to be sleepy after lunch, for you may have work to do.
Checklist before departure
Passport, visa and I-20(make an
extra copy and keep the original and the copy in different places). You
will need your passport and I-20 when you go through the customs. Please
keep the documents with you instead of leaving them in the luggage to be
Your flight ticket.
Phone numbers of contact
persons at Boulder
and some cash.
During the trip
If you have never taken planes,
please pay attention to this section. It is the summary of the experience
of many students .
Time difference is a big
problem for people who first go to America. There are 4 time zones
East, Central, Mountain, and West. Denver
and Boulder are in Mountain Time, while Detroit in Central Time, Los Angles and San Francisco in West
Time. Every year after April, the whole America
will put the clock forward 1 hour for the sunlight saving except Arizona. So there
will be 13 hours difference between China
and Los Angles, 14 Boulder, 15 Detroit. In general, the
time marked on your airplane ticket is the time of the target or the
departing place. So, when you need to tell us when your plane will arrive
just use the time on your ticket.
When you get off the plane in America,
perhaps the first thing you want to do is to call your parents. There are
public phones in the airport. You need to prepare some quarters (25 cents).
Remember it is very expensive to make a long-distance call. If you happen
to get a phone card bought online for making long-distance calls in America, it
is much better because you can almost talk to your parents as long as you
want. The way to dial to China
is 011 + 86 + (district number without the preceding 0) + local phone
number. For example, I want to call my parents. The district number of my
hometown is 0533. I will dial 01186533xxxxxxx.
No one can make it for
everything. It is extremely true when you take planes. It is not unusual
for the plane to be delayed when it takes off or lands. When you get off
the plane, you may find that the next flight has taken off for half an
hour. In such case, do not panic. First, you should ask the people of that
air company whose flights you are going to take to arrange a new flight for
you. Next, call those who pick you up to tell them the time of the new
flight. Then, sit down and enjoy your first drawback in America.
Although there are far less
thieves in America,
no one can guarantee that his possessings are totally safe. So, always keep
an eye on your stuff and never let them go out of your scope. It is better
if two or more people travel together. If you are so unlucky that a damn
thief pick your wallet or something else, immediately ask policemen for
help. Then, call persons who will pick you up to tell them your misfortune
for help. But, it is really rare for you to be stolen. I do not hope that
happen to you. May God bless you!
If you arrive at the target too
late, for example, after 12 at night, generally, it is hard for people to
wait for you because there will be no Bus for them to go back. If you know
somebody here and they are kind enough to offer you a night pickup, you are
really lucky. If not, just sit down and spend the night in the airport. Do
not worry. In the next morning, CSSA will pick you up.
After arriving at Boulder
After you get off the plane,
are picked up by us, and sent to the temporary living place, you have a lot
of things to do before you can begin your normal life here.
Finding a long-term
Get your social
Open a bank
Get a phone
Buy phone card
You can get these information here.