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Quick Tips


We wish you a safe flight to the United States. Here's our check-list to tick-off and useful tips before you fly:


  • Always carry your passport, I-20/ DS 2019, proof of address (your apartment lease) and other important documents with you in your carry-on luggage. These should be accessible to you all through your journey. We suggest you maintain a digital copy, if possible. 


  • We recommend that you carry some US dollars in cash with you. Sometimes, the airport baggage trolleys/ carts are not free for use and cash may be the easiest way to pay for them. They may also come handy to pay the cab driver if you need one at the airport.


  • It is 2018 and almost all airports have WiFi. Make sure you maintain your phone's battery life throughout your journey so that you can contact someone at home or the IGSA should you find a need to.


  • Remember - if you forget the bring any non-essential items with you, or if the Customs Officer takes your rice away, you can always purchase it in State College.


  • Remain calm while talking to your Customs and Immigration Officer. You may face potential software glitches while clearing the immigration and you may be asked to wait on the side for further verification. If you feel that you are asked more questions than usual, do not panic. You have done nothing wrong. These situations can happen from sometimes as a result of potential delays in updating your personal information to the CBP server/ database. Make sure you have contact information for DISSA on you if you find yourself in these trickier-to-navigate situations. A DISSA official will be the best person you can talk to.



  • For more information from Penn State about traveling to the US, visit the Directorate of International Student and Scholar Advising (DISSA) webpage here:


  • We may be able to answer any specific question based on our experiences living in the US. We are not qualified to provide legal advice, but we may be able to provide more insights into your specific concern. Email us at

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