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ISA Est. at OU in 1962

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What all do I bring?

We suggest you visit the "Things to Bring" page under the "Incoming Students" heading to get an idea of what you might need here.

2. What kind of luggage should I bring?

By now, you must have received tons of advice on what to take with you from everyone around you. Remember that if you are coming from outside the US, you are allowed only 2 pieces of luggage of specified weight and dimensions. Please check with your airline for specific details. We hope that the information provided in the website will help you pack light. Also be sure to stick address tags on either side of baggage. You can use your contact address in the US if you have one, or you may use your department’s address.

3. What will be my major expenses?

The I-20 gives a good reflection of the tuition and expenses. You may expect a probable hike in tuition and other fees. The cost of food, housing and utilities may change from student to student. A conservative figure would probably be in the range of $300 to $400 a month.

4. What do I do for my accommodation?

By living on campus or off campus and sharing the apartment with others and cooking together with your room mates works out to be less expensive than any other option. In case you have any questions about housing, please feel free to contact ISA President or any other Member.

5. How about financial aid?

Many new students who do not have an assistantship inquire about the possibility of assistantship after arrival. Most students do get some sort of financial aid after arrival within a semester or two. But a few students are not so lucky. In most circumstances it has been seen that deserving students do get some sort of financial assistance. The other solution being, you can work on-campus on one of the student jobs. Please visit the following website for more details on on-campus jobs.

6. What is the on campus job scenario? Pay, etc.

Most of the students have managed to get an on campus job like working at the library, computer labs and interns in other departments, etc. These jobs pay around $5.50 to $10.00 per hour and you are allowed to work for 20 hours per week. These positions are filled up soon as many international students compete for them.

7. When should I arrive on campus?

Around 10-15 days before college begins is a good time if you do not have financial aid so that you may look around campus for some on campus jobs as well as meet your professors personally to explore any opportunity which may arise anytime. Usually teaching assistantships are awarded depending on enrolment and this is only clear when the semester is about to begin.

8. What if I decide not to join OU?

Inform your department [administrative person in-charge] in this regard and you may be asked to return your I-20. It is courteous to inform that you will not be joining since another deserving student may be offered the admission and the financial aid that was offered to you.

9. What should I say at immigration and customs?

You will have to go through customs and immigration at your port of entry, which is the first US city your plane lands. Before the plane lands, the flight attendant will distribute customs declaration forms and immigration forms. Keep your passport, I-20/IAP-66 and filled immigration forms ready for inspection as soon as you land.

Even if your luggage is booked for your final destination, it will be off-loaded at your port of entry. After passing through the immigration area, you will collect your baggage and then pass through the customs. Then you have to check in your luggage again. Don’t worry; there are clear signs that indicate all this.

As far as edibles go, just remember that there should be no fruits, vegetables or anything raw. Pickles, Spices, etc will be allowed in as long as they are packed properly and sealed.

10. What should I do to catch a connecting flight?

If you have to continue your journey, check in at the appropriate airline counter for the connecting flight as soon as you land in. In most airports, you have to change terminals to board your connecting flight. Please ask the airline representative at the counter about changing terminals. These counters are, usually, right outside the customs area. You can use the Airport Transport System, if available, to change your terminal

11. What if my baggage does not arrive at the airport?

In case your baggage does not arrive when you landed, do not waste too much time hunting for it. Mention it to the airline representative and give them a forwarding address with phone number where you can be reached. They will take care of your luggage. In any event, do not miss your connecting flight.

12. What if I miss my connecting flight or if it gets delayed or cancelled?

In case your flight landed late, or the onward flight is cancelled, it is the responsibility of your airline to arrange for another flight. If the delay involves an overnight stay, the airline will pay for your stay as well as for your meals.

Please don't panic if it so happens that your flight arrives late and the time for the connecting flight is too near (say, within the next 10-15 minutes) for you to make it through Immigration and Customs delays. Simply follow the same actions outlined above and get your airline to arrange things for you. Be assured that you would not be stranded at the port of entry. Airlines will figure a way out to get you to your final destination. Don't be rude, but be firm while dealing with the airline representatives.

We suggest that you call ISA and let them know of the changes in your schedule so that someone can pick you up at the new time.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the ISA Executive committee. Their information is given on this website.

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University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.