Is orientation necessary?
All international students are required to attend the International Student Orientation as well as the department orientation if applicable (usually for graduate students). Students have to register in advance for these orientations before arriving to the US. The internatinal orientation is mandatory for all internatinoal students. Without attending it first, no student can register for courses. Our advice is to attend the international orientation as early as possbile. This would enable the student to register for easier courses, which fills out fast.
What should I bring from Bangladesh? What are the things that I should NOT bring from Bangladesh?
The things that one should bring from Bangladesh are:
- Two extra pair of glasses (if applicable, because glasses are expensive in US)
- Generic Medicine (Antibiotic, Fever reducer, allergy medication, etc)
- T-shirts and Jeans
- One suit and few ties for formal occasions (Optional)
- Panjabi/Fotua for events like Eid/Pohela Baishakh
- Light Jacket/Sweater for mildly cold weather and indoor (Heavy jacket for colder weather should be bought from US)
- Pair of sandals and shoes (For light use. For heavy use and cold weather, shoes should be bought from US)
- Sunglasses (For summer sun)
- Drinking glasses (Optional)
- Bed sheets and covers
- Gloves and Scarf
- Cell phone (Optional, please check the phones supported frequencies and confirm that it is supported by the US carriers)
The things that one does not need to bring from Bangladesh are:
- Quilts and comforter (Comforters are very cheap in US)
- Spices (all kinds of spices are available in Dallas)
- Plastic dinner plates, mugs etc. (not safe for microwave oven)
- Pillows (They are very cheap in Dallas)
- Meat/Seeds (strictly prohibited and can be penalized if caught in the airport)
- Heavy Jackets (Those found in Bangladesh are not suitable for weather in Dallas)
Please keep in mind that almost every kind of food related items are available in Dallas and the current students would take care of the food for the first few days. So please don't bring any food other than snacks/sweets.
Is there any checklist I need to complete before/after coming to Dallas?
After confirmation of your visa we suggest the following steps to take before coming to Dallas-
- Contact the EC members with your intended date to come to Dallas, they might introduce new students to each other while they are in Bangladesh so that they can help each other during the whole process
- Buy air plane ticket
- Apply for housing
- Contact the EC members with your flight information so that they can arrange rides from the airport
- Make a list of all the things you want to bring with you to Dallas
We suggest to buy the air plane ticket such that you reach Dallas during friday afternoon or during weekends (saturday and sunday). As many current students would be busy during the weekdays with their classes and jobs.
After coming to Dallas, we suggest to finish these steps to make life easier. These are listed in no particular order. However, International Student Orientation is mandatory and it is of utmost importance to attend it as early as possible.
- Attend International Student orientation as early as possible
- Attend departmental orientation (optional)
- Take TB test
- Register for classes
- Open bank account (Put all the money you brought into the account, you will be immediately given a debit card with which you can use for online shopping and utility payements)
- Buy cell phone/cell phone SIM
- Sign lease for apartment (if confirmed)
- Get electricity for apartment (Requires around 2-3 days)
- Get internet for apartment (Requires around 2 weeks)
When should I buy air plane tickets?
As soon as students get admission and decide to come here at UT Dallas, they should book/reserve an airline ticket. Once the student visa is issued, students can purchase the air ticket. It is necessary to apply for reservation well in advance as many students come to the US and Canada at the same time.
When should I apply for housing? Should I stay in campus or off campus apartments?
Once students are issued a visa, they should start applying for apartments. It is very difficult to get apartments in the Fall semester as more than 1000 students come to UT Dallas every Fall semester. Please check out the housing section of the BSO website for more details.
Both on campus and off campus apartments are very well maintained. However, the off campus apartments are more reasonable compared to the on campus accommodation.
Can you give me more information about TB test and bacterial meningitis immunizations?
All incoming students to UT Dallas are required by the state to obtain a vaccination or booster against bacterial meningitis. The vaccine is required for students living both on and off campus. A hold will be placed in the student account if the vaccine report is not submitted to the university. In addition, all persons born outside the United States must undergo the TB Test. This is mandatory for all international students. In case of failure to submit a TB test report, students will not be able to register for classes. The test must be performed in the US. The university health center offers this test during the start of the semester. To locate the forms or any other additional details, please visit the following website: http://www.utdallas.edu/healthcenter/immunizations/
Do I need to open a Student Account in Bangladesh?
Bangladeshi International Students should open student accounts in local Bangladeshi banks before arriving in Dallas. This will help students to bring the tuition and other living expenses as demand drafts, traveller's checks as well as cash. A Student can only bring $5,000 as cash to the United States. The remaining amount has to be in the form of demand drafts or traveller's checks. Students can open the account in any local Bangladeshi banks. However, it is recommended to open the student account in a multinational financial institution such as Standard Chartered Bank or HSBC. Students will have to present the I-20, passport and visa to the bank to establish the student account.
Where do I open a bank account in Dallas, TX?
International students have many bank options to open their accounts. The three banks that are located near the UT Dallas campus are Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase. All these banks have special programs and plans for student accounts. However, Wells Fargo is the official bank for UT Dallas. There is a Wells Fargo ATM booth in the student union building at UT Dallas. On the other hand, Mr. Mujibur Rahman is the branch manager of Chase bank near UT Dallas and he is from Bangladesh. He is willing to help international students to open bank accounts in Chase and provide other bank services. Once the students open an account with a bank, the institution provides them with a debit card and a check book. In order to obtain a credit card, one has to go through an application process in the banks.
How do I apply for Driver's License in Dallas?
In order to obtain a driver's license, one has to give an online exam and a practical driving exam on the road. In order to give the online exam, one has to pay $75. After passing the online exam, an international student must obtain an enrollment verification form from the Registrar's Office and take it to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in Plano or Garland along with passport, visa, I-20 and other immigration documents to schedule a driving test. There is a fee of $11 to schedule the driving test. If one passes this driving test, DPS mails the license to the person's home address in three weeks. For more information about driver's license, please visit the website: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/
How do I apply for a social security card?
In order to apply for the social security card, one has to go to the local Social Security Administration Office. However, in order to apply for a social security card, an international student must have an official job offer (on campus jobs/internships/teaching assistantships/research assistantships). The student must take the job offer letter to the Social Security Office in order to apply for the card. For more details about how to apply for the social security card, please visit the website: http://www.ssa.gov/
I have an off campus apartment confirmed, what are the next steps that I need to take?
Students need to take several steps after an off campus apartment is confirmed for them. The steps are listed below
- Open an electricity account for the apartment. For instance, students can open an electricity account with Green Mountain by calling them at 1-866-484-8409 or visiting the website at http://www.greenmountain.com/movecenter. Students have to notify the electricity account number to the apartment authority.
- Students must obtain at least a $100,000 liability renter's insurance. Usually, it is $25 per month for students. In order to enroll for renter's insurance, please visit http://www.eRenterPlan.com
- Student must open an internet services account for the apartment. There are several options for students including AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner Cable. To setup an account, one has to call the vendor.
Can you give me an approximate of the total monthly living expenses in Dallas?
The following is a table of expenses for a typical 1 bed room apartment shared by two people-
How do I apply for a cell phone?
Most of the cell phone companies require a social security number in order to obtain a mobile phone service. International students can apply for these services if they have a social security number because of teaching or research assistantships. However, if students do not have a social security number, they can obtain prepaid phone services from AT&T and T-Mobile. Additionally, MetroPCS also offers local cell phone services to students at low costs. Recently, T-Mobile has started a no-contract offer, which does not require a SSN.
How can I get an on campus job?
UT Dallas currently has 3,500 international students, most of who are looking for on campus jobs. In addition, domestic students also apply for on campus jobs. It is often difficult to obtain an on campus job. Additionally, networking is very important in order to obtain jobs on campus. As a first step, students must create a resume and a cover letter. The Career Center at UT Dallas reviews the resume and gives feedback to make necessary changes and adjustments. The second step is to open an account in the Career Center website. All the on campus jobs are listed in this website. Once the students create an account, they can upload the resume and cover letter in the website and apply for the jobs they are interested in. The Career Center website is given below: http://www.utdallas.edu/career/
Can I apply for off campus jobs?
International students are strictly prohibited in engaging in any form of off campus employment. If caught, the students will lose their visa status and they will be deported to their home country. However, international students can apply for internships in their respective fields after attending classes for two long semesters. The Career Center can help students to find internship opportunities in the United States. Permanent resident of citizens of US can always apply for both types of employment.
How do I move around Dallas?
Please check the transportation section of the BSO website for more details.