Before you go we want to make sure you're prepared. Here are the essentials and a few more tips to make sure you're ready to go
The essential items
- Your Passport & J1 VISA
- Visa paperwork - DS-2019 form
- SEVIS receipt
- Insurance card
- Flight itinerary
- A copy of your camp contract
- A copy of your police check and medical form
- Any travel tickets for your departure and arrival (train tickets)
Non-essential but equally important
- Home comforts
Other things to think about...
Check with your mobile phone company to see what is available in your contract before you head out. It’s not a great day when you get home from your travels and your phone bill is sky high. To make it all simpler, you could even leave your phone at home and buy a cheap one while you’re out there.
Once you know your departure date, it’s a good idea to let your bank know that you’ll be in the US over the summer. If you don’t notify them and then use your card while over there, your bank may presume fraud and then freeze your account, which is less than ideal. One quick phone call will make sure you're covered.
We recommend having $200 in cash with you as you come into the States, just in case you need to get a bus or train to camp (which camp will later reimburse) or your card doesn't work immediately when you arrive.
As far as budgeting for camp and for days off, $1000 for your time at camp should be plenty. For travelling, we'd suggest using your camp 'pocket' money to plan your epic all American adventure.
A pen-and-paper contact book is a great way to store all the important phone numbers and email addresses from family and friends at home, particularly if you’re not taking your mobile phone. Remember that your camp may not have internet, or even if they do, it may be a bit slow, so Skyping or Facetiming can sometimes be difficult. But you'll be having too much fun to contact home anyway.