Studying Abroad in the US? The Scoop for a Seamless Transition


Once you’ve decided to study in the US, you may have all kinds of other questions. How do visas work? How will you get around? How does health care work? Some of these questions are daunting, but don’t worry—many thousands of students have made this journey before you. We’ve got some great information to get you started.

How Does my US Visa Work?

The most important organization to help you figure out your visa is your school in the US. They start the paperwork and will assist you through the process.

Studying in the US requires an F-1 visa. Your school will send you a Certificate of Eligibility I-20 form, which declares that you are an official student. Once you sign this and the school submits it, you need to pay fees and make an appointment at a US Embassy for an interview. There are embassies in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Recife, and São Paulo.

Once you have your visa, you can enter the US up to 30 days before your program begins, and may stay up to 60 days after it ends.

How Will I Get There?

Once all your details are arranged, how do you get to your new school? The answer depends on where you are studying in the country, but the good news is that you can get good flight deals if you plan ahead. There are often round-trip flights deals available from Brazil to major cities throughout the US.

Check out these websites for flight deals:

Your school will have more information about transportation, and many schools offer airport pickups for new international students.

How Do I Get Health Care?

Healthcare is a critical issue in the US. Most schools offer student health insurance, and some require that students enroll in these programs. This can be quite expensive, so be sure to look up health insurance charges as you are selecting a program. The good news is that university clinics offer excellent care.

What if I Don’t Know Anyone?

One of the best parts of enrolling in a program is you are instantly a part of a community. Your university will likely offer activities, travel, events, meet-up groups, and student organizations in addition to your classes. The international student office should provide support and resources. There will be other English language students from all over the world, as well as US students interested in meeting and learning from international students.

There are lots of details to take care of, but don’t worry about fitting in—you’ll be glad you made the leap!


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