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  1. Well, I’ll tell you what I will do. I’ll take some cash with me, but not much say about $1000 (enough to pay the first month of rent, the university fees, plus say $300 to open the bank account and minor expenses). I will definitely bring my old credit card and I’m 99% sure I won’t close the bank account in my country (unless my current bank advise me otherwise). Keeping track of two accounts isn’t really too hard especially because my intend is to live out of the money my assistantship provides and use my current funds as backup or extras (say a trip back to my country over the holidays).
  2. I'm sorry AspirEEng, I don't really have the details and I doubt it will be easy to find this information from outside the US. Personally, I will just wait to arrive and take care of things from there. Oh, btw, I was just charged $38 for a wire transfer. I wouldn't call it an "obscene amount of money," but you are right it isn't cheep!
  3. Ok, I'm not 100% sure as this information might be somewhat outdated, but ... To open an account shouldn't really be a problem, just take some cash with you, deposit it at the bank and that should be all it takes. For the credit card, indeed there could be some issues regarding you missing a US credit history and the way to go is not to apply for a newly issued credit card but instead to have your old credit card (assuming you have one from your country) converted into an American one. As for the ransfering of fund, I'm really not sure (I haven't looked into that yet) but I'm afraid that i
  4. ok, I guess now I see the point of worring. Anyhow, I think I have the answer 1. your immigration status (assuming you will have an F or J VISA) has nothing to do with the status you will have for tax purposes. There is no correlation between your VISA and your need of a SSN/ITIN (these are used ONLY to file your tax return!) so no matter on which type of VISA you will be you are still eligible for both the SSN and the ITIN. 2. The only distinction between having a SSN and a ITIN is your eligibility to be employed in the US. If you'll be working (eighter on or off campus) then you wi
  5. Panda77

    Life After Taxes

    hey passerby, thanks for your great post! I have another question if you happen to pass by again Does it work in the same way for internationals too? I read somewhere (can't remember where for the life of mine!) that you might be entitled to a refund (of all or a part of what you paid in taxes) at the end of the year if you are an international is that true? I guess that referred more of federal than state taxes, but I really don't know. Also, you suggested to see a tax expert as soon as possible. I know my university offers a "we'll help you with your taxes" service (especially for in
  6. I think that if you have a job (any type of job, even if only inside the university as a TA for example) you'll need a SSN. I'm not sure though. Anyhow, why are you worring about that right now? There is really no need to. Get your VISA first (I would prefer an F-1 to avoid any foreign recidency requirement if at all possible) and deal with the SSN issue once you are in the US, I'm sure you'll have help and support by your university in dealing with it, they will help you decide the best option given your specific case.
  7. Hey rethinking, I’m really sorry to hear that. Personally, I would have postponed this decision till the end of your first year in grad school; by that time you would have had a much better idea of the program, the location of the university, and how well you were able to cope with being away from your close relatives. I don’t know, my opinion is that a year goes by really quickly and probably would have allowed you to know for sure and don’t second guess your decision in the future. Anyhow, that’s just my idea of course and I do respect your decision and really hope it was the best one for
  8. Hey rethinking, My situation is very similar if not even worst. As for the age, I’m 28 as well and will start my PhD in the fall (right before turning 29!) and family wise not only I’m still not married, but I will be moving from another continent (Europe) where I will be living my family and friends who I plan to visit once or twice a year (over Christmas and during the summer, that is if I don’t have to work over the summer of course). So you see, I can understand very well how you feel, I know the first period will be hard (given the fact that I won’t have friends around) I will miss my
  9. yep, me too ... I'm 28 and will start my PhD in the fall (turning 29 soon after starting). I applied last year too and was rejected by all the school, but learned a lot by the experience and did much better the second time around. Don't get discxouraged, if grad school is what you want go for it! BTW, next time do apply to many more schools, 3 is really not enough!
  10. Yes, Debating is right, the only thing is trying to speak, read and write in English as much as you can. Remember, practice makes perfect! Anyhow, give yourself time it's a slow process but eventually will come out naturally. Again the most important thing is not to be afraid to mess up because this will lead you into avoiding speaking in English
  11. Thanks a lot guys, your info were really valuable. I think I have a good picture of the place and indeed I will probably enjoy staying there (well not for the rest of my life maybe, but for 4-5 years it should be more than fine!) I just have a small question, I know there is no airport in town and the closest one is in Cedar Rapids and I assume long distance busses also stop there, how exactly can you go from Iowa City to Cedar Rapids. I know there is a shuttle service from the airport, but is $30 one way! Is there any other way of making the trip (I don’t think I’ll buy a car, at least n
  12. Can anyone help here? I know, the city is small, but the school’s big so maybe someone did his/her undergrads there. I’m an international student and any info would really be appreciated. Thanks!
  13. I really like the new look of the forum, it even colors up the unread messages (well if you are a registered user of course). Nice job Barista!!!
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