21 Days in USA and Holding onto My Dreams

Raghuram Sukumar Student Stories 7 Comments

Experience in USA – Shared by Payel.

Hello everyone,

I am here to post my experience in the first three weeks of USA. I will be writing about the following

  •  Flight Experience
  • Finding and Apartment
  • Classes
  • Adaptation.

Flight Travel to America

Flight Experience was good but the aftermath was really horrible.

Kolkata to Delhi by Kingfisher was ok.



Delhi to London was by British Airways and was upgraded to business Class (yay!!) and from London I boarded an American Airline flight to Dallas(my destination).

Please carry a neck pillow, it really saves u from having a bad neck and shoulder ache from sleeping in the flight.

Please do not carry any liquid more than 100 ml in your cabin bags or your handbags, the airport people just take it away.

Also foreign exchange is very costly at airports so be informed.

I just had to make a phone call from London at home and it cost me 1 pound minimum to make the call but I had to buy 3 pounds minimum and that too 1.5 was taken away as Tax.

When I arrived in the Dallas Airport i found that both my suitcases were delayed so i had to file a claim.

Resources for Flight Travel

Apartment Search

Finding an Apartment was easy. I had applied for the university housing and was allotted an apartment with 3 Chinese girls(they are actually nice!)

I stayed the night and the next day temporarily with an Indian Girl and moved to my own apartment.

The rent of a single room is $465 so I’m sharing with someone to reduce the cost.

The Airlines delivered only one of the bags and the other they still have not located and I had to file a claim for it.

If your are in a similar situation then claim as much as possible as they seldom give to total claimed amount.

Also pack your bags such as both of them have your clothes and both have some kitchen utensils so that at least you can survive a few days if one of them is lost.

For example I packed my kadai (Pan) in one and pressure in the other.

My pressure cooker is lost but i can still use my kadai to make some food.

Allot about $250-$300 as your initial expenses and buying stuff for your home.

Never go alone to pick up things from craigslist as there are numerous experiences of getting robbed.

Resources About Apartments



Classes are always different than what we have experienced back in India.

Only 2 classes in a week for a subject each of about 1.5 hours but study thru the week and do your homework for good grades.

Don’t expect other people to show them their homework from which you will copy because that is considered at scholastic dishonesty and has severe punishment.

But if you can make friends then they might help you in a form of a discussion.

Here I will suggest don’t confine your self to Indian Students only but reach out to Americans and other International students because that will give you a wider perspective and get u lots of help other than studies too.

Most of the Indian Students come to US for studying Computer Science, but if you are from any other department (like Physics in my case) you will find much less Indian there so better mix with other nationalities too.

Adapt to US Lifestyle

Adaptation is essential.

The food is different, the people are different, the house is different, even the bathroom is.

Learn to use toilet paper.

Chicken, eggs, paneer, mushroom are easy to cook, try canned vegetables and fruits.

Talk to your parents and friends, it makes you a lot less lonely.

Bring music and movies with you as torrents are difficult to use here due to piracy issues.

Bring the books from India, its very costly here. Also get some notebooks and pens, also very costly here.

Get some microwave dinners as you might not feel like cooking some days!

Till now I’m going thru a tough phase with classes and other things, that you might face too but hold on to your dream like I’m and it will get you through!!


What you are going through is typical of any new student will experience in first few months.

I wouldn’t  agree on buying books from India, when you are not sure about courses and recommended books for those courses (books will change).

with 23 Kgs per suitcase, you can take more food and cooking items.

Books are expensive, but get used to it.  Cost of education includes books, not just the tuition fees.

Next – My Life is Complex and Rewarding – Madhuri


  1. Hi Payal!
    Its nice to se more girls talking about their experiences on these blogs. (Or am I am finding this only on HSB?) Whatever the reason I am really happy reading this.

    I am applying for Fall 2012. Is there any way i can contact you for any advice?

  2. Oh payal,..good post .
    then u have told that u stayed with Indian girl and 2 chines girl….that was much interesting…

    1. On Campus dormitories are very costly. Almost double when living Off-Campus. If you have funding then it’s Ok or else it is too much financial burden.

  3. My baggage also got delayed at Dallas after arriving from Heathrow. Looks like its a common problem. I got it delivered at my apartment after a couple of days though.

    1. never ever i will fly through london/england airports. also france/paris. they are all very bad in handling baggages and other issues. friend of mine during the was travelling through london and lost all baggages including carry on with laptop as they were forced to check in all luggages even though it was transit. they never compensated or returned the baggages. even if british or france airways give me free tickets i would never take their airlines. also comes the issue when returning through few european countries from USA when you do not have valid visa stamped. i think HSB should write an article about it making others aware of the scenarios and issues with few countries.

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