Most Indian students associations in universities across the U.S. typically make arrangements for airport pickup for new students, including temporary accommodation. To extend these help, these groups usually require incoming International Students to fill out a form that includes flight details, expected time and date of arrival, and other important student/travel data.
List of key information that you must have with you:
1) Name of person who will receive you at the airport.
2) Contact details (landline/mobile phone number) of that person.
3) Contact details (landline/mobile phone number) of a backup person.
4) Complete address of your temporary accommodation.
When you get cleared by the U.S. Customs and exit from the baggage section, you have to wait for your contact at the arrival area. Some students might hold a board bearing your university’s name, but some might not. However, it is always easier for the person coming to receive you to have some means to identify you.
What if no one comes to receive you?
There are some instances when the person assigned to fetch you couldn’t make it on time to pick you up. You must NOT PANIC. Patiently wait for 1-2 hours, traffic and other prior commitments might have held them up. However, if no one still turns up, that’s the time for you to phone them.
How to call them
1) Airports in the U.S. usually have public pay phones, find one and make a call. You will need $1 or $0.25 coins to make a call.
2) Look for someone who has a cell phone, briefly explain your situation, and politely ask him/her if you could make a quick call. Usually, you might be able to find some Indians at the airport. When there’s none, ask anyone who has a cell phone.
If that option doesn’t work out, walk out and get a cab and give the address to a cab driver and he will take you there.
Worst Case Scenario:
If you don’t have the address or phone number of your temporary accommodation, and if you arrive during day time, take a cab and ask the driver to take you to the International Office (address: I-20), and ask for help.
If you arrive during night time, hail a cab and ask the driver to take you to a nearby hotel and spend the night there. Take another cab to the university the next day.
So when no one picks you up at the airport, or when arrangements get delayed or don’t happen as scheduled, the important thing to remember is DON’T PANIC. The thing is, these could be the best experiences you will remember for the rest of the life. How can you forget the person who came to pick you up when you first came to America? The first apartment where you stayed. Your very first drive in American roads…In other words, just ENJOY your first experiences on American soil. In fact, I sometimes talk about those “first experiences” until today. I can still vividly remember these: “It was a rainy afternoon on Dec. 30 in the Dallas airport…”
I really appreciate some comments that you’ll share if you like the posts in my blog. That would give me an idea on what topics to write about. Just click on the comment link below this post and pen down your thoughts.