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Things to bring


Food

The food items and ingredients required to cook Nepali food can be bought either at the local grocery store or at some specific stores like the Chinese/Vietnamese or Indian grocery store. The local grocery stores like Walmart, Valuefoods, Homeland sale a variety of fruits, green vegetables, meat, dairy products and bakery items. The Indian stores have a variety of spices, lentils, rice, green vegetables, and packed foods like bhujia and achar. The Chinese/Vietnamese stores have varieties of fresh vegetables, fruits, meat and fish products, Chinese spices and noodles like Wai-Wai, and Mama. Chinese stores also have tama.

The only unavailable things at these stores are jimmu, timmur, masaura and gundruk. These items can be ordered online from Nepali grocery stores at different parts of USA, but it is better to bring a small amount of these for the immediate use.

Clothing

Norman has a hot summer, reaching more than 38 degree centigrade in summer and a very cold winter. Every winter we get couple of days of snow. While packing, be sure to pack a combination of both summer and winter clothes. Also do not forget to bring at least two pairs of formal clothing and a pair of traditional dress (for cultural events). As for the casual clothes, bring 8-10 pairs of T-shirts and 4-5 pairs of jeans. Do bring two warm jackets and a pair of gloves and muffler. Bring enough under garment and socks to last for at least ten days. You can do the laundry every week or every other week, depending on how many clothing pairs you have. We recommend girls to bring few pairs of saree or kurta and accessories for cultural events and festivals.

As for the foot-wears, bring at least a pair of formal shoes, a pair of sport shoes and a pair of sandal for summer wear. Other than that, you can pretty much decide for yourself.

Utensils

It is not wise to bring heavy utensils from Nepal as most of the utensils are easily available over here. However, we definitely recommend you to bring a pressure cooker (around 2.5 to 3 liters). Please try to bring the flat bottomed utensils as most of the stoves over here are electric and are flat on top.

Miscellaneous

If you wear glasses, bring couple of extra pairs (dental and eye check up are very expensive over here). You may also bring some emergency medicine line pain killers, band aids, antacid etc. You may also bring two sets of pillow covers, two bed sheets and a light weight blanket. Donít forget to bring the basic stationery stuff like ball pens, clutch pencil, erasers, cello tape, glue sticks and few note pads, calculator and a school bag. Also bring your basic toiletries like tooth paste, brush, shampoo, soap, comb, nail cutter, etc.

You can decide what items to bring and what not to bring depending upon the space you have in your luggage. You can buy most of the above mentioned things over here, but it will be expensive to buy everything over here. So, we suggest you to bring items that you consider are most useful to you. If you need any further assistance in deciding what to bring, then you can send us an email and we will try to answer all your specific questions.

Port of Entry

Port of entry is the first US city your plane lands into. At the port of entry you will have to go through the customs and immigration before continuing with your flight to Oklahoma. Flight attendants in the plane ask every foreigner to fill out the custom declaration forms and immigration forms before the plane lands at the port of entry. You have to fill out these forms carefully and keep it along with your passport and I-20 to show to the immigration officers.

Once you get out of the plane, you need to proceed towards the immigration area where you will have to show your documents to the immigration officers. There are clear sign at the airport to indicate how to reach to the immigration area. After the immigration procedure, you need to collect your baggage and then pass through the customs. Even if the entire luggage is checked in for the final destination, they are off-loaded at the port of entry for the custom check. After the custom check, the luggage needs to be checked in again.

We recommend you not to bring lot of edible items as most of the items are easily available here. In case if you are bringing any, remember not bring fruits, vegetables, meat items or any other raw items as they are strictly prohibited. You can however bring spices and other dried items, which are properly packed and sealed in a clear bag with a logo which describes the item.

Connecting Flight

Once you finish with the immigration and custom procedure, proceed towards the appropriate airline counter for the connecting flight to your destination. There are clear signs in the airport to indicate how to reach to the counter areas. If you get confused, then donít hesitate to ask any of the airport staffs. Once you get to your respective airline counter, check in your luggage with them and get your boarding pass. You may have to change the terminals to board your connecting flight. As the airports are very huge, itís better to ask the airline representative about the easiest way to get to your terminal.

What if Missed Connecting Flight

In case if there is very short time period between the landing of your flight and the taking off of connecting flight or if your flight landed late, there is a chance that you may miss your flight. Donít worry, in international flights, it is the responsibility of airline to arrange for another flight. Even if your flight arrives very late at the port of entry and there is very little time for your next flight, you still have to go through the immigration and custom procedure as stated above. After finishing all these, once you get to the counter, then tell the representative about your situation and they will find you a seat in another flight to get you to your destination. If the delay is too long, the airline will pay for your meal and may also pay for your overnight stay at the airport hotel. Remember you have to request for this service, they wonít offer most of the time.

We recommend you to keep some cash with you so that you can buy some light snacks and water if you have to wait for a very long time. You will also need some quarters to make a call to us to inform about your change in schedule.

If Baggage Lost

There are some cases when people arrive before their baggage arrives. If that happens to you, then tell your airline representative about it. They will ask you to fill up a form with your forwarding address and phone number in US. Once you fill up the form and give it to them, they will find your luggage for you and once it arrives at the airport they will contact you and ask you to come pick it up.

Airport pick up

The nearest airport to Norman is the Will Rogers Airport at Oklahoma City. Please provide us with your full name, immediate contact person and his/her address at Nepal, and your detailed flight schedule at least ten days before your arrival and we will arrange for someone to pick you up at the Will Rogers Airport. We wonít be able to pick you up from any other airport.

On Arrival at Norman

Inform secretary at your department or the professor you have been in contact with about your arrival at Norman.

If your permanent accommodation has not yet been arranged, contact any member of NSA to help you with this.

Speak with the graduate liaison at your department and discuss about your course work for the semester.

Get your ID card made from the (Sooner One Card) ID card office located at the Memorial Student Union, Room 127 (ground floor, Union Building). You will need this card to pay your tuition and fees and to get access to most of the computer labs at OU. For more information about what more you can do with this card, visit the website: http://www.ou.edu/onecard/howtoget.html

Report to the International Student Services Office (ISS) located at 729 Elm Avenue, Hester Hall 155 (#25 on OU map). They will guide you with further paper works that needs to be completed. They can also help you with any questions related to University of Oklahoma and life in Norman.

Go to the Goddard Health Center and submit your medical papers. University of Oklahoma requires few types of shots taken before student comes to Norman. If you havenít taken all those shots mentioned in the letter sent from the health center, you will have to make an appointment here to take those shots.

For more information on the Norman campus tuberculosis testing policy, visit the website: Click Here

If you have job at the University, you can apply for your Social Security Number ten days after your arrival at US. The Social Security Administration (SSA) office is located at :
200 NE 27th Street,
Moore, Oklahoma 73160-4104
Phone No(s): 405-799-0702
800-772-1213
Office Hours: 9am to 4pm, Monday through Friday

During the week before the class starts, there is a mandatory orientation program for all the international students. Attending this orientation helps the new students to get acquainted with the rules and regulations as well as life at OU.

There are various other events like picnic, trips to local grocery store and free food sessions organized during the first few weeks of semester. Attending these events provides opportunity to make new friends in this foreign land.

Monthy Expense

Usually, the monthly expense varies from one student to another. It depends on how much you are paying for your housing, utilities and food. However, if you are sharing your housing and food cost with someone, you can manage to live decently for about $500 a month. If you are living alone, then the expense will be higher than that.

Housing

University of Oklahoma owns and maintains few apartments and residence halls at Norman. Students can fill up an online application to book any of these university apartments. However, you will have to do it as earlier as you can as there are many people on the waiting list. For more information about these housing options please visit Here

Another option would be the off-campus housing. These are the apartments that are owned and maintained by private parties. Some of these as listed below are closer to the university:
Essex Square Apartments (2 bed 1 bath- unfurnished)
Ray Apartments (1 bed 1 bath - furnished)
Bishops Landing (2 bed 1 bath & 1 bed 1 bath Ė unfurnished)
Lincoln Apartments (2 bed 1 bath Ė unfurnished)
Keys West Apartments (1 bed 1 bath)

The average cost of one bed one bath apartment is around $400.00-$500.00 per month and that of two bed one bath apartment is around $500.00-$600.00 per month not including the utility bills. The utility bills account for the electricity bills and it comes to be around $50.00-$100.00 per month. Usually two people can share the one bed room apartment and up to four people can share the two bedroom apartment. These are the basic scenario of the off campus housing, which may however vary from one apartment to another. If you are looking for an off campus apartment, please let us know and we can look around for a suitable apartment for you.