Indian Students come to USA to make their dreams come true and come out of the college in flying colours. In the recent times, it is sad to hear a lot of stories about Indian students getting killed in road accidents, adventure trip and getting into trouble because of violating law knowingly or unknowingly.
Here is a safety and Good to follow guidelines for Indian Students in USA.
1. Choose the university carefully.
There were three incidents in the last two years, in which private universities with large number of Indian students have been shut down by the authorities for not following procedures properly, leaving the students in a
If a university seems to be functioning differently from
other universities in letting you take on-line classes or allowing
you to work, be suspicious about that university.
2. Come prepared Financially.
Students coming for education in the USA should come prepared with enough money to cover education and living expenses for entire period of study, not just for one or two semesters.
Make sure you have adequate funds or loan to support whole of your education.
3. Say no to Off Campus jobs.
While it is tempting to take part-time jobs outside campus, many of these jobs are dangerous. The risk of violence is very high in jobs involving cash-management like convenience stores, gas stations, and delivery services, particularly so in late shifts and in high-crime areas.
Do not work at unauthorized or illegal part time jobs while you are on a Student visa. It may lead towards detention (jail), deportation and debarment from future visits to the USA.
4. Always have a health insurance.
Maintain Health Insurance. Insurance may cost you some money, but it is very essential. Lack of insurance can turn out to be a lot costlier than insurance premiums. Check with your university regarding low cost group health insurance availability.
5. Maintain Visa status all the time.
Be in touch with the International student affairs office to make sure your I 20 and Visa status are valid all the time.
6. Don’t Argue or engage in a fight.
Do not try to argue with strangers. Most of the arguments end up in a fight and you have a lot more to lose than the other person.
Do not make rude gestures (like showing your middle finger, pointing etc.) or swear at people. Control your anger for a moment or two until the situation passes by, even if you have been wronged. There are other, safer ways of dealing with things.
7. Always choose Life over Money.
Sourcewikipedia/Chin Tin Tin
If you encounter a robber or mugger demanding money or valuables, NEVER try to resist or wrestle. Whatever you lose in the robbery can be earned back, but not a lost life.
8. Use English for communication at College and Public places.
There have been incidents, where people of Indian origin staring at others and talking in a non-English language among themselves caused misunderstanding and led to fights. When in public places, please try to talk only in English.
9. Be a Good one in the Community.
Try to commingle with local students or local community so that you learn and understand the local customs and you will not be treated as a stranger. Wandering only in groups of Indians will lead to isolation and alienation from local community.
10. You are a beginner, no matter how many years you drove in India.
Before you begin to drive in USA, take at least a couple of driving lessons to understand the basics of the driving. Even if you have had lots of experience in India, the rules, driving conditions, and speeds are very different and the resulting confusion can lead to accidents. Therefore, appropriate driver training is most essential.
11. Don’t Mix Drinks with Driving. Its a very serious offense in USA.
Do not drive under influence of alcohol or any other substances or drugs. Ensure that there is a sober designated driver in your group. Consumption of alcohol or other narcotic substances impairs your driving ability causing accidents.
Also, drunk driving laws are enforced very strictly in all the states. The loss of driving license, huge fines and legal fees and possible jail time are simply not worth it to be driving when you are drinking.
This will also be mentioned as a crime while applying for jobs and might not be a great possession to have on your profile. So, Strictly no Drink and Drive.
12. If you get Pulled over by Police,stay in the car and keep your hands on the Steering.
If you are ever pulled over by a police officer, do not get out of your car unless the officer asks you to do it. Keep your hands only on the steering and wait for the officer.
13. Keep your home Secured.
Always keep your apartment/home/ dorm doors (also windows if you are in ground or first floor) locked and secure.
Make sure you always keep important Certificates, Documents and most importantly Passport always safe.
14. In Emergency Call 9-1-1
In case of emergency call 9-1-1. Emergency Response teams like Fire, Police and Ambulance are less than 10 minutes away in most cities in USA. They are better equipped and trained to deal with emergency situations and give necessary first aid. Calling a friend or family can waste precious few minutes.
15. Obey the law.!
As long as you are living in the USA, it’s absolutely necessary that you follow the local laws. There are no ways to escape if you commit a crime knowingly or unknowingly.
16. What is acceptable in India could be a Crime here.
Do not approach or touch lonely children – even if they are your neighbors. Do not offer any food or drinks to children unless they are accompanied by their parents and permit you to do it. Do not touch or rub any unknown people in public places, swimming pools, theaters etc.
17. No Fake Documents or Letters.
Do not falsify any documents that are eventually scrutinized by the universities, governmental agencies or potential employers. There was an Indian student who got arrested, prosecuted and deported for carrying blank letterheads and rubber stamps/seals of a university.
18. Trespassing is punishable. Keep the Parties low after midnight.
Do not trespass on any private properties. Even if you lost your way, do not knock on residential doors as a stranger. Do not disturb your neighbors, particularly in late night.
Nuisance complaints are the most common on students and sometime lead to serious actions too. Make sure any party doesn’t get too noisy after 1 AM in the weekend and 11 PM on a weekday.
19. Don’t Offer Alcohol or Smokes to Students below age 21.
Undergrad students are mostly under 21, offering alcohol or smokes knowingly or unknowingly to under age is a crime.
Students tend to ask for smokes or beer at times, Make sure you check a valid ID for age before offering.
20. Make sure you have documentation when buying anything.
International Students often get cheated when buying Cars. Prefer paying by cheque instead of cash.
21. Have a limit on your Credit Cards.
Don’t apply for multiple Credit Cards and overspend them. Keep an applying limit of $1000 and use it only in case of important financial needs.
Never miss a monthly minimum payment. Your credit score and history gets badly effected if minimum payments are not made on time. This will land you in trouble. Keep an eye on all the monthly payments and make them in time.
22. Remember that you haven’t grew up Swimming all your life.
If you are not proficient in swimming, do not get into the pools or ponds unless safety personnel are present. Even if you are an expert swimmer, do not attempt to swim in unknown waters or oceans. Nature is not always predictable.
23. Adventure Sports are very risky. Stay safe.
Do not try to participate in adventurous sports unless you have sufficient skills or prior experience. There are a thousands of deaths that happen every year at the adventure sports.
Remember you are in a country for a better life, not a “NO LIFE”. Your parents are waiting back in India for you. Stay Safe.
24. Tinder might get you in trouble.
Do not solicit or encourage any online sexual chats with unknown people. Lately, several people got in trouble with the sting operations by undercover cops.
25. No Copying or Cheating. You will never Graduate.!
Strictly no Plagiarism.
It is very easy to get a 3/4 GPA at college with a minimal effort. Don’t ruin your academic career with plagiarism.
The Indian students being punished on plagiarism is growing in the universities. Never copy or cheat in an exam. Never submit someone else’s work for assignments or paper submissions. Plagiarism is considered as a big violation and the university will fail you in the subject and can also go to an extent of deporting to India.
Students caught on Plagiarism often lose their Assistanceships, Funding and other jobs at the university.
It leaves a bad impression on the Indian Students in USA as a whole. Better get a 3.5 GPA on your own over getting deported with a 4 GPA.
Special Request from South Report.
Never say that India is a poor country. Some of the students out of desperation false claim that India is a poor country, so is their family and they cant live without a job.
There was an incident where the professor gave back a tight reply to the student who claimed to be poor saying
” If you are poor and broke, how did you send the document with bank balance in Lakhs, Never play these cheap tricks, India is a great country that has global respect for its technological contribution”
Always be a Proud Indian, represent your Country and talk about the greatness and share the knowledge with people from around the world.
Remember that you are a brand ambassador of your Country here.
Represent you Country, Culture and its rich Heritage.
Study well and contribute to the Global Community. Good Luck.!
Safety Guidelines adopted from ” Team Square– TANA “, Emergency Assistance Management Team of Telugu Association of North America (TANA) which helps Indian Community and Indian Students in USA in cases of emergency.