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What to Bring to the U.S.

  • Appropriate clothing. (See sections on Weather and Clothing.)
  • Medications and Medical Record Form. (See section on Health and Insurance.)
  • Money. A US credit card (Visa or Mastercard) will be useful in Des Moines. You should also bring US $200-$300.00 in cash or travelers checks to cover immediate expenses (taxi, meals, telephone calls) until you are able to go to a bank. At least $50.00 should be in US currency and coins. If you didn't get US dollars before leaving home, exchange money at the airport as soon as you arrive in the US. Don't wait until you arrive in Des Moines. (See "Financial Concerns".)
  • Dictionary. High quality, inexpensive dictionaries for non-European languages may be difficult to find in Des Moines. Other books can be purchased in Des Moines.
  • Cultural items. You may enjoy bringing CDs of typical music, copies of favorite recipes, games, pictures, traditional clothing or other small unbreakable items that help you share your culture with others. Many students enjoy wearing traditional clothing for special occasions such as the annual "International Night."
  • Linens. You may bring your own towels, blankets, sheets and pillow cases for a single or "twin-size" bed, which measures 34 inches by 74 inches. Or you may buy them in Des Moines for about $40.00.
  • An international telephone "calling card" (like AT&T). This will allow you to make calls immediately when you arrive, if you can get one which is usable in the US.
  • A small camera, especially if these are inexpensive in your home country.

*REMEMBER: US electrical current is AC110. It may be better to buy small electrical appliances in the US if yours operate on direct current.