What to Bring for the Orientation at MSU
- An umbrella - it rains a lot in Michigan
- Clothing for warm weather, but also a sweater/light jacket because our air conditioning can be quite cold (last year one of our meeting rooms was stuck at about 15 Celsius one day)
- Comfortable shoes - you will be walking a lot, especially on Tuesday and Thursday
- Make sure you pack essentials in your carry-on bag because luggage can get delayed
- You may want to bring adapters for electronic equipment. The only thing you can find here are adapters for U.S. citizens to go overseas, but not adapters for your plugs to fit U.S. plugs.
What to Bring for your Academic Year at your Host Institution
This is a harder list for us to create for you, but here are some suggestions to consider.
Remember that most things can be bought in the U.S. or found to use on campus (e.g., there are computers throughout most campuses). As you are packing, think about what you can NOT get here, or what is expensive here - those are things you should bring. Check with your supervisors at your host institution to see if they can add to or change any of the following list.
- Money - as Fulbright told you, the stipend will probably not cover trips you might want to take, or souvenirs you might want to buy. A credit or debit card will help, especially in the beginning days as you transition to setting up a bank account and getting your first stipend. Current FLTAs suggest that $200-$300 should be enough to get started here, but make sure you have some small bills.
- Medical records, prescriptions in English with the scientific name, not brand name
- A list of all of your allergies
- An extra pair of glasses or set of contact lenses
- Umbrella - you can buy one here, but you will probably need it in Michigan right away
- Pictures/videos of family and friends - very important
- Laptop (if you have one; if not, there generally are many computer labs on most campuses)
- A range of clothes. For everyday teaching, many universities could be described as “business casual.” Then there will be some social events for which dressier, more formal clothes would be appropriate. Don’t forget different activity clothes too - swimming, hiking, biking, sports, etc.
- Instruments, sports equipment, hobby materials, etc. if practical (obviously you can’t bring a piano, but maybe you could bring a flute)
Teaching Materials and Sharing Culture
Sample list: Check with your supervisors at your host institution to see if they can add to or change any of the following list.
- Textbooks or workbooks for learning your language
- Handwriting practice materials
- Monolingual dictionaries
- Children’s books
- Magazines (a variety of types)
- Menus, bus schedules, advertisements, travel brochures, maps, etc.
- Artifacts such as traditional toys, traditional clothing, textile art (weaving, batiks, etc.)
- Pictures of various areas and diverse people of your country
- Music and/or traditional instruments
- DVDs of popular movies
- Reproductions of famous artwork
- Examples of your currency to use in class
- Lots and lots of small, light, inexpensive souvenirs that represent your country to give to various people with whom you interact throughout your stay in the U.S.