Don’t forget to pack pillow, blanket, sheets, towels, umbrella, cell phone, charger, medicines, etc. However, ordinary daily necessities can be purchased from stores near campus. Pack light so you still have room in the bags to bring back gifts and souvenirs.
Tap water in the US is potable – you can drink water from the tap directly without the need to boil it first. However, the water filter pitcher is still recommended. Please do not bring any 220V hot water heater. You can either buy one from Amazon or use the microwave oven that is available on each floor to heat up the water in a coffee mug should you like to drink hot water.
Electricity in the USA is 120V, 60 Hz; in China this is 220V, 50 Hz. Electrical appliances from China may not work properly in the USA due to the above differences.
Electric sockets in the USA have shapes. Laptop chargers, camera chargers, and certain electrical appliances from China may not fit into the sockets in the USA. Make sure that you bring plug adapters from China! It is very difficult to find plug adapters in the USA that fit traditional plugs from China.
Tipping in restaurants with table service is expected. It is customary to tip 15%-18% of the bill. Tip 20% if the service is outstanding, especially prompt or friendly, or the server fulfilled many special requests.
Use proper outlet adapters for your electronics. Forcing the Chinese type plugs into the US style outlets can spark the outlets (creating a fire hazard) and blow the circuits.
Housing notes: Do not use masking tape, nails, etc on the walls. You will be fined for lost keys, key cards, or any damages to the apartment.
US cell phone plan: If your cell phone works in the US cell phone bands, you may want to get a US SIM card (cell phone number) and a pre-paid plan. There is an AT&T store located at Tech Square. The specific address is 62 5th St NW, Atlanta, GA, and the telephone number is 6789295511. Note: US SIM cards might not fit some phone models.
- ViaCycle: Georgia Tech’s bike share program
Visit area universities:
- Emory University. You can board the free Georgia Tech shuttle bus– Stinger Route Emory. This provides direct service between Georgia Tech’s midtown campus and Emory University’s Clifton Campus. The route only operates from Monday to Friday. To track the real-time schedule for the shuttle bus, one can download the mobile app – TransLoc.
- Georgia State University. Take MARTA to Five Points, switch to the east line, and get off at Georgia State station.
Be flexible and keep a positive attitude. Schedule changes and unexpected inconveniences will happen. Treat them as part of the learning experience!