Life in America

Life in America

Don’t forget to pack pillow, blanket, sheets, towels, umbrella, cell phone, charger, medicines, etc. 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. Please do not bring any 220V hot water heater. You can use the microwave oven that is available on each floor to heat up 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 and . 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 ask to pay for lost keys, key cards or any damages to the apartment. The fine for each lost key is $75; the fine for each lost key card is also $75, all payable to Housing Office.

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 such as T-Mobile’s “Pay As You Go Plan”. There is a T-Mobile store located in Technology Square, in the Centergy complex. Address: 85 5th Street, Suite A, Atlanta, GA 30308, Tel: (404) 685-8635. Note: US SIM card might not fit for some phone models.

Bike rental

  • ViaCycle: Georgia Tech’s bike share program

Visit area universities:

  • Emory University. You can board the free Cliff Shuttle at the Emory University Hospital Midtown (EUHM), formerly known as the Emory Crawford Long Hospital, nearby Georgia Tech. Address of EUHM: 550 Peachtree St, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308. Shuttle schedule can be found here. Service frequency is once an hour during the day and early evening, weekdays (M-F) only. Look for the EUH/EUHM line.
  • Georgia State University. Take MARTA to Five Points, switch to east line, get off at Georgia State station.

Atlanta weather

Be flexible and keep a positive attitude. Schedule changes and unexpected inconveniences will happen. Treat them as part of the learning experience!