Pre-arrival Information for Incoming Students

Congratulations on being accepted to University of Maryland, Baltimore. You have made the best decision by choosing to do your grad studies at UMB! If you need help with temporary accommodation or suggestions regarding housing options, please contact as soon you get your visa stamped! We can also assist you in finding possible roommates.

Following are the list of things you may want to bring with you. You can also download this in Word or PDF.

1. Money

As soon as you arrive in the US, you will need money for the following:

  • Loose cash (1$, 5$, 10$ and 20$ bills as well as quarters) for making phone calls from the airport or for luggage trolleys/carts at the airport.
  • Transportation from the airport to your home or temporary accommodation.
  • Security deposit for your apartment and the first month’s rent.
  • Basic furniture, bedding, utensils and other grocery items.

2. Documents

Please make multiple copies of important documents. It is advisable to keep a copy of the documents at your home in India and bring the remaining here. Here is a list of some important documents you must carry:

  • Passport/visa
  • I-20
  • Admission letter and other documents from the program 
  • Certificates 
  • Medical records/immunization 
  • Indian/international driver’s license (this is a good photo ID till you get your USA driver’s license/state ID)

3. Personal Items.

It is quite chilly in Baltimore from beginning of October till the end of April with November to February being the main months of winter. On an average, we have 2 to 3 heavy snow showers every winter with the minimum temperature reaching as low as -25°C.

During summer, the temperature rises as high as 35°C to 40°C.

FYI, there is nothing like a rainy season here! It can rain during any part of the year. So weather channels are our best bet for such unpredictable weather.

List of useful winter clothes (you get much more variety as well as weather appropriate winter clothing here)

  • Sweaters
  • Woolen Scarves 
  • Ear muffs
  • Hand gloves,
  • Woolen socks
  • Winter jacket (if possible or you can always buy one here)
  • Thermal wear

Bring some Indian wear like kurtas, dresses, ghaghra, sarees etc. for Indian events and get –together.

Other personal items (it is advisable to get 2 weeks’ worth of socks and inner wear):

  • Toiletries
  • Essential medicines
  • Umbrella or wind cheaters
  • Shoes (sneakers, formal shoes and slippers)

4. Books/Stationery

Contact seniors in your program for relevant textbooks that you may need. It is better to purchase them in India itself as it is much cheaper there. If not, our University is equipped with an amazing library where books can be rented for a stipulated amount of time.

Get some basic stationery for the first month till we have our yearly Fall Fest on campus. This is a university fair where a lot of stationery is given out for free.

5. Kitchen stuff

It is advisable to bring basic groceries like rice, dal/lentils, oil and some masalas/spices for the initial couple of weeks till you get a chance to go grocery shopping. We have American, Asian and Indian stores at walkable/drivable distance.

It is better to get a small pressure cooker, tava/frying pan, plates, spoons, bowls, knives and ladles for the initial period till you settle down.

Some ready-to-eat food packets and instant noodles are always helpful during times of emergency (or random Maggi cravings).