Dear Incoming Student,
Congratulations on being accepted for a Graduate Program at Tufts University. We are delighted to welcome you as you prepare to join the rich educational and cultural experience that studying at Tufts and living in Boston provides.

The Indian Society at Tufts (ISAT) is a Graduate student organization that represents the interests and issues of the Indian community at Tufts. We are a new organization, growing in participation and activities rapidly. One of our primary objectives and our principal motivation that led to our founding is to help incoming students find an existing support structure that they can utilize as they adjust to life in the new environment. We can help you with

  • Getting in touch with other students who are joining you at Tufts

Join our facebook page @Indian Society at Tufts. Follow the instructions and join the group. We will try to update you through this group.

  • Guidelines on things to bring with you and general journey tips
    Please refer to the attached sheet or visit us online at
  • Airport pick-up for incoming students
    Our members would be pleased to receive you at the airport. We will do our best to pick you up in our own vehicles, (preferably on weekends) but we cannot always guarantee it. Our funding will not permit the cost of the cab. You may need to cover the cost of your cab. If you want us to pick you up from the airport, please fill up the airport pick up form attached (also available on
    our webpage However, you may also e-mail us about the same well
    ahead of time (i.e. at least 3 weeks ahead).
  • Helping you locate an initial place for your stay here
    When you arrive at Tufts, we will be glad to help you with temporary accommodation for the first week or two, until you find a place of your own. We can also help you in finding a permanent house, however we DO NOT guarantee the same. If you would like us to help you with temporary and permanent accommodation, please fill up the form attached (also available on our webpage). You can also e-mail us about the same by 15th July. To search for apartments check out and search for ‘Tufts’ in apartments.
  • Health insurance

For the first year generally you have to take the Tufts Insurance as the last date to waive it is before you arrive at Tufts. You generally need your social security number to enroll in some other insurance plan in US which you will not get till you come to Tufts. Hence you end up with the Tufts insurance. However from the next year you might choose to take so better (cheaper) insurance which satisfies all the Tufts (or Massachusetts) recommendations. You might ask for an extension to the last date to waive your Tufts insurance by emailing the International Center or the Health Service.

  • Orientation and Welcome party
    An information session regarding initial formalities, paper work and settling tips and welcome party for freshers will be held at the beginning of the fall semester (i.e. sometime in early September). There will be one more orientation sponsored by international center, which will give you an opportunity to know about the life in USA and meet other international graduate students. Please make sure that you attend all the orientation programs.

Have a comfortable journey and make it a point to spend more time with your family and friends than in worrying about your
journey ahead.

Best wishes from ISAT

Do's (Things to bring):

  • Books: Books are expensive here, so get in touch with your advisor and get the list of books suggested.
  • Clothes: Winters are cold. Cotton thermal underwear are available for 7-10$ and woolen thermal underwear are available for 25-30$, so use your discretion and get thermal underwear. Jeans, turtleneck shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, light jacket and the like. Summers are warm, so get casual Indian clothes, Semi formals. 1 set of formal wear is optional. Get enough underclothes (12 – 15 sets) and socks, because laundry is generally done once in 2 weeks. At least one set of ethnic wear for the Indian
    festivals and other traditional events held annually.
  • Footwear: 1 pair of Woodland snowshoes and sneakers is almost a necessity. Hawaii slippers, formals and casuals are an option – its up to your discretion.
  • Linen: 1 double sized bed sheet, pillow covers (large).
  • Cosmetics: Personal toiletries to get your started for the first month.
  • Medicines: Spare spectacles with your prescription are a must. Painkillers are available over the counter. Get Crocin, / Dristan/ Avil/ Septran/ Lomotil/ Voveran (choose according to your needs). Eye drops, Eardrops, Iodex, Muscle relaxants, Band-Aid, cotton, Thermometer, Skin ointments etc. If you are on any medication, bring enough, medicines are expensive here. If you are bringing your supply of medicines, make sure that you have a doctor’s prescription along with it.
  • Utensils: Pressure pan, Kadai, Spare gaskets, Valves, Tea strainers, belan (rolling pin to make chapattis) are things you will find difficult to get here. A plate, glass, bowl (all microwaveable) and enough cutleries to get you started would be good. Discuss with your prospective roomies to avoid duplication of cutlery and crockery.
  • Foodstuff: Do not try to bring in grains or legumes etc. Basic spices to get you started. Ensure that all homemade stuff is properly sealed or you might need to get rid of it at Customs. Do not bring any fresh fruits, vegetables or flowers.
  • Money: Initial expense of settling down (including rent) accounts to about $2500. Traveler’s checks
    are safer than cash.
  • Driver’s license: You can drive in Massachusetts for one year with your national license. So you might
    not need international drivers permit (IDP).
  • Miscellaneous: Get any musical instrument you play, if you can fit it in your luggage. (You might get
    here an opportunity to show your skills). A good alarm clock, a calculator, a strong, durable backpack, a
    nail cutter, scissors, tweezers, a sewing kit, an up-to-date address book, ethnic stuff for gifts, audio
    cassettes, religious stuff etc.

Don’ts (Things NOT to bring):

  • Clothes: Heavy jackets, clothes that may run color or shrink or will need ironing.
  • Linen: Pillows and Blankets.
  • Miscellaneous: No Electronic goods (Here its 110V, 60Hz).
  • Money: DO NOT use Indian bank checks for university payments. Either wire money or send demand drafts.

Tips for the journey:

  • You can decide the date of your arrival according to your convenience, but it would be easier for
    our members to pick you up in our own vehicles on weekends.
  • DO NOT check in your I20, passport, and University letters. Carry them in your Hand baggage.
  • Carrying scissors or knives in your hand baggage can cause a problem during custom clearance, so
    better carry them in your check in luggage.
  • Once you arrive at your port of entry just follow the directions and join the line for immigration
    check. Immigration and custom clearance may take 30-60 minutes.

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