After the acceptance
In any event, we can congratulate you. You have overcome the first obstacle!
After the acceptance, you will get informed about the first meeting with the IMWF-foreign officer. At these meetings, all important and not so important questions can be discussed. The most important points are listed down below.
You should think early on about which courses you would like to select in Stuttgart and at the partner university. Also, you should talk to the relevant professors in Stuttgart if you would like to get your exams abroad recognised here. You will probably not get a definite answer, because the contents of lectures can change.
Your date of departure will probably be in tourist season, therefore, you should book a flight early on. A good time range for your departure is the first week of August. Then, you have 3-4 weeks until the lectures start. This time, you can use to find an apartment, visit introductory events and settle other formalities.
If a date for the return flight is already settled (e.g. Christmas), there are cheap flights from known airlines or at travel platforms such as Opodo or TravelOverLand. There are also options, where you can change your return flight for free during the duration of a year. However, those are not as recommendable, because they are expensive and the duration of the stay in Washington is usually longer than 365 days. It is better to check the lecture and holiday plans and book your flights according to those. Normally, it is even cheaper to pay a rebooking fee (about 100€) than to use the 365-days-offers.
You have to get an overseas health insurance for your stay in the USA. It has to meet certain requirements (you can find those on the homepages of the partner universities). Also, most overseas health insurance do not offer an option for longer than twelve months – an exception is mawista-insurance. It is highly advisable to check different options.
The German driver’s license is generally accepted in the USA, but often unknown. You can get an international driving license at the district administration in Germany, but that is not mandatory. It is, however, advisable to get an US-driving license. It is the official ID in the USA and makes life easier in many situations. It is – especially in Virginia – easy to get the US-driver’s license, you do not have to take an exam and the fee is very low (4$). In the District of Columbia, you have to do a theoretical test, which is not that difficult if you learn just a little bit for it. An international driving license is not necessary for that.
However, you have to open an account with an US-bank (which is free for students), because rent, scholarships and bills are normally paid with cheques in the USA. You have to often visit the bank, for example to cash a scholarship-cheque, therefore you should find a bank in your proximity. The Bank of America has probably the most branches in the greater area of Washington, DC.
Bank transfers from Germany to the USA are very expensive. If you do not want to pay fees, you can withdraw money at an ATM with your DKB-card and deposit it on your US-account.
Bear in mind: All US-banks charge fees for overdrawing an account. Therefore, you should pay attention to keep your account in plus.
You have to apply for your visa personally at the consulate in Frankfurt. To avoid any problems, you should closely follow the consulate’s guidelines. The needed forms can be downloaded and printed, then you have to bring them to the consulate. Often, there are long periods of waiting for an appointment, so you should make this appointment as soon as you get your documents from the partner university.