What to Pack

As little as possible! Bring only what you need or truly can't replace or buy in the U.S.. There will be a shopping trips during orientation and other opportunities to shop throughout the semester, so don't worry about packing large amounts of toiletries, art supplies, food, or other easily replaced items.

What to Bring in Your Carry-On Luggage

    • Immigration documents: Your passport with your F-1 visa, I-20, documents showing financial support, and admission letter from MICA.

    • Cash: You'll want U.S. currency to pay for any expenses between your port of arrival and Baltimore, however do NOT carry large amounts of cash on you.

    • Cash/ATM cards: Major credit cards, debit cards, and ATM cards can be used to charge purchases or get local currency. Check to see if your local card is part of a global network, such as Cirrus or Plus. Bring it in case your need to withdraw cash and consider opening a U.S. bank account

    • Record of your required immunizations and any other required health forms. Make sure to fill out any required medical forms from the Office of Residence Life.

    • Medication: If you are on any prescribed medication, make sure that you will have a sufficient supply. You may wish to consult your doctor about generic names of the drugs you must take rather than specific brand names in case you need to refill them in the U.S.

    • Laptop computer: If you choose to bring it with you, carry it. You may also wish to purchase one here.

    • Small electronics: iPod, camera, or any similar items. Make sure you also purchase an adapter for U.S. electrical plugs!

    • Clothing: Bring some for a couple of days; change of shirt, underwear, etc. You may wish to bring small toiletry items too, but be aware of the limit on size and quantity imposed by security restrictions.

    • Comfort items: Travel pillow, lightweight throw, and small towel for example.  You can also use them in your room upon arrival, since it may be a day or two before you can get linens.

What To Bring in Your Checked Luggage

    • Clothing: Seasonal clothing, including jeans, a couple pairs of shoes, some short and long-sleeved shirts/blouses, some sweaters or sweatshirts, a lightweight jacket or raincoat, an umbrella. You may want to bring one dressier outfit, but in general students at MICA dress casually.

    • Linens: One set of towels, two sheets (Twin XL size), pillowcase, and a blanket.. Pack or carry a travel pillow if you can. MICA does NOT provide linens, and you'll need these right away. If you are living off-campus, you will want to buy linens for that fit your own mattress which may not be a Twin XL.

    • Photos and small mementos of home: It will make you feel more at home and your new friends will want to see these!


Some international students choose to open a U.S. bank account while studying at MICA. It is not required to open a bank account. However, it is recommended if you plan on having an on-campus job while at MICA

Document generally required to open a bank account

    • Passport (valid at least six months into the future) with your F-1 visa inside

    • Valid I-20 issued by MICA

    • You do not need a social security number to open a bank account

Banks near MICA:

    • PNC Bank – 1100 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

    • M&T Bank – 715 N Howard St, Baltimore, MD 21201

    • Suntrust Bank – 929 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 21211

    • Wells Fargo – 7 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Cell Phones

Your international cell phone will most likely not work while you are here in the U.S. Most students choose to get a cellphone here to communicate with their new friends and classmates.

Documents generally required to obtain a cell phone are:

  • Passport (valid at least six months into the future) with your F-1 visa inside
    • Valid I-20 issued by MICA

    • You do not need a social security number to obtain a cellphone

Cell phone providers near MICA

    • AT&T – 1001 Fleet St., Baltimore, MD 21202 / 410-782-7680

    • T-Mobile – 200 E. Pratt St. Suite 2030, Baltimore, MD 21202 / 443-934-0000

    • Verizon – 1002 Fleet St., Baltimore, MD 21202 / 410-528-5421