Things NOT to get along
Electrical appliances, unless you are sure it works here (i.e. you have a AC/DC convertor). The electric supply here is 110V, 60Hz. Mostly all the electronic items are very cheap in US. So you can always get them here.
Other Important Stuff
- YOUR CERTIFICATES, TRANSCRIPTS. Laminate them in thin plastic if possible.
- Your application material in case you wish to reactivate your applications at another place for the following quarter/year. Lot of passport size photos (13-14 per pair here!).
- All important documents like medical records, letters of communication with the university, etc.
Keep the passport, I-20, all the certificates, Marklists (your folder), medical records etc. in your handbag. Very rarely airlines misplace your luggage. Ofcourse they refund you for the same but as you can see, some documents are too important for any refund.
You will complete your customs formalities at your first port of entry. ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE SUFFICIENT TIME (at least 2 hours, considering the queue) BETWEEN YOUR FLIGHTS AT THAT AIRPORT.
Carry a few quarters (25c coins) in case you have to call anyone from the airport.