Consult the Handbook
Before leaving for the United States, please be sure to review information sent to you by Brown. Valuable information is also available on the Office of International Student and Scholar Services Web site, including general information for international students and a useful handbook. As you review the handbook, please keep in mind that the content is written for undergraduate students, as well as graduate and medical students, visiting scholars, faculty, and staff.
Suggestions from Undergraduates
Below are recommendations for what to bring provided by the International Mentoring Program.
Travel Documents are more important than anything else! Your Passport, I-20 and any other form of identification are what matter most.
Providence is a city which gets all 4 seasons, so pack accordingly. Summer can be warm and humid. Bring comfortable shorts, skirts, flip-flops and other summer wear. In the fall, things cool down and by this time a warm jacket is recommended. Winter is cold and wearing several layers, a warm jacket, snow or water proof shoes, and full length trousers/jeans are a necessity. Spring is beautiful when generally a light jacket in the evenings is more than enough. Information about average monthly temperatures in Providence or Rhode Island can be found on-line, including Weather.com and ClimateZONE.com, as can general information about the climate.
Brown is a pretty informal school, and so apart from weather considerations, feel free to dress exactly how you like. If you ever find that you need to do some shopping, there are plenty of stores within walking distance of campus, or you could even make a trip to Boston or New York where there are even wider selections of stores.
Other School Stuff
Having a computer is very useful though not absolutely mandatory, because the libraries on campus and other facilites have several computer clusters. However, since most of your classes will have a website, and you might be handing in home-work online, as well as typing out all your assignments and papers, having a computer in the room is very convenient. The Brown Computer Store as well as other nearby stores tend to have special deals on computers in the early Fall, so if you'd like, you could wait to purchase one upon your arrival.
Carry some photographs, or your favourite books or movies, or some food from your home country. There are always those odd days when you want to share memories with your new friends, or just want to look back at some of the times you had before coming to Brown. These things take up little space, and can just give you that extra comfort in a new place.
There are numerous stores near campus and at the Providence Place Mall where sheets, pillow covers, as well as curtains, rugs, clocks, mirrors and other things you might need to do up your room with are available, so you don't need to carry all these from home.
Surviving Providence Winters
Winter Jacket: It is essential that you have a warm jacket for when it starts to get cold. There are many different styles and options, but a common choice among students are jackets stuffed with down feathers, which are available in water-proof material. A good place to shop would be at the Providence Place Mall or in Boston if you're able to get there, and a good time would be early in the semester because the beginning of winter is hard to predict, and it's always good to be prepared before-hand.
Layering: Wearing several layers really helps staying warm, especially during the winter when nothing else seems to work! So a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath a short-sleeves t-shirt, underneath a thin sweater, underneath a thick sweater, underneath the above-mentioned down jacket, and you will soon forget how cold it is!
Footwear: This is really an essential part of feeling warm. Warm socks, and snow-proof shows can make a huge difference to beating the cold.
Scarves, Caps and Gloves: These are great additions which add that extra warmth, and help deal with the wind. Keeping your neck, ears and hands warm can greatly influence how warm you feel on the whole.