The ISO would like to officially welcome you to MIT!
We hope that these pages will help you with your transition to MIT and the U.S., as well as provide you with some important information regarding day-to-day life.
Connect with someone from your culture/country! Find the various clubs at the ASA website.
Any medication you need (be sure to bring any written doctor’s prescriptions for prescription meds);Toiletries (towels, toothbrush, hair comb/brush, travel size shampoo, soap, sunscreen… Note: you can buy larger size items after you arrive);Your swimsuit (especially for first year undergrads, if you plan to take the swim test during Orientation. Note: you can always take […]
In New England, the joke is “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” Boston especially is notorious for unpredictable weather, even on the same day. [Review our Preparing for Winter slides to know what to expect during this season] Plan to bring clothes suitable for various occasions, and always be ready to wear […]
The information provided below is an overview of housing at MIT. For questions and more information on housing, see the MIT Housing website. On-Campus Housing MIT’s approach to housing incoming freshmen is somewhat unique. Please check out the Undergraduate Housing website for more information. To speak with someone about single undergraduate housing, please visit W59-200, […]
MIT Furniture Exchange Discover discounted used furniture and household goods while supporting scholarships at MIT. Bring your MIT, Harvard, Emerson, BU, or Suffolk ID and explore! The Furniture Exchange is a 15-minute walk from the Central Square red line T station at 350 Brookline Street, Building WW15-182, Cambridge MA 02139. Open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am […]
Bicycling Current MIT employees and students can buy subsidized annual Bluebikes memberships and ride at a discounted hourly rate. The subsidized annual membership for MIT employees and students is $35 (regularly $99). Follow these instructions to sign up or renew as a member of the MIT group. An MIT certificate is required in order to […]
Walking Distance Food Shopping Stores TechMart At-cost grocery store on campus Walker Memorial, Building 50 Daily Table (Central Square)684 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA 02139Costs average of 30% less than other local supermarkets Brother’s Market (Specialty food market near Kendall Square)1 BroadwayFood is pricier but convenient for the area H Mart (Central Square; 10 mins from […]
When you arrive in the United States, we strongly recommend that you carry only small amounts of cash with you. You will probably want to set up a bank account in the Cambridge area as soon as possible. Commercial banks are preferable to savings banks, since commercial banks offer a greater variety of international services. […]
Tipping in the United States can be very confusing, not only for international visitors but for Americans alike. However, it is a requirement when you dine in at a restaurant or order at a bar; meanwhile, there are other instances where it is also expected (and that you may not realize–such as tipping the maid […]
Use the free financial literacy platform iGrad (open to the entire MIT community). Access resources for budgeting and learning about building your credit history in the U.S. Why should you care about building a credit history? It helps for the future if you would like to rent an apartment, buy a car or house, and […]
Americans still write checks for things such as paying rent and paying back a friend (although nowadays it’s much more common to use apps such as Venmo to pay each other back). Most landlords still insist on rent checks, and if you’re sending money to the government for immigration purposes, it’s helpful to know how […]
A State ID Card may also be obtained at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. (Please note that you must be age 21 or older in order to obtain a liquor ID Card.) Requirements for Liquor ID Card are also available on the RMV website, which includes the following: passport birth certificate home country license or […]
How to Get a Massachusetts Driver’s License To be eligible for a Massachusetts Driver’s License, international students must show that their visa status for their program of study, as written on their Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, is at least one year (365 days) in duration. Student’s whose program of study are less than 365 […]
Plan to bring your unlocked phone to the U.S. and obtain a SIM card upon arrival. The ISO offers a temporary SIM card at their office, so stop by to pick one up. You can decide to keep this plan temporarily or more long-term. UPDATE: While the ISO is virtual, you can fill out this […]
MIT English Language Studies (ELS): Classes offered every fall and spring semester to degree-seeking students. The curriculum is designed for non-native English speakers to foster effective communication in a variety of academic and professional contexts. MIT Writing and Communication Center: Make an appointment to consult about your writing for a paper, assignment, or presentation. MIT […]