This section of the website contains some general information you may need to know before coming to the U.S. Information is given on topics such as:
- About the United States - clothing and climate, personal safety
- Housing information
- Health Care Requirement
American customs and culture may be very different in the United States from those to which you are accustomed. Prepare yourself for these differences by securing information at the closest US Embassy or Information Service. You may also benefit from talking with persons in your home country who have studied here.
About the United States
Welcome to the United States of America and to Schaumburg, Illinois! The following topics pertain to your stay in Schaumburg and the greater Chicago-land area.
Climate and Clothing
You should come prepared for changes in the weather; very cold winters, hot summers, and pleasant days in between. The temperature frequently drops to 30°F and below (-7°C) in winter and rises to 90°F (32°C) in the summer. Plan to wear warm clothing during the winter months (November-March). A good winter coat is a necessity along with a scarf, gloves, and snow boots. Clothing for rainy weather is also needed.
Schaumburg Christian School does maintain a school dress code. For details about expectations for on and off campus, please refer to the Dress and Appearance Guidelines. When deciding which kind of clothing to pack for your move to the US, you may also find it helpful to bring national costumes to wear to certain campus events and international celebrations or to speaking engagements around the city, but this is a matter of personal choice.
When you arrive in any US city, do not be passive about your personal safety. Common crimes, such as robbery and theft, are unfortunate aspects of today's society. While certain situations cannot be prevented no matter what precautions are taken, there are a few things you can do to decrease your chances of becoming a victim of crime in the US:
- When traveling, do not carry or display large amounts of money or jewelry. Instead, carry traveler's checks, redeemable for cash at most banks and stores, or use major credit cards, such as VISA, Mastercard, and American Express.
- Be careful with your personal belongings. Always keep money, jewelry, and valuable documents in your possession. Do not leave them in your luggage, in a "storage locker," or in a locked car.
- Do not go out alone at night. If you must go out alone at night it is better to take a taxi to and from your destination.
- If approached by someone demanding to take your money, do not resist. It is better to lose your money than to risk your safety. In the case of such an incident, notify the police as soon as possible. Throughout the United States, the emergency number for the police (as well as to contact the fire department or an ambulance) is 911.
- Be careful when accepting help from strangers; they may not be trustworthy. Ask a police officer or other person of authority for information.
- Beware of "con artists" - these are individuals who offer you money or the opportunity to make money in exchange for some small service or assistance from you. Never, under any circumstance, give money to such a person.
- Identity theft has become a growing problem in the United States. It is important that you guard all of your personal identity documents such as your passport and visa, I-20 document, as well as credit card and bank account information. If you obtain a Social Security Number while in the US you must also guard this information carefully. Before discarding, it is recommended that you shred any documents containing your personal information such as those mentioned above, as well as any credit card solicitations you may receive in the mail. Finally, refrain from carrying any of your important personal documents unless absolutely necessary and keep these documents safely stored in your home or in a security account at a local bank.
Schaumburg Christian School does not have dormitories on its campus. A majority of our international students either live with host families or relatives. Host families are carefully screened, and we strive to formulate living arrangements that work best for both the student and host family.
It is expected that most students will be housed by their United States sponsors. In the event this is not possible and the student is in need of housing, please contact the School Registrar so that housing arrangements can be made. While Schaumburg Christian School will do its best to assist in locating housing, this is not a guarantee that housing can be found.
Room and Board costs are to be paid directly to and negotiated with the sponsoring/host family.
All new students at Schaumburg Christian School are required to show that they have immunizations, including (but not limited to) measles, mumps, and rubella.
It is expected that International and National Exchange Students meet ALL of the school’s health requirements by the deadlines posted in order to accommodate the Illinois state immunization requirements. Students should have all required medical forms completed prior to their start date at SCS. This includes a school/sports physical, eye examination, dental examination and immunization records.
Student Insurance / Health Care Coverage
Schaumburg Christian School does not require that students have health insurance, but it is strongly encouraged in the event of a medical emergency or hospitalization. Any medical costs incurred are the responsibility of the student and his family.
Fall Semester Orientation
General Orientation for all Schaumburg Christian School students is required and should be attended by both the student and the sponsor/guardian/host family.