William & Mary

Life in the U.S.

What You Need to Know

The pages linked below contain important information about things you need to know when planning to live in the U.S. for an extended period of time. If you have questions, please make an appointment with an international advisor at the Reves Center.

Housing: how to find a place to live at or near W&M
  • On-Campus Housing
  • Off-Campus Housing
  • Housing options during breaks (short term housing)
Health Insurance
  • Due to the high cost of health care in the U.S., every student and scholar is required to have a health insurance plan that is approved by William & Mary
  • Student Health Insurance
  • Scholar Health Insurance
Social Security Numbers
  • Anyone who plans to work on- or off-campus will need a Social Security Number (SSN) for payment and tax purposes. Social Security Numbers are only granted to those with work authorization. You can apply for a social security card 3 days after arriving in the U.S.
  • How to apply for a SSN: documents and forms
  • Who is eligible to work in the U.S.
    • F-1 students
    • J-1 students
    • J-1 scholars
    • J-2 dependents
Banking in the U.S.
  • How to open a bank account
Filing Your Taxes
  • Learn more about tax requirements
Cell (Mobile) Phones
  • Using a cell phone from your home country
  • Pre-paid phones vs. monthly plans
  • Cell phone providers
  • Resources on getting around Williamsburg, including public transportation, Zipcars, and car rental agencies
Obtaining a U.S. Driver's License or State ID card
  • How to apply and necessary documents
Buying/Registering a Car
  • Everyone who owns a car in the U.S. is required to also have liability car insurance
  • Tips on buying a car
  • Gasoline consumption conversion
  • Legal procedure for purchasing, registering, and inspecting a car
ESL: English language Resources at W&M
  • ESL tutoring
  • ESL classes
  • Special courses for non-native English speakers