The dress code on campus is pretty informal and a T-shirt worn with jeans is almost a universal dress for both the sex. So, bring plenty of them. Formal clothes may come in useful occasionally. You may, of course, want to bring along some Indian clothes (saris, salwaar-kameez, kurtas, etc) with you which may be usefull during the on campus shows hosted by ISA such as Diwali/Holi/Potluck etc.

  • Formals: One suit (Optional), ties (1/2), shirts and trousers (2/3), traditional saris/kurta.

  • Casuals: Jeans (3/4), T-shirts & sweats (6+), cotton shirts (2+), shorts (for outdoor, indoor, sports use) (2/3).

San Marcos is a hot city having hot summers (35 to 40 C) and cold winters (0 to -5 C) , so you will be needing both summer wear as well as winter clothes. It is adviceble to get sweaters/jacket, a muffler (optional), a scarf and a woolen cap, but you might get a better coat/jacket in the US. It gets pretty cold here in winter so don't forget the warm clothes. An umbrella might be a good idea, since the rain here, though not a lot, tends to come without a warning.

  • Footwear: Sports shoes, formal shoes (required occasionally), sandals.

  • Winter wear: Sweaters (medium quality, at most 2), muffler/ scarf, woolen cap.

No matter where you stay, you'll have access to washing and drying facilities. These machines have large capacities, so that it is possible to do 2-3 week's laundry at a time. So plan your wardrobe accordingly.

  • Undergarments: About 12 sets of undergarments and socks (ankle socks preferrable), preferably cotton.

    Miscellaneous: Towel (1+), napkins (1/2), leather belts (2+), handkerchiefs (6+).

    Linen: Bed sheets (double bed size, 2), pillow covers (big, 2), shawl/light blanket (for spring/summer use).

  • Things you better buy in US: Winter jacket, winter gloves, caps, wind-cheaters, track-suits, good sweaters (they're cheap), comforter.

Note: Indian clothes (particularly cottons) have a tendency to shrink a lot when washed on the hot and/or warm cycle in a washing machine here or by drying them in the dryer, so please be careful with sizes.


It is preferable that you learn driving and come, if you have time but not mandatory. If you have a driving license in India or will be getting one before coming here, be sure to get an IDP (International Driving Permit) when you come. This may help you to drive the car intially if required. However this would fetch you the US Drivers License.



If you have a Bachelors Degree with non Computer Science Major or equivalent then you would have the following pre-requisites:

  • Programming in C++

  • DataStructures using C++
  • Operating Systems

  • Applied Discrete Math
  • An Elective (Introduction to Database Systems/Computer Networks/Human Factors/Artificial Intelligence)

However these are under-graduate courses and would need some effort. It is better to get the text books related to the course (Any thing of your choice). If you have any pre-requisites and you feel that you do not need to complete them, then please get all the relevant documents (for each pre-requisite you wish to get waived, get separate official and sealed copy of syllabus and transcript, copy of experience letter and any other documents you feel appropriate) you can to get that pre-requisite waived.


Food is not a problem for either vegetarians or non-vegetarians, although if you are a non-vegetarian you have more choice. There are lots of eating joints in the vicinity, providing Indian/American/Mexican/Oriental foods. But it would certainly be cheaper and healthier to develop some culinary skills. Come well-armed with your pots and pans, your favorite masalas & some recipes .

  • Cooking Utensils: Non-stick pan (1/2), Non-Stick tava, Pressure Cooker (for 3/4 people)(get spare gaskets and safety valves)

  • Others: Spoons, Forks, GOOD knives, cups, glasses (2 each), Microwaveable set (Optional) consisting of cups, plates, bowls (2 each)..

  • Condiments and spices: Garam masala, Pav bhaji masala, Chole masala, Sambhar & rasam masala, Haldi, Chill powder, Jeera, Dhania.

  • Others: pickles, papad, homemade snacks etc.

Although, you can buy almost all kinds of Indian foodstuff here, get a reasonable quantity of the following, enough to last you for your setup period and save you some money initially

Note: The US customs officers usually do not make a fuss about spices if they are properly sealed, so please pack everything to be leak-proof.

DO NOT Liquid/Gel (such as creams/toothpastes) in your Cabin Baggage.

Remember, the easiest way to make new friends, is to feed the existing Indian food-starved populace with desi delicacies and sweets.. so if there are any specialties of your place, do get them along..


Get the following for your first few days (or weeks if you want), but just that much..

  • Toilette: Toothbrush, toothpaste, tongue-cleaners (if using), soap, a complete shaving kit (for guys) (all in a toiletry bag) and shampoo.

You will have to buy medical insurance here, but medication is very expensive here, so, get some medicines that you have used for minor ailments and any special ones that you need.

  • Medicines: Medicines with prescriptions for standard minor ailments like fever, cold, cough, stomach-ache etc. Also personal medication (if on any) and medical history papers. Antiseptic cream, relaxyl etc. Spare eyeglasses/ contact lenses. (Get the eye prescription too !) Get a complete medical checkup done before getting here, including a chest X-ray.

  • IMPORTANT: Get checked your teeth by the dentist and get treatment if you have any cavities or any as it is very Expensive here.

Books are very expensive here, so, find out the books that you will need for your course from us and try to get then from India. A single book might cost you more than a month's grocery bill !! You will find a list of the text books that you may need at the end of this page.

  • Study Materials & Stationary: your calculator (but you'll soon want to buy some fancy stuff here), micro tip pencils + refills (2), good pens (2), eraser, stapler & staples, Indian calendar, backpack. (Most of the stationary is optional. You can also buy it here).

    Documents: You may want to bring along photocopies of your documents (2-3) as each photocopy costs 10cts, and further more it may help if you want to take transfer to another university.

  • Other: Needles & thread, buttons, sports equipment if you play tennis, squash, soccer.


  • Entertainment: Your favorite Indian/ Western CDs, walkman (optional), your favorite books. If you bring video tapes with you - remember that most VCP's here don't play PAL (video tapes recorded in India).

  • Personal: Family photos, 'Indian' ethnic stuff (gifts/personal use), Indian postage (to send letters home with someone) etc. An up-to-date address book of all your acquaintances/ friends/ relatives in the USA - Canada region, photos of deities (if religious-minded)


  • Things to do before coming here: Learn cooking. Learn driving and get an International Driving Permit (if possible). Also please get a good haircut just before leaving (especially guys).

  • Things you should not get: electrical appliances - The voltage and frequency used here are different (110V/60Hz). And in any case, appliances like iron, toasters etc are very inexpensive and you can purchase them once you are settled in. Some other things that you might be better off buying here are blank notebooks & file folders.


The initial expenses are high. Below is an estimate of how much money you might need. This will vary depending on your course and the apartment.

  • Tuition Fees: The tuition fees for 9 credits hours for the first semester (which is normal for graduate students) is about approx. $5200 (Fall 2007). This includes all other fees like Student Service Fee, Information Technology Fee, Instructional Infrastructure Fee, International Education, Library Acquisition Fee, Medical Services Fee, Records Processing Fee, Library fee and Recreation Center Fee .

  • Living Expenses: Living expenses are generally $300 - $400 per month. This includes room rent (generally rent is $170 as mostly 4 students stay together in a 2 bedroom apartment), groceries, electricity and telephone bills and other miscellaneous expenses.

    You can get a check/DD payable to "Texas State University-San Marcos " for the exact amount (if you know it), for a slightly smaller/more amount, and pay the remainder in cash/travellers checks.

  • Most of the new students arriving here stay in apartments on the school campus. For Furthur details Click Here


    Text books are very expensive here, so try to get all the text books that you need from India. Below is a list of textbooks that you might need in the course of you studies. These books are for core courses, and you might want to get some advice from a student in your field about these. In some cases, we have included books for electives, which you may not ever take. So, you might save money and space by not getting books for those courses which you might never take. NOTE : Note the edition of the book that is needed here.

  • Deisgn of Programming Languages: Principles and Practice by Louden, SECOND EDITION

  • Introduction to Algorithms by Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest and Stein, SECOND EDITION

  • Network Programming by Richard Steven II or III EDITION

  • Software Enggineering by Pressman

  • Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach by Russell, Norvig 2003 - ISBN 1-13-790395-2


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