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UK student travelling to ND for 5 months work. A few qu.....

Travel Forums North America UK student travelling to ND for 5 months work. A few qu.....

1. Posted by davetherave57 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 18 Mar '13 10:27

Hey, (First Post)

I'm a 24yo university student from England studying agriculture and as part of my course i have to undergo a 20 week placement. I have decided to spend it in North America and have secured a place at a large mixed farm in Medora, North Dakota. I leave the first week of April!!

Having never travelled out of Europe this is a big step for me and there are a couple of unanswered questions I have regarding my time in America.

My mobile phone carrier '3' have told me I need to unlock my phone (which I have done) and use an american provider and sim to reduce roaming charges that could escalate into the thousands of pounds.

As I am in America for only 5 months, would I be right in thinking that getting a contract when I am out there is a silly idea as I would have to pay for 12 months? Ideally I am looking for a sim that will provide me with unlimited internet usage when I am out there. I will not need it for calling or texing as i can do both of those things through various applications and internet programmes.

Does anyone know if I will be able to get such a sim? Any information would be greatly appreciated...

As I say I am 24 and during my three weeks of holiday I plan on visiting various locations all across the country and would like to rent a car. Will my age be a problem with doing so? I have been driving since 2008 and have 6 years no claims (not sure if these count in America). Again, any info would be of help :)

If I have anymore questions i'll be sure to add them to this thread.

Kind regards,

David.

2. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator, 1839 posts) 19 Mar '13 00:00

When you get to the US, go to any WalMart store and buy yourself a Net 10 Simcard. It runs about $50, but allows you to connect to Net 10's network which doesn't require a contract and allows you to use your own cell phone.

As far as renting cars, well, I'm afraid that while most large rental companies (Avis, Budget, Advantage, Hertz, Enterprise, Budget and Dollar) will rent to someone under 25, they charge an extra $25 per day surcharge to do so. If you can find a smaller company, like rent-a-wreck or something similar, you might be able to rent a car for less.

Another thing to know is that you can save a bundle if you use a visa card or American Express card when you rent a car, because the card's benefits include providing for collision coverage on rentals for the first 15 to 31 days. (Be sure to rent a car, then return it within this time period). To have the card's coverage apply, you need to decline the insurance offered by the rental car company at the time they offer it.

Other things to know--(1) if you rent in the US, you can't take the car across the border to Canada unless the company allows it in the contract, (2) companies may charge you a large extra fee if you take the car across state lines in some cases--be sure to check with the rental company at the time of rental to see if it is okay prior to renting, and (3) if you decide to go to Mexico with the car, be aware that American insurance is not valid in Mexico--and in this case the visa/American Express car insurance doesn't apply--so you have to get car insurance at the Mexican border (on the American side) before crossing over. (I suggest you don't take a car across to Mexico during your 3-week visit).

Lastly, be aware that in many American states, you are required to get a US drivers license after a period of time.
When you are visiting North Dakota from another country, your foreign license is valid for up to 90 days. It's a good plan to get an International Driver's Permit before you travel. This permit does not take the place of your foreign license; however, it does translate it into a more readable form for U.S. officials. After 90 days, you have effectively established residency in the state. As of that time you have 60 additional days to apply for and receive your North Dakota license.

To get your license you will have to pass both a written test and a drivers test--meaning you will have to rent a car in order to take the test. Be sure to make an appointment ahead of time--see the following website for more information:

http://www.dmv.org/nd-north-dakota/apply-license.php

I hope you enjoy your trip to the US.