As b-school days start looming, I feel like this question has been one of the most frequent ones I’ve heard. Another version of this question is when should I quit my job before my MBA starts? A lot of alums I’ve talked to suggested the prospective students to quit a couple of months before their MBA starts. There will be a lot of hassle to move as well as to readjust in the new place. However, as an international student we often come to the question of when do we actually land in the states?
There seem to be many school of thought behind this but I will rank them (subjectively) through sources (like 3 people) I have had a discussion on this topic.
1 Week before school starts
This duration is what I often heard from seniors in the community. It’s not too long and not too short to settle down at a new place. It should be enough for you take around 7 days to become familiarized with the surrounding area and the way to school. Additionally, it should also be enough to set up furniture and the space where you will be spending the next of your 2 years.
3 Weeks before school starts
This duration is often cited by my peers who are about to begin their second year. It includes the time for you to actually search for housing and set up the whole furniture thing without worrying whether you are reading the IKEA manual right. There’s a bit of time to relax and explore even further surroundings. If you were living in Evanston, it almost means you’d have time to explore Chicago and probably source household items from the nearby IKEA at Schaumburg.
3 Months before school starts
This duration is extremely long and often not covered in the F-1 visa that students are given. I couple of my friends are taking this route simply because they are taking a course that starts faster than the regular FT programs or because they signed up for pre-sessional courses that the school offers. I think this is an extremely awesome idea if you are looking for a time to relax and completely settle down. You would even have the chance to meet your future classmates and truly enjoy life before real havoc begin. I’m starting to feel sad I didn’t sign up for the pre-sessional but my reason is because I am too stingy to be paying a bit more.
Personally, I chose to quit my job a couple of months before school start and my butt will be in the US a week shy of orientation. I do feel that a week is too little to settle down in a brand new place but the lease starts EVEN later than my arrival date, making things rather difficult to begin with. If I could turn back time, I would have chosen 2 weeks before school so that I could learn the ropes and set up things in my new place.
I’m probably going to take way more than a week to set up my IKEA furniture. Who am I even kidding?