If you worked in any of these countries, you could be due a Tax Refund

Tips for coming to the US

We’ve put together some tips to help ease you into life on your trip to the US

Heading to the US? You might be in for a bit of a culture shock, but that makes it all the more exciting! Soon you’ll be making new friends from all over the world and finding out what life is like in America.

Here are some tips for your trip to the US:


Living and working in a foreign country can sometimes be daunting, but by taking a few simple measures, you can help make your trip to the US crime-free and fun-filled!

  • Keep your passport in a safe place
  • Be cautious when handing over a deposit for accommodation
  • Familiarize yourself with the local laws
  • Get a mobile that will work in the US
  • Bring enough money to get setup, and save some cash as a buffer
  • Be aware of rentals scams, such as landlords asking you to wire money before your trip
  • Read these tips!


Sports Terms

Want to make friends super quick? Memorize these sports terms below!

  • Bottom: Second half of an inning (baseball)
  • Boxing out: Player's attempt to position his body between his opponent's and the basket (basketball)
  • Coffin corner: Corners of the football field between the end zone and five-yard line
  • Designated hitter: A player designated to bat instead of the pitcher (baseball)
  • Fly ball: A ball which goes high in the air when batted (baseball)
  • Foul: Actions by players which break the rules (basketball)
  • Hot dog: A player who shows off with flamboyant antics
  • Off the dribble: A shot taken while driving to the basket (basketball)
  • Pigskin: The football (football)
  • Rookie: A player in their first season of a professional league 
  • Uprights: The vertical posts above the crossbar on goalposts (football) 



Travel in the US

Despite the size of the US, getting around the country doesn’t have to be expensive, so if you’re planning a holiday or simply trying to reach your destination, here are four options for getting around.

By Air

A comfortable and quick way to get around the US is to fly with a low-cost airline. There are many domestic carriers in the US that offer deals and discounts including:

  • JetBlue Airways
  • Southwest
  • WestJet
  • Spirit Airlines


The average US tax back we get for J1 students is $800


Tips to help find cheap fares:


  •  Book early
  • Search flight comparison websites such as Kayak.com or Momondo
  • Be flexible about flight dates
  • Take red-eye or early morning flights
  • Fly to smaller cities instead
  • If your trip is to a Canadian city close to the border, consider flying to an American city nearby


By Train

Take in the beauty of this magnificent country with a trip on an Amtrak train. The US has an excellent rail network that will take you all over the states and it doesn’t have to come at a huge price.

Here are some tips for finding cheaper rates:

  • Book early
  • Look for deals online
  • Buy multi-way tickets
  • Use your student (ISIC) card for discounts
  • Look at alternative routes
  • Avoid peak travel times (9.30-10am and 3-7pm)
  • Don’t travel Saturdays or Sundays
  • Buy a Railcard


By Bus

Bus travel is one of the cheapest ways to get around the US, and Greyhound buses will take you to over 3700 places in the US and 1300 in Canada. They are comfortable, air conditioned, and operate 24 hours a day with flexible fares.

Here are some tips for bus travel within the US:

  •  Book your trip as early as possible
  • Buy your ticket online and print it
  • If you plan on using Greyhound a lot, sign up to their rewards scheme
  • Bring water and snacks on your journey
  • Always keep an eye on your  personal belongings
  • Arrive around one hour before your bus leaves


By Car

As a foreign national in the US, you must have a full driver’s license to drive. For specific requirements in the state you’re in, you should check the motor department of that state.

Some states require an international driving permit in addition to your home country’s driving license. If you’re planning a trip, it may be better to fly to the area and rent a car when you get there. This will save you the hassle of selling it when you’re moving back home.

Here are some tips for driving in the US:

  •  Only buy a car from an authorized dealer
  • Make sure you get adequate liability insurance
  • You’ll need a credit card to rent a car
  • Most car rental companies require the driver to be at least 25 years old
  • Invest in GPS navigation
  • Don’t drink and drive under any circumstances


Useful Apps

A smartphone application can make a big difference to navigating your way around the US, from study aids to translators; here are 5 smartphone apps to help you adjust to student life:

Google Maps

A great map application for navigating your new surroundings that lets you save and download maps to your phone for offline use. Android iOS

Google Translate

If English isn’t your first language, then this app could turn out to be very useful, with its ability to translate many languages. Android  iOS


This app will monitor your phone data usage; very helpful if you’re on a US data plan as it will help you manage your limits. iOS


WhatsApp is a worldwide messaging app that lets you send and receive messages, pictures, and voice messages using Wi-Fi or mobile data and will take up very little memory space on your phone. Android  iOS


Use Evernote to take notes, memos, and even discuss your work with others within the app. Android  iOS


The average US tax back we get for J1 students is $800


Tax Tips:

If you’ve worked in the US, then you may be due a tax refund at the end of the tax year. If you’ve earned over $3950 then you’re also legally obliged to file a tax return.

Here are some useful tax tips:

  •  Fill out a W-4 withholding form once you get a job
  • Keep track of any expenses as you  may be able to claim tax deductions
  • Keep your US bank account open so you can get your refund straight to your account
  • You should file your US tax return by April 15th of the following year
  • To claim your refund, we'll need your W2 form and social security number/ITIN number
  • If you lose your forms, we can help you find them!
  • Get your free tax refund estimate here


Why not use your US tax refund to fund your next trip to the US? Check our list of top 10 sights here.

About The Author

Ciara Kennedy - Digital Content Writer @ Taxback.com

Ciara is our Digital Content Writer at Taxback.com. Since graduating in Journalism and Visual media, Ciara has worked in online marketing in Ireland and Australia and loves writing in all its forms.

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