Page background blue

Important Information

What to Bring to the U.S.

The Los Angeles area generally has warm weather, but it does get cool in the evenings and during the winter season. You will probably want to have a warm coat and some sweaters. Students usually dress casually for classes, so you will see both men and woman wearing jeans, sweatshirt, etc. Dresses and suits are appropriate for more formal occasions. As a rule, it is better to bring clothes that are easy to care for and not those that need frequent cleaning and ironing.

Please feel free to bring/wear your national dress as we welcome you and the culture you represent. There is not usually much rain in Southern California, although there are times when an umbrella is necessary (January through March).

If you bring small electrical appliances from your own country (iron, hair dryer, electric razor), you should bring an adapter plug. U.S. electrical current is 110-115, 60 cycle AC. We encourage you to bring the following: a good dictionary with both your language and English, traditional clothing from your country (you may have the opportunity to share your culture with others), and your favorite music and pictures. You will need to provide your own blankets, sheets, towels, lamps, pillow, etc. These items can be easily purchased after you arrive if you do not wish to bring them with you.

Telephone System

All U.S. phone numbers have seven digits plus a three area code which comes before the number. The Carson-Dominguez area code is 310 and the seven digit telephone number for CSUDH-ISSO 243-2215. If you are outside the 310 area, you will need to dial 1-(310)-243-2215. The Los Angeles Airport (LAX) is in the 213 area so you will need to dial 1-(310)-243-2228 to reach CSUDH apartments.

To use a pay phone you will need U.S. coins. Place .25 (a U.S. quarter) in the appropriate slot, and after hearing the dial tone, dial your number. After you deposit your .25 in the telephone and dial your number, the operator will come on the phone and tell you how much money you need to put in. Be prepared ahead of time with U.S. coins. After depositing the correct amount, your call will be connected. Always check the coin-return slot; your initial .25 cents will be returned to you unless it was a local call which needed only .25 cents. When calling the operator of directory assistance, your .25 will be returned to you.

U.S. Currency

The U.S. monetary system follows the decimal system. The basic unit is the dollar and "$" is the dollar symbol. Bills in denominations of $1, $5, $10, and $20 are widely used but also come in $2, $50, $100 and higher. The dollar can be divided into 100 cents. The coins are: 1 cent (penny), 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime), 25 cents (quarter), and 50 cents (half-dollar).

Important Definitions

  • Accredited: To be officially recognized as meeting specific standard (CSUDH) is accredited by the Western Association Of Schools and Colleges).
  • Agent: A person who acts for or represents a company by helping customers.
  • Bathroom: restroom; toilets; water closet; WC.
  • Beverage: Something to drink.
  • CSUDH: California State University, Dominguez Hills.
  • Credits: See "Units."
  • Customs: The government office that examines imported goods.
  • DMV: Department Of Motor Vehicles. This is where you may obtain your driver's license and/or California Identification card. An International Driver's License is only valid for a short period of time once you arrive in the U.S. You will need to obtain a California driver's license if you plan to drive during your stay here (remember you must also have automobile insurance).
  • Figure Out: To decide or understand about something.
  • Full-Time: As an international student you are required by the U.S. Immigration to be enrolled as a full-time student. Full-time for undergraduate students is 12 units each semester; for graduate student it is 8units per semester minimum.
  • Graduate Student: One who enrolls in a master's degree program after having obtained the equivalent of a four-year U.S. bachelor's degree.
  • I.D. number: Identification number is assigned to you by CSUDH if you do not have a U.S. Social Security number. Your academic records will be kept on the computer under this number to avoid any confusion with others who may have a similar name as yours. If you have a Social Security number, then it is your CSUDH I.D. number.
  • Illegal: Not lawful.
  • USCIS: The U.S. Government of Customs Immigration and Naturalization Services (USCIS) office examines visas and passports and admits foreigners to the country (located at 300 North Los Angeles Street, L.A.).
  • Inspector: A person who examines or checks your luggage at the airport or border crossing.
  • IRS: Department of the Treasury of Internal Revenue Services (IRS). The IRS requires that all non-residents report their income or no income by yearly filing a 1040NR, 540NR and 8843 income tax forms by April 15.
  • ISSO: International Student Services Office.
  • L.A.: Los Angeles.
  • Lost And Found: The office where you take things you find and look for things you lose.
  • Out-Of-Status: Category an international student is given by the INS when failing to enroll in the institution issuing their I-20 form full-time (they will not qualify for travel validations and work permits and maybe deported if not placed back in status).
  • Porter: A person who carries your baggage.
  • Print: To write in readable block letters.
  • SEVIS: USCIS computers system that tracks international student data (enrollment, address, graduation, transfer & work permits)
  • Shuttle: Short, connecting transportation between two places (van or bus).
  • Undergraduate Student: One who enrolls in the university after having graduated and obtained the equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma.
  • Units: In order to graduate you must have a certain amount of "units" or credits which are based upon the number of hours of study. Each class is awarded a number of units, usually 3 units per class (3 hours per week). Undergraduates must have at least 126 units to graduate. Required units for graduate students will vary depending on the specific major (average is 35 units).
  • Valid: Officially accepted.
  • Violation: Breaking of a law or rule.
  • The Dominguez mascot is the Toro, also known as a bull. Our school colors are burgundy red and gold.