For those traveling to Redding from other countries, we have compiled some information that should assist you with the transition. You may print out this web page for details on topics such as:
WELCOME! A new Facebook Group Page has been created called BSSM International Students. If you have not received an invitation to join it, please write to Pam Spinosi (International Student Coordinator) at LTS@ibethel.org. You can meet other international students from your country and find those who have been here before and can answer questions you might have. You can also find out the dates of the International Student Reception and the International Student Orientation as well as the Festival of Cultures.
HOW TO GET HERE: The closest airport is Redding Municipal Airport. The only airline that flies to Redding is United, and it only flies here from San Francisco. The best thing to do is try to get a connecting flight at the time you purchase your ticket.
You can view flights at http://flightaware.com/live/airport/KRDD.
Redding Municipal Airport Daily commercial airline passenger service is provided by Skywest Airlines, dba, United Express (http://www.united.com) to and from San Francisco. See this link for details: http://www.ci.redding.ca.us/transeng/airports/airline_schedule.htm.
Sacramento International Airport (SMF) The Sacramento International Airport is only two hours and 15 minutes from Redding, and it is very easy to drive to Redding from that airport. You only have to get on I-5 North and stay on it until you are in Redding.
Shuttle from Sacramento First Class Shuttle Service shuttles people between the Sacramento International Airport and Redding Oxford Suites Hotel, located on 1967 Hilltop Drive in Redding.
Approximate Departure Times from Sacramento Airport
Arrival at Oxford Suites
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) The San Francisco International Airport is three hours away by car. If you choose to fly there, you will need to rent a car or take the Greyhound Bus to Redding (see below).
Car Rental If you decide to rent a car, it is wise to reserve one while you are at home to make sure a car is available. Look at one of the following websites: http://www.hertz.com, http://www.enterprise.com, or http://www.avis.com.
Please note that you are not permitted to rent a car if you are under age 25.
If you have small children, make sure when you reserve a car that you request car seats. California law requires:
Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.
Children under the age of 8 who are 4' 9" (145 cm ) or taller may be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.
Greyhound Bus http://www.greyhound.com
To catch a Greyhound bus from the San Francisco Airport:
- At the International Terminal, follow the signs to BART (the local train system).
- Buy your ticket in the BART machine. You’ll need to have dollar bills. It costs about $8.10 to get to the Greyhound Bus Station from the airport by BART. It will take about a half hour. Please note that the machine only gives change up to $8 (total)... so if you put in $20 to buy a $8.10 ticket, you will only get $8 change.
- Get off the train at Montgomery Street.
- Take the elevator from the rail tracks up to the main hall of the BART station.
- Cross the entire hall to the other end. Take the escalator to the street. (If in doubt, ask the ticket controller as you go through the turn rail ticket pass machine).
- At the top of the escalator, go round the corner of the hotel i.e.: turn left, then right, where the Doorman/Porter will call a taxi for you.
- Take the taxi (cost: about $5.00) to the Greyhound Bus Station a few blocks down.
- 425 Mission Street Suite 3 (between 1st St & Fremont St) San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 495-1555 You can get info from their website: Click here.
- Hours Of Operation Hours of operation subject to change. Please call to verify hours before making travel arrangements
- Station Monday-Sunday: 12:00 am-1:00 am, 5:30 am-11:59 pm Holiday: 12:00 am-1:00 am, 5:30 am-11:59 pm
- Ticketing Monday-Sunday: 5:30 am-11:59 pm Holiday: 5:30 am-11:59 pm
- The price of a one-way ticket from San Francisco to Redding is about $43.
- The Greyhound luggage weight allowance is less than that of the airlines. You will have to pay if your luggage is over the limit ($20 per overweight bag under 60 pounds weight).
TIP: Take some of your stuff from one of your suitcases and put it into the other one until the first one is the right weight. You will then only have to pay for one overweight case that they will take in as checked luggage. The lighter case (and all other luggage) you will have to keep with you until you are ready get on the bus. Until then, if you are staying in the Greyhound waiting area, put your lighter suitcase in front of your gate (a door with your gate number above it in the waiting area) so that you can be one of the first to board the bus as you do not want to sit in the back. Both the bus and the station can be unsafe, so try to stick around and sit by someone you feel comfortable with, strike up a conversation, and tell the bus driver if you have a problem with anyone or just feel unsafe. Note that you do not have to share a seat with anyone until the bus is full. You don’t have to be charitable if you feel unsafe with someone.
The daytime buses make several more stops than the night buses. Don’t be surprised if the buses are not quite as comfy or clean as you expect them to be.
First-year international student important information for 2013-2014:
Date you may arrive: After August 11, 2013
(No more than 30 days before school starts.)
Date you must leave: Before June 16, 2014.
(No more than 30 days after the program end date written on your I-120 form.)
Site of first-year classes, registration and international student orientation:
The Redding Civic Center
700 Auditorium Drive
What to bring when entering the country:
- I-20 form
- Copy of I-901 receipt (SEVIS fee receipt)
- Proof of sufficient funds to meet your living expenses within the U.S. (can be a statement from your bank). Your I-20 form will say the amount.
- Driving record in English from your country if you intend to drive (this helps keep your driver's insurance low). Bring the driver's license from your country.The state of California does not recognize the International Driver's License.
Monday, September 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tuesday, September 10 registration begins at 9 a.m.
The first day of school:
Tuesday, September 10, 2013.
International Student Orientation date:
Wednesday, September 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Note: Keep every single paper and receipt involved in your whole visa process.
- Apply for BSSM online at ibssm.org. Pay the application fee. Ask for your references to fill in the reference forms online.
- After your application, your references and your application fee have been received, you will have a Skype interview.
- If you are accepted into the school, you will receive an e-mail explaining how to apply for your visa.
- Bethel School of International Ministry is accountable to SEVIS, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.
- Within two weeks after you receive your acceptance e-mail, you will receive another e-mail requesting some information that will help us to complete your I-20 form.
- You will receive an I-20 form, which will allow you to enter into the United States on an M-1 Visa. BSSM will mail your I-20 form through the United States Postal Service. It will normally take two to three weeks for you to receive your papers. The I-20 form cannot be sent to you by e-mail.
- When you receive your I-20 form, you will need to pay a SEVIS fee of $200.00 for your I-901 form (which is your receipt). Keep this receipt and take it with you to the American Embassy and also bring it to the United States to show at Customs.
You are responsible to make your payment online at this site:
www.fmjfee.com. The school cannot do this for you.
- After you pay this fee and receive your I-20, you can make an appointment with the American Embassy in your country to get your M-1 visa.
What to take to the American Embassy:
- I-20 form
- Proof of funds for the year (the amount of money will be on your I-20 form)
- Receipt from the SEVIS payment (I-901 form).
The M-1 Visa
The M-1 visa is the only acceptable visa for study at BSSM. You may not study at BSSM with any other visa.
Often the American Embassy will send you an F-1 visa. That is a mistake!
Check that you have an M-1 visa as soon as you get it. If it is any other visa, call the American Embassy and report the problem.
You are not permitted to work in the United States. That includes babysitting, cutting hair or any other service. You may not be paid for volunteer work
You must attend school for the full school year: Sept. 10, 2013 to May 8, 2014.
Your passport must not expire until 6 months after school ends. If it is scheduled to expire before that, you may be denied entry into the United States.
When you enter the U.S., if the customs guard gives you an I-94 card, make sure that the custom guard stamps your I-94 card. You will get that I-94 with an M-1 stamp with the expiration date of June 16, 2014. If you do not get that card, it is because the government is in the process of changing to electronic cards. In that case you will not receive a hard copy.
SEVIS allows you to be in the country 30 days after the program end date printed on your I-20 form.
No matter what date is on your visa, you must leave the country by the date stamped on your I-94 card: June 16, 2014.
When you leave the United States for a short trip, on your return at the border you can negotiate a later return date if yours is too early, but no matter what later date is stamped, you still have to be out of the country by 30 days after school. You cannot stay later than June 16 (30 days after the program end date printed on your I-20) since you are on an M-1 visa.
Your I-20 is only good for one school year.
Every year you have to get a new I-20 form (even if you have a three-year visa).
Please do not lose your I-20 form. Your I-20 form is a very important document that you will have to have if you leave the country and come back in.
Please remember to ask Kathy Vallotton (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kristen Hopkins (email@example.com) to sign the third page of your I-20 before you leave the United States to take a trip to another country (such as at Christmas time). The signature on your I-20 form is good for six months; so just make sure that if you leave before the six months, you get them to sign it. Please get in touch with them by e-mail as soon as you know your travel dates. They may not be available if you wait until the last minute. They will arrange some times close to Christmas and missions to be at the Civic at a table signing I-20 forms.
You spouse and children can come on an M-2 visa.
All International students are required to pay their full tuition of $4400.00 by the first day of class.
Please click on the following link for more information: www.ibethel.org/financial-info
OTHER IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS: In order for you to be prepared for various circumstances and situations, we have found that the following papers are required and helpful for international visitors to the USA. We encourage you to get these papers ready before you leave your home country.
- Financial status from your bank (needed to get an apartment)
- Birth Certificate or certified copy
- Driving Records / Insurance Records
- Health Insurance papers, insurance card, insurance policy, etc.
- Prescriptions for any medicine you may take
HEALTHCARE AND EMERGENCIES Medical care can be very expensive, so we recommend you have good health insurance coverage already in place before traveling, in the case of an accidental or emergency medical need. While a medical policy is not mandatory here in the US, many hospitals and physicians may not provide patient care without evidence of a policy. For more information about a health insurance plan for international students, please visit: https://www.uhcsr.com/acsa or contact:
- Barbara McClaskey, Agent Barbara McClaskey Insurance Services 1965 Pine St Redding CA 96001 530-243-5190 Direct 530-243-0192 Fax firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.barbaramcclaskeyinsurance.com
In case of an emergency, you can dial “911” in most parts of California to get immediate ambulance, fire, police or other emergency help. In some remote areas where the “911” service is not available, dial “0” to get a local operator, who will get you in touch with the emergency service required.
Hospitals are typically staffed with physicians and/or nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and have emergency rooms available at all times.
For minor illnesses and problems, you can usually purchase common medication, vitamins, pills, Band-Aids, etc. at local drugstores or pharmacies located throughout most cities. Basic medications such as aspirins and cold medicine may also be available at local gas stations and 24-hour convenience stores as well as supermarkets, some of which are open 24 hours.
Another note: You may want to get travel insurance in your home country before coming to the States. Again, medical care here can be quite expensive.
Walk-in clinics: Here are two places you can go for medical care (non-emergency) where you do not need an appointment.
- Hilltop Medical Clinic East 1093 Hilltop Drive, Redding, CA 96003 Open Monday through Friday, 8 AM - 5:45 PM Sat / Sun: 9 AM - 4:45 PM Phone: 530-221-1565 http://www.hilltopmedicalclinic.com
- Hilltop Medical Clinic West 2123 Eureka Way, Redding, CA 96001 Same hours as above but closed Sundays. Phone: 530-246-4629
- Dr. Andre Van Mol, MD 3330 Churn Creek, Redding, CA 96003 Phone: 530-222-3225
- Dr. Jill E. Van Horn, DO 2515 Parks Marina Drive Suite 103, Redding, CA 96001 Phone: 530-241-7477
- Dr. John A. Nall, DDS 3550 Eureka Way #1, Redding, CA 96001 Phone: 530-244-2010
Eureka Way is downtown. If you come from the church and turn onto Lake Blvd., at the third stoplight you turn left onto N. Market. Follow that to town and bear to the left. Go up a couple of streets and turn right at the Starbucks and that is Eureka Way.
BANKING AND FINANCES Bank Hours
Generally, hours of operation for most banks in California are from 9 am to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday.
In the beginning of your stay, it is good to have traveler's checks from your home country as they are usually widely accepted. However, eventually you should open a bank account and obtain checks and a debit card (also called an ATM card), which are the most widely accepted tools of payment apart from cash.
Check Writing and Debit Cards
The most important function for a check is to pay local bills such as rent, electricity, telephone, etc. Bills are not paid at a local post office, as is the case in some European countries. When writing a check in California, you will be asked to present some form of picture identification. The most recognized is a California driver’s license or a California identification card. You can get either of these at the Department of Motor Vehicles (more about that later). Nowadays, lots of banks have online bill payment systems.
The United States is the land of the credit card. Visa and MasterCard are common as is American Express. All major credit cards are widely accepted. There are also thousands of other credit card options in the U.S., many of which are tied to particular retailers and organizations, which offer special benefits for using their particular card.
If you don’t have a credit card, you’ll survive, but using credit cards for payment is a widely accepted practice. You may encounter difficulties in making certain types of reservations or bookings, for example, hotels and rental cars, if you do not have a credit card. In such cases, a credit card number is usually required to confirm your reservation. Even if you pay by cash, you may need a credit card when you reserve a hotel room or rental car.
IMPORTANT: Even if you decide not to open a bank account, Tri Counties Bank is willing to cash any check you received from Bethel Church if you bring it along with a picture ID (such as your passport or a California Driver’s License or California Identification Card).
How to Open a Checking Account:
We have found that the Tri Counties Bank on 1250 Hilltop Drive is helpful. Here is what you will need to bring with you when opening a checking account with them:
- Current passport with picture ID or driver’s license or California ID card AND a second form of ID such as a credit cards, utilities bill, or medical card. (“Utilities” refers to heating bills, for example.)
Their “Perfect Choice Checking” program is good. Checks are free. You can call the bank at (530) 223-3307 and ask for Angie, Jackie or Carlyn.
After you have opened the account with them, they will send you the ATM / Debit Card as well as personalized checks.
You will need to have $100 to put in the bank when you open your account.
Some students have been happy with
- Bank of America 1300 Hilltop Drive Redding, CA 96003
- Wells Fargo 830 E Cypress Ave Redding, CA 96003 530-221-6851
It is advisable to exchange your currency at full-service banking branches, which are available in all major cities. This is a much better alternative than exchanging currency through independent shops or at airports, which tend to charge more excessive rates and commissions. You can also have money quickly wired to you through international corresponding banks in U.S. dollars to a local bank in the area that you are in. Ask your U.S. bank for all necessary information to make transfers from your home bank.
While the foreign exchange markets never rest, unless you’re carrying the currency of a country in economic crisis, you can get a fairly accurate exchange rate quotation in the business section of your local daily newspaper each morning. Most banks and currency trading offices will also give you a quote over the phone based on their current rates whether you are looking to exchange your home currency into USD or exchange your USD into another currency.
Or use a website such as http://www.x-rates.com/calculator.html for a quick calculation.
If you are exchanging into USD, you should be able to get USD immediately. If you are exchanging your USD back into your home currency, then you should plan ahead depending on what your home currency is. For example, Canadian currency is usually fairly commonly available on an immediate basis, but depending on the amount of USD you want to convert into another foreign currency, your local bank may require a few days to arrange that foreign currency for you.
A UK student advises: A Dollar Account with Halifax (UK) is a good option with special exchange rates or an account with Nationwide, which provides cheaper rates than all other banks.
TRANSPORTATION Getting around Redding without a car is difficult. You will need to buy a car or get lifts. If you live nearby, you may be able to travel by bicycle.
Redding’s bus service is called Redding Area Bus Authority (RABA) You can visit their website for routes, schedules and fees: http://ci.redding.ca.us/raba/rabahome.htm A monthly bus pass costs $48.25, and individual tickets are $1.50 for one zone and an extra $.75 for an additional zone. The bus system is very limited, so using the bus may not be an option for you.
Do not plan on getting around by taxi. There are not taxi stands. You cannot flag a taxi down in the street. You have to reserve a taxi by phone. Taxis are not widely used here in Redding like they are in some countries or larger cities.
Buying a Car
If you decide you want to buy a car, be sure to ask for guidance from someone familiar with the area.
Try to have a personal referral to recommend an auto dealership or a trustworthy source. Local auto journals (found at most grocery store entrances) or the local paper (The Record Searchlight) can often offer good deals from private sellers.
In most cases you will be purchasing the car with cash, which can work in your favor. Be discerning as to when you tell the salesperson you have cash so they don’t quote you a higher price. Unfortunately, many of the low cost automobile dealerships tend to be somewhat dishonest so be very careful where you go.
There are many inexpensive but good cars available. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide. $1,800 and up is what can be expected. Don’t go too cheap as it may cost you more in the end.
Some students found that they had to first purchase their car insurance before they could purchase their car. Call the insurance company and give them the VIN number of your car (Vehicle Identification Number). This number is located on your vehicle title as well as on the vehicle itself (left or right of windshield). The insurance company can then insure your car.
To drive a car purchased in the U.S. you must have:
- A valid driver’s license
- Car insurance
- Car registration papers
- CA safety inspection sticker
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is where you go to get a driver’s license or any paperwork for your car. The Redding DMV is located at the following address:
- 135 Civic Center Drive Redding, 96001 Phone: (800) 777-0133
To get directions there, see this website: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/appl/fo_location_map.jsp
The state of California does not acknowledge the International Driver's License, but you can drive on your valid license from your country. You are not required to get a California license while you are not a resident here. If you have questions about this, please write to LTS@ibethel.org.
You need to know the rules for driving in California. You can read about them in the online handbook at this link: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/driver_handbook_toc.htm
Free copies of the handbook are available at the Department of Motor Vehicles Office. 2135 Civic Center Dr Redding, California 96001
Car Leasing Option
If you do not want to buy a car but would like a long-term lease, a Bethel member has developed this option for you:
Worry Free Auto Leasing was established in 2012 and has been tailored to specifically meet the needs of BSSM students, including obtaining tags and registration and help with insurance. It has proven to be dependable and affordable transportation with many driving options to choose from. For more detailed information and to see some of the vehicles available, go to worryfreeautoleasing.com.
Motor Vehicle Insurance
To get a reasonable price have with you:
- A five-year driving record from your home country
- The driver’s license from your home country
- Some proof of how long you have been driving
- You will also have to bring the title to the company or the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the car.
- Expect to pay a Standard rate: $225-316 for six months with over 3 years driving experience, $860 for 6 months with no experience. The more driving experience you have, the better the rate will be as long as you have a clean driving record.
If you can bring records from your own country that show that you have a good driving record and have been driving for a while, those records will help you get cheaper car insurance. You may pay a higher car insurance premium if you don’t have a CA driver’s license but having records may help keep it down.
Most places won’t insure your car unless you have a California Driver’s License, but one company that will and is reliable is Geico. You can contact them through their website, http://www.geico.com, or by calling them (once you have purchased a car and are in the U.S.) at 1-800-861-8380.
See the following website for more information for drivers from other countries: http://www.dmv.org/driving-abroad/usa.php#tz_CA
Vehicle Registration Tag
If you buy a car from another person, you will need to register your motor vehicle and transfer the title (the certificate of ownership). To do this, contact the DMV as listed in the government pages of the phone book. You may want to visit their website at http://www.dmv.ca.gov for more specific details on what is required.
If you buy your car from a professional dealership, the dealer usually takes care of the registration. Ask to make sure that this will be done.
What documents are needed to register the car?
You will need to bring with you a copy of your automobile insurance policy and the title for the car. Depending on the circumstances, you may need a Notary Public (found at most banks) to authorize the signatures involved with the transaction.
Once you have a car, you must keep your license tag registration up-to-date. There will be a sticker that goes on the license tag that is valid for one year.
Once you have a registered car, you must also pass a state-required inspection.
There is a sticker located on the lower front left-hand corner of the windshield. It has a month and a year. Pay attention to the “expiration date.” There is otherwise a large fine if you go over the “grace” period that is given by the state to have your inspection done.
The DMV website will provide addresses of local places you can go to have you car inspected. California also requires smog tests.
Most garages, car dealers, and service stations can do a safety inspection on your car. Look for a sign outside that says “Official Inspection Station.”
The station will look at your car and do a safety inspection and emissions test (a test on the exhaust of your car). After you pay for the test, the mechanic will put an inspection sticker on your windshield.
See this website for more information on vehicle registration: http://www.dmv.org/ca-california/car-registration.php#When_You_or_Your_Car_is_New_to_California
All you need at the Redding DMV to change ownership is your car insurance and the title of the car with the sales papers. If the car was given to you, the person who donated it to you should come with you to sign or give you a letter of donation signed by them. A smog test is required to transfer the ownership of the car. There are many locations to do smog tests such as
- Jindra's 76 482 E. Cypress Redding, CA 96002 (530) 223-3405
A student recommended that repairs be done at Les Schwab on Hilltop, by a guy named Nat, who knows Bethel staff members and does fair deals and a good job. Jindra’s (above) is also a trusted service and repair shop.
MAKING A PHONE CALL Once you have a phone service carrier such as AT&T, all local calls are free of charge. If you phone outside of the local area (which includes nearby towns like Anderson), you will have a charge on your landline (fixed phone). Many students buy prepaid calling cards from most local gas stations or a local Wal-Mart, grocery store or dollar store.
All U.S. phone numbers have 10 digits—3 for the area code usually written in parentheses, and seven for the number, written with 3 digits, a hyphen and then 4 digits: (530) 246-6000.
When you call a local number in Redding from Redding, you do not need to use the area code. You do not need to dial 0 first as in some European countries. You just dial the seven-digit main number: 246-6000.
When you phone another state, you dial 1 for the United States, followed by the 3-digit area code, followed by the seven-digit main number. You can find area codes in the phone books. Bethel church’s number is 530-246-6000.
Telephone calls are easy to make and public phones are located at most restaurants, gas stations, bars, hotels, libraries, airports, train stations, shopping malls, and other public places. While some public phones are still coin operated, you can charge most calls on your credit card.
- Dialing the number “0” will get you a local operator
- Dialing “00” will get you a long-distance operator
- Dialing “411” will get you directory assistance to find a local phone number and you will be charged for this service (usually $.50 - $1.00).
- To call overseas, dial 011, then the country code, then the phone number. Do not add the 0 that you would add if you were calling in your own country. To call Britain, for example, you would dial 011-44 and then the phone number (without the first 0).
- To get the phone number of someone in another state, find out the area code (if you can’t find it in the front of the phone book, dial “0” and the operator will tell you) plus 555-1212.
- Phone numbers that start will 800 or 888 or 877 are toll-free (you don’t have to pay for them). To find the toll-free number of a business, dial 1-800-555-1212.
Most public phones or phones located in hotels will be accompanied by a yellow pages and possibly also a white pages phone directory.
The yellow pages directory is a subject and category-based listing of various services and enterprises in the local area – so you can find restaurants, hotels, lawyers, travel agencies, and more. Yellow pages may be oriented towards consumer services (business to consumer pages directories) or towards other businesses (business to business page directories).
The white pages directory is typically an alphabetical listing of all local commercial and residential addresses and phone numbers, listed by the name of the business or the last name if an individual’s residence.
It is cheaper to make calls from a public phone usually compared to calling from a hotel or motel which many times have much higher rates for local as well as long-distance and international dialing along with added fixed per call charges. To make a local call you can enter the 7-digit number.
CHEAP International Telephone Calls U.S. telephone companies charge high rates for international calls unless you ask for a cheaper plan. In many cases, this will add only $3.00-$5.00 extra per month to your phone bill. If you are living with a family, ask if they have an international calling plan. If not, make arrangements with them to get one added. It can save you up to 80% off of the rate being charged. Calling internationally from a cell phone or to a cell phone (even calling Canada) is really expensive.
The biggest long distance phone service carriers are AT&T, MCI WorldCom, and Sprint PCS. All of these companies offer international calling plans at reasonable rates.Here are services that can be used for long distance calling through your high speed Internet connection.
CELL PHONES The major companies for cell phone service here in Redding are Verizon Wireless and AT&T (formerly Cingular). Stores for either company are located all over Redding: in the Redding Mall, in Discovery Village (also on Dana Drive), to name a few. Best Buy is offering a discount on cell phones to Bethel students. View the ad here.
Either of the companies will want to run a credit check on you before they sign you up for a contract and sell you a phone. However, for a credit check, you would need a Social Security Number. Don’t worry though; either company is also willing to charge you a security deposit instead so you could still sign up for a plan and purchase a phone. Normally, you have to sign up for two years; a one-year contract is more expensive.
You can bring your own cell phone, sign up with a service provider such as AT&T (formerly Cingular) and get a SIM card in the USA and have a local phone number. Your phone has to be unlocked to use it. If a SIM card from another network doesn’t work in your phone or if it asks for a code, it is locked. You can request your phone’s code from the phone’s provider before you leave your country.
AT&T will run a credit check on you. You will not need a contract, but depending on your credit, your deposit will be anything from $150 to $750. For information, please call (530) 222-4333.
Metro PCS Many of our students used the company Metro PCS and most were very satisfied with it. There did seem to have some problems with texting out of country but for a short stay, it's a good offer.
- Unlimited minutes local and long distance
- NO CONTRACTS
- No credit checks
- Low international calling rates (example: 3 cents a minute for UK, 5 for Nordic countries, 3 to 5 for other European countries, 12 for Mexico, 2 for Canada, 7 for Brazil, 3 for Australia, 5 for New Zealand, 9 for South Africa, 4 for Japan)
- Inexpensive phones with first month free
- Unlimited international text messaging
- If you go home for the summer and come back again, they can lower to rate to $30 a month while you are gone so you keep the same phone number
The store manager at one of their offices has worked with some of our students and is happy to help us.
Here is the website: http://www.metropcs.com
Some students have been happy using T-mobile: http://www.t-mobile.com.
A new company, Consumer Cellular, is another one that does not require a contract. You can have a cell phone with them for the duration of your visit and there are some inexpensive plans. It would be really expensive to phone your country, but you can text and you can phone there with a phone card. For more information, please see their website: http://www.consumercellular.com/Cart/Plan
INTERNET AT&T also has a reliable service for high speed Internet access that costs about $20 a month if there is service in your area. See http://www.att.com/gen/landing-pages?pid=3308. Another recommended provider is http://www.charter.net.
SCHOOLING FOR YOUR CHILDREN American Education Terms
- Pre-school or nursery school—typically for children aged 3–5
- PK—pre-kindergarten (before kindergarten)
- Kindergarten—for children aged 5
- K-12—kindergarten through 12th grade (the terminal year of school at age 17 or 18)
- Primary or elementary school—typically grades K–6 (ages 5–11)
- Middle school—for children aged 11 to 13 if their school district has a four-year high school and their elementary school ends with 5th grade.
- Junior High School—typically grades 7–9 (ages 12–14)
- High School—typically grades 10–12 (ages 15 to 17)
For more information about the U.S. educational system, please see: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-map.html
The Redding area has several elementary schools, junior high schools and senior high schools. Public education is free. To register, children must have valid I.D. (such as a passport or birth certificate) and proof of immunization. Children attend the public school nearest their home. Children may attend any private school in the city. Private schools charge tuition. There are at least two Christian high schools in Redding:
To attend Bethel Christian School, fill out an application, and send in current academic assessments with explanations of the system in English, a current school reference, pastoral reference, copy of immunization record. After your child is accepted, the school will sent you an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Status) form to fill out.
For more information about Bethel Christian School, please contact Darla Mayberry at email@example.com.
AFTER SCHOOL CARE There is after school care at Bethel Christian School for children enrolled in the school only.
Many of the local public schools have after school care until 6:00. Those who live west of the Sacramento River attend Redding School District; east of the river is Enterprise School District; those in Anderson attend Cascade School District; those in the north attend Gateway School District. Of those, all but Gateway have after school care programs until 6:00 pm.
A Christian daycare center serving infants through mid-teens has space for one more infant and up to six children. It is called Randol Family Childcare and it is located on 1765 Sterling Drive in Redding. Their phone number is (530) 221-8833. Owners are Serena and Bob Randol. They are only ten minutes away from the church.
HOUSINGStudents are responsible for arranging their own housing. We recommend looking in the following places:
- Craig’s list at http://redding.craigslist.org
- The classifieds under Redding.com at http://www.redding.com
- Under housing on the ibssm website
- Rental agencies
- Apartment listings in The Redding Searchlight newspapers
- Students can share a room and get all their meals at Simpson University.
A former student recommends renting from Country Properties. Please see http://www.country-properties.net. It is owned and managed by Christians. Tell them that you are a BSSM student.
For more information on any topic covered here or questions about living in Redding, please e-mail Pam Spinosi at LTS@ibethel.org