> Is the water in BG safe to drink?

a. Yes, drinking water goes through a multi-step purification process that takes several hours to complete. New treatment technology using activated carbon filtration and ultraviolet disinfection is part of this process.

b. Bowling Green meets and exceeds the State and Federal Drinking Water Standards.

c. For more information, see the water safety brochure in GC’s Welcome Folders or log onto www.bgohio.org and search “water.”

> How do I get an apartment in Bowling Green?

a. Call a rental office to see if there are any openings or to schedule a tour.

  • i.  Common rental offices for Internationals: Mid Am Properties (419-352-4380), John Newlove, Summit Terrace, Mecca, Falcon Landing (offers 6 month leases for Spring semester only), Stadium View (graduate students and professionals only, also 6 months leases are available for a higher rate)
  • ii. GC’s Welcome Folders contain several contacts of rental offices. You may want to search the internet for more options.

b. Go to the rental office of choice and fill out an application. A fee may be charged.

  • i. Payment options: check, credit card, money order
  • ii. Documents needed: Passport, Visa, Student ID–if you have one, I-20

c. Sign lease, pay security deposit and first month’s rent.

d. Look at page 47 of GC’s Getting Around in BG booklet for a list of agencies and companies (e.g. municipal utilities, etc.) you may need to contact after you sign for an apartment.

e. Get furniture and household items.

  • i. Many BG apartments are unfurnished. Furniture can be purchased at Walmart, Meijer, Big Lots, Goodwill, and Rent-A-Center. A list of some of these places can be found in GC’s Getting Around in BG booklet.
  • ii. GC also provides free furniture during our annual Free Food & Furniture event occurring on 8/22/15, this year. Contact Steve Baney at sbaney@globalconnectionsbg.org  for more information.
  • iii. In the fall, when BGSU classes start, GC Volunteers will provide rides to local stores .  For 2015, this will start from 8/19 to 8/13, and 8/17 to 8/20 from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm. Volunteers will be available at the GC Info Table in Offenhauer on 8/9 to 8/12  from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm.
  • iv. GC also provides local shopping trips on selected Saturdays from 10:30 am-12:00 pm. You choose which stores you would like to go to. Contact Steve at sbaney@globalconnectionsbg.org for more information.

NOTE: You cannot request to live with a Native English speaker. It is illegal for rental agencies to release this information.

> How do I get an Ohio Driver’s License?

a. Get a permit.

  • i. Go to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) located at:
    1616 E Wooster St. Suite 30
    Bowling Green, OH 43402
    http://www.bmv.ohio.gov
  • ii. Pick up Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle—In the fall, when BGSU classes start, a few of these will be available at GC’s info Table in Offenhauer on 8/9 to 8/12  from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm.
  • iii. Study the Digest.
  • iv. Take and pass Temporary Permit test ($22) at the BMV.
    • Documents to bring: Passport, Visa, I-9
    • BMV accepts cash, checks, money orders, and debit cards w/a $2.75 processing fee.

b. Get experience.

  • i. Mid-America Driver Training provides one-on-one driving practice in 2-hour sessions.
    Call ahead for hours and rates:
    530 Sand Ridge Rd
    Bowling Green, OH 43402
    (419) 353-0213
    www.wedrivethebest.com
  • ii. Global Connections no longer offers driving experience due to insurance and liability reasons. We do, however, have cones and poles for practicing the maneuverability exercise on page 7 of the Digest. Contact Steve at sbaney@globalconnectionsbg.org for more information.

c. Get a license.

  • i. Buy or borrow a car.
    • Mid-America Driver Training has cars to offer those who may not have access to one for their driver’s examination.
    • Some Internationals choose to borrow a car from a friend or family member with proper car insurance.
  • ii. Take and pass test.
    • Documents to bring: Passport, Visa, I-9, temporary permit.
    • Test will include both a driving test and a maneuverability test.
    • You cannot miss more than 25 points, or you will fail the test.
    • If you fail either test, you must wait seven days before trying again.  If you fail four times, you must wait six months and then begin the application process again.
  • iii. Pick up an Ohio Drivers’ License.
    • Age 18: $21.75
    •  Age 19: $20.50
    • Age 20: $19.25
    • Age 21+: $23

NOTE: An International Driver’s License is only good for Internationals on a tourist visa (90 days), not those that are here on International student visas.

> How and where do I buy a car?

a. Get a car.

  • i. Visit a local new or used car dealership.
    • Thayer Nissan, Bowling Green Lincoln Auto Sales, Halleck Auto Sales, Dick Wilson Buick GMC, Al Smith Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Thayer Honda, BG Southside Motors, Quality Driven Automotive
      • Documents to bring: Driver’s License, proof of Insurance, proof of income if applying for a loan
  • iii. Look in the local paper, Sentinel-Tribune, or search the website, www.sent-trib.com for cars for sale.
  • iv. Someone with proper car insurance has to drive the car back to your home.

NOTE: When looking for used cars online or from private owners, be sure to bring along someone who can help you assess the car to make sure it is in good condition or search the car on www.Carfax.com or www.Autocheck.com.  You may also want to have the car inspected by a mechanic; a list of these can be found in GC’s Getting Around in BG booklet under “Auto Repair”.

b. Get title transferred –If you are buying a car from a dealership, they will send you a letter in the mail when you need to do this.

  • i. Go to the Title Bureau located at:
    1616 E Wooster St. Suite 16
    Bowling Green, OH 43402
    (419) 354-9180
  • ii. Documents to bring: Driver’s license, Passport, car title—must be notarized (officially signed and sealed by a notary) if seller is not present
    • Look online to find a local notary service, if needed. Some options are:  AFS Notary Services or Wood County District Public Library.
  • iii. Write down the amount of miles shown on the odometer, and bring this with you.
  • iv. Pay $15 title transfer fee plus taxes.
    • Payment options: cash, check, money order

c. Get insurance.

  • i. Search online or visit local Insurance Companies: State Farm, Geico, Progressive, Nationwide, American Family Insurance, Allstate
    • A list of local insurance companies can be found in GC’s Getting Around in BG booklet.
    • Documents needed: Driver’s License, Passport, Visa, I-9, checkbook (if you plan on having an automatic monthly withdrawal), vehicle information: title and registration.
    • Pay first month of insurance and a back-up month.
    • If you are not paying by automatic monthly withdrawal, you will need to either pay in full or make monthly payments. Most insurance companies accept check, cash or credit.

d. Get registration and license plates.

  • i. Go to the BMV.
    • Documents to bring: Car title, Driver’s License
    • Plates cost:  $34.50 plus tax and other fees

NOTE: It is illegal to drive a car in the US without car insurance; in Ohio, cars must have both a front and back license plate.

> How do I get around in Bowling Green with limited transportation?

a.  In the fall, when BGSU classes start, GC Volunteers will provide rides to local stores .  For 2015, this will start from 8/9 to 8/13 and 8/17 to 8/20 from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm. Volunteers will be available at the GC Info Table in Offenhauer on 8/9 to 8/12  from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm.

b. GC also provides local shopping trips most Saturdays from 10:30am-12:00pm. You choose which stores you would like to go to. Contact Steve at sbaney@globalconnectionsbg.org for more information.

c. BG has several shuttle and taxi services on and off campus: BGSU Shuttle Bus Services, BG Transit, Reliable Taxi, Cori’s Cab, Supercab, BGSU Airport Shuttle–A list of these services, including phone numbers and prices, can be found in GC’s Getting Around in BG booklet.

> Where do I buy a SIM card?

a. A Subscriber Identity Module Card (SIM Card) may be needed to activate your cell phone once in the US.

b. SIM Cards can be purchased at Sprint or Verizon Wireless.

  • i. A list of addresses for these places can be found in GC’s Getting Around in BG booklet.
  • ii. In the fall, when BGSU classes start, GC volunteers provide rides to these local stores . For 2015, this will be starting 8/9 to 8/13 and 8/17 to 8/20 from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm.
  • iii. GC also provides local shopping trips most Saturdays from 10:30am-12:00pm. You choose which stores you would like to go to. Contact Steve at sbaney@globalconnectionsbg.org for more information.

> Where do I buy groceries?

a. Kroger, Walmart, Meijer, Aldi –(Aldi requires cash/debit only; bring your own bags), Falcon Food Mart—(sells international food).

  • i. GC provides local shopping trips most Saturdays from 10:30 am-12:00 pm. You choose which stores you would like to go to. Contact Steve at sbaney@globalconnectionsbg.org for more information.
  • ii. The GREEN-EAST route BGSU shuttle bus goes to Meijer, Monday-Thursday, 7:30 am-9:00 pm and Friday, 7:30 am-7:00 pm.

b. GC provides shopping trips to International Markets in Toledo (Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern) twice a semester from 9:30 am-1:30 pm. Contact Steve for more information.

> Where do I buy clothing and shoes?

a. New clothing stores: Walmart, Meijer, TJ Maxx, Maurices (women’s only), Rue 21, Shoe Sensation

b. Used clothing stores: Goodwill, Mosaic Consignment Studio (women’s only)

  • i. A list of addresses for these places can be found in GC’s Getting Around in BG booklet.
  • ii. GC provides local shopping trips most Saturdays from 10:30 am-12:00 pm. You choose which stores you would like to go to. Contact Steve at sbaney@globalconnectionsbg.org for more information.
  • iii. GC provides shopping trips to the Westfield/Franklin Park Mall in Toledo twice a semester. For a list of stores, go to www.westfield.com. Contact Steve for more information.

_

For Other Questions Contact:

info@globalconnectionsbg.org

GC bookmarks provide a list of dates for all shopping trips; you can also sign up for GC’s monthly e-newsletter (In Touch with Global Connections) or become a fan on Facebook for more details.