Soon after you get the visa, it is time for shopping and packing. Pay special attention to books, spectacles, cooking utensils and documents.
Books are very expensive in the USA. About 10 to 20 times as compared to those in India. Find out most common books used in your field at your target University. Buy the books and carry with you. Write your name on each book so that they become 'used books'. Customs will then not blame you for importing cheap books. Some of the most commonly used books for Computer Science are in the areas of:
Carry all the original degrees, marksheets GRE GMAT TOEFL score report etc.
Carry a photocopy of your passport and visa in a different bag. Leave one set at home.
A driving license and International Driving permit
Travelers checks / Bank Drafts / US Dollars in cash (subject to limitations)
A printout of your e-Ticket
Laptops are cheaper in USA. Carry your laptop if you already have one. You will need a power cord. You can buy it at a Radio Shack or at a Best Buy on your arrival.
we leave it to your own discretion. Carry enough cloths to cover at least one week without washing. Carry 3 pairs of glasses (Spectacles), if you use . The glasses can be more expensive than your one month rent in US.
Every University town has a grocery store where you can find Indian / Chinese / Korean stuff. You do not need to carry rice etc. Airlines are reducing their weight limits on luggage and do not run a risk of fines by carrying food that you can easily buy. Do not carry any fruit or unpacked food like pickle you will run into US customs. Carrying a specialized Utensil like Indian style pressure cooker might be a good idea if weight and space permits.
Do not carry any item which may look like a weapon. Do not carry any knife or lighter. Do not carry any pirated CD.
The most obvious useless item is a lock for your baggages. Locks will be broken on arrival! TSA regulations do not allow bags to be locked unless it is a special lock that can be opened by TSA. Do not carry any electrical equipment because USA has a different power supply rating 110V 60 Hz. A laptop runs on DC and typically has a universal adapter so it is ok.