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Money Overseas

Banking overseas can be quite different from what you are used to back home.  Below you will find tips and strategies to help make your time abroad as easy as possible.

Some preparations neet to be made while you are still at home.  Be prepared with a combination of cash and appropriate credit and bank/ATM cards.  Most of your major costs for the semester (tuition and fees, housing, and sometimes food or excursions) are usually taken care of before you go. 

After your major fees are paid, you should try to create a budget and stick to it while abroad so you do not find yourself running out of money or unable to travel or complete the excursions you wished to because of a lack of funds.  

Learn the local exchange rate and what options you have available to you for changing money.  Avoid exchanging money at the airport because of high fees.  Look for exchange vendors that may give discounts with a student ID. 

Here is a guide on tipping etiquette around the world.  In some places, it's not required to tip, so you don't want to be paying more than you need to!

Here are a few general guidelines:

  • Exchange $100 before you depart, when you arrive use ATMs to obtain local currency
  • ATM cards and credit cards will provide you with the best exchange rates
  • Contact your bank and credit card companies to let them know the dates you will be out of the country
  • Verify with your bank that you can use your debit card overseas, and ask about withdrawal fees
  • Contact your bank and credit cards, and ask if they charge an international transaction
  • Make an extra copy of your credit card numbers, ATM card, and their corresponding phone numbers, and leave it at home (you'll still have easy access to the information if the cards are lost or stolen)
  • When using your ATM card or credit card, be very careful that someone isn't around writing down your number
  • Put aside money when you arrive in your host country to be used for emergencies, departure fees, and day-of-travel expenses at the end of the semester.