The estimate that appears on the I-20 is usually accurate, and
international students are expected to have funds to cover the full
amount shown. It is not possible to arrange for more financial aid once
you arrive at an institution. If you are a graduate student and are
awarded an assistantship, be sure you understand what it will include
and what you will be expected to pay from your own funds. If you will
receive a scholarship or fellowship, determine ahead of time what
portion is taxable and include the necessary taxes in your budget.
You will need to transfer large amounts of money for your expenses for
the year. The best ways to transfer money are:
- A bank draft (also called a cashier's check) drawn on a U.S. bank in
- A "wire transfer" from your bank at home to a U.S. bank (Wire
transfers can not be made directly to Salisbury University).
- You can pay your university bill at the cashier's office, (410)
543-6060, by personal check, money order, or credit card (Visa and
Master Card only)
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Banking: There is a variety of banks available in
Salisbury. The University has an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) on
campus, located by the Guerrieri University Center. It belongs to State
Employees Credit Union, but can also be used with the PLUS, MOST and
CIRRUS systems, as well as MasterCard and Visa credit card (there is a
small charge for using those services.)
Opening a Banking Account: Once you arrive in
Salisbury, you will need to open a bank account. When doing so, bring
your student ID, passport and funds you want to deposit. Different banks
offer different services; you may wish to compare costs of these
services. You may ask your International Student Services office for
recommendations. A checking account
will permit you to write checks to make purchases and pay bills. Many
stores will accept a check with proper identification (driver's license
or passport). Checks are a good way of keeping record of your money. A
savings account usually earns a better interest; you may withdraw
money from a savings account, but may not write a check. After opening
an account, make yourself familiar with all the services and options
available to you from the bank.
Banks offer a variety of services including safety deposit boxes for
storing valuable possessions, "debit cards,' also known as check cards,
which allow you to withdraw or deposit money to your bank account using
an automatic teller machine (ATM) and to make purchases at stores that
accept the cards, and credit cards that allow you to make purchases even
when you have no money immediately available. Credit cards are
convenient, but unless you are careful you may be unpleasantly surprised
when you get your monthly bill. Interest rates on credit cards can be
Transferring Funds to the US: You need to bring enough
money to meet the initial costs of getting to campus and at least one
month's expenses. Travelers' checks
are the safest way to carry money, but be sure to record the checks'
numbers and keep that record separate from the checks. Do not carry
large amounts of cash; do not send cash through the mail. When you
transfer larger amounts of money, explore the options available to you
and learn whether your country has restrictions on sending money abroad.
Keep in mind that exchange rates change daily, and you should check with
your local bank on what they are. You can also check them on the World
http://www.oanda.com/cgi-bin/ncc. Keep in mind that the
first month is likely to be among the most expensive periods of your
stay in the United States. Keep this in perspective; it will not be as
expensive after you settle in.
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Be careful about lending or giving money to anyone, especially
strangers. If you are reluctant in the face of a request for money, just
say: "I am sorry but I cannot help you," and politely close the door or
hang up the phone.
Unless you have initiated a transaction to obtain a product, service or
benefit, never give your credit card number, bank account number, or
Social Security number to anyone. You may be giving it to a person who
will use the information illegally.
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