How to Manage Finances While Away
How much money should I bring and in what form?
The cost of living is different from country to country and city to city. We suggest you bring enough money (or exchange enough upon arrival at the airport) to cover two weeks of expenses. It may take some time to find the next available ATM or bank. Keep in mind any large ticket costs you will have to pay within that time frame (i.e. housing deposits, six-month transportation passes).
You may choose to bring cash with you to convert at the airport. Credit and debit cards are much safer and secure, but will incur a fee. We discourage students from using traveler's checks. They are only issued in USD and are difficult to cash abroad as they can only be converted at banks. Individual stores will not have the capacity to do this as the currency is different.
- Call your bank and credit card company to inform them of when and where you will be traveling. Also inform them if you do any side trips outside your host country. If not informed, they could put a hold on your accounts, which would require you to contact them to get it reactivated.
- Ask what and how much you will be charged for a transaction from your host country. Is there a cost difference between a debit transaction and an ATM withdrawal?
- Ask your bank for an increase in the amount you can withdraw from an ATM. This will allow you to make fewer withdrawals and pay fewer fees.
- Ask your credit card company to increase your spending limit. If you have a good financial history and haven't asked for an increase in the past, they will be more inclined to do this.