Managing your money while abroad is very important. We suggest that you create a budget before you go to keep you on track. Keep exchange rates in mind while planning these costs. Be sure to meet with Financial Aid to review your study abroad budget worksheet which will give you an idea of your expenses and see if financial aid can be applied.
We suggest that you convert enough money to the local currency before you leave to get you through your first 3-4 days traveling and in country while you get to know the area where you will be staying. You may be able to do this at a local U.S. bank, depending on the currency you need (it usually takes about a week for you to get the money from your bank once you make a request). Consider buying a money belt to keep cash safe, but if you don’t, travel with your money in multiple locations on your body and carry-on bag while traveling to your host country. Once in your host country, only carry the amount of money you will need for each day.
ATMs and debit cards are the most convenient way to access your money while abroad. Be aware of extra fees for doing so. Contact your bank to tell them when and where you will be travelling internationally. If you do not, they may suspect fraudulent charges and block your card. Find out if your bank has ATMs in the city where you will be staying or if they have relationships with foreign banks which may make it cheaper to access your money. We don’t suggest using traveler’s checks.
- Currency Conversion Rates
- ATM and Debit Card Fees by Bank - excellent cards to use while abroad. Find one that doesn't have ATM or exchange fees.
- International ATM Locator (Visa) - ATM's where Visa cards will work
- International ATM Locator (MasterCard) - ATM's where MasterCard will work
- Budget Your Trip Tool - estimate your costs and keep track of your expenses
- Cost of Living in Other Countries - gives you an idea of how cost of living compares to U.S.