Current Exchange and Usage

Before your arrival, you may want to exchange money into U.S. dollars so that you have cash available upon your arrival. Traveler’s checks may be helpful, too, but not all stores and restaurants accept them. Make an attempt to bring travelers check for denominations of less than $100.00.

Before leaving home, visit a bank in your country to learn the requirements for exchanging money and the value of your own currency in the United States. Know how much United States currency is worth in your own money before entering the country. The basic unit of currency in the United States is the dollar, and is represented by the “$” symbol. Paper money is green and is referred to as a bill, or bills. The following are common denominations: $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.

Coins are worth less than a dollar and their value is described in “cents,” which are equivalent to 1/100th of a dollar. Coins used in the United States are the penny(1 cent), nickel (5 cents), dime(10 cents), quarter (25 cents), and half dollar (50 cents). There is also a dollar coin, but it is used much less often than its paper equivalent. Together bills and coins are often referred to as “cash”.

After arriving in the United States obtain several United States coins and bills for tipping, telephone calls and miscellaneous expenses. There will be a bank for this purpose at most major airports. Be aware that many businesses will not accept credit cards for very small purchases, and that others, such as taxi cabs or small vendors may not have the facilities to process credit cards purchases at all. Such businesses may require cash for all purchases.

Currency Exchange Website:

Curreny Restrictions and Transfer of Funds to the US

Before finalizing your plans to arrive in the United States, please become familiar with your government’s regulations regarding currency restrictions and the transfer of funds. Some governments restrict the amount of money that can be taken out of the country. Others may restrict funds until a letter confirming enrollment has been received from the admitting institution in the United States. Also find out what letters, if any, are required from the University in order to authorize the transfer of funds.

Money management tips:

  • Put yourself on a budget for things you want such as clothing, groceries, school supplies and books, and whatever else you want.
  • Set aside a certain amount of money every week whether it is $10, $15 or $20 dollars to go to something(s)you want to save for.
  • Adopt a spending plan early in your first semester andstick to it. Try to keep track of expenses and record all purchases on a spreadsheet; do not spend money just because you have it.

How to Budget Your Money

Here is a list of websites that can help you plan to budget your money while in school: