How much money (in US Dollars) should I take with me to the USA?
How Much Money Do I Need?
It is best to be a conservative.
You’ll need two separate demand drafts (also called certified checks or bank checks).
The first should be made out to the University, written for the first semester fees + $500.
The second should be made out to you, and should cover living expenses for six months.
Figuring out your living expenses for six months may require a bit of research on your part. Consider food costs, the price for laundering clothes, replenishing toiletries, the occasional fun outing with friends, and other expenses.
- Texas, Florida – About $400 per month
- New York, California – About $600 per month
Some bank managers will not issue bank draft (demand drafts) in your name. If this is the case, get your second draft made out to the University as well. You will be able to get a personal check from the university.
Do Not: Carry tuition fees for the full year.
Do: Take just the right amount for the first semester (especially if you are taking money out of an education loan).
Travelers’ Checks or Demand Draft?
The choice between these two options is entirely up to you, but it may be best to make that selection depending on commission fees. If you have travelers’ checks, you will be able to use them along the way, but it is doubtful that you’ll actually use them during travel.
If you need to use money during travel, $400 – $1000 is sufficient.
Do not: Carry more than $1000 during travel.
Do not: Carry USD in large denominations
Do: Carry USD in small denominations (5, 10, and 20 dollar bills)
What if my demand draft amount is greater than my tuition fees?
For example: you’ve written your demand draft for $8000, and the fees only total to $7500. No worries – this is not an uncommon occurrence.
Do not: Panic. Once your bank draft is cleared and credited to the university account, they will refund the money to you as a personal check.
Do: Contact the Bursar’s Office of your university to resolve any questions you have about finances.
Next – Do I need a Travel Card?