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Carrying Cash Upon Arrival
The International Center recommends that you carry only a small amount of cash when you come to the US. Take note that there are US Customs regulations that limit the amount of cash you can carry into the US. If you bring cash, we recommend using traveler's checks as these can be replaced if lost or stolen. An alternative is to carry an international bank card that can be used at a US automated teller machine (ATM) or bank.
You should plan on opening a US bank account soon after arriving in the US. You will need a bank account especially if you will be working or receiving financial aid at Tufts, since Tufts will directly transfers wages, salary, and other payments into your bank account - you will not receive any payments in cash. To open a bank account, you will need the following documents. Also consult with the bank to determine their requirements.
Most students and scholars will only need to open a checking account or a combined checking / savings account.
Checking accounts: These allow you to deposit or withdraw money and to make payments either electronically or using paper checks. The money in a standard checking account does not collect interest. Checking accounts also come with debit cards that allow you to get cash from automated teller machines (ATMS). Many basic checking accounts will carry service fees and charges. These allow for easy access to your money to pay bills and make purchases. Most banks charge a monthly fee, so be sure to compare bank rates and fees. Also inquire about the locations of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for your convenience.
Savings Accounts: Savings accounts are designed to allow you to save money and earn interest on your savings. Checking and savings accounts are often linked together, so talk to your bank about options and fees.
There are many banks (as well as related financial institutions such as credit unions) in the Boston area. When choosing a bank, we encourage you to do your own research by asking questions such as:
The following is a list of some banks that many Tufts international students and scholars have used. These have multiple branches or ATM (automated teller) locations across the Boston area. The International Center does not recommend or endorse any particular bank.
Many banks charge additional fees if you withdraw machine from an ATM machine owned or operated by an outside bank or ATM company. Where possible, withdraw cash from a local branch of your bank or an ATM owned by your bank.
Tufts has partnered with Flywire to let international students make easy, convenient international payments directly to their student billing accounts. To learn more about Flywire or other payment options, go to to the Student Financial Services web site.
The International Center works closely with Financial Services to assist undergraduate students who have been awarded a financial aid package from Tufts. For more information about how your financial aid package works, contact the International Center at firstname.lastname@example.org and Financial Services.