To purchase health insurance, pay housing fees, and establish yourself financially, you may want to open a U.S. checking account with a nearby bank. After you have your new address, you may open a checking account at a local bank. There are several local banks near the main campus. Some students use bank cards and accounts from abroad. Just make sure that your ATM and/or credit cards will work in the U.S. You may need to contact the issuer of your ATM debit card and credit card holders to notify them that you will be attending school in the U.S. and will need to use your debit and/or credit cards internationally.
Initially, to pay for housing, textbooks, the first half of your tuition, and to have available cash, you will probably need a minimum of U.S. $6,000 in traveler’s checks; a check payable on a bank in the US; a credit card that works in the U.S.; or a check to the University of West Florida written on a U.S. bank or a bank with a branch office in the U.S. (If you want to pay for your full semester tuition during the first week of school, you will probably need $9,000-10,000.) You may also use a credit card or an extra $200 in traveler’s checks for a motel or any emergency expenses. The only U.S. cash and coins you will need would be to pay for food, taxi service, and an emergency (should one arise).
Do not travel with large amounts of cash. If you have enough traveler’s checks or a credit card, you probably will want to carry no more than $200 cash.