Plan for Finances

Before you leave your country, you should plan for your finances. 
You can purchase traveler’s checks in U.S. Dollars from the bank in your country and take them with you to Lawrence.  Be sure to keep them safe and write down the check numbers, in case they get lost.
After you arrive to the U.S., you should set up a local bank account.  Plan to electronically transfer funds from your home bank to your US bank account. Paper bank drafts tend to take a long time to clear. 
You should arrange to have enough money to cover at least your first month’s expenses AND your first semester of tuition, books, insurance, and housing.

DO NOT underestimate the amount of money needed.  DO NOT carry a large amount of cash with you.  It is very difficult to exchange money from your currency to United States dollars while in the U.S. and, even if it is possible, there may be a large fee.  Bring your money to the United States in U.S. dollar traveler’s checks, have it electronically wired to your new U.S. bank account, or get a bank card from your home bank to withdraw cash from your account through an automatic teller machine (ATM).  ATMs are very common in Lawrence and are even located throughout campus. If you access your US bank account through an ATM card, we recommend :

  • Make sure to contact your bank about any special procedures such as an international PIN number to access your account. Also notify them you will be using your card in the US.
  • ATM cards should be tied to a checking (not savings) account.
  • It is a good idea to give a family member access to your account at home in case of access problems or to add money to your home account.
  • Bring a duplicate ATM card with you in case your original card gets "eaten" by an ATM machine.

Please note that this method will most likely not be sufficient for large payments, such as your tuition, due to additional fee charges and daily withdrawal limits.
KU does not accept Visa credit cards.  If you plan to pay your tuition with a credit card (see below), you should make plans to sign-up for a MasterCard, Discover card, or American Express card.


Learn how to pay your tuition at KU.


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