All students must be busy booking your flight tickets, buying your things and must be in excited mood by now. We are coming across lot of students who needs clarification on how to carry dollars and how much to carry during air travel to US.
Remember, before you withdraw money in dollars you need to do some math on how much you need for 1st semester/year
Tuition fee, Accomodation, medical insurance and food expenses. Let’s come up with a scenario. Look into your I-20 and divide into 4 semesters if you are planning for masters. Let’s say your I-20 has $22,500 (I know this is less) for 2 years including all expenses.We would recommend you to carry $5625 in total. If you are taking loan, banks will not release all the money for 2years at the same time. They either release before each semester or they release once a year depending on bank policy. Now how to carry so much of dollars? No, you don’t have to carry everything in cash.
Below is just an example and numbers may not reflect exact university expenses
Tuition Fee : $ 3,400 (Take in DD favorable to university name,if you are taking loan)
Accomodation : $1,200 (Take $600 in DD,$600 in Travelers Check)
Food and Misc : $1025 ( Take $700 in Cash and $325 in DD in your name)
$700 Cash – $100(4) +$50(4)+$20(3)+$10(2)+$5(3)+$1(3)+$0.25(8)
You may not get quarters from bank.Not many bank issue quarters.You need it to make a call after landing.
Where to take DD in US dollars?
SBI, IOB and all nationalized bank which has foreign currency exchange division will issue DD’s.If you are taking loan, banks will not release all the money for 2years at the same time.After completing 1st semester you can always request to release the loan for your 2nd semester.
Anyway, take Tuition fee for your 1st semester in DD. Split accommodation in DD and travelers check. Split the balance amount in cash and DD.You need some cash to pay for apartment deposit,1st month rent and some initial shopping before you can apply for credit cards.
Never keep all the amount in the same baggage. Keep some in pant pocket, some in carry luggage and some in your jacket. Just for your information my dad gave me $425 when I flew here. Believe me you should be ok with this amount unless you have a crazy spending habit.
But, what’s the maximum amount you can carry?
US customs allow $10,000 in total amount that you can carry during your travel.What if you need more than that?.Yes,you can but,you just have to declare in the immigration form which you will get along with I-94 card during you final hours before port of entry.Make sure you carry documentation related to your finances that shows you need more than $10,000 if your university expenses exceeds this amount.