It is important to understand your banking options while overseas and to develop a strategy before you leave. Your program orientation should cover this information and will usually give you written materials. If they don’t, be sure to ask for it.
Your ATM card may work with foreign ATM machines - but you should contact your financial institution at least 2 months before traveling to verify this.
Depending on how long you plan to stay, you might want to open a local bank account. Your program orientation will usually cover this in detail.
It is also possible to transfer funds electronically. You should research your options and discuss with your financial institution.
You can buy your host country's currency with U.S. dollars and/or dollar-denominated traveler's checks.
Keep a record of your traveler's checks' serial numbers separate from the checks in case your traveler's checks are lost or stolen.
It's best to have different ways of paying, including cash, traveler's checks, and/or credit cards.
You can exchange U.S. dollars for foreign currency at most international airports before you depart and at the airport and most railway stations and banks in your host country.
Never carry large amounts of cash. But you can carry some local cash — you may need it every day.
Banks usually offer the best exchange rate. Expect to pay a commission every time you exchange money — either a percentage of the amount exchanged or a flat fee.