If you've already arrived at your destination, this checklist for settling in might make your first week or two as an international student, easier.
You may find it more difficult to get by in some countries without a local bank account. In the UK, you're usually required to have a bank account to apply for a mobile phone contract and to pay your utility bills. Employers will also expect you to have an account for them to direct deposit your salary into.
If you're moving to the US or Canada, having a bank account will make it much easier to manage your finances. You'll probably do most of your day-to-day banking from a chequing account, including paying your bills. Any scholarships or financial aid you'll receive will most likely come as a cheque or be directly deposited into your account.
Some bank accounts that are geared toward students and graduates come with incentives: cash rewards, welcome deposits, railcards, and no maintenance fees or minimum balance.
What about a bank account that helps you with your student visa? The HSBC International Student Program in Canada provides you with a chequing account and a guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) to help you pay for your living expenses while you're studying in Canada. This then fast-tracks the visa requirements of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's Student Direct Stream (SDS).
Besides the incentives, you'll want to consider ATM fees both at home and abroad, how good the online and mobile banking tools are (can you do all your banking on the go?), and whether you think you might need a credit card.
Are you considering getting a credit card? Think carefully about your ability to repay before applying. When used appropriately, a credit card is convenient and can help build your credit history.
Factors to consider
Transferring money between countries can often be slow and expensive. But with HSBC Global View and Global Transfers (GVGT) it's fast and easy (and free) to send money abroad. GVGT lets you make free, instant transfers to other eligible HSBC accounts worldwide. You can transfer up to USD200,000 (or the currency equivalent) per day in many markets.
GVGT also lets you view and manage all of your eligible worldwide HSBC accounts online, so you can keep an eye on your finances at home and abroad.
If you don't want to worry about overseas transaction or withdrawal fees and will be banking in multiple currencies while studying abroad, consider getting your banking organised before you go. We can help you open an overseas account in more than 30 countries and regions around the world.
We can tell you the best way for you to apply for an overseas account. Simply select your current location and where you would like to open an account. We'll then walk you through the steps.
Learn more about opening an overseas account
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