Cash On Hand
Upon arrival in the US, you should have access to enough money to get to and pay for your temporary housing, purchase groceries, and any other supplies you of which you may be in need. There are several ways to access your funds when you get here. You should carry some USD in case of emergency. However, be very careful with handling your cash have a safe place to keep it in and carry just as much to help you settle in the first few weeks. On the other hand, you should confirm with your bank that your debit card will allow you to withdraw cash from an ATM in the US (most will) and notify them that you will be using your card in the US.
Choosing Your US Bank or Credit Union
You will probably want to set up a bank account within the U.S. This account will allow you to make online payments to the Bursar, write checks for other bills or have funds directly deposited from an employer. There are many banks in the area to choose from.
As you make your bank choice, consider your transportation and how you will access the bank, ATM availability and online services.
PNC Bank and Star Bank have locations within walking distance of campus and many other such as Solidarity Federal Credit Union are accessible by car.
Setting up an Account
When opening your account, you will need to go in person.
Take your passport, student ID and other immigration documents with you, as well as a small amount of cash to deposit. You do not need a social security card to open a bank account.
If you plan to have someone wire money to you, be sure to ask your bank for routing information and costs for wiring funds.