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Money

Be sure to research the currency in the country where you will be travelling.  It will be important to get used to the currency exchange rate, so that you understand how much you are spending. 

In most countries, your best plan for accessing foreign currency will be by utilizing an ATM.  You will need to know the amount of foreign currency you want to withdraw prior to using the machine so be sure and convert dollars to local currency when you make your withdrawal to ensure you get the correct amount.

If you will be using a credit or debit card while abroad, it is important that you notify your credit card company or bank of your upcoming travel plans before you leave. Be sure to let them know where you will be and over which dates you will be there. If you look on the back of your card there should be an 800 customer service number to call.  Again, be sure to do this before you leave. If you do not, your card may be locked due to an unusual pattern of purchases. Also, ask if they will charge transaction fees for using the card or withdrawing money in a foreign country, so you aren’t surprised by extra charges.

Prior to your departure, you should also print photocopies of your credit card, debit card, passport, etc. Keep the originals with you, keep one set of copies in your luggage, and keep one set of copies in the U.S. with a trusted friend or relative. Just in case.

While you are traveling keep a reasonable supply of cash on you in the local currency. A reasonable amount will vary depending on where you are studying and traveling.  Most often the equivalent of $100-$200 in cash is a good idea to have as an emergency fund, in case your card doesn’t work or another issue arises.

You may wish to use a money belt to carry your passport, tickets, some money, credit cards, etc. and store money in various locations.