International students and scholars have the option of opening a bank account in the US. If you have a bank account, your family can wire transfer money to you if they would prefer not to pay the school directly. It is safer and easier than sending money through the mail. Wired money generally arrives two weeks after it has been sent. Your bank in Valdosta will charge a handling fee, usually about $12. Note that for your first semester, paying the school directly would be the best way to ensure that you pay by the deadline. Valdosta State works with Flywire to ensure that you have the option of wiring directly from your home country. 

  • Have your money well in advance of your VSU fee payment deadline. Failure to pay your student fees on time will result in cancellation of your class schedule, requiring you to return home. .

Most banks in Valdosta have specially priced services for VSU students. You should ask for a student account when you open your account at a bank. You will receive checks and a check/debit card to be used in ATMs. There is an automated teller machine (ATM) at the Student Union for Bank of America. We can assist new students with transportation to Bank of America to open bank accounts during the orientation week, if you are interested. You will need at least $25 as an opening deposit, and know what your mailing address in Valdosta is. 

Types of Accounts 

Checking Accounts

It is important to know how much is in your checking account at all times. Most banks have mobile apps or online banking you can use to help you keep track of your spending. Spending more than you have in your checking account will result in an overdraft fee.

Savings Account

You may keep money in a savings account where it will earn modest interest. Many banks have a minimum balance requirement. If the amount of money you have in your account falls below the minimum, the bank may charge you a fine. If you have a savings account and a checking account at the same bank, you may transfer money from one account to the other.

Money/Banking Terms

Other Banking Services Offered for Fees

      • Credit cards
      • Cashier's checks
    Money Orders
        - You can also purchase money order's from any Western Union Agent locations or even the U.S. Postal Office. A lot of times, money orders are accepted at off-campus locations for rent payments. 
    • Certified checks
    • Travelers checks
    • Checks
    • eChecks - This just means that you are providing your routing number and account number online, instead of writing out a physical check. If you do not have any physical checks, contact your U.S. bank to find out where to find this information on your account.
    • Safety deposit box rental to store valuable item

Money Exchange

Currency from your home country must be taken to a bank to be exchanged. All currency (except Canadian) must be sent out of town by the local banks for exchange. There is a charge of approximately $10 for the transaction and a processing time of 3 to 6 weeks.

Credit Cards

When choosing a credit card, be sure to check on its reputation for service, interest rate, and popularity amongst retailers. On the whole, international students, particularly freshmen, are encouraged to avoid credit card offers as they can prove attractive, but nevertheless lead to financial difficulty or even ruin.

Record Keeping

The bank sends a monthly statement or record of checks written and paid on your account. It is important that you review these documents carefully each month to rectify any discrepancies between the banks records and yours. This is of particular importance when using an ATM, because it is easy to forget a transaction and/or lose the receipt. Customers are penalized through service fines for checks that are written for an amount greater than the sum in their account.

Automatic Teller-Machine (ATM)

This computerized device allows bank customers to effect many transactions at any time of day. There are charges for using the ATMs of the banks other than your own. For security reasons, avoid making ATM transactions at night. Go to the ATM located inside a mall or grocery store if you must get cash at night.