This page provides links to resources and information for international students. Florida Polytechnic University is neither affiliated nor has a partnership with any organizations listed. These resources are not for promotional purposes; all students are encouraged to do additional research.
International Student Banking Options
The following lists some of the banks that offer accounts in the US for international students. There are other banking institutions; please ensure to conduct additional research:
What Will I Need to Open a US Bank Account?
Most banks will request similar information and documents to open a bank account, but the required items may differ between institutions. The following can be some of the documents required to open a bank account in the US (this list may vary depending on your institution):
Valid passport (cannot be expired)
Secondary photo ID - student ID or a driver’s license
Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record - print here
Proof of residence and address (e.g., utility bill, housing lease, etc.)
Proof of university enrollment (i.e., student ID card, acceptance letter, copy of schedule), and
Money to deposit (keep in mind that each bank and account will carry its own minimum deposit)
Some banks may request a social security number (SSN); F/J students are not eligible to be issued the SSN unless they have employment. If you are not employed, ask the bank what “alternative” documents you can provide.
Alternative Online Banking Option
If you want to step away from traditional banks, there are digital global banks offering “borderless banking.” An online banking option designed specifically for foreign nationals in the United States (US) is:
This alternative banking institution offers a checking account with no social security number (SSN) or US credit history required. You are able to set up your bank account online or on your phone, before arriving in the US.
SSN not requiredNo service fees
No account minimums
No ATM fees
Free international money transfers
FDIC insurance up to $250,000
What If I Cannot Open a US Bank Account?
If you are unable to open a US bank account for whatever reason, you have the option to apply for a “prepaid card: A prepaid card is not tied to a bank account. It allows you to preload money onto it. For example, if you load $1,000, then you’ll have a $1,000 limit to spend.
Some options where you can order a prepaid card and manage your account online:
Prepaid cards offer a lot of the same functions, such as:
*Note that prepaid cards may charge fees for things like paying bills and reloading money.
Other Financial Resources
- Alternative Money Wire Options:
Preventing Financial Fraud
Financial fraud and identity theft are prevalent in the US. This means someone that uses methods to assume your identity or access your personal information and accounts to take money from you.
It is essential to keep your information safe. Banks will never email or call you and ask for personal information. The following are potential warning signs of financial fraud and the steps you can take if you are a victim of a scam.
International Student Grants and Scholarships
The following is a list of organizations that offer international student scholarships. These are external scholarship programs and are not provided or funded by Florida Polytechnic University.
US Cell Phones and Plans
When you move to the US, you will be introduced to a new set of cell phone plan offerings; with so many options, picking the right plan can get confusing. Please view the following links for resources to assist you with some of the plans offered.
You can also check if your cell phone will work with specific carriers that offer sim cards to convert your phone for use in the US, and you can compare different plans offered in the US on WhistleOut.com.
Please view some of the cell phone providers in the US that offer plans or sim card services to international students:
Lakeland Florida Utility Companies
Some residences include utilities, and most require separate payments to a provider for water, electricity, or gas. It is important to check with the housing rental company or landlord you are leasing from to identify utility providers. This means the following providers may not be the service company that provides utility services where you live.