Welcome to the Monetary Issues page. This page contains guidelines on the amount to carry &
the ways of carrying it.
Note : These are not the official guidelines. GISA does not assume any legal responsibility for
any circumstance that may arise due to the below content. This is only for your information to
give you a fair idea. We strongly advise you to check with the official rules and apply your
discretion in your decisions.
The usual dollar amounts recommended:
a) Make a draft for the fees that you need to bring (usually the first semester) in US Dollars say
$6500 in the name of University at Buffalo. This $6500 is an approximate fees for the first
semester fees. They accept it even if it is not the exact amount, they can return cash, or hold it
for the next semester if it is in excess or you can pay by cash / US check from your bank
account if the amount is in deficit.
b) Take travellers' checks (TCs) from American Express, Bank of America, Thomas Cook or
any other travel company for the initial living expenses. Look for a place where there is 0%
commission for Students or very less commission. Around $1500 to $2000 should be
sufficient for around the first 2-3 months. Each months expenses in Buffalo comes to
$450/month. Includes your rent, grocery, some basic expenses, etc.
c) Get $500 in cash, but around $200 should be enough. Do not carry a lot of cash. . Request
as many $20's, 10's, 5's and $1's possible.
And lower denominations will help you convert them to quarters (25 cents) , dimes (10 cents)
and nickels (5 cents) at the airport. It will also be easier to pay at your transit airport like
London, or Paris, in case you want to buy some food, or call up your parents using a pay-
phone. If you have an international credit card, you can use it for calls in most airports.
Once you are here,
a) Keep the money and checks safely in different places.
b) Go to the bank and open an account. Take your Passport and I-20 with you to the bank.
c) Deposit all of the Travelers checks and extra cash into your bank account.
d) Pay up your fees in time.
e) If you get funding after coming here and don't need to pay the fees. Then you have two
options - You can either return the draft of fees back to your folks in India and they can cancel it
and get the amount in Indian rupees or you can submit the draft to the university. They will cash
it for you and then will refund your fees in US Dollars (This may take some time....from 1 to 2
Partial Payment option (available to all International students) : You have to enroll in this plan
after you come here and have decided if you want to take this option. You can go to the
Student Records and Registration office in Second Floor Capen to pick up a form and ask
about the details.
First you register for courses -- Funded Students have to take 9 credits (min) and unsupported
have to take 12 (min) . Accordingly if you are funded don't read ahead as everything will be
taken care of by your department secretary.
For those who are not supported .......Register for 12 credits. You will get a bill via mail.
If you can Pay in Full: Pay within a month (they give you the last date of payment)
Else Pay by Partial Payment Plan --> Can pay within 3 to 4 installments within current
If you get funding immediately on arrival, and your forms are processed before the due date of
the payment of fees then it gets adjusted, but you have to check with the student records office.
Else if (your forms don't get processed well in time) then you have to pay first and then get it
The key point is that if you are not supported "YOU MUST BRING the fees for at least 12
credits (first semester) with you when you come.