International Students University Life

Financial Matters


Upon arrival and check-in with International Student Services, information on local banking services will be provided. There are several banks within walking distance of the University. The bank you choose depends on your banking needs and the services available.

In order to open a bank account, you'll need your passport, a local mailing address, personal information and money for a deposit. Funds deposited in your account should be in the form of a bank draft, bank wire or check.

If you have a spouse or other dependents, you may wish to open a "joint account." This kind of account allows family members to make use of funds in the account. Each family member must also provide the bank with personal information to include their name on the account.


Managing your money is essential to living in the U.S. The most common expenses students face are tuition, fees, housing, meals, health insurance, books, transportation, clothes, personal expenses, recreation, travel, taxes, family expenses, etc. While the I-20 reflects many of these expenses, a student should also be prepared for unexpected expenses.

  • Keep up with your account and expenses. Review your bank statements regularly.
  • Make sure you understand the bank policies and procedures, like the amount needed to open an account or the minimum balance required.
  • Keep track of your expenses. Try tracking your expenses by date or by categories, like food, books, clothes, fees, and recreation.
  • Pay bills on time. Companies charge a fee for late payments.
  • Be careful when authorizing "automatic debits." Make sure the company you are authorizing is well known. Never allow companies to withdraw money from your account unless you authorize the transaction.
  • Don't write checks for more money than is in your account. It is illegal and usually both your bank and the establishment will charge you a fee.
  • Shop around. Compare different prices before buying an item.
  • Before doing major shopping, get accustomed to the exchange rate, prices and store locations.
  • Look for items "on sale" through advertising in newspapers, television, radio or stores displays.
  • Shop at discount stores when possible.
  • Look for student discounts at places like stores, theaters, museums and restaurants.

Credit Cards

If you plan on using a credit card issued by a bank in your home country, please make sure the credit card can be used in the U.S. In the past, there have been some cases where foreign credit cards could not be used in the U.S.

Debit Cards

A debit card provides an alternative payment method to cash when making purchases. Its functionality is similar to writing a cheque/check as the funds are withdrawn directly from either the savings/ checking bank account (often referred to as a cheque card), or from the remaining balance on the card. The debit card is multipurpose, acting as the ATM card for withdrawing cash and also as a cheque guarantee card.
For more information on debit cards, contact your local banking center.


Tuition information for the average estimated living expenses to attend WTAMU.

Payment Methods

Payment for tuition, fees, room and meals are made through the university Business Office.  To assist students with this, there is a  payment plan available.  Please see Payment Methods and Deadlines for information.

Bring Your Family

Issues to Consider

Bringing a spouse and/or children to join you in Canyon is an exciting option. It can help you succeed in your studies, ease stress and bring family unity and comfort to your household. Furthermore, it can be an everlasting memory of happiness and joy.

Nonetheless, many students have met some unexpected difficulties. Probable causes of disruption are language barriers, cultural differences, idle time for spouse and children and lack of cohesiveness within the environment, etc.

To assist you and your family in fully understanding the consequences of living in the U.S., the International Student Office recommends you answer the following questions to the best of your abilities.

  • Where will you live with your family?
  • How will your spouse and children get around (transportation)?
  • What will your spouse do during the day?
  • How will you access information for your family's needs?
  • What is the English proficiency of each family member? How do you plan to address their language needs?
  • How will your experience as a married couple be different here than in your own country?
  • What will be the biggest source of stress on your marriage?
  • How will you deal with the isolation your spouse and children may feel without grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended family members?
  • Where will you send your children to school?
  • What type of stress will your children experience in school, in a new country?
  • How will you deal with cultural shock individually and as a family

Procedures for Dependent Visa

Students who choose to bring a spouse and/or children to the U.S. during their study period must apply for a dependent visa/visas. This type of visa is called an F-2 visa.

International Student Services can assist you with the necessary documents to apply for a dependent visa. The process for obtaining a dependent visa and the documents required are similar to those required for an F-1 visa.

Dependents must receive a dependent I-20 from International Student Services to apply for a F-2 visa. The documents required are:

  1. Passport biodata page copy (each dependent).
  2. Proof of finances ($ 4,200 1st dependent + 1,000 each additional dependent ). These finances are in addition to the finances shown for F-1 student visa.
  3. Proof of medical/ health insurance (recommended).

Dependent I-20's should be discussed with the International staff at the time students apply for admission.