As an international student in a foreign land one of the most important things that students are advised to do is to open a local bank account. This is extremely important as a localised bank account facilitates transfer of funds and is useful when the student gets a part-time job and salaries have to be credited. In most institutions, scholarships are disbursed and deducted from the fees to be paid. There are private grants, bursaries and travel allowances for research scholars that are credited into the students’ account; hence it is vital that international students open a local back account within the first few days of joining university.
Role of International Students Office:
The International Students Office or the International Student Support Team helps international students open a bank account. Usually all institutions run an ‘Orientation Program’ for international students; this orientation program could be anywhere from 3 days to a week or even a fortnight. During this period students are assisted by the staff-members to help open a bank account. Additionally most mid to large-size universities have bank-branches on-campus and this helps students to open and operate a bank account with ease.
Usually a representative from the ‘International Student Support Team’ organises a visit to the nearest bank branch and facilitates the opening of the account. In those cases where the institution is really massive with a bank on its premises, staff-members from the bank arrive on a designated date and help facilitate the opening of a bank account.
Essential Documents to be Submitted:
To open a bank account students’ will usually have to submit the following documents:
- Copy of the passport
- Copy of the student identity card issued by the institution
- Copy of the letter of confirmation of admission issued by the institution
- Two or three passport size colour photographs
- Proof of address in country of origin
Usually banks charge a minimal account maintenance fee and offer benefits like ATM/Debit Card, online banking and SMS alert facilities as part of the student account. Rules vary from country to country and bank to bank and students should take care to ensure that they follow the rules stipulated by the bank.
Time taken for the activation of the ‘student bank account’ varies from bank to bank and country to country. The process may take anywhere from 24 hours to 5 working days. On activation of the account the student receives an email with his/her account details. Students are instructed to keep their ATM/Debit card safely and ensure that they do not reveal their ATM Pin code to others.
There might be cases wherein as an international student in a small institution abroad; the student may have to visit the nearest bank directly without any assistance from the institution-staff. Students do not have to worry, as long as they have copies of all valid documentation required by the bank. The passport and college student identification card should be kept safely at all times and students should keep multiple copies of these documents safely.
If you are planning to study in Australia or New Zealand do consider opening an account in ANZ Bank. ANZ Bank is one of Asia-Oceania’s premier banks and offers a variety of personal bank accounts.
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