First Week in the US & NYC
There are many banks around NYC where you can open an account. You can check each bank’s website to see what documents are required to open the account. Typically, the bank will ask for the following:
- I-20 or DS-2019
- Proof of your NYC address
Be sure to let the bank representative know that you are an international student studying in the U.S.
You do not need a social security number (SSN) to open a bank account.
MetroCards are electronic fare cards for use on subways and buses in New York City. The Roosevelt Island Tram also uses them. These cards are available for purchase at all subway stops and at the tram stops.
As an alternative to buying the physical cards, you can also pay for the MTA through your phone and digital wallet. The Roosevelt Island Tram only accepts the physical cards at this time. Learn more on the OMNY website.
Some carriers may offer student discounts so it is best to check with the stores owned by the mobile provider directly rather than “authorized dealers”.
Some students bring an “unlocked” phone from home and buy a U.S. SIM card at a US airport, from a mobile provider, or a prepaid card online.
Understanding U.S. Culture
Be sure to visit this page to learn more about cultural differences in the U.S.