Since Potsdam is a small town without good international banking facilities, it is a good idea for you to change money before you leave your country if possible. We recommend travelers' checks as the best way to carry money. It is easy to use an ATM card, though there may be a charge for each transaction.
With a bank account you can transfer money internationally if you need to. But do remember those transactions can take time, up to seven days, and that there is a fee for you to send or to initiate a money transfer to your home country, and a fee for you to receive a money transfer. There are also fees for a foreign bank draft, an international money order, and a Canadian bank draft.
The best way to control your finances is to create a budget and follow it closely. Make sure you include all expenses. When making your budget, be sure to consider the number of months you will be studying in the United States and plan accordingly. You don't want to run out of money.
All International Students in the U.S. are required to file taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year. Filing taxes with the IRS is a process which can seem daunting for many International Students but in most cases students (and International Students in particular) benefit from filing a tax return, especially if they were employed in the U.S. Filing with the IRS is also a way for you and the US government to ensure that you have been properly taxed for the previous year.
Because most International Students are not U.S. citizens they are exempt from many of the tax laws that apply to U.S. citizens and therefore are not required to pay as many taxes. Most countries have tax treaties with the U.S. that allow for their citizens (if they are employed in the United States) to receive certain tax benefits.
If you worked over the past year it is highly probable that you will be refunded the majority of the taxes deducted from your paychecks over the previous year.
Due to the sensitive legal nature of taxes and their filing, International Education & Programs can give only minimal and basic information regarding the proper completion of tax forms. As International Student Advisors we have received significant training in F-1 student regulations and immigration/visa issues but not in tax law. It is best to carefully and repeatedly read the instructions for each tax form. However, if you do have questions please do not hesitate to bring them to our attention and we will answer them to the best of our ability.
In order to file taxes as an International Student it is necessary that you obtain and/or complete the following documents:
If you are an International Student who Did Not Work over the previous year you are only required to file Form 8843.
If you are an International Student who worked on-campus or off-campus then you will need to complete the forms below. Please note: N.B. Off-campus employment MUST be authorized by your International Student Advisor/Designated School Official (DSO) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).