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International Student & Scholar Services


  • Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
    Fax: 202-885-3354
    Butler Pavilion, Room 410

    ISSS office walk-in advising hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays: 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m.

    Bakar, Senem S
    Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Mailing Address

Money & Banking

Bank Accounts

It is advisable to open a bank account as soon as possible. Using an international bank will facilitate wiring money. To open a bank account in the United States, you will need two forms of identification (such as a passport or driver's license) and your first deposit.


  • Most banks will not cash foreign checks unless you have an account with the bank.
  • Many banks are unable to cash checks unless they are in U.S. dollars.
  • Foreign checks often require four to six weeks for the funds to become available. During that time you will not be able to use that money.
  • Tuition payments are required upon registering for classes. It is, therefore, advisable to use traveler's checks to make your initial deposits and to pay your tuition bill.
  • Please do not bring large sums of cash to the United States. Cash can be stolen. Carry traveler's checks or wire your money.

Wiring Money from Overseas

Since most university and settling-in expenses require immediate payment, you should arrange to transfer funds to a bank in the Washington, D.C. area prior to your departure. If you already have an account in the United States, you may wire money from your bank account overseas to your U.S. bank account. Otherwise, you may wire money to one of the banks listed on the previous page. Transfers may take up to a week to be processed. The cost is approximately U.S. $10 if you have an account at the receiving bank and U.S. $50 if you do not.

If you want to wire money to an individual's bank account:

  • Call a wire service and request that your money be sent to the main branch of a bank of your choosing
  • Instruct the main branch to send the money to the American University branch of Capital One Bank, or the Spring Valley branch of Riggs Bank, or either the Foxhall or main branch of Crestar Bank,
  • Instruct the bank to "Pay upon Proper Identification" and give your name as the recipient. You may collect your money at the bank with proper identification after your arrival. You may wish to open an account at that time.

If you want to wire money for a student payment:

American University accepts wire transfers for student payments. For information on how to make a wire payment please see Wire Payment for Students or Wire Payment for Sponsors. You can also e-mail a request to from your AU assigned e-mail address.

Please see the AU Student Accounts website for more information about making tuition and other payments.

Tuition Refund Insurance

Plans are available to reimburse students for tuition expenses and fees in the event of serious illness or injury during the semester. Such plans require an additional premium payment. The tuition plan premium must be received or postmarked before the first day of classes. We suggest you send it by certified mail with return receipt requested. Consult the Student Accounts office for more information.