You will want to open a bank account soon after you arrive at Drake. An internet search can provide a complete listing, although some of the banks most commonly used by international students are listed below. US Bank is the closest bank to Drake, just four blocks from the International Center. Citibank, Bank of America, Bankers Trust and Wells Fargo Bank are located a few blocks away and can be reached by bus or walking. Additional information about banking will be provided when you arrive.
Citibank, Bank of America, Bankers Trust and Wells Fargo Bank have international divisions that handle foreign currency exchange and foreign bank drafts, if you need such services. Most banks also offer safe deposit boxes (for a fee), where you may protect your valuables such as passports, tax forms or other documents, and “money cards” which allow you to use Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
You may open your account by depositing cash, traveler's checks or a bank draft. After opening your account, you may have money wired from your bank at home.
US Bank (within walking distance of Drake)
2401 University Ave. Des Moines, IA 50311
Citibank (ATM/US Bank Branch)
1221 25th Street, Des Moines, IA 50311
Wells Fargo Bank
2840 Ingersoll Ave. Des Moines, IA 50312
Bank of America
3422 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312
Bankers Trust (downtown)
453 7th St. Des Moines, IA 50309
Bringing Money With You to the US
Ideally, you should travel with US $200 - $300 cash or travelers’ checks, including at least $50 in US currency and coins. If you need to exchange money, try to do so at your port of entry. You may have an immediate need for cash (meals, taxis, and telephones) and the Des Moines airport does not have a currency exchange. Please do NOT travel with large amounts of cash. Travelers checks in US dollars are safe, can be easily exchanged for cash at banks, and allow you to make necessary purchases shortly after you arrive. Larger sums of money (for example, to cover tuition or fees) can be carried as bank drafts, or wired to you after you open an account in Des Moines. Even if you expect to do some shopping shortly after you arrive, you should not need more than US $200 - $300 during your first week or so.