Currency, Getting Around, and Apps
American coins are available in the following denominations:
- $0.01 = 1 cent / a "penny"
- $0.05 = 5 cents / a "nickel"
- $0.10 = 10 cents / a "dime"
- $0.25 = 25 cents / a "quarter"
American bank notes, or bills, are available in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. Not all vendors accept $100 bills, so it is best to carry smaller ones. Debit and credit cards are widely accepted.
You should bring enough money with you to cover your first month’s expenses until you are able to transfer funds from abroad. The amount you need to bring will depend on your personal spending habits. We recommend that you bring US $500 - $750 in prepaid cards (Visa/Mastercard/American Express) and US $500 in cash to cover your expenses the first few weeks in Boca Raton.
If you are planning to use a credit or debit card from your local bank at home, check that you will be able to use the card in the U.S. and what charges will be applied to your account. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are widely accepted in the U.S. Also, in order to use it as a debit card, you will need to know your PIN – the four digit Personal Identification Number used to withdraw money from a cash machine (ATM). Without this, you may not be able to use your card to pay for purchases.
Please know that any cash or other monetary instruments (traveler’s checks) exceeding US $10,000 when entering the U.S. must be claimed at U.S. Customs.
Upon arrival on campus you will be able to register for a U.S. bank account. Students are highly encouraged to do this in order to allow for money to be wired to them from home. On FAU campus, we have a BB&T bank centrally located on campus. Nearby there are also branches of Citibank and Wells Fargo.
You do not have to have a car in order to get around Boca Raton and South Florida. There are many public and shared transportation options for students to access.
- Palm Tran Bus Service has a stop on FAU campus directly outside the Administration Building.
- Tri-Rail Trains run north to south throughout South Florida from West Palm Beach in the north to Miami in the South. Fares are reasonable and students can receive a 50% discount on fares by registering for a fare card with your Owl Card.
- Zip Car is a subscription car sharing service that has several cars on campus that students may access and use if they have a valid Florida driver’s license.
- Uber a ride sharing/cab service is available in South Florida. For access to this, students will need a valid credit/debit card and the ability to download the Uber App to their smart phone. **Please note: Uber services are not permitted to arrange for pick up services from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Getting a Driver’s License
If you plan to drive while you are in Florida you will need to get a Florida driver’s license. To find out more information on how to obtain a Florida driver's license click here.