International Student Advising

Welcome to Simmons College! As an international student at Simmons you are joining a dynamic community of people from over 34 countries. During your time here at Simmons you will have a number of opportunities to challenge yourself personally and academically, to develop friendships with people from a variety of backgrounds, and to experience American culture. As you will soon discover, studying abroad provides as much opportunity for learning outside the classroom as you will learn in the classroom.

In addition to highlighting important aspects of your Simmons experience and provide you with an introduction to Simmons and the Boston area, these pages will also guide you through the Visa process and how to stay compliant with the immigration laws as they apply to international students.

Finally, we understand that coming to live in a new country has its logistical challenges as well. The Simmons International office is always available to advise students on whatever questions or concerns they may have about moving to America.

Getting Started: Common Questions

Setting up a Bank Account:

Having a bank account in the U.S. will make managing your finances significantly easier. There are two types of bank accounts: a Checking Account, which allows you to easily withdraw and deposit money, and usually comes with a checkbook and debit card; and a Savings Account, which are for long-term deposits and accruing interest. As an international student, the former will probably be most useful to you.

Different banks offer different services for students-- you can compare them and find one that works best for you. But, it is helpful to find a branch that is close to the college or to your home, as these will be the most convenient and most used to working with international students.

When opening an account for the first time, it is best to go to the bank in person, as opposed to doing it online or over the phone. The information you will need to bring may include:

  • Your full name, address, telephone number, and your college's contact information
  • Your passport and student ID
  • Your I-20
  • An enrollment verification letter from your school
  • Funds which you can deposit to open the account

Opening up a bank account may seem intimidating at first, but not to worry! There are many banks in Boston that are used to working with international students, and there are many resources available to help you along the way.


Buying a cellphone:

There are two ways students can purchase a cellphone through a service provider. The first is through a pre-paid or pay-as-you-go plan. The second is through a monthly or yearly contract which is often more cost-effective, but may require a Social Security number or an extra deposit (which is returned at the end of the contract) to purchase.

Major service providers in the U.S. include:

Service providers offer many different plans and pricing options depending on the amount of phone calls, text messages, and data you expect to use. You may compare different plans and contracts to decide which best fits your needs. It may be important to note that extra fees may be required in order to call or text internationally.

Finally, if already have an unlocked cellphone purchased abroad, an option is to purchase just a sim card and service plan from your provider. AT&T or T-mobile are two examples of service providers which offer this service.