Study Abroad in Mexico
Money and Banking
You and your family will soon become experts at international banking transactions. You will want quick access to your funds, and you will also want to protect your money against loss. This part covers your banking options.
The Mexican peso is weaker than the dollar and at the time of this publication, the average rate was 1 USD = 12 MXN. Currency exchange rates are continually changing but you can easily check which bureau offers the highest rate.
The easiest way to handle your money is with an American ATM card. The advantage to using your card is that you will be assessed the wholesale exchange rate that applies to large foreign currency transactions. You should check with the issuer to make sure your numerical PIN number will work abroad. You can only draw from a primary (usually checking) account. Be sure to check with your bank about using your ATM card in Mexico and about any fees that might be assessed. Even if you have the option to pay for something in US dollars, try to pay in pesos as you’ll get a better rate.
While credit cards will be accepted at some establishments in Puebla, you will not be able to use them in La Preciosita.
In An Emergency
Please remember if you run into money problems, short-term loans can be arranged in the case of an emergency. Students will be asked to sign a promissory note and repay the loan as soon as they receive money from home. You should contact in-country program staff immediately in such situations.
If you find yourself in dire straits, the State Department can help your family transfer money back to you (provided you are a US citizen).
To do this, your family must wire money through Western Union or their bank, or send a cashier's check or money order to the State Department in Washington, DC. A trust account is established and a telegram is sent to the appropriate US embassy or consulate overseas, authorizing next workday disbursement to you. The State Department fees for this service range from $15-$40.For further information about this service, check the State Department's website.