Initial Expenses

Please be aware that it often takes several weeks for you to be paid by Florida State University if this is your funding source. See the FSU Human Resources website for the FSU Calendars, including the Pay Period Schedule. You will notice that there are at least three weeks between when the payroll appointment is submitted and when you are paid. If your payroll appointment cannot be submitted by the deadline, another three weeks will elapse. Be sure that you have sufficient funding to pay initial housing deposits, utility deposits, and set up your household.

We estimate you will need $3,000 to $5,000 depending upon your transportation needs, insurance choices, and living arrangements.

Below is a list of approximate expenses you can anticipate upon arrival:

  • Airport transportation: $20
  • Deposits and application fees for housing: $800
  • First month's rent for housing: $600
  • Deposits for utilities: $326
  • Deposits for internet, TV, phone: $50
  • Bedroom, bathroom, & kitchen linens: $100
  • Paper products, toiletries, and cleaning supplies: $50
  • Pots, pans, dishes, cooking and eating utensils: $200
  • One month bus pass: $50
  • One month of food: $400

The Tallahassee airport has an ATM machine which will accept many credit cards and bank cards and issues you dollars withdrawn from your account at home. Be sure to check your credit card or bank's exchange policies and fees for these transactions prior to departing from home, and be sure that you know your personal identification number needed for ATM transactions. You will also need to notify your credit card company and/or bank that you will be traveling to the U.S.

There are limits on how much cash you can withdraw from an ATM in one day. Major credit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, may be used for payment in most locations, including most grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, and restaurants. Rental fees or deposits for your housing generally cannot be paid with a credit card.

Please note: Tallahassee has no facilities for currency conversion.  If you will need to exchange currency or traveler's cheques upon your arrival, please be sure to do this at your initial Port of Entry (Miami, Atlanta, New York, etc.) and allow sufficient time between your flights for these transactions, in addition to the time needed for immigration and customs.