Transportation, Phones, and Money
The information on this page is meant to be an introduction to some services available on campus and in Salt Lake City. More information will be provided during International Student Orientation. In addition, more detailed information about travel to and around campus can be found on the Arrival and Orientation section.
Although the University of Utah campus is large, it is possible to walk to all parts of campus. However, there is also a free campus shuttle that runs several different routes throughout campus.
Salt Lake City also has a public transit system, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), which is made up of buses and an above-ground train. The train is known as TRAX, and there are four lines providing service in Salt Lake City. The bus system travels throughout Salt Lake City and to surrounding cities and also to some ski areas during the winter. Your UCard will serve as a free transportation pass that allows you to use all UTA buses and TRAX.
Some students decide to open a bank account while in the U.S. The most common types of accounts are a checking account and a savings account. A savings account earns interest but it is typically a minimal percentage rate. When you open a checking account, you will be given a debit card that will allow you to withdraw funds from an ATM machine or pay with your card at a store or restaurant. Some banks require you to have a Social Security Number to open an account. It is important to understand all the terms when opening a bank account to avoid extra fees. You will also want to make sure to close your bank account before you leave. The most common banks used by international students are:
Wells Fargo Bank
235 South 1300 East
University of Utah Credit Union
Located in the University of Utah Bookstore
Unfortunately, buying a cell phone and a cell phone plan in the U.S. is not easy, especially if you don't have a Social Security Number and you are only here for a short period of time. Most cell phone plans require at least a one-year contract. There are companies that have a "pay as you go" or prepaid plan that allows you to pay only for the minutes you use. You will still need to purchase an international calling card to call outside of the US. Companies to research are:
The easiest and cheapest way to call internationally from the U.S. is by using online services, such as Skype.