This is a very important area that will require some research. Don't leave it to the last minute!
First, check the expiration date of all your bankcards. They don’t take long to renew, but it would be more difficult to do it from abroad.
A combination of ATM card withdrawals and credit card charges are often the most convenient means of accessing money abroad. You may want to leave your banking account number with your family in the case that you need additional funds transferred to your account. Some people even choose to add a parent to their bank account – in case of emergency, they can add money directly into your account rather than wire money.
Contact your bank and credit card companies to alert them of your travel plans, including the dates and location of your stay abroad. Don’t forget to include any countries that you may travel independently or with a class field trip! You will want to ensure that you will be able to use your debit and credit cards without holds on your account if you need to. You should also inquire as to any limits on your debit card ATM withdrawals or fees per use in another country.
You should also obtain an international emergency number from the company should your card be stolen while you are abroad -- the 1-800 number on the back of the card will not work abroad.
Additionally, make sure that you have a plan to pay your credit card bills while abroad. Setting up online banking before you go is a great way to stay on top of your balances, which can be difficult to check in foreign ATMs.
You will want to obtain local currency before departing to cover any initial expenses such as food and transportation to your residence. Carrying cash while abroad will be necessary, but you should be careful as you would in any setting to secure it safely at all times.