How to Set Up a U.S. Bank Account

There are many options for banking in the U.S. and in Milwaukee. Each bank institution has its own requirements for individuals to open a bank account. You should check with the bank you are interested in establishing an account with to determine the information you will need.

UW Credit Union
Many students choose to open an account with the UW Credit Union. There’s a location on campus, which makes this a convenient option for students, and it’s simple to open an account. There is a branch located on campus in the Student Union. The address is 2200 E Kenwood Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53211.

The Glendale Branch is also somewhat close to campus, located just north of Bayshore Mall at 6016 N. Port Washington Rd, Glendale, WI 53217.

For details on what the UW Credit Union offers for international students, view this PDF.

Initial and Ongoing Expenses

The following information is for planning purposes, to give you an idea of what to expect. These items are not controlled by UW-Milwaukee and actual costs may vary.

Temporary housing: If you need temporary housing upon arriving in Milwaukee and plan to stay in a hotel or AirBnb, you can expect to spend at least $90/night.

Rent: If you live off campus, you will pay rent each month to your apartment’s landlord. Estimated cost of rent:

Type of ApartmentTotal Monthly RentMonthly Rent Per Person
Studio Apartment$700 – $1,000$700 – $1,000
One Bedroom Apartment$800 – $1,100$800 – $1,100
Two Bedroom Apartment$1,300 – $1,500$650 – $750
Three Bedroom Apartment$1,800 – $2,000 $600 – 666

Security deposit: When you rent an apartment, you will be required to pay a security deposit. This one-time deposit proves that you intend to move in and care for the apartment and covers the cost of any damage incurred to the apartment while you are living there. When your lease ends, the landlord will return any remaining funds to you.

Renters insurance: Some landlords will require you to have renters insurance, which protects your personal property in the case of theft, water damage, or a fire. This can cost $15-30/month, depending on the value of your personal property.

Electricity/utilities*: Your utilities (heat, electricity) will be provided by We Energies. In 2021, the average U.S. household spent $122/month on electricity (Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration). More information on We Energies can be found at

Furnishings and kitchenware: If you live off campus, most Milwaukee apartments come unfurnished. Major appliances (refrigerator, stove/oven, etc.) are typically included, but the apartment will otherwise be empty. You will need to purchase other essential furniture items (bed, couch, table, desk, etc.) and kitchenware.

Cell phone: Your cell phone bill will cost between $25 and $90 per month, depending on your provider and what your plan includes.

Laundry: The average cost per load of laundry is $3-4. Many machines are coin-operated, so be prepared with quarters. You will need to provide your own detergent.

Internet*: AT&T and Spectrum are two popular internet providers in Milwaukee. Plans typically start at $50/month but many increase after the first year. The price will vary based on your internet speed and whether you are bundling with other services, like cell phone coverage or cable TV.

Transportation: The Milwaukee County Transit System offers bus services. However, until you activate your bus pass and familiarize yourself with the bus routes, you may need to spend money on Uber/Lyft rides. 

Owning a car: Owning a car in the U.S. can be very expensive. If you are considering it, keep in mind the associated expenses, including purchase, gas, insurance, maintenance, and parking.

*These expenses might be included in the cost of your rent. Verify with your landlord before you sign a lease.