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I am going to start a year's study in the US, transferring from the UK. I will be staying in San Diego, CA.

In the UK, I currently have a student account with Santander and a general account with HSBC. Ideally, I'd like to use my student account while abroad but fear that I will run into too many costs, such as transfer fees and conversion costs etc.

Would opening a bank account in the US and transferring my money in bulk be beneficial, or would I be better off using my English bank accounts?

I have also heard of an international debit card service that companies like the Post Office run but since seeing the failure that is the Travel Money card, I'm sceptical. Any thoughts on this?