Pre Arrival Information

On this page you will find links to information you may need before you come to the United States to pursue an academic degree or research program at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).

Living in Galveston and the United States

Information for International Students
Living in Galveston (Official Web Site of the City of Galveston)
Education USA: Your Guide to U.S. Higher Education

UTMB Services and Activities for Students and Scholars

Services and Activities for Students
UTMB Student and Scholar Organizations
Organization of Postdoctoral Students


UTMB has limited on-campus dormitory space for students only. While they are inexpensive, these dormitories are not as modern and well-equipped as the private apartment complexes within walking distance of UTMB. If you plan to buy a car, there are also many affordable apartment complexes within driving distance of UTMB. See the links below for more information.

UTMB Campus Housing ( for UTMB students only)
Apartment Housing in Galveston

Financial Information

International students and scholars visiting the U.S. for the first time may find that financial transactions, banking, establishing credit, and filing income tax forms are different and confusing. See our "Tax Resources" link for more information about paying taxes in the U.S.

Banking and Establishing Credit

Most residents in the United States open checking accounts at a bank or credit union in order to pay for purchases and services. Some banks will require a U.S. Social Security number. As a UTMB employee you will be able to apply for this number, but you will not receive it for 1-2 months. So you will want to look for a bank that will allow you to open a savings or checking account using your passport for identification.

The University Federal Credit Union, located one block from the UTMB campus, is one bank that will allow you to open your account using your passport for identification. The UFCU has also established a program to help UTMB postdoctoral students apply for and receive a credit card. Making purchases using a credit card is one way to establish a good credit record (proof that you pay your bills on time). Having a good credit record in the U.S. can help you later on to qualify for loans, buy a car, and so forth.

Helpful Links

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4.254 Rebecca Sealy