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Student In Italy - Best Access for Funds?

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SO's son leaves for a student program in Rome on February 1. Plans to go to Citibank tomorrow to sign up for some special student international account they offer whereby they waive the usual 3% transaction costs. Parents would then deposit money in Citibank, which he would access (presumably by Citibank ATM card) in Italy. I'm thinking it would make more sense for son to open an Italian checking account, get an Italian debit card, and have the parents send him over with an international draft in euros that they purchase here in advance. I'm just so leery of big banks here.

Anyone know the process that would be easiest and cost the least amount of money? I'm thinking every time the parents deposit money into Citibank here, it's going to charge ridiculous fees to do the exchange. Parents can probably, BTW, afford to put a good chunk of change into whatever the initial transaction is - maybe enough to tide him over for the full 4 months he will be there. The son is frugal and unlikely to waste money, but of course one never knows.

All suggestions appreciated.

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