VI. GENERAL INFORMATION
It is very important that you bring Traveler's Checks with you instead of a check from your country, unless you will not need to cash the check immediately. If you do bring a check, you will be unable to get cash for at least ten days.
It is best to carry money in small denominations. The United States currency system is based on decimals. Paper money is available in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. The bills (paper money) are all the same size and color. Coins (called change) are in denominations of one cent (penny), five cents (nickel), ten cents (dime), twenty-five cents (quarter), and fifty cents (half-dollar).
When you arrive in the United States, it would be wise to open a checking account with a local bank. This means that you will not have to carry a large amount of cash with you, but can pay by the use of checks. You will be able to write a check or checks up to the balance of your account. There is usually a small service charge for writing checks unless you maintain a specified amount in your account. There are a few banks located nearby Meredith College on Wade Avenue and Hillsborough Street. Some banks require that you have or at least have applied for a Social Security Card before you can open a checking account. Please see Kevin Morrison regarding applying for a Social Security Card.
When you open a checking account you will receive a checkbook with your name, local address, local telephone number and account number printed on it. It is important to keep a sufficient amount of money in your checking account at all times to cover all the checks you write.
If your account does not have enough money in it to cover a check, the check will "bounce" or come back marked "insufficient funds" to the place of business to which you have written the check. This can give you a bad credit rating, plus you will have to pay a minimum service fee of $25 for the "bounced" check, plus the place of business will also charge a service fee of up to $20 for returned checks.
Each month the bank will send you a printed statement listing your deposits as well as the checks you have written and their amount. The statement will also include any service charges you have incurred for writing checks. Remember to subtract this service charge from your checkbook so that your records will be accurate.
You may wish to open a savings account for money you do not need to use immediately. This money will earn a percentage of or interest on the average balance you maintain in the account. In order to receive the highest interest rates, you may want to check with several banks and savings and loan institutions.
Credit cards are frequently used in the United States. These cards (Master Card, Visa, etc.) are issued through the bank. It is best to pay the entire amount owed when you receive your statement so that interest does not continue to increase.
Automated Teller Machines (ATM)
Many banks have automated teller machines (machines that let you get cash, deposit checks and take care of other simple banking transactions provided that you have a special card and identification code issued to you by the bank) located outside at their various branch locations. These are convenient if you need cash after hours when the bank is closed.
A Wachovia automated teller machine is located in the lobby on the first floor of Cate Center. The machine will provide most of the services normally available at automated teller machines, except it will not accept deposits. There is no fee to customers of Wachovia Bank, although a small fee of $2.00 will apply to customers of other banks who use this machine to withdraw funds from their accounts.
Telegrams and Cablegrams
Western Union Telegraph Company offers the only public telegraph service. To send a telegram anywhere in the world, call 800-325-6000. The telegram can be charged to your telephone or you may charge it to your Master Card or Visa. You may also go to the telegraph office in Raleigh at 215 W. Martin Street (432-7763) and pay in cash.
The Raleigh/Durham International Airport is located about 10 miles west of Raleigh off Interstate 40. Airlines serving the Raleigh/Durham area are Air Canada, Air Tran, America West, American, Continental, Delta, Independence Air, Midway, Northwest, Southwest, United, and U.S. Air. For reservations, you should contact the airline or a travel agent. A travel agent will be able to give you the prices and timetables.
The Raleigh train station is located downtown at 320 W. Cabarrus Street. Most passenger rail service in the United States is handled by AMTRAK.
For information on AMTRAK service throughout the United States, see their website at www.amtrak.com/. Information on local arrival and departure times is available at 833-7594 or on the website. Timetables and maps are available at the station.
Greyhound/Trailways Bus Lines provide bus service between Raleigh and other North Carolina cities and beyond. For information call 828-2567 or see their website at http://www.greyhound.com/.
The Capital Area Transit (CAT) operates 19 bus routes within Raleigh. Routes serve major shopping centers and malls, the Raleigh downtown area, and city hospitals.
- The #4 bus route goes to downtown Raleigh and Crabtree Valley Shopping Mall.
- The fare is 75 cents per ride.
- A bus stop is located outside the main entrance of Meredith on Hillsborough Street and outside the pedestrian entrance in the back of the campus on Wade Avenue.
- For more information, see their website at http://www.raleigh-nc.org/transit/INDEX.HTM
The Wolfline bus serves North Carolina State University (NCSU) and surrounding areas.
- If you take a class at NCSU, want to use their library, or simply want to get to the shops and restaurants on Hillsborough Street, you can use the Wolfline bus to get to class.
- This transportation is free.
- A bus stop is located outside the main entrance of Meredith on Hillsborough Street in front of the costume store.
- For more information call 515-3424 or see their website at http://www2.acs.ncsu.edu/trans/transportation/wolfline/index.html
The Student Health Center can help you with minor health issues and colds. There is a doctor available on staff during certain times of the week for general questions and examinations. Please check with the Health Center for more information.
However, for more serious emergencies, the closest hospital to Meredith is Rex Hospital 4420 Lake Boone Trail, telephone 783-3100.
Other hospitals in Raleigh are:
- Wake Medical Center, 3000 New Bern Avenue, telephone 250-8000
- Raleigh Community Hospital, 3400 Wake Forest Road, 954-3000
For information on selecting physicians or dentists, call Wake County Medical Society, telephone 821-2227 or the NC Dental Society at 832-1222. In the event of an accident or sickness, if on campus, you should report to Student Health Services immediately. If away from campus, notify the Student Health Services as soon as possible.
The nearest grocery stores Whole Foods Market in Ridgewood Shopping Center, located behind the campus; Food Lion, located off Lake Boone Trail; and Harris Teeter located in Cameron Village, and a Harris Teeter located in Olde Raleigh Shopping Center on Edwards Mill Road. The K-Mart on Western Boulevard has low prices on sheets, towels, clothes, and many other items. The nearest pharmacy (for prescription drugs, medical aids, toiletries, personal hygiene needs and greeting cards) is Eckerd Drugs in Ridgewood Shopping Center.
The Farmer's Market (1201 Agriculture Street near Dorthea Dix Hospital, call 733-7417 for directions) offers the best selection and prices for fresh fruits and vegetables. Noah's Co-op (745 W. Johnson Street, 834-5056) has natural foods, grains and spices at reduced prices. You must join Noah's to receive a discount, but the membership fee is worth it if you use a lot of grains or cheese.
International Food Stores (Call ahead to check market hours and umbers)
- Asia Market, 101 Nottingham Dr., Cary (in South Hills Mall) 467-2005
- Casa Las Americas, 101B Reed Street, Cary, 380-0065
- Far East Market, Brentwood Shopping Center (near New Hope Church Road) 872-7489
- Harar International Market, 2109 Avent Ferry Road 664-8151
- Jan Chee Supermarket, 1007 Method Road 834-9888
- Lotte Oriental Food Market, Oak Park Shopping Center, 571-7777
- Mamta Emporium, 5655 Western Boulevard, Harrelson Park Shopping Center, 851-7931
- Mr. Dunderbak's Old World Deli and Cafe, Crabtree Valley Mall, 781-7075 European foods, candy drinks, cheeses, and sausage.
- Neomonde Bakery--Deli and Market, 3817 Beryl Road, 828-1628
- Nur Grocery, 2233 Avent Ferry Road, Mission Valley Shopping Center, 828-1523 Middle Eastern foods, spices, and Arabic language materials.
- Oriental Store, 3601 Capital Boulevard, 876-6911
- Triangle Indian Market, 740 E. Chatman Street, Cary 380-0350
- Triangle Oriental Market, 5003-G Falls of the Neuse, 790-7044
Types of Restaurants
Fast-food places are generally fairly inexpensive but low in quality. Ordinarily, you order your food at a counter and pay before eating. In this category, McDonald's, Burger King, Hardee's and Wendy's specialize in hamburgers, although other sandwiches are usually available. Wendy's quality is higher. Chicken places include Chick Filet, Bojangle's, Kentucky Fried, and Church's. No tips are required at fast food restaurants.
At cafeterias, you go through a line, select your own food, and pay after eating. A full meal costs $5-$7, and there is no tipping. K&W and Ballentine's (both located in Cameron Village) are cafeterias. J&S Cafeteria is located in Ole Raleigh Village, Edwards Mill Road.
At steak houses (Western Sizzlin' and Golden Corral) you go through a line or order your steak to be served later. Costs vary from $5-$10, and you usually tip the waitress at least 15%. Steak houses usually have salad bars, as do most pizza places. Tipping at general restaurants is usually around 15%.
The Division for Student Development wishes to express its appreciation to the following for their contributions to the Meredith International Student Handbook: Sara Malani, Mary Ann Bean, Becky Bradshaw, Sue Kearney, Stephanie Helms, Charletta Sims, Meredith International Association, the Spring 1995 Awareness and Discovering Capstone Class; and the staff of the International Student Office at North Carolina State University for permission to reprint portions from the NCSU International Handbook.
Other information used in this Handbook has been gathered from many sources, including the Advisor’s Manual of Federal Regulations Affecting Foreign and the Office of International Student Affairs University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Primary Referrals for Meredith International Students
- 2005-2006 Student Handbook and Activities Calendar
- Kevin Morrison, International Student Advisor (DSO), 760-8429
- Tomecca Sloane, Director of Commuter Life & Diversity Programs, 760-8523
- Meredith International Association President, Hamida Saleh
- Amy Hitlin, Director of Academic Advising, 760-8521
- Ann Gleason, Dean of Students, 760-8521
- Beth Meier, Counseling Center, 760-8427
- Sam Carothers, Campus Ministry, 760-8346
- Heidi LeCount, Director of Residence Life, 760-8633
- Cheryl Jenkins, Director for Student Activities, 760-8339
- Campus Security, 760-8888