Bank Services

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Part 1: Listen and Read: Listen to information on bank services, answer the questions, and then read along with the audio recording.

Yesterday, I went to a bank to open up a savings and checking account. I deposit about $300 every month in my savings account to save money for major purchases or for a rainy day when I have unexpected expenses. My paycheck is deposited directly into my checking account, and I write out checks to pay my bills. My checking account is free if I maintain a minimum balance of $25 in the account. I also have about $100 automatically transferred from my checking to my savings account on a monthly basis. The accounts earn very little interest, but it’s better than earning nothing. Therefore, I also have a certificate of deposit that earns a higher rate of interest, but I can’t withdraw the money from the account for one year. Actually, I need money because I’m planning on taking out a student loan to pay for college tuition. Also, I rent a safety deposit box at the bank and store my valuables there including important documents, some coins and jewelry, and the deed, or ownership record, to my house. Finally, I can exchange my money into the currency of other countries, or I can buy traveller’s checks before I depart on a trip.

Part 2Discussion

Taking out personal loans from banks is one way to pay for educational expenses or other necessities of life; however, more and more people are getting into debt and are even looking for help from bankruptcy attorneys because they don’t know how to manage their checks and money, and spend well beyond their means. What are some ways that people (and students in particular) can save money and still pay for living expenses?

Part 3: Role Play: Practice Your Skills

You have just moved overseas study English, and you plan on living in that country for about three years. However, you don’t have a bank account. Tell one of your new teachers at the school that you want to set up up a checking account and describe the reasons you need one (e.g., receive money from your home country, pay your bills, deposit money for future purchases, save money for school tuition and a rainy day).

Part 4: Online Investigation

Your friend is thinking about opening up a bank account in your county, but he doesn’t understand the services the banks provide. Use the Internet to compare to banks in your city and decide which would be best for international students living in your area.

Online Listening Practice (from