• Resources

    Find information that will help you getting established in the Twin Cities.

  • Bank Account

    While many banks offer services to open accounts online, international scholars do not fit nicely into their categories. As such, it is best to personally visit a branch to open an account. You may want to open an account as soon as you arrive in Minnesota. You will need to have the following documents with you:

    • Your passport (or any other state issued document such as a driver’s license or State I.D card)
    • Student ID
    • Any other immigration document (I-94 and I-20/DS-2019)
    • Social Security Card (this is not required for you to open a bank account but it is required for online banking)
    • A Good Standing Letter (this is not required but may be helpful to validate that you are a current Hamline student in good standing)
    • A permanent mailing address


    When you open a checking account, your bank will provide you with checks. Paying with checks is a convenient method of payment. Some businesses accept checks for payment with a valid I.D. Supermarkets usually require a MN State ID to validate checks.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with checks. Make sure that you keep track of the checks you write. Sometimes checks are not deposited immediately and it may not show up in your account balance. You may run into problems with overdraft fees if you do not have sufficient  funds in your account to make payments. When depositing checks issued to you, you will be required to endorse the checks by signing at the back of the check. Do not endorse the checks until you are depositing it into your account, to avoid the risk of a stolen check being cashed by someone else.


    Learn how to write a check at About.com.


    In the event that you are making a check card transaction, withdrawing money from the ATM or someone is depositing a check you wrote to them while your account has insufficient funds, the bank will honor the transaction but charge you a fee for that transaction. The average overdraft protection fee is $35 per transaction. If you opt not to participate in the overdraft protection fee program, the bank will simply reject any transaction or bounce checks if your account does not have sufficient funds. It is advisable that you do not participate in this program to avoid being charged large amounts in fees.

    ATMs & Banks near Hamline


    • Sorin Hall (next to Anderson Center, Bank Affiliation: Associated Bank)
    • SuperAmerica Gas Station (next to Anderson Center, 756 N Snelling Avenue, Bank Affiliation: Wells Fargo)
    • Holiday Station Store (next to Gingko's Cafe, 600 Snelling Avenue, Bank Affiliation: US Bank)


    Associate Bank
    176 Snelling Avenue North, St Paul, MN 55104-6322.  Phone: (651) 646-8681. www.associatedbank.com 

    Bremer Bank
    427 Snelling Avenue North, St Paul, MN 55104-3801. Phone: (651) 659-0465. www.bremer.com  

    US Bank
    1071 Grand Avenue, St Paul, MN 55105-3002. Phone:(651) 229-6123. www.usbank.com 

    Wells Fargo Bank
    1827 Grand Avenue, St Paul, MN 55105. Phone: (651) 205-5480. www.wellsfargo.com  

    Cell Phone

    If you want a cell phone in the U.S., you must contact any one of many wireless companies in the area. Most companies require a Social Security Number (SSN) if you want to be billed for your service. They may also try to encourage you to sign a two year contract and offer you a discount on the price of the phone when you sign a two year contract. However, there are options for obtaining cell phone service without an SSN, such as “pay-as-you-go” plans and prepaid phones. When opening a cell phone account, you will need identification, such as passport.


    2724 Lincoln Drive,Roseville, MN 55113. www.att.com 

    1064 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105. www.sprint.com

    1460 University Avenue West, Saint Paul, MN 55104. www.tmobile.com

    474 Hamline Avenue North, Saint Paul, MN 55104. www.verizonwireless.com 


    Online Stores:

    Websites to rent textbooks:

    Other ways to get textbooks:

    • Rent them from the Hamline Bookstore (NOTE: All undergraduate students must rent their books through the Hamline Bookstore, and are auto-enrolled in the book rental program)
    • Check them out from the Hamline Library or order them through “Interlibrary Loan” – ask at the library reference desk
    • Check them out from the Saint Paul/ Minneapolis Public libraries
    • Check campus bulletin boards for other students selling their books
    • Ask other students who studied at Hamline last year
    • Buy them from the book store on campus!!


    Hamline is located close to many major shopping centers. With the excellent public transportation system, you can get to many of these places with ease. Here are several shopping locations that might be of interest to you. Visit their website for more details. Be sure to cross check with GoogleMaps or MetroTransit for more accurate directions. If you have further questions, feel free to contact the GEC.  

    Rosedale Center  
    10 Rosedale center, Roseville, MN 55113. Phone: (651) 633-0872. www.myrosedale.com/ 
    Available at Rosedale: Macy’s, Herberger’s, JC Penney, a variety of wireless services outlets (AT & T, T-Mobile, Sprint), a large variety of men and women’s apparel outlets, restaurants and a 14-screen AMC theater.  

    HarMar Mall 
    2100 Snelling Ave North, Roseville, Minnesota 55113. Phone: (651) 631-0340. www.harmarmall.com/ 
    Available at HarMar: Marshall’s, Barnes & Noble, CubFoods, Dress Barn, Famous Footwear, and others.  

    Mall of America 
    60 East Broadway. Bloomington, MN 55425. Phone: 952-883-8800. www.mallofamerica.com/ 
    Available at MoA: The biggest mall in America, it has more than 520 stores, several food courts, a large variety of restaurants, an indoor amusement park and Aquarium plus tones of other entertainment options.  

    Grand Ave 
    Available at Grand Ave: A variety of specialty stores, apparel stores and award-winning restaurants.   

    Available at MidWay: Target, Walmart, CubFoods, multiple restaurants, wireless services, banks and many others.

    Ethnic Grocery Stores close to Hamline:

    Shanghai Market 
    1546 Como Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55108 

    Dragon Star Oriental Foods 
    633 Minnehaha Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104. Phone: (651) 488-2567 

    Shuang Hur Oriental Market 
    654 University Avenue W, St Paul, MN 55145

    Kim’s Oriental Market (Korean) 
    689 Snelling Ave, St Paul, MN 55104. Phone: (651) 646-0428 

    El Burrito Mercado 
    175 Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107. Phone: (651) 227-2192 

    Eating Out

    There are plenty of options to eat out in pretty much any neighborhood in the Twin Cities. Cuisines from all over the world and in all price ranges are available to choose from for hungry Hamline students. Some great websites to check out restaurants, diners, pubs, and bars are Yelp (http://www.yelp.com), Zomato (https://www.zomato.com/twin-cities) or OpenTable (http://www.opentable.com). Each of them lets you search in many different ways, filtering results by neighborhood, style, price range, user ratings and many more. Often times you will also find detailed information on opening hours, location, or special happy hours offers with great discounts on food and drinks.  

    Some of the places to grab a bite closest to campus are located in Saint Paul’s Midway neighborhood between the Anderson Center and University Avenue along Snelling Avenue. Here are some ideas – all within one mile of Hamline’s campus: 

    Black Sea:           Turkish restaurant,       http://www.blacksearestaurant.com/ 
    Mirror of Korea: Korean restaurant,        On Zomato 
    Fasika:                 Ethiopian restaurant,   http://www.fasika.com/ 
    On's Kitchen:       Thai restaurant,           http://www.onskitchen.com/ 
    Peking Garden:    Chinese restaurant,     http://www.pekinggardenmn.com/ 
    Sole Café:            Korean restaurant,        http://solecafe.weebly.com/

    Other great areas for food, drinks, and more are Rosedale Shopping Center (four miles north of campus), and many areas in or near both downtown Saint Paul and downtown Minneapolis. 

    Bus & Train

    Visit the Metro Transit website for bus and light rail transit in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. You can get an application for a discounted Metro Transit bus pass at the Anderson Center Welcome Desk. It is $175 per semester for an unlimited ride pass. You must show your Hamline ID to get the discounted price.

    The most common way to pay for the bus fare is to use cash. As you get on the bus, put cash in the fare box next to the driver. Fare boxes accept dollar bills, coins or tokens, but change is not available. For information on other ways to pay for the bus, please visit How Do I Pay for the Bus.

    Google maps is a helpful resources. Click Get directions, then you can determine your means of transportation (by car, public transport, bike or foot) and find your optimal route and schedule to your destination. It is also a good idea to double check the route & schedules by visiting the Metro Transit website.

    Note: Bus schedules on weekends may differ from weekdays. Please make sure your results are accurate and up to date.


    Bus fares vary depending on your time of travel. During rush hour times (approximately 6 am to 9am, and 3 pm to 6.30 pm) prices are slightly higher than at other times. Check here to see the anticipated bus fare.


    On the bus you can see a yellow cord near the seat along the window. You should pull the cord to notify the driver before your stop.

    You are allowed to take strollers, non-motorized bicycles, wheelchairs/walkers and suitcases with you on the bus. However, you are NOT allowed to consume food, drinks (unless it is covered), or alcohol when riding a bus.

    Buses are considered public spaces. Please be mindful about your words and conversations with others.

    Additionally, there may be other rules you are required obey which may be different from your home country. Be sure to read the Code of conduct before your travel.


    • Be sure to get to the stop 5 minutes early and always check the sign above the windshield of the bus for the route number to make sure it’s yours. 
    • You can talk to a transit expert by calling 612-373-3333 (TTY 612-341-0140) before you travel.
    • Unlike in other countries, the back door of local buses in Minnesota doesn’t open automatically when the bus stops. You need to PUSH the back door to get off the bus.
    • Make sure you have the exact amount of cash for your fare if you don’t use Go-To Card, Metro pass, U-Pass or Go-To College Pass, etc.
    • In most cases, fares include a 2½ hour free transfer. However, there are exemptions to this rule (e.g. transfers are not available with Downtown Zone fares). If your bus fare does include unlimited 2½ hour free transfer, it should be printed on your bus ticket. If in doubt, ask the bus driver for help and information.

    Rent a Car

    Read these tips for renting a car or find information about "Hour Car" on-campus car rental. For information about obtaining a driver's license, see the MN Department of Public Safety website. 

    If you have a valid driver’s license, you can opt for short-term car rental.

    The Hour Car rental has a car available on the St. Paul campus and is a good option if you are interested in renting a car for several hours. You will need an annual membership to rent with them. Visit their website to find out more details on rental policies and cost. The Hour Car location on campus is located on Simpson and Hewitt.

    The Hour Car is only available for daily rental. If you are interested in renting a car for several days, you may want to do so through car rental agencies. Agencies vary in cost of rental and may charge extra fees if you are under the age of 25, if you do not have an American driver’s license or if you desire to pay using a debit card instead of credit card. Be sure to find out about these fees when renting a car.

    There are several nationwide car rental agencies. The closest one to the Hamline St. Paul campus is Enterprise Rent-A-Car. For more information on renting a car, visit this website.

    Bike Checkout

    Our office recommends the use of the Nice Ride bike system for your local biking transportation needs. The closest bike station is only one block from the Hamline campus, located at the corner of W. Minnehaha Ave and N. Simpson Street.

    The cost to use the Nice Ride system is a combination of a subscription price, plus trip fees. The up to date fees can be found on the Nice Ride website.


    • A trip starts when you take a bike and ends when you return it to any station. 
    • No trip fee for the first 30 minutes of every trip. Trips lasting more than 30 minutes will incur trip fees. Note: trip fees can add up fast, see chart below 
    • To avoid trip fees, simply return your bike to a station within 30 minutes, and check out another one. 
    • Take as many trips as you want during your subscription. 
    • 24 hr subscriptions require a $50 deposit, for more information see the Subscriptions page. 

    To use Nice Ride, you need a subscription. 24 hour subscriptions can be purchased using a credit card at the pay station located at each Nice Ride station. Users can also purchase a 1 year or 30-day subscription at substantial savings over 24 hour subscription by signing up on line. 24 hour subscribers users will be issued unlocking codes at the pay station, 1 year and 30 day subscribers will receive a Nice Ride key. Simply enter the unlocking code or insert your key in the locking dock of an available bike. When the green light turns on, pull the handlebars firmly toward you to release the bike.

    You can return your bike to any station in the system. Choose an empty space and push your bike firmly into the dock. When the bike is properly locked, the green light on the dock will turn on. Make sure the green light turns on. A bike that is not properly returned remains your responsibility. If you have trouble locking your bike, try another dock, or call customer service at 1-877-551-6423

    Other Bike Rental Shops

    Minnesota bicycle laws 

    Minnesota pocket guide to biking

    Get a Driver's Licence

    In order to apply for a driver’s license, you need to present a combination of one primary and one secondary form of identification. Please see Identification Requirements.


    Test Requirements

    Knowledge (Written) Test: Knowledge (Written) tests are available on a walk-in basis at a Driver and Vehicle Services Exam Station during certain hours. You must show proper identification when you are ready to take the test. The knowledge (written) test contains multiple choice and True/False questions that show how well you know and understand Minnesota traffic laws and road signs. Only one test is allowed per day. Some stations offer a computerized test which is available in English or several other languages (Hmong, Vietnamese, Somali, Spanish and Russian). 

    Skills (Road) Test: The skills (road) test consists of a demonstration of your vehicle's safety equipment, your vehicle control skills and a driving performance test. You are tested on your ability to drive a motor vehicle safely under normal traffic conditions. You may not have anyone in the car during the test other than the driver examiner. We recommend that you make an appointment for a skills (road) test. This can be done online or by calling (651) 284-1234.


    Identification Requirements

    Requisitos de Identification

    New Resident - Just the Facts

    Medical Conditions and Your License - Just the Facts

    Expedited (Fast Track) Driver's License - Just the Facts

    Minnesota Driver's Manual

    For more information, please visit: Department of Public Safety

    Travel Security App

    We recommend downloading GardaWorld App before you travel to view detailed reports on the destination country, including COVID-19 updates.You will also receive real-time alerts on critical events worldwide.

    After downloading the app, use your Hamline email address and the following corporate contract number (16812020) to create an account.