It’s the end of your program, you’ve had an amazing time and hopefully you have managed to save at least a little money. You most likely have your savings in a US bank account. This gives you a few choices to get the money home.
Take Out Cash
Depending how much you have this might be an option. The law says you can’t bring more than €10,000 back in to the UK in cash. You would also then need to convert this cash to pounds where you probably won’t get a great rate. If you don’t have much to bring back this might be an option but if you’ve saved anything reasonable, from the bar for example this is unlikely to be the most efficient way.
Cheque from your US Bank
You could take the whole lot out as a US dollar cheque and bring it back to pay in a UK account. There is no limit on how much this can be but between the fees from the US bank and the UK bank plus probably not a great exchange rate you will lose quite a bit of your hard earned cash.
Wire Transfer from your US Bank
This is a direct transfer from your US Bank to your UK Bank account. To do this you will need to know your IBAN number, which is basically your international bank account number. This saves on UK bank fees but your US bank may charge a fair amount to set this up for you plus you tend to not get the best rate since they make money on that too.
Use a money transfer service
There are plenty of different independent services that will do the transfer for you, it is worth shopping around and doing your homework to make sure they are legitimate and are giving you a good rate. My personal favourite is TransferWise, they take pretty small fees as little as £1 per transfer and give the market rate. They also seem to get the money there faster than other services, I have had transfers come through in as little as 3 days. You should certainly take a look at other services when you come to do the transfer though as rates and charges vary all the time and it is very dependent on how much you are transferring.
However you bring your money back make sure you are getting a good deal. You probably worked (very) hard to earn it and it might take a while to find something that pays as well for a while when you get back so it makes sense to bring as much back as possible.