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Studying Abroad: Top tips for managing your finance

Last updated: 23rd October, 2013

travelexWhen it comes to studying abroad, the cost of living varies wildly from student to student.  The amount of money you spend will depend on country you’re going to, the area you’ll be living in and your lifestyle.

One thing that all international students will agree on is that the cost of living can become incredibly expensive if you don’t plan ahead! This guide will run through the key factors you should consider before you depart and how to save money whilst you’re there.

Here are five tips to managing your finances whilst studying away from home:

Banks accounts

Before you go, you should check with you bank to see if you will incur any ATM charges in the country you’re studying in. You could end up being charged a fee every time you try to draw out money from a foreign bank, as well as your own.

You could also have weekly, or even daily, limits on your withdrawal. Ask your branch whether they have any partnerships with the bank abroad, so that you can use the right ones and preserve your savings.

You should consider opening a foreign bank account in the country you’re travelling to. Go to the bank’s website and see what benefits they offer international students.

Money transfer

Once you have a new account set up, it’s a good idea to start transferring money into it prior to your arrival. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that there is money waiting for you when you step off the plane.

Travelex International Money Transfer allow you to send money overseas quickly and securely. They have an easy-to-use online system that clearly shows you how far your British pounds will go in another currency. Their website allows you to check the current exchange rate, so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal.

It’s also an excellent safety net if you every run out of money during your stay. You can set up regular monthly payments so that you always have a stable income during your education. If you have enough to worry about already, trusted family members can be given power of attorney over your UK bank account whilst you’re away. They can then transfer the funds to you every month.

Get a job

It’s becoming increasingly popular for students to juggle their education with a part time job whilst they study overseas. Not only is this a great way to meet new people and learn new skills, it is also an excellent way to support yourself financially.

Once you’ve settled into your new way of life, you should start looking for work that can fit around your schedule. However, we would advise you not to take on too much. You don’t want to sacrifice your education by working yourself to the bone!

If you’re curious about what sort of jobs may be on offer in the country you’re immigrating to, Season Workers is an excellent resource you may find useful.

Some countries like Australia will require you to have a visa if you intend to work. Find out whether you need a working holiday visa by visiting projectvisa.com. The website lets you to view all of the necessary visa information and requirements for the country you’ll be studying in.

Apply for scholarships and grants

Try to get as much financial help as you can. You can request aid from a number of academic departments, campus financial aid offices, civic and national organisations and religious groups. Your first point of call should be your university: reach out to them and see what financial aid may be available.

Credit and Debit Cards

To avoid having your credit/debit cards denied or cancelled whilst your abroad, inform your bank that you will be studying internationally before you leave. The cards must also be registered in your name and no one else’s. That means you’re going to have to get by without any cards your parents may have given you.

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