Studying abroad is undoubtedly the most life changing experience!
The opportunity offers students not only the best chances to further their careers, but also the possibility to broaden their horizons, improve their prospects for the future, and take part in novel cultural encounters that can be educational in and of itself.
Record numbers of Indian students have been studying overseas. According to a recent research, Indian students are now the largest international student population in the UK.
The Immigration Statistics Report states that 127,731 visas were issued to Indian students in September 2022, up from 34,261 in 2019 by a whopping 93,470 (+273%). According to data from the Bureau of Immigration (BoI), an all-time high compared to student mobility records over the previous five years was reached by 6,48,678 students, who travelled overseas on student visas up to November 30, 2022.
To make the most of your experience and reach their academic and personal goals, Indian students who choose to pursue higher education abroad must plan ahead and prepare. Most likely, for many, this is the first time they will be fully in charge of and responsible for their daily lives when they are not at home or in their native India. As a result, learning how to handle one’s finances is essential.
Here are some crucial financial management advice for students as they get ready to study abroad:
1) Spending plan
Add up your monthly expenses for rent, food, utilities, travel, study materials, entertainment, and savings for eventual emergencies.
The cost of medical care overseas might be high, so it is advisable to have insurance for the duration of your time there as a student.
3) Discount cards for students
With these, you can receive special offers at local eateries, stores, movie theatres, public transportation, museums, and other attractions. Similarly, a student travel card offers discounted local public transportation. While you are in India, you can apply for and obtain these cards. Some payment networks even provide them as part of package deals for students.
4) Reduce your expenditures of money
Try to limit the amount of cash you withdraw and use while creating budgets because doing so makes it more difficult to stick to them. Most businesses will accept your Indian bank’s debit, credit, or prepaid cards, as well as your local ban cards if you intend to stay longer and open a bank account. ATM withdrawal fees are also charged for cash withdrawals from your foreign card, but it’s fine to keep them on hand just in case.
5) Obtaining a card from a local bank rather than a checking or savings account
Given that you won’t have any prior credit history in that country, keep in mind that the local bank credit card you receive will have the highest interest rate available. As you establish a solid credit history for the future, keep in mind to pay your credit card bills on time. Poor repayment discipline will result in higher interest and fees in addition to damaging your credit history there.
6) Savings account, over a checking account
If you want the money in your bank to earn interest. Unless a specific minimum balance is maintained, there is a monthly fee for maintaining these accounts. Find out which has the lowest monthly fees. You can choose to open a simple checking account if the required minimum balance for savings accounts is greater than you can comfortably afford. Remember to ask about student discounts and fee waivers here as well.
7) Use of ATMs
Use your own bank’s ATM, if you have a foreign bank account; otherwise, you will be charged fees from both that bank and your own. Keeping track of your account balances is also advisable to avoid paying exorbitant overdraft fees. Setting low balance alerts is a smart approach to accomplish this.
8) Use currency cards
These are prepaid international payment cards that may be loaded with foreign money and used to make purchases abroad. If you intend to visit neighbouring nations while you are overseas, you might want to consider a multi-currency credit card to avoid paying FX fees on two currency conversion legs.
9) Control cards
Learn how to enable or disable your card controls for international point of sale (POS), contactless (Tap to pay), and e-commerce transactions from your bank app, if you intend to continue using your India-issued credit, debit, or forex card. With the ability to instantly disable payment functionality, this tool is particularly helpful to have in case a card is stolen or misplaced.
While there are many problems associated with studying abroad, managing money need not be one of them. Keep these pointers in mind while you prepare your finances, organise your life abroad, concentrate on your academics, position yourself for a prestigious profession, and, most importantly, create lifelong experiences and relationships.
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