Studying abroad will be the best few months of your life, but it will also most certainly be the most financially draining. The excitement of leaving for a foreign country is something that everybody must experience, but it can also be one of your life's most economically challenging periods. However, you can save money on foreign exchange while studying abroad to make it less stressful. It will be extremely prudent to save money in any way possible, considering the current uncertainty revolving around the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are a few tips on saving money on foreign exchange while studying abroad:
1. Monitor rates and buy forex from local vendors.
Before traveling abroad, one of the most critical factors you need to bear in mind is that buying foreign currency in India is a better choice than exchanging money abroad or using a debit/credit card. Make sure you compare and look for reasonable forex rates locally because depending on the currency you are interested in and the city you are in, the difference between one currency exchange company and another can easily be as high as 6%. You can now use online forex marketplaces to save time and avoid stress due to rate fluctuations. BookMyForex aggregates rates from multiple currency exchange vendors and banks. Online forex marketplaces like BookMyForex are competitive platforms where currency exchange vendors have to compete to provide the best rate to gain more business and thus give customers the best price.
2. Carry a Forex card while staying abroad
For any student, a smart alternative would be to use a prepaid forex card abroad instead of a debit or credit card to handle day-to-day expenses. Forex cards are not only cheaper than rupee cards but much more economical than other forex products. These offer an additional benefit of being able to evaluate and compare rates with other forex and inter-bank rates of products. Many debit cards offer zero margins, but the underlying rates might not be interbank rates, and consumers may end up paying far more than interbank rates. You can buy a forex card on BookMyForex's portal.
Forex cards are accepted wherever Visa/Mastercard is allowed. Such cards have no international transaction fees, they are pin-secured and even come with an insurance policy. The best thing is that when you're traveling, they can be topped up, and then you can use them for your day-to-day expenses.
3. Check and compare money transfer rates and charges
If you go to study abroad, you will need money for your tuition fees at a reasonable stage. Because tuition fees are a substantial amount of your total education expenses, even insignificant changes in the exchange rate would affect your overall budget. Many online money transfer platforms provide cheap rates and save you up on a lot of charges.
You can get the money transfer done either through a bank, a category II authorized dealer, or an online marketplace that is tied up with both – banks and AD-II players. You can choose a remittance service provider like BookMyForex, which will help you transfer money at the best rates and take appropriate remittance charges.
The fee for remittances differs between various service providers from Rs.250 to Rs.2000. The table above shows that transferring money abroad online via a forex marketplace provides convenience at reduced fees and guarantees fast transfer of funds is more viable.
4. Monitor the forex rates regularly
Foreign exchange rates are subject to substantial volatility and varying between various banks and other money changers. Therefore, you must remain fully aware of these volatile rates and use them to your advantage by purchasing when the prices are comparatively lower.
5. Get a local bank account as an international student
Some of the most practical tips for students going to study abroad is to open a local bank account there, mainly if the period is a year or more. The university may also suggest a student-friendly bank account that will solve the ATM fee issue upon withdrawals. In addition, this can prove to be very beneficial if you take up a part-time job and start earning. Taking up a part-time job would take a lot of burden off your shoulders.
Now you do not need to worry about the fluctuating currency rates for international money transfers. As we mentioned earlier, you can buy a forex card on BookMyForex, which can save you from hefty charges. BookMyForex is the world's first and largest currency exchange marketplace that lets you find and exchange foreign currency at the best rates possible after comparing across hundreds of banks.