Studying abroad is a fulfilling journey in the life of a student. Meeting new people, exploring new places, ideas and cultures and, discovering oneself is all part of the process. While, studying and living abroad comes with its own price tag, it’s important to know how one can manage their money smartly in a new country, without compromising on experiences.
Managing finances for an international student can be easily broken down into two parts: Before Take Off and After Landing.
Before Take Off
- Understand Forex: Given the constant state of flux currencies are in, students should get their money exchanged in the home country itself. Government banks and authorized money exchange companies such as Wall Street Forex offer seamless money exchange at a relatively affordable price.
- Avoid extra cash. Choose forex card: Carrying excess cash makes you a victim of unnecessary fines at the immigration counter. It is always judicious to use a multi-currency forex card. Apart from helping you keep a check on the cash you spend, it also allows you to transact at a pre-fixed exchange rate insulating you from fluctuations. On the Wall Street Forex’s WSfx Smart Fx app, you can order your forex card online and enjoy online forex purchase.
- The ISIC Card: An International Student Identity Card is proof of your student status.This card offers a host of benefits and perks, such as concessions on public transport, electronic gadgets, rental amounts and more. The Wall Street Forex Smart Fx app offers a complimentary 1-year ISIC card for every student who registers and transacts with the app.
- Local bank account and zero-charge credit card: Transacting with international cards could accrue unnecessary charges along with the exposure to exchange rate volatility. As soon as you reach your destination and settle down, opt for a local bank account which offers a zero-charge credit card in order for you to save on taxes and service charges.
- Deals, deals, deals: Always look for deals when shopping for utilities, essentials, and apparels. Retailers like Walmart and Costco. would have deals for some of their products and it makes sense to purchase products on offer. Also, don’t forget to use your ISIC card and make the most of it.
- Identify an income stream: Most places offer part-time jobs for international students, while not taking their focus away from the course. Verify your university’s policies regarding part-time employment and the number of hours you can work before you sign up for a job.
- Always have a buffer: Apart from the aforementioned, have some money as a buffer for essentials like healthcare, education and rent. It is imperative to plan your budget around these 3 factors.
Studying abroad and managing your finances will be a true learning experience filled with countless memories. Seize each day!