Manage Funds While Studying at Foreign University

Date:   Wednesday , February 22, 2017

An army veteran with three decades of service experience, Stephen graduated from Missouri State University in 1969 and is currently its Associate VP. He also holds a Masterís Degree in History from MSU.

In today\'s world, there is a growing demand for well-rounded professionals. Studying abroad is a life-changing experience for a student. The prospect of studying abroad is exciting. It helps students grow academically, personally and professionally. In conjunction with their studies, students also develop cross-cultural communication skills and increase their fluency in a second language by studying and living in another country. Advanced technological and communication skills enable graduating students to compete and excel in a multinational or multicultural business environment.

Decision of studying in a foreign country commands maturity from students in terms of taking independent decisions, living alone in an entirely new country and money management. Students who live with their parents in their home country can seek help from them, but they have to be penny-wise when they move base to an entirely new country, which implies dealing with a new currency and new cost arrangements.

A few suggestions are given below to manage funds while studying in a foreign land:

Government Help: Students need to research about funding opportunities provided by the ministry of education of the native country as eligibility criteria differ for International students. Government has specific rules for time limit, application procedures, eligibility criteria and the amount to be lent to students for International studies.

University Fund: To manage funds better, students should opt for universities that provide scholarships. Student must enquire about the university they are keen to get enrolled in. They must collect information about the funding process of the university, which is readily available on the university website. Students should check the eligibility criteria for university scholarships to know whether they fulfil the requirements.

Scholarships or Respectable Monetary Help: Scholarships are highly desired and the most respected form of monetary help for students. Scholarships cut down the fund management pressure for aspiring students by almost half. These are given to students by and large on the basis of merit. There are also a few scholarships targeted at students with skills. A part of or sometimes even full tuition cost of students can be covered by scholarships. This money gained through scholarships is not required to be paid back to anyone.

All that Ends with Plastic: Students must know the mode of transaction being used in the country they are going to study in. There are countries where cash is preferred over plastic money, but in most countries cashless transaction is preferred. A student must check with the bank if the card provided by the bank can be accepted in the country he/she is moving in. Opening a bank account in a foreign country is a big hassle. Students should not swipe cards often because the fee imposed for using host country ATM card can cost too much. Students can make a list of things to buy and take out money for monthly expenditure at one go to avoid paying surcharge or additional amount on each small transaction.

However, there are credit cards which do not levy foreign transaction fee. Students should contact the bank to check details about foreign transaction fee on the credit card. These cards can be used by students while studying abroad.

Make Budget to Stay Carefree: Devising a budget and adhering to it can become a tough task for students because there are bound to be unplanned and new things & places awaiting them on the other side. They must secure information about the cost of living in a foreign land. Making a tentative list of essential expenditures which include house rent, cost of food, cell phone charges, groceries and transportation would help students to manage their budget while studying abroad. Students should also research on internet and get a rough idea of expenditure on shopping, health, personal expenses, books, stationary and entertainment costs. Upon arrival, students should stick to their budget they had made. Splurging on new stuff and making frequent trips when new in the country can entail financial hiccups. Students must note their daily expenses somewhere. This gives them an idea if they are spending money over their budget and where they should stop spending.

Live Like a Local: To manage budget better, students should live like locals of the country. They should not compare the two currencies while spending. Like the locals of the country, they should also go to local restaurants and buy groceries from cheap grocery shops, and buy clothes from street markets. Students should read local newspapers for better deals. Making friends with local students can help them live a carefree life sans monetary issues.

Studying in a foreign university does not take anything away from students but gives them immense opportunity to work, effects colossal changes in their personality, reputation among family & friends and enables them to secure highly paid jobs. In the initial period while studying abroad, students definitely need to manage their funds smartly.