Supporting Overseas Students
Traveling abroad to continue or to add to studies is becoming a popular option for people of all ages, from those in their first few years at university through to mature students. The chance to visit another country and to learn something different to what is offered by the normal university or college is a great opportunity and also looks impressive on a resume. But for parents, there are a number of concerns with the top of the list being sending money to students overseas.
Managing Money Overseas
The cost of tuition while studying overseas can be substantially less than the cost of attending university or even college here in the UK. But the biggest difference is that it isn’t as easy to transfer money to people when they are in another country. If the student was in the UK, they could simply use a bank card or a credit card to withdraw cash sent to them but when the person is in another country, this isn’t as simple.
There are various ways to transfer money abroad, some of which can be costly and some that aren’t as safe as others. So, what options are available and how do they work?
Sending Money Through the Bank
Most banks offer the ability to send money to an account in another country and to change the currency while doing this. You usually need information such as the International Bank Account Number and the Bank Identifying Code or BIC. This will apply to both the parent and the student’s account to enable to transfer to take place.
Banks can place minimums on the amount of money that can be transferred, depending on the bank in question. This means you may need send more money and pay more in charges than you require due to their restrictions.
Banks have different levels of charges for different transactions and the charge will often vary also with the amount of money being transferred. Charges can range from £15 to £30 depending on the bank and the currency while express services for emergencies can cost even more. The standard transaction will take around five working days to process. The receiving bank may also charge to receive the money.
If something does go wrong during the transfer, you are protected by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Using Online Money Transfer Services
The rise of internet banking and money transfers has seen the rise of the online money transfer service which negates the need for banks or building societies to be involved in the process. This type of system has become popular when sending money to students overseas because it is exactly the kind of process the system was created to handle.
Online money transfer services offer a no set up fee system and 0% commission on transfers. They also allow a small amount of money to be transferred as well as large ones so can be ideal if someone just needs a small amount of money to tide them over until a certain date.
Another big benefit with this kind of system is the speed of the transfers, taking less time than a bank transfer does. In many cases, the transfer can take place within a single working day. This makes the system ideal if there is an emergency and money needs to be received quicker than the standard five days.
When choosing an online money transfer service, you should look for one that offers a secure system that protects the money from both ends. Also, look for a company that offers full transparency on the rates they charge so you know upfront exactly what it is going to cost to send the money.
High Street Money Transfer Services
There are also high street shops that offer money transfer services and some of these services can be on offer within the Post Office. These systems are easy to set up and you can use cash to fund the transfer as well as a card or bank transfer. The system also uses a unique code that you provide to the student in order for them to access the money – they are the only people who will be able to do this.
High street transfers can involve quite a high cost in terms of the charge and they aren’t covered by the same security that either a bank or online transfer can offer. This means if the money does go astray, there is no protection and you could end up out of pocket.
Send Money to Students Overseas
There are several great reasons to study abroad and the ability to have the parental backup on a financial level is a reassurance for parents. Using one of the systems mentioned means that should something unexpected occur or a parent simply wants to send extra money for a special occasion, it can be quick and cost-effective.