Study abroad for a few dollars less, with smart forex buying

In the age of price comparison apps and aggressive discounting, can students squeeze some extra dollars out of the large sums they spend to study abroad?

Foreign exchange professionals say they can. The savings can range from two to five per cent of total costs in their calculation.

As students prepare to leave for their university abroad, mostly between July to September, they must look at ‘smart buying’ of forex.

“Students and parents must understand that buying foreign exchange from their regular bank may be convenient, but that bank is not necessarily giving them the best rate,” said Sudarshan Motwani, CEO & Founder, BookMyForex, a foreign exchange marketplace that displays live rates from different banks and dealers.

Customers are aware that rates charged by banks are not transparent: they pay less while buying and charge more while selling. Moreover, the rates charged by different banks vary. “One must go to the marketplace to know the best rate and buy accordingly. It is always cheaper by 2 to 5 per cent,” Mr. Motwani said.

Using the most appropriate product to remit funds is also important to achieve maximum savings.

It is a bad idea, he says, to take lot of currency notes to meet recurring expenses at university. The best option is to remit the college fees directly from India through net banking and for day-to-day expenses, use a pre-paid card. The alternative is to carry a bank draft which is cheaper than other instruments, he advises.

The right forex product and smart buying could save an undergraduate student going to the U.S. nearly $10,000 (Rs. 6.7 lakh).

This is based on the estimate that an undergraduate degree in a good American university costs upwards of $50,000, or Rs. 33.5 lakh a year. For four years, that works out to $2,00,000 or about Rs. 1.35 crore.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 2:17:38 PM |

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