If you’re planning on studying overseas, then it’s worth taking the time to understand the impact of currency costs

Most students are on a tight budget; for international students, there are the added complications of currency conversions and unfamiliar surroundings. Here are some top tips for keeping on top of your money when you’re studying overseas.

1. Make a budget

Calculate all your known costs, such as tuition fees and rent, and research online what you can expect to pay for groceries or utilities.

2. Book your travel as early as possible

You can often get better deals if you’re booking flights and rail travel in advance. Find out your term dates as early as possible to give yourself time to get the best deals.

3. Get a local bank account

Avoid transaction fees at ATMs and when paying by card by opening a local bank account and depositing currency for your living costs.

4. Get a local SIM card

Make sure you don’t get stung with high mobile costs by getting a local SIM card once you arrive to avoid getting a nasty surprise on your next bill.

5. Use online chat services

If you want to catch up with family or friends, use online chat services like Skype or WhatsApp which allow you to talk as much as you want where you have an internet connection.

6. Become a tourist

You’re likely to find a lot to see in your new home, and walking around a city can give you a great perspective and insight into its heritage – and best of all, it’s completely free.

7. Shop around

You may have to speak to some local students to find out where to get the best deals, which may not be at a major supermarket. Some of the best bargains may come from smaller markets selling local produce and delicacies.

8. Pick your luxuries

You can’t do everything on a student budget but you don’t have to miss out on what really matters to you. If your true passion is the theatre, for example, make sure you allow for that in your budget and perhaps cut down in other areas, such as socialising in bars, to afford it.

9. Get an International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

From just AUD30, an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) will give you access to discounts and sometimes even free entry to museums, galleries and attractions all over the world.

10. Work with a foreign exchange specialist

A currency specialist can provide guidance on how you can manage your currency transactions and give you access to a secure online platform so you can keep track of your money and payments.

Thanks to our partners at MoneyCorp for providing this article.