International Tuition Fees: Safely Paying Tuition While Studying Abroad

Written by in Tuition on March 16, 2020

International Tuition Fees: Safely Paying Tuition While Studying Abroad 

Everyone dreams of studying abroad. Whether your dream undergrad program is far from home or you’re longing to immerse yourself in a different culture during your graduate studies, the appeal is clear. That being said, international tuition fees and managing one’s finances while abroad isn’t always as simple as booking that plane ticket. 

Going on exchange for a semester is an attractive route as your financial dealings remain the same. In the case of exchanges, you would consult with your university to learn about which schools around the globe your institution partners with for exchanges. Then, you can make your decisions accordingly. If you are a North American student and you opt to take a semester in Australia, for example, your intuition will be working to facilitate the exchange with your temporary new school. Therefore, you can still borrow government loans in your province or pay tuition in your local currency. Though, it is important to note that this varies between schools, countries, and partnerships. 

As for international students who are not on an exchange, tuition is far more manual and the onus is placed upon the students and their families. First and foremost, it’s important to understand what tuition may cost an international student in various parts of the world. 

Selecting An Institution For International Studies 

When selecting a post-secondary school in another country, there are a number of factors and variables to take into account. First and foremost, the fees. Getting a full grasp of the holistic cost of study and lifestyle will give you an immediate idea of if it is a feasible choice for you.

In addition, getting an idea for the application process and qualifications is a preliminary step. If you are under qualified or unconfident in the application process, it might be wise to apply for other institutions and programs, as well. 

Naturally, you need to ensure the institution offers your program of choice. Or, as a graduate student, has faculty members in your area of study who you admire and would love to work within an advisory structure. 

Beyond the initial decision-makers, other factors such as the availability of student housing or affordable housing nearby is worth looking into right away. Further, gaining an understanding of the culture in the area and if it sounds like a good fit.

Lastly, most countries have different school terms and holidays, so if you have a seasonal job or vacation plans, this sound be accounted for. 

International Tuition Fees 

If you’re curious about what sort of fees you might be up against in different countries, it’s important to remember that most universities have different fee structures for international students. Though, those fees are derivative of the base fees, so you can weigh the prices while keeping in mind that your tuition as an international student would be higher than the baseline. 

According to Student Loan Hero, the most expensive place for post-secondary tuition is the United Kingdom. Next in line in the Unities States, followed by Japan, Canada, Australia, and South Korea. The five countries on the most affordable end of tuition prices are (from highest to lowest) China, Netherlands, Switzerland, France, and Germany. 

The highest rates, being in the UK, are around $12,400 per semester. Next in line, the US’s tuition fees average at around $8,202. From there, fees range from $5,200 in Japan to as low as triple digits in France and $0 in Germany. In fact, German is one of the only countries in the world that offers free graduate studies to students from German and other countries, as well. 

Once you’ve got a grasp for where you’d like to study, you can begin making arrangements to safely and securely pay your tuition while abroad. 

Wiring Fees Directly To The Institution 

Wire transfers consist of walking into your bank and submitting money directly to your university or your child’s university if you are paying on their behalf. Though this is a safe method on account of the direct bank involvement, it does have the disadvantage of cost as banks typically charge a fee for wire transfers. You will also have to account for exchange rates as you’ll be dealing in your local currency rather than that of the country that you are wiring too. 

Money Orders 

An older form of money transfer is money orders. In this case, you pay an amount of money to be sent to the bank account of the institution. You can do this in person at the bank or post office or online. 

The disadvantage of money orders is the timeframe as it typically takes several days and there are many faster options one may opt to take. 

Online Payment 

Some schools have online payment options available so you may pay directly. Before doing so, you must confirm that the institution and the online system can convert your currency into the local currency. In addition, this option requires a credit limit that will support a transaction of this size. 

Remittance Services 

Remittance is money that is sent to another party. Remittance typically refers to money being sent back to one’s family back in their home country. Remittance payments can be made to pay bills or invoices, though they are normally made from an individual in one country to an individual in another. 

Remittance payments can be made through online transfers, wire transfers, or secure person to person services, such as SHIFT Connect.

International Financial Risk Management

Understanding one’s risk when making significant international transactions is of the utmost importance. Regardless of the payment method you choose, it’s of necessity to strategize and analyze to reduce your risk, both in terms of security and loss. 

More specifically, do your research to have 100% confidence that your payment method is secure. Furthermore, do your research into the currency with which you will be dealing. If the currency is especially volatile, it may be advisable to explore currency hedging(link) to control and minimize your conversion losses. 

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