Studying abroad? What you need to know about international money transfers

Studying abroad? What you need to know about international money transfers

Sending money abroad should be a simple process. Setting up international money transfers whilst studying abroad can be challenging without knowing the best and quickest ways to transfer money. There are several options to choose from which have specific benefits and drawbacks. Nonetheless, finding an option which is cost effective and convenient is key.


External factors to keep in mind


There are numerous reasons for planning your money transfers in advance. In particular, doing this can help to save both time and potentially lower transaction fees. With the recent rise in both inflation and interest rates in the UK, the current market conditions are volatile. As a result, planning ahead or setting up prepayments can help to ensure money transfers are processed at a specific exchange rate.

External factors can have an impact on one country’s exchange rate compared to another. Three of the most common currency trades are between Pound Sterling, US Dollar and the Euro. It’s also almost impossible to predict future market movements and events. As a result, taking steps in advance can help to lower some of the exposure to changes in the market when making money transfers.


Inflation has continued to rise within the UK over several months. This ultimately means that it’s more expensive to borrow money and you can purchase less today for the same amount of money compared to last year. Currently the inflation rate in the UK is 9% and is at its highest level for 40 years.

Inflation is impacting various industries such as food, energy and manufacturing. Inflation can also impact the exchange rate between two currencies. Choosing to send money outside of the UK could be disadvantageous depending on the desired exchange rate.

Good practises to keep your online money transfers secure

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Setting up Two-Factor Authentication is a form of security which is recommended to prevent fraud. It essentially enables you to access your email or website, once you have provided additional authorisation beforehand.

Two-Factor authentication requires two distinct forms of identification in order to access your online account. Usually it is a combination of a password and a text code or a smartphone authenticator app. Additionally, it is recommended that passwords are not shared and choosing a password which can’t be easily guessed.

Look for internet security solutions

Internet security should be a priority when using a laptop. Ensuring that spam pages are blocked can help to limit the chances of being hacked or your laptop getting a virus.

There are both free and paid options to choose from for internet security suites which are suitable for users. As there are several options regardless of your individual budget, it’s important to enhance your internet security and protect your personal information online.

Watch out for weblinks and email attachments

Be careful not to fall for financial scams. If you click on a phishing link, you could be taken to a fake webpage that looks like the homepage of a bank or financial institution. However, when entering in your account information, you’ll be sending your personal details to the scammers behind the phishing attempt.

Sometimes these scams can be difficult to detect straight away, so don’t click weblinks in emails or text messages. If they come from a source you trust, it’s still best to proceed with caution. If an email or phone number doesn’t seem legitimate, check the official website from the company before entering any financial or personal information.


Money transfer options for international students

Via your traditional bank

An international money transfer is a secure option to send money abroad, in any chosen currency. One of the most reliable ways of sending money internationally is using a wire transfer. Most banks will offer this option and enable you to make international wire transfers in several currencies.

Bank transfers are the most common way of sending money abroad. This is due to high street banks being familiar and a secure option for individuals or companies. However, using a bank to send transfers usually comes with higher transaction fees compared to using foreign exchange companies.

To make an international payment you’ll need the SWIFT code and the IBAN number of your account as well as the recipient’s account. The payment will be received within 1-5 business days.

One of the drawbacks of using a wire transfer is the large fee which you will need to pay. When using foreign banks for payments abroad they may also charge the recipient for receiving the wired money. Different banks’ fees vary for this service, so it can be useful to enquire about the bank’s wire transfer fees before signing up.

Via a Foreign Exchange company

Another option for sending money transfers is using a Foreign Exchange company. Using a FX company can help to make your payments efficient and cost effective. Foreign Exchange companies tend to offer a more personalised service compared to banks. At CurrencyTransfer, each client is assigned a dedicated personal relationship manager who can provide additional assistance.

Setting up payments in advance can help to ensure you can send money conveniently and for a specific time. A major benefit of using a foreign exchange company is the ability to lock in today’s rate in order to make payments up to 12 months in advance. This creates the option of setting up the most essential bills and payments in advance. Forward contracts could be a useful tool for scheduling to pay university tuition or paying for student accommodation for example. Foreign exchange companies will offer this option which can remove uncertainty due to market movements.

FX companies also provide money transfer options and tools to make payments more flexible. If you need to send quick payments now or over the next several days, spot contracts are a great option. Alternatively, market orders could be a suitable currency risk management tool, automatically booking your money transfer once your desired exchange rate is reached.


At CurrencyTransfer, we help students and their parents make overseas tuition transfers. Your online money transfers are both secure and cost effective using an FX company. You also have various payment options which allow you to transfer money in a flexible and convenient way.

In comparison, banks can charge an expensive transaction fee when sending overseas payments. Banks also don’t provide the same flexibility with setting up and arranging money transfers in advance. As a result, FX companies can deliver greater value for individuals who are looking for a quick and cost efficient method of sending money transfers.

Don’t hesitate to contact us and one of our dedicated relationship managers will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Omari Coates


Florence Couëdel