There are over 4.8 million students studying abroad today and this number keeps growing, according to Migration Data Portal. It’s not a surprise that more people seek higher education away from their country. There is prestige in that and employers look at foreign university diplomas more favorably. In fact, 97% (90% within 6 months) of students who study outside of their native country are able to find employment within the first 12 months of graduation. That result is even more impressive when you consider the fact that only about 47% of local graduates are able to find work within the same period.

The benefits of studying abroad are undeniable. However, they come at a very high cost. Getting your education in a foreign country, let alone in a top international university, is very expensive. Therefore, students have to use a variety of tricks to cut these costs.

How Expensive Studying Abroad Really Is and What You Can Do About It

The exact cost of studying abroad varies depending on the university (tuition fees) and country (cost of living and rent) and many other factors. But to get some idea of how much this costs, consider data from Education First. According to this international education portal, a year in Australia will cost a student between $41,000 and $63,000 (tuition + living expenses), in the UK, you’ll need to pay around $28,000-$60,000, and if you go into an American university, a year’s worth of tuition and living costs will be between $55,000 and $78,000.

If you think that those numbers are huge, you will get even more upset when you consider that you’ll be paying quite a bit more to finance this abroad education project. To transfer money internationally, you’ll need to pay not only transaction fees to the bank but also get 2-3% markup on currency exchange. Think of how much that will be and that this money will be completely wasted because it won’t go toward improving the quality of the student’s life.

It’s only reasonable that you’d want to cut these costs, especially the amount of money lost during the transfer. Today you can do this using international money transfer companies.

Cutting the Cost of Studying Abroad with the Help of Money Transfer Companies

Money transfer companies allow for faster and cheaper transfers than banks because not only do they charge small or no fees at all. They also offer much better currency exchange rates. Depending on the case, you might get as little as 0.2% markup or even less.

However, you need to be aware that as the demand for this service increased, money transfer companies started popping up all over the place. Not all of them are reliable, so you need to be very thorough when researching different providers.

In the online money transfer industry, trustworthy companies are the ones that have a long history, multiple offices, and operate transparently, like OFX. This particular industry giant has been providing money transfer services for 19 years now and today its name might as well stand for highly reliable and trustworthy. The company has $20 billion turnover in a year and it keeps growing and improving. Those are the signs of reliability and trustworthiness you should be looking for in a foreign currency exchange business.

When choosing a money transfer company, you also need to consider additional services it offers and user reviews. The services you need to consider are limited orders and other options that allow you to secure a good currency exchange rate for the transfer. Being a modern student, you are definitely in touch with tech, and all the best companies today offer apps that will help you make transfers under the best conditions.

As to user reviews, look for those on popular consumer platforms, like Yelp or Google Reviews. But you should also pay attention to the information you find at independent professional review platforms. These two points of view will help you understand the company and gouge their level of reliability better.

Finally, do not forget to consider the money transfer company’s presence in both your native country and the one you’ll need to send money to. Check if it’s equally easy to send and receive transfers. Sometimes, you might not be able to use a company that offers the best rates because of the inconvenience of using it at one of the locations.

Do not get fixated on the transfer fees and rates at all when choosing a money transfer company. Currency exchange rates change constantly and the majority of companies offer reasonable rates, so you should prioritize their reliability as well as convenience.

Finally, consider the quality of the customer service the company provides. It should be available 24/7 and easy to reach from any location. Look for details on how good the customer service is in user reviews as people are usually keen to share their experiences of dealing with this particular department of any business.

To get more ideas on how to cut costs of studying abroad beyond making money transfers cheaper, check out the Forbes.