If you have secured admission in the institute of your choice abroad, here are a few things you can do before leaving to ease your financial troubles once you are there.
Open a savings account
Some countries allow you to open a savings account in your destination city even before you leave India. Foreign banks such as Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia have branches in India and you can open an account in Australia if you are a student. If you do so, ensure that the account gets activated before you leave. Try to understand the banking system of the country you are going to so that you are aware of the services that are offered free of cost.
Also, ensure you have online access to a joint account with your parents for emergency needs.
Carry enough money
Carrying at least three-four months of living expenses is important at the time of leaving India, say education consultants. You can use a combination of traveller’s cheques, travel cards and some cash.
You can buy traveller’s cheques from banks or travel operators such as Thomas Cook and American Express.
For cash, consider US dollars, that are most widely accepted globally, or the local currency of the country you are travelling to.
Travel cards or prepaid cash cards are offered by travel operators such as Thomas Cook, Cox and Kings, as well as banks. Travel cards can be used like a debit card to make purchases and withdraw money from automated teller machines.
Take a cover
Even though most universities would give you a health insurance cover, you can consider taking one from India as it may work out cheaper. Typically such a cover from India will provide reimbursement limits of $50,000 and more. The cover will include benefits such as study interruption, sponsor protection, compassionate visit (two-way) apart from accident and sickness reimbursement and personal accident. But remember the cover will not give you cashless benefit since you have to foot the bill on your own first and later get the reimbursement. Most universities run their own health insurance schemes (either self-managed or through a tie-up with an insurer). When a foreign student joins the university they insist you take insurance under this scheme. However, you get an option to take insurance from an Indian insurer (that is registered with them) in lieu of their scheme. Health insurance experts advise you buy insurance from India as they are cost-effective.
It is advised that you carry details of the insurer such as the toll-free number of the company and the policy schedule.