7 Things You Must do Before You Plan to Study Abroad | H&R Block

7 Things You Must do Before You Plan to Study Abroad

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7 Things You Must do Before You Plan to Study Abroad

financial planning for study abroad

Are you one off those who dreams of a high paying career path and wish to pursue a higher education from a reputed international university/ institute? If yes then there are few things you should start planning well in advance, let us see what you need to consider as basic preparation for your foreign studies.

  • Plan your finances well:

Studying abroad can be heavy on your pocket so it is very important for you to budget all your expenses on various things viz. your university fees, lodging and boarding expenses, travel costs, expenses on books and other equipment’s, etc. There are multiple scholarships available for students wishing to study abroad, please check whether you qualify for any of them. You also need to evaluate as to how much you can finance yourself and what you need to borrow from the bank. Though banks are aggressive on facilitating education loan, primarily due to the higher interest they earn and the high repaying capacity of the candidate after qualifying from a foreign reputed institution, many banks have a higher cap of Rs. 20 lakh on the lending for education loan.

Education loan can also help you save some taxes in future when you start earning, as the interest on such loan can be claimed as deduction, to know more you can consult a financial or a tax advisor.

  • Gather all the necessary travel documents:

No need to mention that you will require a passport in order to enter a foreign country and to return home. However, the country in which, you are planning to pursue higher education may require a student visa, in such case make sure to apply for visa, well in advance. Also ensure that the visa covers your entire academic period abroad. In order to get the visa, many times, the foreign consulate officers try to verify a few things:

1. Are you a real student?

2. Your intention to return to your home country after completion of education?

3. Your financial ability to support yourself during your education and post education till you get the job.

In general the consulate officer’s will try to find reasons to deny your visa, if they feel that you are trying to immigrate to their country permanently. It’s your job to prove it otherwise. To crack the visa interview on a positive note you should be prepared well in advance. You may require copies of minimum of your last 3 years tax returns, bank statements, financial statements, etc. Apart from this you may also be required to submit your or your sponsor’s net-worth certificate to establish your financial viability.

  • Get a medical check-up and insurance done:

Once you are all set with the visa, tickets and other documentation, it is of foremost importance that you get your complete medical check-up done to ensure that you are medically 100% fit.  Tell your doctor where you’re going and see if he or she has specific recommendations. It may also help you in carrying primary medication in case of a known issue or for any emergency. Get yourself prepared for what you should do in case of any emergency overseas. Get the coordinates of nearest Indian embassy on your landing in other country consider registering yourself there for any emergency. It is also advisable to get a good travel and medical insurance to cover-up any eventuality overseas.

  • Get yourself updated on social customs and basic laws of the country you are planning to visit:

There are certain social customs or things which may be naturally accepted in your home county but need not necessarily be the same in the country you are planning to go for your higher studies. So it is important for you to get yourself accustomed to the certain basic customs and laws of the other country. You should also consider learning basics of local language, local food and drink habits/customs of the other country. Go through the travel advisory if any issued by either of the country.

  • Setup an international banking facility.

You may not be able to use your ATM card or credit card the same way you use it in home country. The easiest and cost effective way for this is to set up a local bank account once you arrive. Check with your course coordinator to find out what all documents you need to open a bank account.  Also you can carry some money in the form travel card/cheque of the foreign currency for immediate use.

  • Survey about the local geography and pack smart:

It is very important for you to know about the local geography of the place, you will be spending the next few years. This will help you pack your stuff accordingly to suit the climate conditions there. It will also help you in planning what you want to explore while you are there. You will have the opportunity to tour famous tourist spots, so plan your finances to ensure that you have some money allocated for this.

  • Stay connected back home and network yourself with the Indians there:

While you are away from your friends and family you will definitely miss their company at least on certain special occasions like your birthdays, etc. and you may wish to get in touch with them some or other way.  So try to set-up video chat programs, such as Google Hangout or Skype for yourself as well as for your family. Maintaining a cell phone and calling internationally may impact heavily on your pockets. Beyond this you may also consider getting yourself associated with the Indian community in that other country. Remember a good networking can go a long way in case of emergencies and otherwise as well.

Chetan Chandak
Chetan Chandak
Chetan is a Tax-Lawyer by profession and has been working with H&R block as Assistant Manager-Tax Advisory from last four years. He has more than 7 years’ experience in audit, taxation and finance fields. He specializes in personal taxation of HNIs and Top Management Executives. His major area of interest is tax litigation, tax research handling dual tax impact for ex-pat clients. He loves to travel, trek and cook.

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