This article is contributed by OFX.

For many students around the world, studying abroad is a key part of the university experience. The opportunity to learn about different cities and cultures is an invaluable part of transitioning into adulthood.

In 2017, Study International reported that of 4.6 million international students around the world, 24% were in the US, 10% in China, and 7% in Australia. With some of the top universities in the world and multitude of things to do and see, it’s no wonder these locations are a great pick for students (and their parents).

There’s a lot of logistics to put in place before making the move. As a parent, you’re probably wondering what the top things to consider before they head off might be, here’s our top five.

Help them choose what to study first

According to PathwayToAus, some of the most in-demand courses in Australia right now span from Nursing, with its high demand and limited amount of currently qualified professionals, to Engineering, where the demand can range from civil, mechanical, and structural engineers.

Australia is also world-renowned for its research pathways. For many, studying a Masters or a Doctoral degree in Australia is an excellent choice. Explore the humanities and political sciences in the Australian Capital Territory, business and management in Sydney’s CBD or the marine and environmental sciences in Queensland.

And that’s just Australia. The world is a large place, and with that comes plenty of opportunity to explore a different location while learning something new. It’s best that students do some initial research into what institution, and the lifestyle of that location, is the best fit for them.

Plan for how much it will cost to study abroad

The costs for international students vary around the world. In Australia for example, the first thing to consider is that semester tuition needs to be paid upfront. Most universities in Australia have two semesters a year, and each semester can be paid in advance before the starting dates (typically February and July each year).

Along with tuition fees come living costs. Accommodation options for students include on-campus accommodation, shared accommodation and homestays, to name a few. In Australia, most rental properties require a few weeks rent in advance as a deposit.

Most places around the world will also require that you open a bank account either when you arrive, or prior to boarding the plane as this is often essential for paying for daily expenses. Opening a bank account while you’re abroad also means that parents can transfer money to that account from a home bank account to help with expenses.

In each of these instances, it’s a common occurrence to make an international money transfer to send their tuition money to a university, or a deposit to a real estate. At OFX, we can arrange something like this easily for a number of different currencies, bringing you attractive rates and 24/7 service. Wherever you are in the world, we can help.

Keep additional expenses in mind when calculating costs

Most of the popular places to study abroad are expensive cities to live, so it’s best to have some savings accrued before leaving.

Along with the costs that can come with exploring, or going out with new friends, other costs to keep in mind include insurance, phone and computer equipment (these are study essentials and they don’t generally come cheap), and visa costs.

Encourage them to take advantage of part-time work opportunities

For many, seeking part-time work will help alleviate the costs of living abroad. So if this is something you’ll need to keep ahead of expenses, it’s best to consider what locations allow international students to work while studying and you should get local advice on the operation and allowances of relevant visas.

Make sure they get involved and don’t forget to see the sights

There’s a reason places like Australia are a popular destination (among many) for students. With its beaches, rainforests, and rich indigenous history, Australia can offer a lot for students looking to experience something new and exciting.

It’s also encouraged that students jump in headfirst when arriving in a new place by joining like-minded student or social groups to meet new people to truly experience the lifestyle of their new home.

After humble beginnings as a startup on Australia’s northern beaches, OFX has gone on to become a globally recognised company with 7 offices around the world. We understand that your world never stops moving, so we won’t either. We help those taking big leaps towards their future with 24/7 support and great exchange rates on international money transfers. Register or login for the new way to move money.

GoBear team

Brought to you by GoBear Insurance Broker (SG) Pte. Ltd., a registered insurance broker with the Monetary Authority of Singapore