Studying abroad save up to £40,000 by careful selection of university and money transfer providers.


Rachel Doyle
Rachel Doyle
Senior Content Specialist
Rachel has over 10 years’ communications and writing experience, having started her career in financial services where she spent nine years working in various roles. She started out in fund… Read more

Improve job prospects and save up to £40,000 over the life of an undergraduate degree through studying abroad, with careful selection of University and money transfer providers

UK access to Erasmus is under threat

If a deal is not reached through Brexit, then the future of the Erasmus programme, which allows you to undertake a year abroad as part of your degree, may be under threat. Bad news if you are a UK student keen to embrace the opportunity. Erasmus attracts c.15,000 students a year, so the fact that the UK is due to formally leave the European Union in March 2019, sits partway through the academic year. The UK government has not outlined how students applying in 2018 for Erasmus will be supported and what fees will be paid, should an agreement not be reached with the EU. After the Swiss reneged on an agreement and voted to bring in quotas for EU immigrants, the EU responded by blocking the ability of Swiss students to take part in Erasmus.

There are concerns that the UK could find itself blocked from taking part in the scheme. This would be a significant blow, as evidence shows that Erasmus students achieve on average better marks, earn more once they move into employment (especially from disadvantaged backgrounds). For those students who take part in a work placement as part of their year abroad, they are more likely to be offered a permanent position with that company, once they have completed their degree.

These skills are also valued by companies in the UK, so students who have completed this year abroad are more likely to get a job on graduation.


Looking for an alternative to UK university education

If we lose access to Erasmus,there are other opportunities to study full-time abroad. Given that fees have soared above £9,000 per year for studying in the UK, and coupled with the high living costs here, such as high rents for student accommodation, the UK is an expensive country to study for an undergraduate degree. There are Universities globally who  teach degrees in English, combining them with the opportunity to learn the local language.

Given that students who have completed Erasmus are more attractive to some employers, studying for a degree abroad could give better job prospects and the opportunity to secure employment abroad as well as in UK. Fee structures range from no fee to £3650 annually and when coupled with living costs, you could save between £20,000 to £40,000 over the life of a degree course when including living costs, flights and visas.  


Funding your time abroad

If you elect to study abroad, then you will not be eligible for student loans that are available in the UK and unlikely to qualify for any means tested grants. Given the reduction of the value of the British pound since the UK voted to leave the European Union, money transfers are an important consideration when opting to study abroad.

There are regular payments to consider when studying abroad, such as international transfers of funds to pay for fees, accommodation, and general living costs. It is much cheaper to carry out these transfers through foreign currency providers, who offer more competitive rates than banks. If you carry out a transfer via a bank, you will often be charged a rate varying between £5 to £30. Then you are given a less than competitive exchange rate, which is often significantly worse than the interbank rate. If you need to make several transfers throughout a year these costs start to mount and your money doesn’t go as far.

Whereas international money transfer providers offer much more competitive rates often based on a small percentage above the interbank rate. Some providers do not charge any fees, so it is worth comparing costs. Many providers can facilitate payments 24/7 and offer the ability to complete transfers in 1-3 days. On top of this, some providers offer the ability to lock in a rate for up to two years in advance, this may be handy if you want to hedge against the potential of rates moving out of your favour, especially if you prefer to transfer large sums of money at the start of each academic term or year. To find a money transfer provider you can use our international currency provider quote tool which contains details of the most cost-effective money transfer companies globally. This will help you identify the provider that will help you to carry out money transfers in the most cost effective way.



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