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I'm just turning 21 so I really have no experience with currencies and banking systems. This is the first time I travel outside my mother country. I'm accepted in a postgraduate study program and I have no certain plans of what comes next. I may return to my home country or pursue another degree in some other place, or get a job somewhere else.

My question is about whether I should keep my money as is (and only convert and transfer small amounts for each month or whenever needed), or transfer all of it to the country I'm going to (changing currency of course)? Should I make a part this way and the other that way? Maybe I should convert all of it to US Dollars or Euros perhaps (as stable currencies) and use some kind of international banking system? Can somebody clear that matter up for me?

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The only advantage of changing all your money now to the new currency is that you might get a better conversion rate now than later, so you get more of the new currency and you may pay a lower percentage fee for changing a larger sum of money. However, regarding the better conversion rate - you will not know this except with hindsight.

The disadvantage of changing all at once is that if you have changed too much and need to change back to your own currency or a third currency, you will be charged fees and lose on the conversion rate twice.

If you know how long you are going to be in the new country, say 12 months, maybe start by converting an amount you think you will be spending in a month. If you spend more then you can change a bit more the next month, or if you spend less change less the next month. If you find you are spending similar amounts for the next month or so, then you can budget on the amount you may be spending for the remainder of your stay and then convert this amount over. If you have a little left over at the end of your stay maybe reward yourself with something or buy a present for someone special back at home. If you need a little more, just convert this amount in the last month or so.

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You might convert all your money in local currency but you need take care of following tips while studying abroad.Here are some money tips that can be useful during a trip abroad.

Know about fees :- When you use a debit card or credit card in a foreign country, there are generally two types of transaction fees that may apply:

  1. Foreign transaction fee – a sum's rate when utilizing a charge or Mastercard to make a purchase or withdrawal in a foreign currency.
  2. International ATM fee – a level administrator access fee charged for every ATM withdrawal.

Understand exchange rates :- The exchange rate lets you know the amount of nearby money you can get for each U.S. dollar, missing any expenses. There are "sell" rates for individuals who are trading U.S. dollars for foreign currency, and, the other way around, "purchase" rates. It's a smart thought to recognize what the neighborhood money is worth in dollars so you can comprehend the estimation of your buys abroad.

Sites like X-Rates offer a currency converter that gives the current exchange rate, so you can make speedy comparisons. You can utilize it to get a feel for how much certain amount (say $1, $10, $25, $50, $100) are worth in local currency. Remember that rates fluctuate, so you will be unable to suspect precisely the amount of a buy made in a foreign currency will cost you in U.S. dollars.

To get cash, check for buddy banks abroad:- If you already have an account with a large bank or credit union in the U.S., you may have an advantage. Being a client of a big financial institution with a large ATM system may make it easier to find a subsidiary cash machine and stay away from an out-of-system charge.

Bank of America, for example, is a part of the Global ATM Alliance, which lets clients of taking an interest banks use their debit cards to withdraw money at any Alliance ATM without paying the machine's operator an access fee, in spite of the fact that you may at present be charged for converting dollars into local currency used for purchases.

Citibank is another well known bank for travelers because it has 45,000 ATMs in more than 30 countries, including popular study-abroad destinations such as the U.K., Italy and Spain.

ATMs in a foreign country may allow withdrawals just from a financial records, and not from savings so make sure to keep an adequate checking balance. Also, ATM withdrawal limits will apply just as they do in the U.S., but the amount may vary based on the local currency and exchange rates.

Weigh the benefits of other banks :- For general needs, online banks and even foreign banks can also be good options. With online banks, you don’t have to visit physical branches, and these institutions typically have lower fees. Use our checking account tool to find one that’s a good fit. Foreign banks:- Many American debit cards may not work in Europe, Asia and Latin America, especially those that don’t have an EMV chip that help prevent fraud. Or some cards may work at one ATM, but not another.

One option for students who expect a more extended stay in a foreign country is to open a new account at a local bank. This will let you have better access to ATMs, and to make purchases more easily and without as many fees. See our chart below for the names of the largest banks in several countries.

Guard against fraud and identity theft:- One of the most important things you can do as you plan your trip is to let your bank know that you’ll be abroad. Include exact countries and dates, when possible, to avoid having your card flagged for fraud.

Unfortunately, incidents may still arise despite providing ample warning to your bank. Bring a backup credit card or debit card so you can still access some sort of money in case one is canceled. Passports are also critical — not just for traveling from place to place, but also as identification to open a bank account and for everyday purposes. You’ll want to make two photocopies and give one to a friend or family member to keep at home and put the other in a separate, secure location, just in case your actual passport is lost or stolen.

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