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Top 5 finance tips for students studying abroad

According to findings from HSBC's International Citizens 2022-23 study1, 1 in 2 students don't know where to start to get set up in the country they want to study in, despite most students (83%) saying they're actively planning and researching their move. Banking in a new place can be daunting, but these 5 finance tips and support from your bank can help you worry less about your money so you can focus more on your studies. 

Checklist for a worry-free study abroad

  1. Overseas bank account – Best to set this up in your home country, before departure.
  2. Multi-currency debit and credit card – Handy for cash, every day expenses and unexpected needs.
  3. Health and life insurance – Complement basic protection cover and note emergency hotlines and nearby clinics and hospitals.
  4. Housing – Budgets vary if you stay on campus, rent or buy a property nearby; expect miscellaneous expenses.
  5. Transfers – Set up mobile or online banking so you don't miss an allowance and are ready for emergencies.

Are you prepared?

We've put together international student resources and checklists for 4 countries that are popular with international students. These will give you a better idea of what you'll need to prepare, beyond bank accounts and money transfers, for a study abroad. This includes visa and passport information; healthcare facts; and mobile phone reminders.

How we can help you with our global network

Open an account ahead of time

You can pre-open an account abroad and we can have your ATM card ready ahead of time before the move.

Instant money transfers for free

You can transfer money near real-time at any time and from anywhere with Global Transfer, and manage your worldwide accounts with one single log on with Global View. If you're our Premier customer, the transfers will be free of charge.

Learn more about our international services for students.


HSBC Holdings plc has prepared this article based on publicly available information at the time of preparation from sources it believes to be reliable but it has not independently verified such information. HSBC Holdings plc and the HSBC Group (together, "HSBC") are not responsible for any loss, damage, liabilities or other consequences of any kind that you may incur or suffer as a result of, arising from or relating to your use of or reliance on this article. The contents of this article are subject to change without notice. HSBC gives no guarantee, representation or warranty as to the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of this article.


This article is not investment advice or a recommendation nor is it intended to sell investments or services or solicit purchases or subscriptions. This article should not be used as the basis for any decision on taxation, estate, trusts or legacy planning. You should not use or rely on this article in making any investment decision. HSBC is not responsible for such use or reliance by you. Any market information shown refers to the past and should not be seen as an indication of future market performance. You should always consider seeking professional advice when thinking about undertaking any form of prime residential or commercial property purchase, sale or rental. You should consult your professional advisor in your jurisdiction if you have any questions regarding the contents of this article.

1Research was conducted by Ipsos UK on behalf of HSBC from 05/12/22 to 23/01/23. Full methodology: