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2 people walking over stepping stones over water; image used for HSBC International Services Study abroad article on financial planning

Financial planning

Not only can an international education be expensive, but it's also difficult to estimate its cost accurately. We can help you to calculate and manage the cost up front. 

Calculating the cost of university

If you're planning to help your child with university tuition costs, you're not alone. Almost 75% of parents say they'd take care of their child's day-to-day living expenses to enable them to concentrate on their education. Of those parents, 59% worry that they won't be able to financially support their children's education1.

It's important to estimate the cost and plan early to limit financial strain when it comes time to send your child to university. There's a few ways to financially prepare, but first you need to know what your financial goals are.

Most universities post their tuition fees online. There are other available resources, such as cost calculators, that will help you to estimate other student fees, accommodation, living expenses and options for financial aid. International students can apply for aid during the admissions process in the form of grants, scholarships or bursaries. A professional education consultant can help you navigate these options.

Expenses to consider

The overall cost of studying abroad will vary according to such factors as the length and location of study. With some research, you can roughly estimate costs, which will help you plan for your end saving goal. Expenses to consider include:

  • Application fees
  • Tuition and books
  • Passport and visa-related costs
  • Medical fees
  • Insurance, including travel insurance
  • Travel, including international airfares
  • Accommodation
  • Living expenses

How to budget

Saving

The simplest way to save for your child's education is to place your funds in a savings account to accrue interest, with a flexible withdrawal period. The earlier you start to save, the earlier you'll receive interest returns.

If there are still some years to go before your child starts school, consider investing for higher potential returns, in accordance with your preferences and risk appetite.*

Budgeting timeline

12 months before departure

  • Continue to top up your savings and apply for funds such as scholarships and grants
  • Meet with a study abroad adviser to ensure you are on the right track going forward

9 months before departure

  • Ensure your child's chosen course of study / programme fits your budget constraints

7 months before departure

  • Ensure paperwork is in order and your application has been completed fully before submission
  • Ensure your child has a passport, or update it if it's going to expire

3 months before departure

  • Once your child has secured a place at school or in their chosen programme, start ticking things off your list, such as health and travel insurance, flights, immunisations and any outstanding fees

1 month before departure

  • Ensure all payments and paperwork have been submitted
  • Open a bank account for your child ahead of arrival and deposit funds 
  • Consider forms of credit such as student credit cards

Ready to open an overseas account?

Starting early and saving long term is an ideal way to fund a study abroad. If you're ready to open an international bank account, arrange a call back using the button below and we'll contact you to walk you through the application process.

1 The Value of Education The price of success

* Investment involves risks. Past performance is no guide to future performance. Investors must refer to the respective fund's offering documents for further details of the fund and the risks involved.