Overseas Banking and accessing money abroad

Students undertaking an exchange year or a placement overseas who plan to stay abroad for any length of time will need to think about the best way to access their money and avoid paying international transaction charges on a regular basis.

Every country has its own banking system and regulations.  When you arrive at your destination you can always ask local students or your employer for advice about local banking arrangements. You could also investigate what other students did during their Erasmus exchange.

It might take a little while for you to open a bank account once you arrive in your destination country so it is advisable to ensure you have enough money to cover your costs when you first arrive.  For safety reasons it is probably a good idea not to carry large sums of cash around.  You may wish to look into the option of using a pre-paid travel card which allows you to load the card up with money before you leave.  Use a comparison site to check you are getting the best deal.

Before you head off you should also speak to your UK bank to check whether it is possible to continue to use your UK bank account, the options for receiving and sending money overseas and what charges will be incurred.

Money Advice Service and Money Saving Expert  provide advice about sending money abroad.   It might also be worth discussing the best ways of transferring money overseas with your family before you leave the UK in case you experience financial difficulties and need cash in an emergency.