How to pay international school costs

Exciting about going to school abroad? Use a money transfer service to pay your tuition fees and lock in the best rates, so you won't have to worry about your payments on top of your coursework.

Xe Consumer

December 23, 20206 min read

Studying abroad has become a popular choice for people around the world in recent years. With transport and communication being easier than ever, many parents choose to give their children an early head start in an increasingly globalized world. An international education is a precious commodity, but there are lots of practical aspects to think about before embarking on such an exciting journey. 

Figuring out how to send money to the school of your choice should be one of your top priorities. Different institutions have different rules about paying fees, but in the vast majority of cases, international students need to pay their tuition fees via bank transfer or credit/debit card before even setting foot in the country where they'll study.

Paying overseas tuition fees is often a costly exercise, not only in terms of the actual amount required every year but also when it comes to exchange rates. While the burden of paying hefty international tuition fees is unavoidable, you can make some savings by opting for money transfer services such as Xe, which can save you a lot of money that you would otherwise lose because of the exchange fees banks typically charge. 

Let's have a look at how to pay international school costs while also avoiding uncompetitive bank fees.  

What are the main options for paying overseas tuition?

Online money transfers are one of the most popular ways to pay for overseas tuition, but you can generally choose from multiple ways to pay international school costs.

  • International money transfers (our personal favorite option!)

  • Bank transfers

  • Credit/debit card

  • International bank draft

  • Cash

  1. International money transfers — You can use a money transfer provider such as Xe to send money directly to the university. When using this type of service, don't forget to pay attention to two things: transfer fees and exchange rates, especially if you're transferring large amounts. Not all providers will have the same rates and fees! Shopping around for a service that offers better exchange rates than other competitors can make a world of difference. This is because even what might look like an insignificant difference in exchange rates can have a big impact on your funds.

  2. Bank transfers — Sending money to a university by using a transfer service offered by your bank is generally more expensive than using an international money service. Most banks offer poor exchange rates and typically charge high fees, so this method is best to be avoided if possible.

  3. Credit/debit card — Many universities offer students the possibility to pay their tuition fees by credit or debit card via a secure payment portal. This is often a convenient way to pay for many students, but you need to remember to double-check the exchange rate as you may be able to get a better rate with the help of a money transfer service. It's also important to navigate directly to the payment portal through the official website of the university. Never click on any links in emails to make a payment.

  4. International bank draft — This payment instrument is similar to a cashier's cheque but specifically designed for international transfers and larger amounts of money. Not all universities accept this payment method, but this is a secure way to pay and the bank draft is created in the local currency and doesn't require conversion. The downside is that bank drafts may take several weeks to process, so they are only a good idea when you're not in a hurry. Hope you didn’t leave that payment until the last minute!

  5. Cash — Universities typically allow international students to pay their tuition fees in cash, but this should be your last resort. This is because carrying that much cash is risky, and there are also restrictions on the amounts you're allowed to travel with. Always check the cash limits in place when traveling by plane, as they are not always the same for all countries.

How to find competitive currency exchange rates 

Many students choose to send money abroad to pay their tuition fees via their bank, mostly because that's a familiar option to them. But if you're making regular payments to your university every term, high bank fees and money you lose due to unfavorable currency exchange rates can add up quickly.

The bottom line? Don’t take it for granted that every provider is offering you a favorable exchange rate. Check the Xe Currency Converter for the mid-market rate (or true rate of exchange) and then compare it with the quotes you get from banks and other providers. You might be surprised by what you see.

By using a money transfer provider such as Xe, you can send money to over 130 countries and keep more of your money by getting competitive exchange rates and avoiding hefty bank fees. 

Additionally, we offer Regular Payments Abroad so you can set up recurring payments at one set exchange rate. No need to worry about market volatility affecting the rates, and no need to worry about remembering to make your payments on time: just set up the transfers once, and then you can sit back and relax.

How to pay international school fees with Xe

So, you’ve made the smart choice and opted to send your tuition payment through Xe. Great choice!

  1. Log in to your Xe account, or take a couple of minutes to create one.

  2. Once you’re in, select the currencies you’d wish to exchange and enter the amount. This will also show you the rate you’ll get for your transfer, so you’ll know exactly what you need to pay.

  3. Now it’s time to enter your recipient information. If you’re sending money to your student’s account so they can make the payment, you’ll need their name, address, bank name, bank account number, and BIC (SWIFT) code. Try getting this

    before initiating the transfer!

  4. Select your payment method (we accept ACH transfers, bank transfers, and card payments), and enter your payment information. This will differ depending on which payment type you’ve selected.

  5. You’ll see a confirmation screen before you send your transfer. Make sure that the amounts (sending and receiving) are correct, that you have the right currencies, and that all information has been entered correctly, and press “Send” when you’re ready!

Studying abroad is an exciting time for students and their families alike, so you shouldn't have to deal with the stress of figuring out how to pay international school costs. It's easy to avoid excess fees by transferring money to your university with Xe. Get started today!