Five Tips to Get A Great Foreign Exchange Rate When You Study Abroad

Do you plan to study abroad? If so, you’ll probably have to exchange currencies before you go.Given that, how do you get the best foreign exchange rate? Find out here with these 5 top tips!

1. Find out what the exchange rate is as far in advance as you can

This is because, the sooner you find out what the exchange rate is, the more time you’ll have for a good exchange rate to become available.By comparison, if you wait until the last minute to find out the exchange rate, you’ll have to accept whatever exchange rate is available, even if it’s bad.
This way, you maximise your chances of getting a good exchange rate!

2. Use Google to check the current exchange rate

Just enter the 2 currencies you want to exchange into the search bar, and Google will tell you the latest exchange rate.For example, say you want to exchange euros for US dollars. Just enter “euros for US dollars” into Google, and Google will tell you the exchange rate.This way, you can find out what exchange rate you’d get, where you exchange currencies on a given day or not.

3. Compare the exchange rate you get from your bank with that from a foreign exchange broker

This is because you’ll obtain an exchange rate up to 4.0% from a foreign exchange broker.So for example, let’s say you’re exchanging a large sum to study abroad for a year. If you use a foreign exchange broker, you could receive significantly more money.To find a foreign exchange broker, just enter “foreign exchange broker” into Google. You’ll be returned a list of reputable companies.

4. Set reasonable expectations about the exchange rate you want

This is because, if you set unreasonable expectations, you may end up waiting for an exchange rate that never arrives.Instead then, you should talk to your currency dealer about what happened to the exchange rate in the last 6 months, and what might happen next. This will give you a better idea of what exchange rate you can expect, so that you’re not needlessly disappointed.

5. Accept a good exchange rate when it becomes available, don’t wait to see how high it goes

This is because the foreign exchange market is extremely volatile, meaning there’s no telling which way the exchange rate will go. So, while you’re waiting for the exchange rate to go as high as it possibly can, it might suddenly start falling. Given this, if an exchange rate you like becomes available, take it there and then, to avoid the possibility of you losing out.

Peter Lavelle
Economist at foreign exchange broker PURE FX