Malaysians Studying Overseas Lose RM70 Mil In Foreign Exchange Fees

Malaysians Studying Overseas Lose RM70 Mil In Foreign Exchange Fees

Thinking of going overseas for education or sending your child to an overseas university? However, the cost of studying abroad can be prohibitively expensive.

According to research by global money transfer services Wise, Malaysians studying overseas overpay approximately RM69.9 million in total transfer fees every year.

The research reveals that approximately 60,000 Malaysian students are currently studying abroad. What’s more, an average of RM1,183  is lost annually per student from transfer-related fees, as reported by a local news daily.

Wise also ranked the 10 most expensive destinations to study abroad, both in terms of tuition costs and money lost to hidden fees. It found that international students globally overpaid approximately RM5.3 billion annually in hidden transfer fees when moving money across borders.

Malaysians spend more due to poor money transfer rates

Malaysian students spent the most money on education in the United States (US).  This amounts to an average annual cost of around RM130,470. This is even higher than the global average, Wise said, citing its internal data.

Australia and the United Kingdom, both of which are among the top five destinations for Malaysian students to pursue education, were also very expensive. Average annual cost for studying in these countries is between RM65,665 and RM77,221.

Singapore is also a popular destination among Malaysians for education, especially due to its close proximity. Wise’s research reveals that it is also among the costliest in terms of transfer fees.  Students lose RM3,719 on average every year when transferring money across border. Canada comes in second (RM1,336), followed by New Zealand (RM1,333), and the US (RM1,318).

Wise’s country manager for Malaysia Lim Paik Wan offered a few tips for Malaysian students to get a head start on saving more.

“The first thing to check when moving money internationally is the total cost which includes the upfront fee and exchange rate. The upfront fee may be advertised as low or even ‘free’, but be aware that it may not represent the actual total cost.

“Hidden fees can lie in the exchange rate, where providers tend to add an undisclosed markup instead of using the mid-market exchange rate,” she said.

Lim also urged students to take advantage of as many student-only offers and loyalty programmes as possible. These benefits can add up over time into something well worth the effort.

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