Students and parents both worry about overseas studies, but for different reasons

Joe Cross

Joe Cross

As many American students begin or resume their studies in different countries, one thing they have in common with their parents is they are both worried about the experience, according to the results of a new survey.

What the two groups actually worry about is a different matter, international money transfer platform TransferWise discovered.

Students are most concerned about their ability to maximize the experience. Survey respondents listed gaining a broader world perspective (44 percent) and travel/adventure (38 percent) as their top reasons for studying outside the United States.

They recognize the cost of doing that. More than half (55 percent) cite money as their biggest fear about the experience.

More and more of them do not plan on sitting back and waiting for mom and dad to pay the tab, as 92 percent expect to contribute via a combination of student loan and employment savings.

The people with the money are not too worried about students running out, as only three percent of parents listed finances as a concern. Nearly three in four (72 percent) of parents plan on giving their kids an allowance on top of paying their tuition, while 38 percent will only cover tuition. A lucky 31 percent of students have parents who will cover both tuition and living expenses.

How parents provide those funds does vary. Almost half of respondents (46 percent) would give their kids a credit card, forty percent would use bank transfers while less than one in ten (nine percent) would wire it.

Parents’ fears center around their child’s physical safety, with 87 percent listing a physical safety issue such as terrorism (36 percent), illness or accident (33 percent) or crime (18 percent) as their biggest concern.

New technological developments not only help both sides keep in touch, they also make it easier to send money when needed, a TransferWise executive said.

“With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever for students to study abroad and still feel connected to their family and friends back home,” said Joe Cross, U.S. General Manager of TransferWise. “For parents, technology allows them to both check in on their child’s safety, and offer support from afar – money transfers, for example, can be completed with just a few clicks on a phone or computer. I’d be willing to bet that knowing that it’s quick and easy to financially support their kids from thousands of miles away leads to far less money-related stress for parents.”

Transferwise is built on the peer-to-peer model. People sending money upload it to Transferwise, which converts it at the mid-market rate and matches it with people sending it the other way. It can be up to eight times cheaper than using other methods.

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