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Best Ways to Receive Money from Home While Studying Abroad

Best Ways to Receive Money from Home While Studying Abroad

May 16, 2024 7 min read

Foreign student in university.

Studying abroad offers a chance to explore new cultures, gain valuable knowledge, and develop lifelong friendships.

However, managing finances can be a significant challenge for students abroad. From tuition fees and living expenses to travel and leisure, the costs can quickly add up.

Managing finances effectively is crucial for a successful and enjoyable experience. Read on to discover the best ways to receive money from home while studying abroad.

Bank Transfers for Students

To receive money via a bank transfer, the sender needs your bank account details, including:

  • Account number
  • Bank name
  • SWIFT/BIC code for international transfers

Cost Analysis

Fees for bank transfers vary depending on the sending and receiving banks, and whether the transfer is domestic or international. International bank transfers typically have higher fees, including a fixed fee and a percentage-based fee.

The impact of fees on the total amount received can be significant. For example, in the United States the median wire transfer fee for banks is $15 for incoming international wire transfers and $45 for outgoing international wire transfers, according to NerdWallet.

Speed of Transactions

Bank transfers can take 1-5 business days to process, depending on the sending and receiving banks, as well as the destination country. Processing times can be longer for international transfers, especially if they involve multiple banks or currencies. Time zones and bank holidays can also affect transfer speed.

Exchange Rates

Banks’ exchange rates for international transfers may not be as favorable as those offered by money transfer services or cryptocurrency platforms.

Reliability and Security

Banks have strict security measures in place to protect against fraud, identity theft, and unauthorized transactions. They also offer additional security features, such as encryption, two-factor authentication, and insurance coverage.

Accessibility and Convenience

Bank transfers are widely available and accessible, but they require the sender and the recipient to have bank accounts.

Money Transfer Services for Students

Money transfer services, such as Ria Money Transfer, provide a convenient way to receive money from abroad. These services allow the sender to transfer funds online, in-person, or through a mobile app. The recipient can collect the money in cash from a designated location or have it deposited directly into their bank account.

Cost Analysis

Money transfer services often have lower fees compared to traditional banks, making them a more cost-effective option for smaller transfers. Fees can vary depending on the service provider, the transfer amount, and the destination country. Some services also offer competitive exchange rates, further maximizing the amount received.

Speed of Transactions

Money transfer services often offer faster processing times than traditional banks, with some transfers completed within minutes.

Exchange Rates

Money transfer services offer competitive exchange rates for international transfers, and some even guarantee the exchange rate for a specific period.

Reliability and Security

Money transfer services have strict security measures in place to protect against fraud, identity theft, and unauthorized transactions. Additionally, the progress of the funds can often be tracked, assuring both the sender and the recipient about the exact arrival time.

Accessibility and Convenience

Money transfer services are very accessible, and they often offer user-friendly interfaces, quick account setup processes, and responsive customer support.

Cryptocurrency Transfers for Students

Cryptocurrency transfers, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, are becoming increasingly popular for international money transfers. This method involves sending digital currency from one wallet to another. To receive cryptocurrency, you need a digital wallet address, which acts as your unique identifier. Once the sender sends the funds to your wallet address, the transaction is verified and added to the blockchain, ensuring security and transparency.

Cost Analysis

Cryptocurrency transfers typically have lower fees compared to traditional bank transfers and money transfer services. Fees are usually based on the transaction size, not the transfer amount, making them a cost-effective option for larger transfers.

Speed of Transactions

Cryptocurrency transfers are typically completed within minutes, regardless of the transfer amount or destination country. However, processing times can vary depending on the cryptocurrency and the network congestion.

Exchange Rates

Cryptocurrency transfers often offer the best exchange rates for international transfers, as they are based on the market rate at the time of the transaction.

Reliability and Security

Cryptocurrency transfers are secured by the blockchain, which is a decentralized and distributed ledger that records all transactions. This makes cryptocurrency transfers highly secure and resistant to fraud and unauthorized transactions.

Accessibility and Convenience

Cryptocurrency transfers are accessible to anyone with an internet connection, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. For instance, you need a digital wallet that supports the specific cryptocurrency you want to use. You must do your research and choose a reputable wallet or exchange that meets your needs and offers the security features you require. Additionally, keep in mind that cryptocurrency transactions are irreversible, so it’s crucial to double-check the recipient’s address before sending funds.

International Money Orders for Students

International money orders involve purchasing a money order from a bank or a post office and sending it to the recipient’s address. The recipient can then cash the money order at their local bank or post office. International money orders are widely accepted and can be a convenient option for receiving small amounts. However, they may not be suitable for larger transactions due to their amount limit.

Cost Analysis

International money orders often have fixed fees, which can vary depending on the issuing bank or post office. For example, the United States Postal Service (USPS) charges $49.95 for issuing money orders, and there are additional destination-specific processing charges.

Speed of Transactions

International money orders can take 1-3 weeks to process, depending on the sending and receiving countries, as well as the postal service.

Exchange Rates

When the money order is cashed, the bank or provider processing it will use their own exchange rate, which is usually higher than the mid-market rate, meaning your recipient will receive less than the amount you initially sent.

Reliability and Security

International money orders are secured by the issuing bank or post office, which verifies the identity of the sender and the recipient. However, since money orders are comparatively less regulated than bank transfers, scams and fraud are more likely to occur.

Accessibility and Convenience

International money orders are accessible, but they require the sender and the recipient to visit a bank or post office. Additionally, they limit the maximum amount that can be sent per transaction to no more than $700 in the United States.

Mobile Payment Apps for Students

Mobile payment apps, such as Zelle or Venmo, allow users to send and receive money instantly using their mobile phones. To receive money, you need to create an account and link it to your bank account or debit card. Once the sender transfers the funds to your account, you can withdraw the money to your bank account or use it for online purchases.

Cost Analysis

With these apps, most person-to-person transactions are free, unless you use a credit card instead of a bank account or debit card. However, several apps charge a fee to transfer money from the app to your bank account.

Speed of Transactions

Mobile payment apps offer faster processing times than traditional banks and money transfer services, with some transfers completed within minutes.

Exchange Rates

Mobile payment apps often offer competitive exchange rates for international transfers, and some even guarantee the exchange rate for a specific period.

Reliability and Security

Mobile payment apps have strict security measures in place to protect against fraud, identity theft, and unauthorized transactions.

Accessibility and Convenience

Mobile payment apps are widely available and accessible, and they often offer user-friendly interfaces, quick account setup processes, and responsive customer support. Keep in mind the transfer limits, though. According to PC Mag, the apps have different limits on how much you can pay, but they usually increase your maximum allowed payment with more use. For instance, Venmo begins with a $300-per-week cap, but this cap can rise to $60,000 per week once you verify your identity. Zelle’s limits, however, are set by your bank.

How to Send Money with Ria

You can send money home with Ria through our retail network, online, and via the Ria Money Transfer app, depending on location. You can use cash, a bank account, or a debit/credit card to send money globally.

Follow these easy steps to get started:

  • Download the app for iOS or Android or go to riamoneytransfer.com
  • Create an account
  • Verify your identity –you’ll need a physical, government-issued photo ID.

To make a money transfer you’ll need the following information:

Recipient’s information:

  • Full name with last name (as they appear on the recipient’s official ID)
  • Phone number

Depending on where you’re sending money and the delivery method you choose, we might ask you to provide more information, such as:

  • Your recipient’s address
  • Their bank account details (account number and the name of the bank it belongs to).

Amount of money to send:

  • You can use the exchange rate calculator on the Ria website or mobile app to confirm the amount you are sending before sending.

Payment method:

  • If this is the first time you are making a transfer with Ria, we recommend having your credit or debit card handy to enter your payment details. You can save your card information in the app to transfer money even faster next time.

Payout method

  • Depending on their country, recipients can receive money transfers through bank deposits, cash pickup, mobile wallets, or home delivery.

At Ria Money Transfer, our mission is to get your money where it needs to go – in the quickest, most affordable, and easy way imaginable.

About the author

Gabriela Solis

Gabriela Solis is Ria's Senior Content Writer. Located in Querétaro, México, she focuses on telling stories that show the myriad human faces of remittances.

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