Best Banking Solutions for Students Studying Abroad

Studying abroad: What a current account abroad must be able to do

If you’re studying abroad, you also need the right checking account, because you can do without unnecessary fees. Here we explain what a checking account abroad must be able to do.

Today, a semester abroad is no longer just a matter of good form, but has long since become an obligation in many courses of study. And all sorts of things need to be taken into account. You need accommodation, insurance, vaccinations if necessary. And also a student current account, which is fit for the foreign assignment, because it is not quite easy and often not possible to open an account at a bank in the respective country, if you are not a citizen.

Current account abroad: What it must be able to do

It is important that the current account abroad functions largely free of charge. This means that you can pay cashless with the Girocard or (and this is the rule) with your credit card, whether Mastercard or VISA, and you can also withdraw cash at the machine without paying unnecessary fees, so that this works free of charge. In the best case you can even withdraw foreign currency (if you are not travelling in a Euroland) for free, but this is rare. You will also need to be able to do your banking and there are usually no Sparkasse branches in Spain, China or Norway. So online banking must be possible everywhere. But that’s normal nowadays anyway, so there shouldn’t be any problems here. A tip: Get the ISIC International Student Card, with which you get special student discounts in many countries.

Credit Card for Students Abroad: What You Have to Pay Attention to

Of course, a credit card is often directly linked to the current account you are using. Nevertheless, one should take another look at it here, because, as already mentioned, with a savings bank Girocard, one does not get far in many countries. So you should first see if and how much fees your credit card charges when withdrawing and paying abroad.
Important: In many cases a distinction is made between European and non-European countries! Therefore, if you are considering a change of account/credit card, you should also make your choice according to where your trip is going.

Beware of fees from vending machine operators and foreign deployment fees

Even if the account is initially cheap and there is a credit card on top of it, you have to stay alert and take a close look at the details of the offers. The decisive factor is how the banks withdraw the money or calculate the payment abroad. The so-called foreign assignment money fluctuates greatly between different providers and can, for example, also differ between EU foreign countries and non-European foreign countries.

Another cost factor that needs to be considered is the fee model used by various vending machine operators. Because not only banks want to collect fees, also the operators of certain ATMs sometimes want money for withdrawing money from them. The banking institutions do not necessarily have much influence on this. In order to avoid these charges as far as possible, there are different approaches.

1. check the conditions of your own credit card before you start your journey, when do charges apply?
2. In non-euro countries, you should definitely do without the conversion into euros at the local machine, as fees are added here.
3. An account which generally allows free withdrawals abroad, also makes sense.
4. Check whether there are banks abroad where you can withdraw money free of charge with your own EC card.