Studying abroad just got costlier

A weak rupee has hit the students studying abroad hard. A steep fall in exchange value of rupee is making them shell out an estimated Rs one lakh more for tuition fee. Their other expenses have also gone up due to depreciation of the domestic currency.

“Those who had enrolled themselves in different overseas universities in March-April have to pay their tuition fees around this time. From what they had budgeted in March, the tuition fee component itself would have gone up by at least Rs one lakh. In March, the rupee was around 65 and now it is at 72. Tuition fee in most of the universities is upward $15,000 and due to rupee depreciation they will have shell out at least Rs one lakh more,’ said Suresh Kumar, director, Truematics, an overseas education consultancy firm. Some of the universities provide the option to pay the tuition fee in instalments.
But students prefer to pay it in one-go as they fear that the rupee will further weaken in the near future. “We advise them to make part payments. But they are worried about the rupee and do not want to lose more,” he added.

Overseas education consultants also ask students to budget their ex­penses keeping in mind that the rupee would weaken at least Rs 5 more than the current levels. For other expenses, including travel and stay, students will have to cough up at least Rs 25,000 more, said Kumar. In order to cut other expenses, several students are travelling alone without their parents.

Students who have already enrolled are going ahead with their plans. “As far as student travel is concerned, while people are talking about the devaluation of the rupee, the demand for these is largely inelastic , so there hasn’t been any negative impact seen so far,” said  Kapil Goswamy, chiarman and managing director of BigBreaks.

However, many students who have been planning to take up an overseas course will rethink about it. “The unstable rupee and ever-increasing expenses will see lesser students opt for overseas education courses. We expect student travel to come down by 20 per cent going ahead,” said Suresh Kumar.

Sangeetha G.