Studying abroad comes with a lot of other official work, like getting a bank account in the new country, lodging and various other things. Saurabh Arora, Founder and CEO, University Living, in an interview to Aparajita Gupta, explains how his company is trying to become an end-to-end solution for everything.
Before joining the institution of their choice, students opting to study abroad have to make several international payments even before they begin with their academic journey. For instance, the first installment of their tuition fee has to be cleared for them to join the university.
Then there are the inevitable board and lodging expenses, which require them to pay the security deposit for their student accommodation. Depending on the accommodation they have chosen, international students are also required to make the entire annual payment or if their payment schedule is staggered periodically, pay the first rental installment.
This is exactly where University Living steps into the picture. We help students make these payments in a secure, hassle-free manner. Through our various partnerships, we also help them avail required financial services to meet their international expenditure.
We have partnered with a leading forex solutions provider, to help students obtain foreign currency of their choice during their stay abroad. Through this partnership, students on the University Living platform gain access to all major currencies. These include the Great Britain Pound, the US Dollar, Euro, Dirham, the Australian Dollar, the Canadian Dollar, the New Zealand Dollar, and the Singaporean Dollar, to name just a few.
At University Living, we have created a well-integrated, end-to-end ecosystem of partners and service providers. This allows us to cater to the various requirements that Indian students might have during the tenure of their stay at major international study destinations.
For instance, through our partners, we assist Indian students to set up a student bank account in the UK even before they move to the country. These bank accounts provide them the option of linking their debit card to either their permanent address in India or to their student accommodation in the UK. Since these accounts are active by the time the student leaves India, it also allows them to seamlessly and securely make various international payments such as tuition fee, accommodation rent.
The guarantor service helps to spread out the financial burden that Indian students typically face while making their move abroad. In countries such as the UK, international students are required to pay the total rent for their student accommodation upfront unless they know a UK citizen willing to act as their guarantor. The guarantor is legally responsible for covering the rent if a student fails to do so. The guarantor service by University Living connects these students with local UK citizens who act as professional guarantors, thus enabling them to pay their accommodation rent in easy, manageable installments rather than in one go.
Our forex solutions are currently available to Indian students across the world. Certain other services, such as setting up a student bank account and guarantor support, are only available to UK-bound Indian students at the moment.