Neha Ghai, Head of NRI, Middle East at HSBC at a fireside chat on the second day of Gulf News Edufair 2024 in Dubai Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

In today's globalised world, the pursuit of higher education often transcends borders, presenting both opportunities and challenges for students and their families. As the demand for international education continues to rise, so does the need for reliable financial partners to navigate the complexities of studying abroad.

"Navigating the path of studying abroad can be challenging but immensely rewarding," said Neha Ghai, Head of NRI, Middle East at HSBC at a fireside chat on the second day of Gulf News Edufair 2024 in Dubai. "With concerns ranging from financial to health and safety, it is important for parents to meticulously plan and budget for their child's overseas education at least five to seven years ahead, seeking expert guidance when necessary.”

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Acknowledging the immense pride parents take in providing the best education for their children and the multifaceted process it entails, from securing funding to ensuring their well-being while overseas, Neha emphasised the importance of meticulous planning and budgeting.

“For parents preparing to send their children abroad, starting with financial basics, instilling responsibility early on, and ensuring they have access to banking services overseas are important,” she said. She underscored the significance of staying connected and maintaining well-being throughout the transition, advocating for comprehensive insurance coverage to mitigate unexpected challenges.

“Securing comprehensive insurance before their departure provides parents the security that health needs and other unexpected circumstances will be covered and that children will be able to pursue their academic goals and focus on school activities with the least stress,” she said.

In terms of caution for students, Ghai warned against financial scams, stressing the importance of enhancing financial literacy to safeguard against fraud. She advised students to be vigilant and recognise red flags to protect their financial security. “Help them recognise red flags such as sharing one-time passwords (OTPs), their bank account pins, passwords, or any confidential information.”

As for HSBC's role, Ghai highlighted the bank's extensive presence in the MENAT region and its International Banking Proposition. With promises of simpler account opening, cross-border payments, financial planning, and 24-hour global support, HSBC aims to ease banking for parents and children embarking on the journey of studying abroad, providing a reliable partner every step of the way, she added.