Question from User:
Hey Shrinivas. I have been reading your posts on facebook. They are really helpful. I will be coming to USA this fall. I had few queries. Hope you can solve them!
1) Which is the best way to pay fees? Wire transfers cost around 1500-1800 INR for each transaction. So, can we deposit money in our US bank account with a travel card and pay the fees?
Which is the cheapest mode to pay fees?
2) Should we take health insurance from India or should we take what the university offers? Indian insurance is quite cheap compared to university insurance! But I have heard that Indian insurance is not recognised by many hospitals in USA. What is your suggestion?
3) I am planning to change my major. Can I change it immediately after going there or will I have to wait for a semester?
Answer from Admin:
1) Firstly, with respect to the fees. My fees for a semester in Northeastern was 11000$. The forex card that I was using had a limit of 5000$. So I could not pay the fees using forex card. So I had to do a wire transfer to my bank account in USA and then I paid the fee. I didn’t do a direct wire transfer to the University account as it costed me more. I wire transfer directly to the University costed 49$ to be processing fees while a wire transfer to my account costed only 14$ processing fee.
My suggestion, if you can have the entire first semester fee in your forex card, then you must go ahead and use forex card to pay the fees. If you cannot have the fee amount in forex card, then I would suggest you to check the bank account that University is using and check the processing fee for the wired transfer for that bank.
My university uses Bank Of America which charges 49$ to be the processing fee and I have an account in Santander Bank which only charges 14$ as processing fee, so I told my father to transfer the amount into my account. I then transferred the fee from my account to the University account by swiping my debit card.
So if your forex card cannot hold the entire fee, then check the processing fee associated to transfer directly to the University account and transferring to your personal account. Whichever is cheap, go for it.
2) University health insurance is costly but i ideal to go for because it covers almost everything that no other insurance provider can cover. I took University insurance till the end of my program. They have doctors in the University itself who are ready to assist you whenever you are in need.
Do not go for Indian Insurance as you have to shell the amount out of your pocket first and then you will be reimbursed. Reimbursement is also a huge process and you need to fill lot of forms and it takes a lot of time. Generally not many things get covered in the Indian Insurance and I would suggest you not yo go for it.
Private Insurance in America is cheap depending on the plans and providers you choose. You don’t need to shell out any money as it is taken care of. But not everything gets covered as compared to University insurance. If you encounter any health issues, you must find a doctor nearby, take the appointment and other stuff. But if you have University health insurance, then you can directly go to the doctor in the University.
So if you are looking for cheaper insurance, go for private US Insurance providers. If you want good coverage then go for University Insurance.
3) Changing your major differs from one University to another. Certainly universities strictly don’t allow this transfer. I would give an example of my University (Northeastern). They allow students to transfer but they check the GPA and experience a student has in the major he/she wants to get transferred into. Certain Universities only check the GPA, if your GPA is above 3.3 then you can transfer to another major but you need to take certain pre-requisite courses.
So it pretty much depends on the University you are going into. Check with the university regarding the transfer/change of major policies.
I guess, I have answered to your queries. If you have any other doubts please use the comment box below.