As colleges and universities overseas begin accepting foreign students, the rush of students has begun from India to various foreign universities has started in earnest. A report by Thomas Cook India, a leading travel firm in the country, says that demand for international education segment has already raced ahead, beyond the 2019 level and currently exceeds it by as much as 35 pc.
To target this high potential growth, Thomas Cook says it has launched an attractive contest with a host of assured prizes for students. In the competition, every month, three lucky winners will get a chance to win flight tickets to their study destination; with one student winning a pair of bluetooth earpods daily. In addition to this, every foreign exchange transaction comes with special discounts on select partner brands. The Study Buddy contest is live across Thomas Cook India’s hybrid omnichannel network till September 30, says a press release by Thomas Cook.
The company says that foreign exchange comprises a key business line and the student segment is a major contributor, with a dominant market share in the country. The company’s internal data reveals strong resurgence with a powerful uptick of over 50 pc v/s pre-pandemic levels. To capitalise on the student opportunity in addition to the contest, the company has enhanced its ‘Study Buddy’ programme to offer students a range of benefits.
“The overseas education segment offers significant and growing potential and this is an opportunity that we intend to leverage to the maximum. Through our Study Buddy contest, we aim to accelerate demand for our range of products & services including Student Fee Remittances, Gharpe Forex – delivery in 2 hours, prepaid card reloads, etc. with assured prizes and free tickets to their study destination,” says Deepesh Verma, Senior Vice-President – Foreign Exchange.
“Our unique Study Buddy portfolio empowers our students whether based in India’s metros or Tier 2-4 cities and towns with the convenience and choice of our phygital network: they get to choose their preferred mode of interaction, be it our online forex store, call center, or extensive physical presence – over 100 stores in 65 cities across the Country,” adds Verma.
In an interview with India Outbound, Verma explains that an Indian students’ forex requirement begins right from the time of application for overseas education to university fees or living expenses. He adds that the average forex amount depends on the country selected for higher education. For instance, for the United States, a student requires foreign exchange equivalent to anywhere between INR 2.3 to 4 million, INR 1.5—4 million for Canada, INR 2- 3 million for Australia, and above INR 1.5 million for Europe.
“The year 2022 has seen a significant uptick in our overseas education segment with USA, Canada and Australia topping the leader board, followed by the UK, New Zealand and Germany. Together, these countries attract 80 pc of our overall overseas education portfolio,” adds Verma.
According to Verma, the top five currencies opted for by Indian students are United States Dollar (USD), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Australian Dollar (AUD), Great Britain Pound (GBP), New Zealand Dollar (NZD) and Euro (EUR).
“Our forex business continues to witness strong growth and our student segment is a major contributor with a powerful growth of over 50 pc v/s pre-pandemic levels and we have not witnessed an impact due to the depreciation of the rupee,” concludes Verma.