No choice but to tighten their belts

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 13 Aug 2015

More economical drive: Friends Alyson Katrine Oh Eling, 22, and Mohammad Ikhnul Azrin, 23, comparing prices of Perodua cars at the Perodua Sales Petaling Jaya branch in Section 19.

PETALING JAYA: Many students studying overseas will have no choice but to tighten their belts to deal with the ringgit slump.

University of California, San Diego student Nicholas Yee said he had made all the arrangements to study abroad and it was too late to back out now.

“I will have to be more careful with my expenditure. I will also be working on campus to take care of my expenses,” said the first year student, who will be flying to the United States next month.

Another student, Ang Jer Weanne, said she would be cooking more often as eating out would cost significantly more.

“I have a full scholarship so it is not so bad but I will have to be more careful of other expenses.

“In terms of accommodation, I don’t have a choice because I’ve already signed the tenancy agreement. It is going to be more expensive,” said the student who is studying genetics in University of Wisconsin.

Computer engineering student Arunan Balakrishnan, who is nowinto his third year in a university in Buffalo, in the United States, said he would have to pay RM44,000 per semester due to the drop in the ringgit.

“When I left the country in 2013, the rate was at 3.15, so it is quite a significant increase.

“To make matters worse, my fees which stand at US$10,000 to US$15,000 per semester, will only keep increasing until I finish my studies,” the 26- year-old said.

Arunan said that in addition to fees, travelling home from the US will cost him RM1,500 more one way now.

Magazine Journalism student Punithavathy Muthukumar said even a night out with friends now required budgeting.

“With the current exchange rate, it just makes me cringe every time a friend calls me out for drinks,” said the 26-year-old, who studies at University of Sunderland, the United Kingdom.

Medical student Surenthiran Krishnamoorthy, 23, said it was easy to cut down on food and shopping but certain things were a must, like hostel fees, travelling expenses and books.

He said that although he was studying medicine in Russia, his fees were paid in US dollars, adding that it cost US$6,500 a year.

“Last year, the exchange rate was RM2.80. Now it’s RM3.97. It’s ridiculous,” he said.

He said he was lucky his father’s logistics business was doing well but he would try to find ways to cope with the cost of living in Russia.

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Education , ringgit drop , students , overseas


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