What is an ABA Routing Number

If you’re planning on transferring money to the USA, you’re going to need an ABA Routing Number in order for the transaction to go through successfully. But, if like many you’ve never heard of an ABA Routing Number, what it looks like or how to obtain one, you’re going to find sending your funds across the pond a little difficult. However, Universal Partners FX is here to help.aa

What is an ABA Routing Number?

So, first things first, an ABA Routing Number is a nine-digit code that is used to identify a United States bank. Each and every bank or financial institution in the States has an ABA Routing number, which is used by both domestic and international banks to locate the specific branch for payments to be made. Different states and regions within the United States possess different Routing Numbers, making it imperative that the correct code is entered when a payment to a US bank account is made.

An ABA Routing Number is made up of digits that identify the bank’s location as well as the Federal Reserve check processing centre that serves that specific bank.

Is an ABA Routing Number the same as a Routing Number?

Often referred to as simply a Routing Number, an ABA has several names that banks across the world use to refer to; including a Bank Routing Number and a Routing Transit Number (RTN). This obviously can lead to some confusion if and when you are dealing with different banks and financial institutions as each of them may use a different name when discussing your money transfer. These are all interchangeable, however, so just know that they are all referring to an ABA when they use these different names.

Ensuring a safe and secure money transfer

In order to send money to the USA quickly and safely, you will need to acquire the ABA Routing Number of the bank account belonging to the recipient of your transfer. If you choose to send your money through Fedwire, the transfer system operated by the US Federal Reserve Banks, you will require an ABA Routing Number. If you choose to send your funds through a SWIFT system using a BIC/SWIFT code, then a Routing Number can be provided to you optionally.

Finding an ABA Routing Number

Hopefully, when sending money to the United States, the recipient will have provided you with their Routing Number before making the payment. If for some reason, they are unsure of where to find their Routing Number, it can typically be found in the lower left-hand corner of each cheque in their cheque book. In the event that recipient is unable to provide an ABA Routing Number form their cheque book, they can find it in the account section of their online banking. If they are still unable to find their Routing Number, then you will have to get in touch with your bank in order for them to calculate the code for you prior to making your payment.

Sending money to the USA with Universal Partners FX

If you choose to send money stateside using your bank, be prepared to pay additional transaction fees on top of a poor exchange rate. With Universal Partners FX, these worries are a thing of the past. When you choose to send money internationally with us, you will receive zero transaction fees and bank-beating rates that ensure you get more for your money. Simply tell us the amount you would like to transfer and your currency pairing to receive a FREE, no-obligation quote.

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For more information on how Universal Partners FX can help with your transfer to the United States, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our foreign exchange experts today.

What is the World Trade Organisation

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) can be seen as a number of different things. The first is a global organisation that deals with and monitors the rules of trade between nations, the second is a forum for governments across the world to negotiate trade agreements, and finally, it’s a place to settle trade disagreements. At the epicentre of the WTO lies the WTO agreements, which are negotiated and signed by the majority of the world’s trading nations and endorsed by their parliaments. The ultimate goal of the WTO is to ensure that trade between these nations flows as ‘smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.’

So, when was the WTO created? The World Trade Organisation was formed as a result of the 1986-94 negotiations known as the Uruguay Round negotiations and earlier negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which was established by a multilateral treaty of 23 countries in 1947 after the second World War. At the Uruguay Round negotiations, talks were aimed to extend the trading systems between nations into several new areas, most notably in services and intellectual property and to reform trade in the sensitive sectors of agriculture and textiles. With the final act officially establishing the WTO regime being signed 15th April 1994, known as the Marrakesh Agreement.

Functions of the WTO

Despite the WTO being driven by its member states, there’s no way that it would be able to function without its Secretariat to coordinate and organise the activities which are to be carried out. The Secretariat is made up of over 600 members of staff, including experts in law, the economy, statistics and communications, all of whom assist WTO members on a daily basis to ensure negotiations are conducted smoothly and that rules of trade are correctly applied and enforced. Functions include:

  • Trade Negotiations – WTO agreements cover goods, services and intellectual property. These spell out the principles of liberalisation and the exceptions that are allowed. They consist of individual countries’ commitments to lower customs tariffs and other barriers of trade and to open and keep open services markets as well as setting the procedures for settling trade disputes. These agreements, however, are not static. They are renegotiated from time to time where new agreements are added to the package.
  • Implementation & Monitoring – WTO agreements require governments to make their trade policies clear by letting the WTO know about laws in force and measures adopted. A number of WTO councils and committees ensure that these requirements are strictly followed and that agreements are properly implemented. Each member of the WTO must undertake occasional scrutiny of their trade policies and processes, each review containing reports by the member state concerned and the WTO Secretariat.
  • Dispute Settlement – To ensure that trade between member states of the World Trade Organisation runs smoothly, it is vital that the procedure for resolving trade quarrels are enforced accordingly. Countries bring their disputes to the WTO if they believe their rights under the agreements are being violated. Independent experts are appointed to make judgements based on interpretations of agreements and individual countries’ agreements.
  • Building Trade Capacity – WTO agreements include special provisions for developing countries such as measures to increase their trading opportunities, longer time periods to implement agreements and support to enable them to build trade capacity. The World Trade Organisation organises hundreds of technical cooperation missions to developing countries every year. Aid for Trade aims to assist developing countries to develop the infrastructure and skills needed to build their trade.
  • Outreach – In order to enhance cooperation and increasing awareness of various WTO activities, the World Trade Organisation conducts regular dialogue and communication with non-governmental organisations, parliamentarians, the media and the general public.

All of these activities are performed for a number of reasons and to achieve several goals, including:

  • Non-discrimination between trading counties
  • Enabling trade to be more inclusive with lowered barriers
  • Creating predictability and transparency of trade to encourage investment
  • Increasing competitiveness
  • Providing an advantage for developing countries
  • Protecting the environment

For more information on the World Trade Organisation, who they are, what they do and what they stand for, be sure to visit the official WTO website below.

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Overseas Property Investment

For some, overseas property investment provides some hard-to-turn-down benefits such as greater claims to capital growth and increased rental yields than buy-to-let property in the UK. Making it a very lucrative opportunity, as well as providing investors with the added advantage of having their very own holiday home that they can visit. If the right decisions are made at the right times, overseas property investment can offer huge financial rewards.

But, before you can pursue your goals of owning a property abroad, there are several things that you will need to bear in mind, such as taxes surrounding property ownership, foreign laws, rent charges and more. So, let’s take a look a some of these things in more detail.

Location, location, location

For newcomers to the property investment game, the location of where their investment will be made is often the first thing to think about. To make your investment a successful one, you’re going to have to think long-term. Many experts will reiterate the fact that certain locations have the reputation of being property hotspots, where if timed properly, you will be able to snatch a bargain when prices have fallen. However, it is advised to invest your money in more established markets that offer longer-term benefits and sustained returns.

General overseas property investment considerations

When looking for the perfect property to invest in, there are a number of things that you will definitely need to think about. These include if your property will be used as a holiday home. If it will be rented out. If the cost of living will change over time and if certain foreign ownership laws will be involved.

If you’re choosing to rent your property out as a holiday home, you’ll need to ensure the property is easily accessible with good local amenities and is located in a popular area with local tourists. Be sure to take holiday seasons into account as many tourist destinations shut down and become quieter during ‘out of season’ months.

Be sure to look into properties of a similar nature in the surrounding area to get an idea and taste of what the general rate in the market is. Despite global property price trends occurring, it is important to know how property markets in specific locations are performing and they themselves can go through peaks and troughs. Take time to learn how many weeks per year similar properties are occupied, to give you an idea of what to expect if and when you decide to proceed with your overseas property investment.

Mortgages

It can be difficult to find the right financing option when buying an overseas property, especially since some countries might not offer financing options at all. In some parts of the world, banks cannot accept a foreign asset as a security loan, so you may not be able to get a standard mortgage from your domestic bank the way you would for a local property purchase. Other international regulations may prohibit banks from even initiating the process with a client regarding a mortgage if the client is based in another country. So, what’s the best way to get a mortgage for your overseas property investment?

Whilst traditional bank financing might not be an option for overseas assets like it is for domestic property purchases, developer financing may be available when there aren’t any other options. Other payment methods may be available such as using retirement funds or pulling equity from your primary residence in your home country. You may also qualify for personal or business loans that you can use to pay for your overseas property down payment. A number of UK banks offer mortgages for international borrowers if you are able to maintain a minimum bank balance at a designated threshold.

Taxes

The amount of tax that you will be required to pay on your overseas property investment needs to be factored into your decision-making process. Some countries impose property taxes, others do not. Some countries may also levy taxes if you leave your property vacant for a certain amount of time in the year. If planning to rent, you may be required to declare that rental income to your home country and the country where your property is located. Unless there are double taxation agreements in place, you could find some issues with tax in two separate countries. When preparing to sell your property, you’ll need to be aware of both domestic and foreign taxes on capital gains. Foreign taxes are complicated and consequences can be steep for failing to declare assets that wouldn’t otherwise be taxed.

Maintenance

When buying an overseas property to make a profit, there is no need to relocate permanently. Meaning your property may well be empty for a significant amount of time. As a result, you will need to think about maintenance and security. One of the best ways to do this is to employ a local property management firm that can make regular visits to check on the premises and conduct the relevant duties to keep the property in a good condition. Despite this requiring some additional investment, it can help to save huge amounts of money and safeguard your assets.

Overseas property investment resources

A vital part of investing successfully and safely in overseas property is finding and taking appropriate advice from the right people. An overseas property management firm is a great start but ultimately is just one cog in the machine. To ensure you get the most out of your investment, you’ll need to tap into a variety of different areas, gathering the expertise from various professionals. Such as:

  • Financial planning & tax advisor
  • Independent legal advisor
  • International accountant
  • Currency transfer specialist

By securing the services of these different resources, you will be able to identify and prevent potential money-losing situations during your overseas property investment journey, especially when it comes to sending money overseas. Universal Partners FX can help you get more for your money when the time comes for you to transfer funds abroad with our bank-beating exchange rates, zero transactions fees and 24/7 expert support.  

Our simple-to-use online platform allows you to send your funds swiftly to a chosen recipient in a secure manner. Whether it’s a one-off or a regular payment, we can you to save money by avoiding high street bank transaction fees and poor exchange rates. Simply sign up for a personal or business account with us today to get started on your overseas property investment. Click below to learn more about how our foreign exchange services can help when buying a property overseas.Buying a Property Overseas >

 

Studying in Japan

According to Japan-Guide.com, there are approximately 300k international students currently studying in Japanese universities, junior colleges, professional schools and other Nipponese institutions.

However, the majority of these students are from neighbouring countries within Asia, such as China and Vietnam, and the contingent of UK students in that mix is relatively slim. As such, Japan remains a relatively untapped resource for Brits looking to study abroad.

Boasting a respectful culture, low crime rates and a unique mix of tradition and futuristic technology, Japan is a truly great country to visit and an equally fantastic place to study.

Why Study in Japan?

While the country of Japan can be a huge draw in its own right, there are a number of other valid and reasons that make Japan an attractive destination for those seriously considering studying abroad.

Japan is globally-recognised for its status as a high-quality educational destination. In fact, both Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo are commonly ranked within the top 100 universities in the entire world by Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings, achieving positions of 65 and 36 respectively in the 2020 standings.

That being said there’s more to Japan’s educational institutions that just those in THE’s rankings. When it comes to the best Japanese universities for international students, factors like English-speaking lecturers and exchange partnerships with global institutions can play a huge role.

Cost of Study in Japan

According to international student resource site Japan Study Support, monthly expenses for international students in Japan comes to about 138,000 yen on average. That translates to just under £1k/month.

While that figure may seem expensive, it’s important to remember that it also includes tuition fees, which are typically between £3k and £5k a year for most pubic universities. As such, living expenses are typically between £550 and £650 a month, depending on where you are based.

By contrast, Times Higher Education reports that international students attending university in the UK paid between £10,000 and £35,000 annually for lecture-based undergraduate degrees in 2017, without even taking into account the cost of living.

How to Study in Japan

Anyone looking to spend a prolonged amount of time in a foreign country should keep in mind the relevant visa requirements of the destination in question and Japan is no different.

While a British passport will allow you to enter Japan as a visitor for up to 90 days; however, international students wishing to study in Japan for longer than three months will need to apply for a visa.

Before you can apply for a Japanese visa, applicants will require their educational institution to act as their sponsor, while applicants will also need to prove they are financially prepared to cover the relevant living expenses associated with their stay.

A Japanese study visa can be obtained from the Embassy of Japan in the UK. Applicants must visit the embassy – located in London – in person, bringing the required documentation (passport, visa application form, etc.) with them for processing.

Applicants living in Scotland or select districts in northern England (e.g. Newcastle upon Tyne) are able to apply in person at the Consulate General of Japan in Edinburgh, with similar requirements necessary.

Temporary visitors are not permitted to engage in any paid activities while staying in Japan unless stated otherwise by the immigration office. Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that even if permission is granted, it’s likely there will be a limit placed on those working hours.

Money in Japan

Once you have arranged a Japanese visa and your journey is beginning to take shape, you may find that you need to transfer money to Japan prior to touching down on Japanese soil. This could be for a variety of reasons, such as paying for fees and services ahead of time (e.g. accommodation).

At Universal Partners FX, we know that opting to study in Japan is a big decision, requiring substantial planning, preparation and patience in the build-up. As such, we aim to take the pressure off by making transferring money to Japan a piece of jiggly cake, with no hidden transaction fees and no nasty surprises along the way.

To transfer money to Japan, follow this simple three-step process:

  1. Register for free
  2. Secure your exchange rate
  3. We make your payment

For further peace of mind, our services are even backed by a 5-star rating from independent review site Feefo. Using our money transfer services, you can send money to Japan quickly, safely and easily in just a few clicks.

Say “sayonara” to hidden transfer fees today by saying “Konnichiwa” to Universal Partners FX.

For more information on studying in Japan or to find out more about sending money to Japan, drop us a line today by calling 020 7190 9559. Alternatively, feel free to get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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Sterling has hit an 18-month high against the US dollar and a three-year high against the euro after the Conservative party won the general election with a majority. Investors have welcomed the results as the Prime Minister’s majority means clarity and certainty on Brexit. The pound’s surge vs the US dollar is one of the biggest gains in a decade and economists are now predicting that sterling could strengthen even further.

Since the release of Thursday night’s exit poll clearly showing Boris Johnson was expected to win the election, the pound has gained strength, both against the US dollar and the euro. Now investors are hopeful that Brexit will be delivered on time by the end of January 2020 with Johnson’s Brexit deal.

Conservative triumph: Best outcome for the markets

According to financial analyst at MUFG, Lee Hardman, the election is “the best outcome for financial markets in the near-term. It brings a clear end to the Brexit deadlock in parliament, which will be welcomed and help to ease some of the ongoing uncertainty. The risk of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit will pushed out until the end to next year, and the new government will not be as reliant on securing support from hard Brexiteers during future negotiations. The pound is well placed to extend its advance even after recent strong gains.”

However, other economists are warning that the possibility of a no-deal Brexit in 2020 will put more pressure on the economy. Paul Dales of Capital Economics said that “The majority confirmed in Parliament will allow Johnson to pass his Brexit deal, which would mean the UK leaves the EU on 31st January and enters a status quo transition period until 31st December 2020. A fiscal stimulus of £20bn per year (1% of GDP) may then follow in a Budget in February. But this probably won’t unleash a tidal wave of business investment that leads to much faster GDP growth, much higher interest rates and a much bigger rise in pound than the gain … already seen. That’s because businesses will fear that the UK could end up trading with the EU on WTO terms after 31st December 2020, the immediate effects of which would be similar to those of a ‘no deal.’”

While many investors and analysts have highlighted the uncertainty regarding the next phase of Brexit and the future relationship the UK will negotiate with the EU, nonetheless, the Conservative’s victory is the ideal result for businesses as a clear majority eliminates the risk of a hung parliament and Corbyn’s radical politics, and eases anxiety about Brexit.

Getting Brexit done

This is why, the next step would be for the Prime Minister to secure the right deal with the EU so that businesses can thrive. The Institute of Directors, for example, is asking Johnson to give time to businesses to adjust and secure the right deal with the EU rather than just any deal. Jonathan Geldart, director general of the Institute of Directors, said:

“Business leaders’ thoughts will immediately be turning to Brexit. For directors, ‘Get Brexit Done’ will only have meaning once the details of our long-term future relationship with the EU are clear, they need a framework to plan for the future from. The Prime Minister must resist the urge for arbitrary negotiating deadlines, and should commit to a proper adjustment period that starts when businesses know the full detail of what changes they may be facing. Our members have made clear that the content and shape of any new deal are much more important than simply the speed in getting there.”

Not only the markets, but also the US president welcomed the results. Donald Trump tweeted: “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on his great WIN! Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after BREXIT. This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U. Celebrate Boris!”

Indeed, with the election results, the UK has demonstrated its preference for Johnson’s clear-cut logic for getting Brexit done and its distaste for Corbyn’s left-wing policies. At the same time, analysts are cautious about the dampening effect Brexit has had on growth and the uncertainty it will continue to exert on the economy as the UK strives to secure a trade deal.

Transferring money overseas?

If you are transferring money overseas and want to protect your funds from currency fluctuations, then getting in touch with currency exchange specialists Universal Partners FX, will provide you with the certainty and security you need. UPFX monitors the markets and offers strategies to manage market volatility so you always know your money is delivered fast and securely. For more information, visit their website or give them a call.  

Transferring Money To A Foreign Bank Account

Whether you’re looking to purchase a property overseas, pay international bills or are interested in foreign investment, one thing that is pretty much standard for all of these things is that you will have to send money abroad and most likely will need to transfer the funds to a foreign bank account.

To begin transferring money to a foreign bank account with Universal Partners FX, follow these simple steps:

  • Sign-up for a personal account or business account
  • Log-in to check our live exchange rates and secure a quote for your currency transfer
  • Submit the details of your bank and the foreign bank account you’d like to transfer the money to
  • Finalise and submit your transaction

Yes, transferring money to a foreign bank account with us is really that easy. You can choose to set-up a single or recurring transaction through our online money platform, providing you with fast and secure money transfers.

Why choose Universal Partners FX?

When a person needs to send funds abroad, they will typically head down to their bank and start the process there as it seems the most convenient way to do so. Unfortunately, despite the convenience that banks offer, they often charge higher margins above the daily exchange rate to account for risk as well as adding a substantial transfer fee. By choosing Universal Partners FX to transfer your money to a foreign bank account you gain access to several benefits, including:

  • Receiving a quote for your transfer based on live exchange rates at a decreased margin that banks typically offer
  • Swift, secure transfers that allow your money to arrive at its destination safely
  • Take advantage of our currency transfer services such as spot transactions where you are able to target a specific exchange rate
  • 24/7 customer support from one of our foreign exchange experts
  • Access to our innovative online money platform

As well as providing a more cost-effective and supportive method of transferring money to a foreign bank account, we also offer access to a range of risk management strategies such as forward contracts and hedging plans that help to protect you against volatile market fluctuations.

Making your life easier

When you choose to send money abroad, it can often be quite a confusing process with so many names and different banking codes needed to complete a transaction. That’s why by choosing Universal Partners FX instead of a typical foreign exchange provider, you are able to complete your overseas transfer in a simple way that’s easy to understand. Our online registration can be completed in just a few minutes and will guide you through the entire process so that you know exactly what information is needed to ensure your transfer goes through successfully.

Just a few steps away

Once you’ve signed up for an account with us and it is active, you are then able to send your funds to us to transfer to a foreign bank account of your choice. The entire process usually takes 1-5 business days depending on the country you’re transferring to and the currency pairing. Whether it’s for personal or business reasons, you shouldn’t think twice about choosing Universal Partners FX when transferring money to a foreign bank account.

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The British pound has dropped against the US dollar after the latest YouGov poll predicted 20 fewer seats for the Conservatives.

As polls open on Thursday morning, it is anyone’s guess what the results of the general election will be as the Conservatives could be winning with a majority or facing the risk of a hung parliament. 

After the release on Tuesday night of the YouGov MRP poll, a detailed constituency-by-constituency poll which predicted a reduced majority for Boris Johnson, the election is expected to be a very close-fought one.

As the Prime Minister himself stated, “This is a very close-fought election, and we need every vote. The only mathematical alternative to a working majority for a Conservative government is the real, real risk of another hung parliament. That’s another five years of confusion, chaos, dither and delay. We cannot go down that route.”

The prospect of a hung parliament could threaten PM Boris Johnson’s ability to deliver Brexit on time and will continue to put more pressure on the GBP.

YouGov poll

The YouGov poll puts the Conservatives on 43% and Labour on 34%, after gaining two points, without ruling out the possibility of a hung parliament. The survey was based on more than 100,000 interviews conducted the last six days. The result shows Johnson’s notional majority being cut from 68 to 28, with his party’s seat count falling to 339 and Labour’s improving to 231.

The YouGov poll used the MRP method (modelling technique called multilevel regression and post-stratification), which bases a result for each constituency by creating a profile for how different demographic groups might vote.

The gains for Labour come from London’s Putney and Chipping Barnet, while the Conservatives’ gains come from Labour in the Midlands and north of England.

Time is limited

According to Reuters, “Sterling’s rally will be limited even if U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wins a parliamentary majority in the general election and finds a way to pass the withdrawal bill by Jan. 31. That’s because the clock is ticking on a trade agreement in a transition period that runs out at the end of 2020. Any longer-term economic and Brexit uncertainty can increase the chance of a Bank of England rate cut next year, which would weigh on the currency and prop up gilts.”

In the case of a Conservative Majority, the pound will continue to be under pressure due to the threat of a no-deal Brexit and the risk of reaching a trade agreement by next year. The prospect a 2020 rate cut is also real, especially with a hard Brexit and the ensuing weak economic conditions, as Market Live strategists predict.

The possibility of a hung parliament will complicate things even further, spread uncertainty and hurt the pound, while making the passing of Johnson’s deal very difficult.

Another outcome, according to Reuters, is Labour forming a government, requesting a Brexit extension and holding a second referendum, which is seen as the worst-case scenario, with the pound falling significantly.

With the release of the latest GDP figures showing that the economy has stagnated due to Brexit uncertainty, failing to grow during the August-October period, economists have criticised the ongoing Brexit chaos and the global economic slowdown. So, while the elections have temporarily boosted the pound on hopes of a Conservative majority, the long-term economic prospects appear to be grim for the economy.

Whether the pound lifts or continues to fluctuate due to Brexit uncertainty, you have the choice of taking control of your finances by contacting a foreign exchange specialist such as Universal Partners FX. UPFX can protect your money from currency volatility, providing you with the certainty you need while minimising the risk when transferring your funds overseas. Get in touch with their currency exchange brokers to find out how much you can save on your international money transfers.

Benefits of Studying Abroad

Taking the plunge and making the move to study abroad can be a big decision for anyone to make.

Fear of the unknown is an understandable apprehension to have and willingly signing up for an extended period in a foreign land can be a daunting prospect.

With that being said, life’s biggest journeys start with a single step and there is a myriad of benefits of studying abroad that far outweigh the initial nerve-racking jitters.

How so? Read on to find out.

Why Study Abroad?

In addition to the obvious education benefits of studying abroad, the experience itself brings with it a whole host of perks that can quite literally change your life for the better.

To prove just that, here are a few of the biggest benefits of studying abroad:

Personal Development

Perhaps the most obvious of all the perks of studying abroad, the personal development that life in a new land brings is virtually unrivalled.

Studying abroad can bring with it a world life experience, from the independent qualities of living life without a parental safety net to the social aspects of fitting in and making new relationships in a fresh environment.

Living abroad for an extended period of time can also open your mind to new perspectives and lifestyles, making you a more well-rounded individual as a result, while the enlightening influence of different cultures can also be something that stays with you for the rest of life.

Learn a New Language

The living embodiment of the phrase “jumping in at the deep end”, the “sink or swim” mentality of immersing yourself in a foreign culture may be a bold approach to learning but it can also be the most effective way to pick up a new language.

After all, what better way to improve your local linguistics than by going straight to the source? You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can sharpen your skills and improve your dialect as a result.

Mastering the foreign tongue simply from a textbook or in a classroom can be difficult without the real-world practical use to support and maintain it. Conversing with native speakers can not only reinforce your language skills but also vastly improve your pronunciation.

Once you return, you could be virtually fluent in your new foreign language which not only looks good on the CV but also opens you up to an avenue of international jobs that would otherwise be inaccessible.

International Career Opportunities

Speaking of jobs, studying abroad also presents a world of new career opportunities as well.

Following a prolonged spell of study, it’s not unusual for ex-pats to remain in their adopted homeland once their educational period has ended. As such, the fact that education was achieved within that country can be valuable and help exponentially when it comes to securing a job.

What’s more, travel itself can be a window to the job of your dreams, with certain locations being more relevant to a particular industry than other; for example, Berlin is famed for its technology jobs.

In addition to the primary career opportunities, it can present abroad, studying abroad can also have a variety of incidental, slow-burning professional perks; for example, the international network of contacts you will be able to create. Those connections could prove fruitful down the line if you do wish to consider professional exploration abroad.

Boost CV Domestically

While studying abroad can be a clear entryway into professional life overseas, it can also have a positive influence on your career prospects if and when you return home.

Studying abroad shows domestic employers that you are open-minded and not adverse to change to ensure progression. These characteristics are seen by employers as extremely valuable and can make your CV stand out from a crowded stack instantly.

Meanwhile, the fact that you had the motivation and discipline to study abroad also shows that you are both driven and adaptable – two transferable skills that many employers look for from in their candidates – as well as someone who welcomes a challenge.

See the World

Travelling the world and getting to see the sights outside of your home shores is a dream of many and what a lot of people consider a key ingredient of a happy and fulfilling life. The experiences at your fingertips when exploring life abroad can be unlike anything you can achieve back home.

Not only will you get to see the world but you’ll also get to experience your destination in an entirely different way to a traditional holiday. Studying abroad allows you to truly immerse yourself in the culture and soak up the local lifestyle over the long-term while you’re there.

Meanwhile, students that study abroad may also find it easier to travel further to additional countries during their excursion and/or once their study is over. The temptation of continuing your journey further afield can be easily achieved if funds allow.

For more benefits of studying abroad or financial advice on preparing to study abroad, why not drop us a line today and speak with one of our experts? Call now on 020 7190 9559 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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The British Pound rose against the Euro on Monday after BMG and Survation polls confirmed expectations of a Tory win in the general elections on 12 December. Both polls showed that the Conservative Party was leading the polls, with Labour suffering losses.

The Independent’s BMG poll showed the Conservatives gaining points to 41% and Labour losing 1 point to 32%. ITV's Good Morning Britain Survation poll showed the Conservatives gaining 2 points to 45% and Labour losing 2 points to 31%. Leading by 7 points means that the Tories will win with a majority, while a 14-point lead shows a clear-cut win.

With a Tory majority clearly confirmed by the polls, and fears of a hung parliament receding, the pound rose to a 31-month high against the euro, while against the dollar, the pound was a little bit less than last week’s 7-month highs.

The Survation poll was conducted between 5 and 7 December by telephone with 1,012 respondents. The positive news for the pound is also that Labour is losing rather than gaining points, showing that there is a healthy gap between the two parties and that that gap would be impossible to close in the next three days. Richard Pace, options analyst with Thomson Reuters, said that "Polls continue to show the Conservatives on course for a majority government after Thursday's UK election, which would end the Brexit uncertainty and prove the most favourable outcome for GBP." It appears that a Tory majority is almost now certain, but many traders are waiting to see as the high number of undecided voters could affect the election outcome.

Undecided voters

According to Elsa Lignos of Royal Bank of Canada, undecided voters could really change the election outcome. As she said: “There are two main possible outcomes for this week’s election which will shape the UK for possibly decades to come: (1) A Conservative majority government (exit from the EU at end-Jan on terms of Withdrawal Agreement and then still TBD, the free trade agreement that has to be negotiated by the end of the transition period); (2) A hung Parliament that would see a further delay to the UK’s EU exit and potentially a second referendum. Bookies odds show a Tory majority as a near certainty, in line with the steady gap in most (but not all) opinion polls. But there is a historically high number of undecided voters which could affect as many as 80 marginal seats. We will be neutral GBP going into Thursday and look to trade the outcome.”

Final push

The Telegraph reported that Boris Johnson will visit on Monday Leave-supporting constituencies in England and Wales to urge them to reject Jeremy Corbyn’s “great betrayal” of Brexit and Labour politicians “who sneer at your values and ignore your votes.” He is expected to tell voters in Sunderland later on Monday that "The Labour party has let you down," while Parliament has "bent every rule and broken every convention as it has delayed, diluted and denied Brexit.” Johnson’s message will be that a vote for his party is a vote to "get Brexit done and unleash Britain's potential.”

On the other hand, Labour, will turn towards the economy by highlighting their radical programme of nationalising utilities and the Royal Mail, as well as investing in public services, and creating new rules for businesses and homeowners in the first 100 days of a Corbyn administration.

UPFX

If you are moving funds overseas and want to secure access to the best exchange rates possible, get in touch with a currency specialist such as Universal Partners FX. UPFX has years of experience in transferring money overseas, fast, securely and with low costs. With their online payment platform for 24-hour international money transfers and experts monitoring the market, UPFX is the best choice for your international money transfers. From managing market volatility and protecting your money from currency fluctuations, UPFX’s team will provide you with the certainty you need.

Moving to Dubai

Starting a new life abroad is a dream scenario that poses a wealth opportunity and endless possibilities. For many, the destination of choice for that restart is the beautiful country of Dubai.

Dubai is one of the most popular cities in the United Arab Emirates. So much so that Dubai has one of the largest percentages of expats in the entire world.

In fact, an incredible 80% of Dubai’s population is comprised of expats, which is great news for Brits looking to relocate.

However, moving to Dubai is no small feat. The application process can be a laborious task, while there are numerous cultural differences to keep in mind as well.

To keep the culture shock to a minimum, we’ve created this guide to help make your move to the “City of Gold” a truly priceless experience.

Dubai Visas

Once you’ve made up your mind and your heart is set on moving to Dubai, the next step is identifying the relevant visa to apply for.

As a rule of thumb, there are four primary visas that apply for expats looking to relocate to Dubai. These are:

Dubai Employment Visa

Arranged by your employer, this visa allows you to enter the country for work purposes once the appropriate work permit has been issued.

Dubai Dependant Visa

Designed for those whose partners or parents are already residing in Dubai, this visa permits entry to spouses and offspring.

- Dubai Student Visa

For those looking to enrol in Dubai university, a student visa is required to allow you to legally study in Dubai.

Dubai Investor Visa

As the name suggests, this visa is exclusively for expats looking to invest in companies based within the United Arab Emirates.

 

In order to complete the application process, there is also an extensive amount of paperwork and admin required, including the provision of passport, educational documentation and subsequent attestation of certification.

In addition to the above, the visa process also requires a compulsory health check. Once this has been completed, you will be issued with an Emirates ID Card which confirms your eligibility to work and remain in the UAE.

Money in Dubai

The designated currency of Dubai is the AED, which stands for Arab Emirates Dirham. This is also commonly abbreviated to Dhs or DH. 

Much like British currency, AED banks notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50; however, unlike British currency, they also extend to 100, 200, 500 and 1000.

As of writing, £1 sterling is the equivalent of approximately 4.75 United Arab Emirates Dirham, meaning a single AED equates to roughly 21p.

Good to Know

While the population does have a large contingent of foreign immigrants, it’s important to remember that Islam is still the national religion and the codes and conventions of that religion are rigidly enforced.

As such, there are notable restrictions on various aspects of daily life that are deemed perfectly acceptable in the UK. A notable example of this is clothing and what is deemed as acceptable clothing in the UK may not be viewed as the same in Dubai.

While the dress code in Dubai is quite liberal in comparison to other UAE destinations, outlandish attire may land you in trouble. These restrictions are particularly evident when it comes to female clothing, with significant exposed skin a risky fashion choice.

Alcohol in Dubai 

Drinking laws are considerably different in the UAE, with stringent alcohol restrictions in place. While the drinking age is 21, you can only drink in approved venues which hold a relevant alcohol license (typically hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs).

For tourists, it’s an offence to buy alcohol from an off-license; however, a 30-day tourist pass can be obtained by completing a form and signing a declaration that states you will follow UAE alcohol rules and regulation.

For residents, in order to purchase alcohol, you must hold a UAE alcohol license. Alcohol licenses are available to non-Muslim UAE residents of 21+ and allow the cardholder to buy, consume and store alcohol at home.

Alcohol licenses can be obtained online or in-person at select alcohol retailers across Dubai. These cost AED 270 (roughly £57) and take approximately three weeks to process after application. The license itself is valid for a year and needs to be renewed annually for continued use.

Crucially, it’s illegal to drink and/or be under the influence of alcohol in a public place and British nationals have been arrested and charged in the past for such a misdemeanour. That includes the beach too.

Driving in Dubai

While Dubai does have its own metro connecting most parts of the city – which will be music to the ears of many relocating Londoners – driving in Dubai will be a goal on the list of many would-be expats.

Luckily, for those already in possession of an existing UK driving license, driving in Dubai is relatively easy to arrange. UK drivers are able to convert their UK driving licenses to a UAE driving license.

To do so, all you’ll need to do is visit Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authorities. Once there, you’ll be asked to submit a series of documents (including original license, Emirates ID, etc.) and pay a set fee to complete the transfer.

Once mobile, Dubai residents will also find that fuel costs are considerably cheaper than they are domestically in the UK and it’s not unusual for a litre of petrol to cost around 40p in UK money.

Transferring Money to Dubai

During the moving process, you are probably going to need to send money to Dubai to pay for goods and services; including living necessities such as accommodation, various license fees, etc.

At Universal Partners FX, we can help you to transfer money to Dubai quickly, easily and hassle-free. Best of all, our swift online process includes no hidden fees or nasty surprises along the way.

If you’re looking to send money to Dubai, all you need to do is follow our simple three-step process:

  1. Register for free
  2. Secure your exchange rate
  3. We make your payment

Our services are available 24/7 and regulated by the FCA. We’re even backed by a 5-star rating from independent review site Feefo, giving you further peace of mind from those in the know.

For more information on how to send money to Dubai quickly, safely and securely, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 020 7190 9559 top speak with one of our experts or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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