Side Hustle Ideas for International Students
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Top 10 Ideas To Earn Money As An International Student

Updated on February 15, 2022 03:58 pm
Top 10 Ideas To Earn Money As An International Student

Moving to a new country can be overwhelming. For international students, the primary concerns related to money are managing personal expenses and generating enough income to sustain. Even if you get a stipend or a handsome amount for pocket money, you always need some extra bucks for those fun weekends and exploring the country.

It is difficult to take up a full-time job for international students in the United States due to several visa restrictions. In addition, there is a time constraint as you need to focus on your academics.

A side-hustle is the answer. These part-time jobs are a good headway to preparing yourself for the world after school. As a bonus, managing money helps you be better at budgeting, investing, and saving.

Here Are Top 5 Ideas To Earn Money Online As An International Student In The US:

1. Content Writing

Do you have a knack for storytelling? If so, this is the right fit for you. Reach out to some companies or go online to find some writing gigs. All you need is a device, internet, and skills.

This will help you gain experience and make decent money. Network in colleges and your surroundings to attain clients and work. You might even land a dream job while scouting for different clients online. It is a sustainable option if you are ready to put in consistent efforts.

Look for opportunities on freelancer or crowdsourcing platforms such as,, and Upwork.

2. Tutoring Online

As a student, you would be proficient with one subject, skill, or domain. You can put this knowledge to use and tutor young kids or your juniors in the college in exchange for fees online.

If someone is looking for an in-person personal tutor, you can offer your services offline too. Many students home tutor children in the neighborhood who stay with working parents. Look out for opportunities on your notice boards or search them online.

3. Stock Market Trading

Stock market investment is a lucrative channel to earn massive returns but is subject to market risk. To get the right knowledge and financial sense, start taking courses online join college clubs with similar interests. The first step here is research, learning, and networking.

Acquire full knowledge about stock markets, investments, returns, and then practically apply the knowledge. Choose a safe company first and steadily invest to reap greater benefits. Don't invest blindly, follow the right strategies to ace the business.

4. E-commerce Shop

Can you bake delicious cupcakes? Or prepare scrumptious meals? Or weave scrunchies? Then, sell them. You can reach a massive audience and sell your creative work with social media.

All you have to do is market your product. You can also turn this side hustle into a full-fledged business in the future. In any case, it will still make for a great entry on your resume.

5. Paid Surveys

Enrolling as a surveyor for paid surveys is a wholesome channel to earn money. Choose one of the platforms and sign up with your email. Fill the surveys consistently and earn rewards from the comforts of your couch.

Also, look out for certain companies who conduct surveys regularly and pay a handsome amount to the participants. Popular sites for online surveys are Survey Junkie,, and BrandedSurveys.

Read: Can international students work while studying in the US?


5 Ideas To Make Money Offline As An International Student In The US

1. Hospitality

If restaurants in your university area are not hiring, food outlets such as McDonald's and Dominos are always looking for part-time employees. You can secure a position for the weekend or during a peak season to earn some side income.

You can either wait at tables or work behind the cash counter. They pay sufficient money, and you will earn tips from the customers.

2. Tour Guide

As a student, you would love to explore the country or city. Tourists arrive in hundreds in foreign countries rather frequently. Knowing the city well enough or learning as you explore is a great asset as you can become a tour guide. On the weekends, take tourists around the town.

Show them some underrated places or take them to a local eatery to taste authentic cuisine. This is an amazing way of earning money and meeting new people every week.

You may also have the liberty to choose your rates and get paid accordingly. This will be a great chance to meet new people and engage in distinct conversations.

3. Babysitting

If you love kids, then this is the perfect job for you. Most working parents are looking out for individuals who can take care of their babies during their office hours.

It is a flexible and fun job to do. Also, the pay is really good if you know how to negotiate. You can also connect with a native family when you are staying alone as a student there. You can polish your soft skills and earn good money right here.

4. Work On-Campus

Some universities offer work on campus. It is mostly offered on a part-time basis to the students. You can approach your administration and lookout for opportunities online. There are various jobs available in the university itself.

Talk to the concerned person about the potential positions. The admission desk or the student help desk should be able to guide you. Making money on campus is the most efficient use of time and travel costs. Plus, you are on campus, soaking up all the vibe.

5. Get Roommates

You can sublet a room if you have rented an apartment or share a room. It depends on how comfortable you are with the arrangements.

Most colleges don't have enough on-campus living solutions for all of the new students, and many students are looking for cheaper accommodations.


As an international student, you have plenty of options to generate passive income. These channels are mostly flexible and may work wonders for you. All you have to do is identify your skill set and monetize it in the right direction. Choose any of these ways to start with and move up the ladder as you gain experience and expertise.

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The transfer costs for sending money to India from the US are based on the transfer amount, with zero fees for transfers of $1,000 and above and a fee of $3.99 for transfers less than $1,000.WiseWise, formerly known as TransferWise, is an online money transfer company headquartered in the UK. For people without borders, Wise is one of the best alternatives to the traditional wire transfer system used by normal banks.Wise provides a real-time exchange rate, low and upfront fees based on the transfer amount, and fast transfer times. Usually, it takes 1 working day to receive a wire transfer, and 1-3 working days to receive money sent via ACH transfer.With multiple payment options, including bank account transfers, debit cards, and credit cards, and delivery options such as sending INR to the recipient's bank account in India, Wise is a versatile platform for transferring money globally. Additionally, the Wise mobile app is one of the most popular international money transfer apps. The platform offers a multi-currency bank account, allowing users to hold and send money in multiple currencies. Wise also provides high transfer limits, with users able to send up to 1 million GBP per transfer to a private individual or up to 1.5 million INR per working day to businesses. Furthermore, Wise offers excellent customer support, with a dedicated team available to answer questions and resolve issues that users may encounter.PassToPassTo is a digital money transfer company based in the UK that specializes in providing quick and secure money transfers abroad.The company's key features include a user-friendly mobile app, a competitive exchange rate, transparent pricing, and low fees, making it a cost-effective option for transferring money. The company's mobile app makes the process of transferring money quick and easy. PassTo also boasts fast transfer times, with most transfers completed within minutes. Multiple payment options such as bank account transfers and debit/credit card payments are available. It offers different ways to receive money, such as bank deposits, mobile wallet credits, airtime top-ups, and cash pickups. PassTo is licensed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, and it uses advanced security measures to safeguard transactions and personal information. Transfer limits vary depending on the country, with most instances having a maximum of GBP 3,000 per day, GBP 8,000 per month, and GBP 50,000 per yearXeXe Money Transfer is an online currency exchange company based in Canada that provides low-cost international money transfers and a highly competitive exchange rate. The company has a user-friendly website and a mobile app and offers various transfer options, including bank transfers and mobile transfers. Xe offers a range of features that include live exchange rate tracking through the XE Currency Converter, free of charge. Additionally, customers can set alerts for any currency pair to stay informed of rate fluctuations. Transfer fees depend on the destination country and the transfer amount.With Xe, most transfers are completed within 1 to 4 business days. The company offers a variety of payment methods, including bank account transfers, debit cards, and credit cards, and supports international wire transfers and ACH transfers. Customers can transfer up to $500,000 per transaction, making Xe an excellent option for large transfers.Panda RemitPanda Remit is a digital money transfer company based in Hong Kong that specializes in providing fast and secure international money transfers at a competitive exchange rate.It is an excellent option for those seeking fast, secure, and cost-effective international money transfers.Its key features include zero fees for the first transfer, low fees with no hidden fees, and fast transfer times, with most transfers completed within 1 to 2 business days. Panda Remit also provides real-time transfer notifications via SMS, WeChat, or email, ensuring customers are kept informed throughout the process. Payment methods include bank transfers, debit cards, and ATM transfers, with multiple delivery options such as a direct deposit to digital wallets, bank cards, or cash pickup. The company guarantees 100% satisfaction, and its user-friendly PandaRemit mobile app makes it easy for customers to transfer money internationally conveniently.State Bank of India CaliforniaThe State Bank of India California, a subsidiary of India's largest bank, the State Bank of India, provides a range of money transfer services, including international wire transfers, ACH transfers, and online transfers.The bank is known for its fast and cost-effective option of sending USD to INR, offering a competitive exchange rate. Customers can send money online for free within a few hours to any bank in India, making it a convenient option. The bank also provides three different ways to send money: online, via the SBIC mobile app, and in-branch. Online transfers and transfers above $50,000 have zero fees, and the in-branch fee for transfers below $50,000 is $15.The transfer limit varies depending on the method and account type; for example, for bank accounts opened online, the limit is $25,000 per day and $50,000 per month. For bank accounts opened in-branch, the limit is $50,000 per day, and there is no monthly limit, while the mobile transfer limit is $25,000 per day and $50,000 per month. InstaremInstarem is a Singapore-based online remittance service provider that offers fast, affordable, and secure transfers to multiple countries, including India. The company stands out with its real exchange rates (inter-bank rate), low fees, and transparent pricing, making it an attractive option for customers looking to send money abroad. Most transfers are completed almost instantly or within 1 to 2 business days. Instarem supports multiple payment options, including bank account transfers, wire transfers, and debit or credit cards, offering flexibility to its customers. In addition, the company has a referral program that allows customers to earn rewards for referring friends to the service, making it even more attractive. Instarem also offers a loyalty program where customers can earn InstaPoints with each transaction, with bigger transactions earning higher points. Importantly, Instarem does not have a maximum transfer limit, offering a great deal of flexibility to its customers.Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is the best online money transfer to India in 2023?The best way to send money will depend on your individual needs, such as transfer speed, fees, and exchange rate. Some of the popular options in 2023 include Remitly, Wise, PassTo, Xe, Panda Remit, State Bank of India California, and Instarem.Are online money transfer companies safe for transferring money to India?Online money transfer companies are generally safe for transferring money to India. However, it is important to do your research and choose a reputable company that is licensed and regulated.What is the cost of transferring money to India?The cost of transferring money to India will vary depending on the company you use and the amount you are transferring. Some companies charge a flat fee, while others charge a percentage of the transfer amount. It is important to compare the fees and the exchange rate to find the best deal.How long does it take to transfer money to India?Transfer times will depend on the company you use and the transfer method. Some companies offer instant transfers, while others may take several business days. It is important to check the transfer time before making a transfer.Do I need to provide identification for international money transfers to India?Yes, most companies will require you to provide identification before transferring money to India. This is to comply with anti-money laundering regulations and to ensure the safety and security of your transfer.Are money transfer apps safe to use?Most money transfer apps provide strong security measures to safeguard your money. Nevertheless, it is crucial to understand that in the event you mistakenly transfer funds to the wrong recipient, there is a possibility that you may not retrieve your money. Service providers may decline to assist you in retrieving misplaced funds. Make sure that the money transfer app has high user ratings in the app store and that you send money to people you know and trust.ConclusionThe choice of the best money transfer service to India may depend on various factors such as exchange rates, fees, transfer speed, convenience, payment method, and other features that suit your specific needs. It is recommended to do some research and compare the different options available to find the one that best suits your requirements.You can consider reading reviews and ratings, checking the features and benefits offered by each service, and comparing the exchange rate and fees to make an informed decision.To remit money to India online with ease, start on CompareRemit to find the best provider for your needs!

Guide: All About Exchange Rates
Guide: All About Exchange Rates

Understanding currency exchange rates might not sound like the most fun topic to study. However, if you are looking to send money overseas, knowing about it could wind up saving you money.It determines how much money you can get while converting one currency to another. The best exchange rates will give you more foreign currency for your dollars.In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about exchange rates and why it is important when sending money overseas.What is an Exchange Rate?When people talk about "the exchange rate" between any two currencies, they are referring to the mid-market exchange rate. In other words, an exchange rate is the relative price of one currency expressed in terms of a foreign currency value (or group of currencies). For example, 1 USD equals 82.27 INR.Why is it Called the Mid-Market Rate?It is called the mid-market rate because it is the midpoint between the buying and selling prices of any two currencies at any time.Also known as interbank rates or the intermediate rate, this is the rate at which banks trade currencies with one another.How is the Mid-Market Rate Determined?Foreign exchange markets are the global marketplace in which national currencies are traded for foreign currency transactions.Price differences between purchases and sales are called Spreads. The average of this spread (buying and selling prices) determines the mid-market rate.Each currency pair has its specific mid-market rate which is influenced by imports, exports, trade balances, political situations, economic growth, etc. That is why the buy and sell rates of the currency tend to change according to the supply and demand of the currency in the foreign exchange market.Furthermore, the foreign exchange rate of a country act as a window to the health of its economy.How to Find the Mid-Market Exchange RateThere are many free online tools that you can use to find mid-market rates. Here are a few of them that you can use as an exchange rate calculator as well:Google for Exchange RatesXE.comWiseReutersFloating Exchange Rate vs Fixed Exchange RateThere are different types of exchange rate regimes that a country might choose to operate under. You may have seen exchange rate descriptions that are floating or fixed.Floating Exchange RateHere, the exchange rates are generally determined by the market forces of supply and demand in foreign exchange markets and hence fluctuate constantly.World's major currencies such as the US dollar, the Euro, the Japanese yen, and the UK pound sterling use the floating exchange rate.Fixed Exchange RateA fixed or pegged exchange rate is linked to the value of another currency (usually the U.S. dollar, but may also include other major currencies like the euro, the yen, or a basket of currencies). For example, the Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar in a range of 7.75 to 7.85. So, the value of the Hong Kong dollar relative to the U.S. dollar will remain within this range.Under the pegged regime, the central bank or monetary authority maintains the rate by buying and selling its currency on the foreign exchange market in return for the currency to which it is pegged.Is a Fixed Rate or Floating Exchange Rate Better?Fixed exchange rates work well for growing economies that do not have a stable monetary policy. It helps bring stability to a country's economy and attract foreign investment. Floating exchange rates work better for countries that already have a stable and effective monetary policy.Why Do Exchange Rates Change?As we have discussed, the rates are determined by the economies' activity, interest rates, GDP, or even unemployment rates of all the countries. Here we explain the major factors contributing to the fluctuating exchange rates.InflationInflation is defined as a currency's relative buying power compared to other currencies.Low-inflation countries tend to have stronger currencies than those with higher inflation rates. Higher inflation rates, on the other hand, cause the currency to depreciate, losing purchasing power and value in comparison to other currencies.Interest RatesInflation, interest rates, and exchange rates are all linked together. Each of these variables has the potential to influence the other two. Low inflation and high-interest rates increase the demand for the currency.However, if these rates are too high for too long, inflation will begin to rise, resulting in currency depreciation.Public DebtThe majority of countries use large-scale deficit financing to fund their budgets. If government debt grows faster than the economy, it can raise inflation by preventing foreign investment from entering the country, both of which can depreciate a currency.The value of a currency's exchange rate will fall if foreign investors lose their confidence in the government.Balance of TradeThe balance of trade also referred to as the terms of trade, is the relative difference between an economy's imports and exports. For instance, a positive trade balance indicates that a country's exports are greater than its imports. In this case, the inflow of foreign currency exceeds the outflow. A country's foreign exchange reserves rise as a result, enabling it to lower interest rates and promoting economic growth and the local currency exchange rate.Current Account DeficitThe current account deficit and the balance of trade are inextricably linked. A current account deficit occurs when a country spends more than it earns. In this case, a country's trade balance is contrasted with that of its trading partners. When a country's current account deficit is greater than that of a trading partner, it may cause its currency to depreciate relative to that trading partner's. Because of this, currencies in countries with positive or low current account deficits are frequently stronger than those in those with large deficits.Political StabilityA country with a stable political environment attracts more foreign investment, which helps to keep the currency rate constant. Poor political stability, on the other hand, devalues a country's currency exchange rate.Government InterventionTo regulate exchange rates, a country's central bank can adjust interest rates, buy foreign currency, influence local lending rates, print money, and utilize other measures to create favorable conditions for a stable currency exchange rate.Why Exchange Rate is Important for Sending Money Overseas?Despite the fact that the exchange rate is not a fee, it is a cost of money transfer that must be considered. It will determine how much money will be received on the other end, or how much money must be given to ensure that the recipient receives the needed amount.In addition to transfer fees, money transfer companies and banks often add a margin to the mid-market to make a profit.What is an Exchange Rate Margin?While banks and money transfer services use the mid-market rate for trading currencies between themselves, they set different exchange rates for customers.The exchange rate margin is the percentage difference between the mid-market rate and the rate offered to customers. This difference in rate is one of the ways banks and providers make money. Even a slight difference in the rate can make a huge difference when sending a large amount of money.Can I Send Money at Mid-Market Exchange Rate?Some specialized money transfer companies, such as Wise and Instarem, offer a mid-market rate to send money overseas. Some may even allow you to lock in a favorable rate for a set period of time, ensuring that rate fluctuations do not affect your transfer.However, in general, most banks and money transfer providers add the exchange rate margins. This can increase the cost of your transfers.Why Should You Know the Mid-Market Rates?If you want to save money on international money transfers, you should transfer money as closely as possible to the mid-market exchange rates. Mid-market rates are considered the fairest rate possible.This rate is a good starting point to compare with what transfer companies offer to see if it is a fair exchange rate. To do this, you can use a search engine to find the current mid-market rate of your selected currency pair before proceeding with the transaction. Most transfer providers will show you the rate for your transfer before you press send.Why Banks are Not the Best Way to Send Money OverseasWhen using international wire transfers via banks, you can find that FX rates are not nearly as favorable as inter-bank rates. Banks often add a markup to the interbank rate. The costs of currency conversion are sometimes not disclosed to the customer. And they wind up paying exorbitant fees without even realizing it as hidden fees.Furthermore, compared to bank fees, third-party money transfer services' transfer fees and exchange rate margins are substantially lower.Key TakeawaysAn exchange rate is a rate at which one currency will be exchanged for another currencyWhile most exchange rates are floating and will rise or fall based on the supply and demand in the market, some exchange rates are pegged or fixed to the value of a specific country's currency.To get the best exchange rate when sending money abroad, comparing service providers is highly recommended.Banks are not the ideal option to send money overseasThe closer you are to the mid-market rate, the more money your recipient will ultimately receive.To check the current exchange rates when sending money overseas, use our online comparison tool to view offers from top providers today!

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