Preparation for study abroad has been very stressful. Being Diabetic, I thought that preparing for my medicine would have been the most stressful part. Boy, was I wrong! There is nothing more stressful than losing money. I’ve lost $5 before, but I have never lost over $3,500. The situation I was in was exactly that. When I had gone to my bank to check on what had happened to the wire, my bank told me that the other bank had received the money but did not know who it belonged to. Before taking this to any of the UH (University of Hawaii) Mānoa International Coordinators, I made it a mission for myself to resolve this myself. I did three things.
- I kept in contact with my bank and kept following up every day to ensure that they updated me on the issue.
- Sent an email requesting help from the international coordinator at AIU (Akita International University)
- Called the bank in Akita to see if I could address the issue with them.
Sadly, none of these things went my way. Each of these methods came up problematic; it had already been a week since my bank began working on resolving the issue yet there was no progress; the AIU international coordinator had not replied to my email regarding the wire issue nor an email I sent a month prior to the occurrence of this issue; and Akita Bank had no English speakers. I could only get so far with an intermediate level of Japanese.
After a week and a half of no progress, I “semi-gave up,” emailed the UH Mānoa Coordinators of the issue, and waited for their reply. No more than a day later, they replied and ensured me that they would help me sort this all out. As soon as I got their email, I felt relieved which came to a surprise being that issue hadn’t been resolved yet. Thankfully, three days later it was resolved and the AIU international coordinator finally replied to both of my emails. I don’t know what kind of magic they pulled out, but there were no words to describe how appreciative I was.
This was a stressful but good experience. I learned a lot about wiring money and how to better prepare for it. As much as it was a good experience, it was not something I want future exchange students to go through. I want their preparation to be much smoother and less stressful. This has led me to the development of this website’s “Obstacles” page, a page that gives you the steps you need prevent these issues from occurring.
If you plan to wire money to a bank in another country or get into contact with an international coordinator from another country’s school, here are some solutions to getting it done successfully.