How much currency it takes to have $1.00? (Photo Illustration by Aaron Anders)

Rising dollar hits pocketbooks
By Puteri Sabira Pittsburg State University Collegio

International students at Pittsburg State University have been keeping a close eye on money exchange rates recently, as have international students across the country.

And because of a stronger U.S. dollar, many international students are seeing their money not going as far as it used to.

Miya Ku, a freshman in communication from Taiwan, says the currency rate has been changing constantly and she has been looking for a job around campus.

"I hope I can find a job by next semester to earn extra money to buy what I want," she said. "The fees and textbooks are greatly increasing and I need to work harder to pay for them."

The increasing value of the U.S. dollar in comparison to foreign currency makes attending a U.S. university more expensive for international students. Currently, international students are struggling with the currency rate. Students from India, China, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Malaysia have seen the money they bring from home become worth less relative to the dollar than it was just a few months ago.

"Studying in another country is an exciting opportunity, but I have to juggle both work and studies," said Casey Khoo, a junior in communication from Malaysia. She has been working in the dining hall the past few months so she can make ends meet.

"The unit of Malaysian ringgit per unit of U.S. currency is $1 equals 3.60 ringgits," Khoo said. A few months ago, the exchange rate was $1 to 3.20 ringgits.

"It was really a big jump for me since I have to pay more compared to a few months ago," she said. "For example, I have to pay more on my rent of $400, and, basically, I have to pay at least 1,800 ringgits, when previously it was only 1,300 ringgits."

Prashant Agnihotria, an MBA student from India, says he has to work more to be able to send money to his parents in India.

"The impact of the rising currency has made me struggle working and studying at the same time," he said. "I work at least 19 hours and normally I study at night."

In a recent day, $1 was equal to 50.882 Indian rupees, a big jump from the 44 or so rupees a few months ago.

"I used to save money on buying clothes, but now I have to save them and send the money back to my parents," he said.

However, Rami Jalil from Saudi Arabia, senior in electronic engineering, says that he has no problem living on his budget because of the increasing currency rate.

"I work, too, to get my own money, but I don't really grind it away," he said.

One dollar equals 3.75 Saudi riyal, compared to the rate of 3.50 riyal to the dollar last summer.

Elaine Fun, junior in business from Malaysia, says the currency rates have forced her to cut back on luxuries, such as clothes and makeup.

"I really have to save up all my money, and it's hard because I love shopping," she said.

But for Carol Moreno, a chemistry junior from Paraguay, the stronger dollar has had little impact on her budget because she is attending school on a scholarship from home.

"I am glad that I have the scholarship, so it won't be hard for me to save money," Moreno said.

【2008/12/11 Pittsburg State University Collegio】報紙原貌(頭版)報紙原貌(續)

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