Studying abroad may be one of the best semesters you’ll have during your college years. You’ve heard your friends rave about it, but they may have skipped over the little details like spending. Travel cost, souvenirs, and the cost conversion will take a toll on your wallet. But don’t panic! Here are a few ways to make the most of your time abroad on a budget.
Did you know that you could get scholarships that can pay for your study abroad experience? You can find scholarships based on merit, your personal circumstances, your destination, your program, and your chosen subject. Speak to your school about scholarships for studying abroad, do your research, and don’t forget to apply early so you’re guaranteed to get it!
Living in a dormitory or finding your own flat may cost a fortune. Consider finding a host family to live with. Host families usually provide a room for you, as well as meals. And if you’re studying in a country that speaks a different language, living with host families allows you to learn the culture of the country you’re staying in.
You know you’ll be heading out to pubs and restaurants while you’re away (especially since the drinking age in most countries is 18!). But manage your social spending wisely. Take advantage of social events hosted by your school or program where you can find free or cheap food and drinks and make new friends. Go out only once or twice a week, and try to find happy hours where drinks are cheaper. Remember, there are plenty of activities that don’t involve spending money on drinks or sitting down to fancy dinners. Get involved and look out for other activities that appeal to your interests.
When it comes to shopping, you won’t be able to resist! Keep in mind that the conversion rates won’t be doing you any favors, and many brands are very similar to those in the US. Save your spending for the items that you can’t find back home. Look to boutiques, markets, and fairs for unique goodies that come with great memories.
Once you’ve made the movie to Europe, Asia, or anywhere else, you’ll find that travel becomes much easier from your new base. But travel comes with costs. Look for cheap airlines and hostels to save. Airlines like easyJet and Ryanair offer great prices for traveling within Europe. And when booking a hostel, be sure to read all the reviews and research the neighboring areas around the hostel. Start your planning early. Last minute bookings will come with a higher price tag.