Study abroad can be a really fun and exciting experience that can teach you so much about other cultures and yourself, the last thing you want to worry about when you’re in another country is money. So here are some things to do when you’re going to study abroad on a budget, and things to do if you’re already abroad and need to make your budget last or grow.
Do some research of your own
Before I do anything, I research. I’ve found that by researching I can see what a place has to offer, and different ways that I can save money. So before you head out on your study abroad trip, do a quick search and find what specific tricks the city you’re going to has to offer in regards to traveling on a budget. Some tips I have found are to avoid tourist areas and try living like a local.
Make a budget for yourself
How exactly can you study abroad on a budget? By making a budget for yourself. Including food, travel, other necessities, and some room for fun things on your budget. Try to stick to your budget, and think long term when you’re making it. The more you save in the beginning, the more you’ll have at the end of your trip, which means the more room you have to go all out at the end, once you know where the best places to go and things to do are.
Do yourself a favor and plan ahead
Another easy way to study abroad on a budget is to plan ahead. Yes, making a budget is a good way to plan ahead, but I’m thinking more big picture. If you know that you’re going to be out all day, bring snacks with you, bring a refillable water bottle with you, bring a small first aid kit along. Plan for different things and be prepared, so that way you don’t have to spend an excessive amount on things you already have but just didn’t have with you. Trust me, you’ll be kicking yourself at the end of your trip when you’re broke because you didn’t bring your refillable bottle with you and spent $5 most days on water bottles.
Apply for Financial Aid
When I first started college, I don’t think you can apply for financial aid to study abroad – you totally can. You can apply for financial aid for your study abroad trip and you should. It only takes a little bit of time and can help you out big time on your trip. So often you’ll be approved for more than you’ll need to pay for the plane tickets and room and board once you’re there that you’ll have extra spending money. Don’t rely solely on this though, I’d recommend saving over the summer as well as budgeting to make all of these sources of income last.
See if you qualify for a work-study to make some extra money on your trip
If you’re already broad and you see that your funds are running low, see if you qualify for work-study. This way you can make extra money and learn even more about the place that you’re in by working in it. If you don’t qualify for work-study, see if there are other ways that you can make money. Talk to whoever runs your study abroad program and see if they have any advice on how to make extra money. You might be surprised by the results.