Studying abroad is one of the most life-changing experiences that you can ever undergo. Not only will you be given the opportunity to further your educational career, but you will also be able to immerse yourself in the culture and people of a foreign land. Unfortunately, these benefits can come at a high cost. Here are five ways that you can study abroad on a budget.
1 Find a Job
Just because you are studying abroad, it does not mean that you have to give up working. Finding a job at your destination will ensure that you have a steady cash flow for the duration of your study experience.
As a bonus, securing employment while at your destination will also provide you with additional enriching experiences as it allows you to expand your opportunities. A job in a foreign country is also a great resume booster, showing that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and take on new challenges. Not to mention, it is yet another opportunity to improve your language acquisition skills.
2 Choose a More Affordable Destination
The biggest factor in how much your trip will end up costing us is the destination that you choose. This makes it imperative that you carefully consider all of the fees before landing on a final destination for your study abroad experience.
While many students lean toward the more romanticized study abroad destinations, these are also generally the most expensive. You will get more bang for your buck if you choose a destination that provides a more affordable learning experience. For example, there is an abundance of education opportunities in Canada that come without the high price tag of studying in Europe or Asia. Looking into these alternative destinations can prove to be a significant favor to your wallet.
3 Leverage Student Discounts
Regardless of where you travel, student discounts are plentiful if you know where to look. You would be well advised to get into the habit of checking to see if there is a student discount every time that you make a major purchase. Once you find places that offer these discounts, you can put them on your list to frequent often.
This makes it important to never leave your home without your student identification. You may also luck out and find a myriad of student discounts when shopping online. As with any approach to saving money, it never hurts to ask a vendor if there is an available discount for you to leverage.
4 Set Aside Money for Personal Splurges
Every traveler has a list of things that are important to them. For some, that may be indulgent meals. For others, it may be the chance to travel on the weekends or experience new activities. When planning your study abroad budget, it is recommended to set aside money for the splurges that truly matter to you.
You will not feel as if you are cutting corners if you funnel money into travel budget items that have the most impact on your personal enjoyment. If food is not that important to you, why not try to scrimp and save on this aspect so that you can divert these funds to the parts of your learning experience that will create lasting memories?
5 Be Mindful of Extra Fees
While that extra dollar or two may not seem significant at the time, all of these little fees can really add up over time. This makes it important that you are mindful of all of those annoying fees that you may incur in your travels.
Start with looking at your phone plan. Be sure to shop around and find a plan that will best fit your specific needs. Likewise, if you know you will not use the phone a lot, be sure to avoid a plan that corners you into paying for what you are not using. Other fees to look out for include foreign transaction fees, ATM fees, and the costs associated with wiring money. Picking a credit card designed for foreign travel can go a long way in helping to avoid these charges racking up.
While there is no getting around the fact that a study abroad experience will be an investment, these five tips can help you to stretch your dollar.