If you’re considering a study abroad experience, it doesn’t have to be exorbitant! It’s totally reasonable to have a great time, and be able to stick to a study abroad budget! The awesome part about traveling is that, no matter your budget, you can still see the world!
Expenses Don’t Have to be Expensive
Before heading abroad, take into consideration the location and duration of the program, as well as bordering cities, available transportation, and costs of dining out. Compiling a budget for expenses will alleviate any surprises along the way.
Check in with yourself and what you enjoy doing - Do you love grabbing coffee in the morning? Are you an adventure junkie? Assess your interests and then make some wiggle room to enjoy the things! Be sure to keep your budget in mind (excursions, entertainment, personal expenses) and live within your means.
Find Student Discounts
Keep an eye out for any student discounts that may be available to use when applicable! It never hurts to ask! Check out StudentUniverse, which offers discounted pricing and terms on flights, hotels and tours.
Another interesting resource to look into is an International Student ID, a.k.a. ISIC, which offers discounts for travel, insurance, and products pertaining to your host country. You can also carry around your host university’s student ID to get student discounts at museums, movie theaters, train tickets, and much more!
Anticipate Certain Charges
Let’s be honest, we all love food! It’s hard to decline interesting dishes you’ve never tried before when out and about! However, food does end up being one of the biggest expenses when traveling. Keep this in mind and space out which traditional foods you want to try. Make a fun lunch date with friends on different weekends, that way you’re dispersing your expenses on weekly meals and savoring those delicious dishes!
Other charges that can seem unavoidable are ATM transaction fees. Try finding a bank in your host country that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. Whenever you pull cash from your debit card, you’ll get hit with fees from your bank and the foreign bank as well. We recommend bringing some cash that you’ve already changed into the local currency!
You can also apply for a credit card with zero foreign transaction fees, or ask your bank if they have a sister bank in your host country, which is another bank that’s affiliated with a U.S. bank. This saves you time and fees!
Implementing Your Budget
There are always plenty of options when it comes to making the most of your time abroad! Comparing your expenses with your budget while you’re overseas will keep you accountable so you can determine whether you might need to slow down on dining out or can afford an extra fun excursion. It’s recommended to make adjustments to your budget accordingly after you’ve been living in your host country for a bit once you find your way around the city and all of its costs!
Staying conscious of expenses is the best thing you can do for yourself as a student traveler! Ask for discounts when you can, and most importantly, make the most of your budget when living overseas!
Check out our recent blog, Money Matters - How You Can Afford Your Experience with EdOdyssey, to find out more tips on saving costs up front with EdOdyssey’s programs!