10 financial tips to save money while studying abroad

10 financial tips to save money while studying abroad
10 financial tips to save money while studying abroad

Studying abroad isn’t cheap, but it can be an experience worth every penny. In addition to learning from your chosen course, you will have the opportunity to meet people of various nationalities and immerse yourself in other cultures. Before applying for a place at an international university, however, it is essential to know all the costs involved in this project. And it’s also good to know some tips for saving money while studying abroad. After all, no one wants to abort an exchange halfway through due to lack of resources, right?

The good news is that, with a lot of planning and research, it is possible to make the trip less heavy on your pocket. Check out the following 10 guidelines for saving money while studying abroad from the book Student Guide to Study Abroad , produced by the Institute of International Education (IIE), to help you study abroad without falling into red:

Tips for saving money while studying abroad:

1. Don’t base your decision solely on the costs involved

Money is important and everyone knows it. However, the choice of which country to study in (and which course to take) should not be based exclusively on the costs involved. Studying in Peru, Ecuador or Senegal will certainly be cheaper than studying in Italy, Spain or England , but is that what you want? It might be. But, if not, be careful when changing one country for another just because of the cost of the trip.

If your dream is to study in Italy, you don’t have to give it up, but you also don’t necessarily have to attend an elite university in Rome or Milan. You can, for example, opt for a renowned college in a city in the interior , which has a lower cost of living.

2. Estimate expenses

Students do not always remember that the costs of studying abroad go far beyond paying university tuition. Therefore, before starting applications, make a list of items that are not included in the exchange program and an estimated cost for each one. For example: airfare, accommodation, food, visa, passport, books and handouts and international medical insurance.

3. Research scholarships

Scholarships are essential for saving money while studying abroad. For many people, they are the only option to make this dream come true. Fortunately, there is a very large offer of scholarships for different student profiles.

Therefore, regardless of the country you want to study in, the course you intend to take and the duration, it is recommended to research all the scholarships offered abroad. As many students request such benefits, you need to be careful to identify the one that best suits your profile. Some scholarships cover smaller expenses, but, on the other hand, they are less competitive.

Furthermore, some governments and institutions offer financial assistance to those going to less popular destinations, which are outside the United States, England, Italy, Spain and France.

Duplichecke has an always updated list of scholarships. Opportunities range from short courses to undergraduate and postgraduate courses, in various destinations. Check it out here!

4. Check if the scholarship you receive is transferable

Any financial aid you receive from a Brazilian university must be transferable to a foreign institution affiliated with it. Therefore, do not make plans counting on assistance from your institution without first knowing whether the scholarship you receive can be used abroad.

You also need to make sure that you will be able to renew your study period abroad. Before embarking, check with your educational institution whether there is compatibility of academic curricula between your current and intended course.

5. Decide on a budget and make sure you don’t go over it

Set a budget for your trip in the local currency of your destination country. As there is an exchange rate difference, there is a risk of spending more than planned. Throughout the exchange, monitor your expenses in a spreadsheet.

Check out some more suggestions on how to handle your money abroad:

  • Pay in cash whenever possible. This way, you will increase your bargaining power with sellers, as they will not have to pay debit and credit card fees.
  • Use ATMs sparingly, as they charge high fees for making withdrawals.
  • Never carry all your cash or debit and credit cards with you.

6. Save on accommodation

Accommodation is always one of the critical points of the trip, and can make the international experience more expensive. The main options for places to live abroad are: student dormitories, university dormitories, renting and sharing an apartment with friends, hostels and family homes.

If you have little money to spend, staying with a host family can be a good option to save money while studying abroad. The prices charged are usually lower and, in general, include meals and laundry. Furthermore, it is a good opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture and learn about local customs.

7. Save on food

Food can also greatly increase the cost of the exchange. The tip here is to reduce the number of trips to restaurants and cafes. Instead of going out to dinner every night, try preparing your own food. To make the task more fun, invite friends to cook with you!

8. Always bargain

There are countries where the culture of “bargaining” prevails. Brazil itself is an example. Find out about the culture of your destination nation and, if it is part of this group, don’t be shy about negotiating.

9. Work!

Countries follow different rules regarding work permits for foreigners on student visas. But, depending on the country and your availability, working is a good option to save money while studying abroad or balance the accounts during the exchange.

First, check how many hours of work per week are authorized — working more than allowed by local law puts your visa at risk. Afterwards, the guideline is to wait a few weeks of classes to get a feel for the “atmosphere” of the college and check if you will be able to work without this compromising your academic performance. If you think you can do both, get to work!

10. Ask people who have already traveled

Talking to students who have already been to the country you are going to is the best way to find out how much things really cost, from food to leisure. Don’t be intimidated: ask your questions and ask for tips from those who have already had this experience!

Leave a Comment