Top Tips for Saving Money While Studying Abroad

| 25/07/2012 | 1 Comment

Many students are finding that studying abroad provides an unparalleled educational experience. By spending some time studying overseas, students gain a deep knowledge of another culture and language and also improve the overall complexity of their knowledge. Finally, study abroad opportunities allow students to add highly valuable experience to their resumes. This can do wonders for a student’s later employment and earning opportunities. Study abroad is possible for everyone, even those on a tight budget, by following these simple money saving tips:

  • Stick to a budget for non-essentials – It can be too easy to get carried away with buying cool things that are unique to the country you are visiting. This can get costly fast, however, so it is vital that you determine how much you can afford to spend and stick to that amount, regardless of how tempted you may become.

  • Do not be afraid to haggle – In most international societies, haggling is expected. Pay attention to your surroundings to see if there is haggling taking place. If so, work on your negotiation skills by asking for a lower price or by asking for a discount if you buy more than one item.

  • Live with a host family – Dormitory and other lodging rentals can be one of the most expensive parts of any study abroad experience. As such, one of the easiest ways to save money on your experience is to choose a home stay. There are volunteer host families in almost every country that will typically offer home cooked meals as well as a deeper understanding of the local culture and traditions.

  • Keep your student ID on hand – Student discounts are not only available in the United States. When you are studying abroad, make it a habit to show your student ID anywhere you spend money. Discounts may not always be available, but there are many that you wouldn’t otherwise know about.

  • Cook your own meals– While it is true that dining is one of the major experiences of a new culture, you can save a great deal of money by eating out for lunch and preparing your own dinners at home. This will give you an opportunity to shop in local markets and to try out some new recipes using ingredients you may never have tried before.

  • Go for a walk – Using local transportation will certainly be a part of your total study abroad experience, but such things can get costly when used all the time. Make sure to travel by foot whenever possible. Not only is this a great way to get exercise, but it is also a fantastic, intimate way to truly learn the area you are visiting. When walking in the area, you will find many hidden treasures that you would have missed by riding everywhere you go.

  • Save on calling home – International calling charges are quite expensive. Instead of using your cell phone to call your friends and family back home, consider using Skype or another cheap Internet service. For any local calls, consider using a cheap international phone and a pre-paid SIM card to get the greatest savings.

  • Get advice from the experts – While your study abroad program will likely provide you with a great deal of good information, no one knows the area you are visiting as well as the locals. Make local friends and ask for advice about the best places to visit, eat, and shop. In addition to saving money, taking this approach will let you get a fuller experience by living the way the locals do. Isn’t that the point of studying abroad?

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Carey is a professional writer with lots of freelance experience. Writing is her true passion, that’s why she became a chief editor at bestessay.com

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