Studying abroad is definitely worth trying, especially if you are hungry for new experiences and emotions. But the question of finances might still get you stuck when making this life-changing decision. Luckily for you, it’s possible to save a bit while studying abroad. These 10 easy tips will be useful to every student who has come to a foreign country to study.
1. Planning your budget
When you know that your budget is tight, the best way to save is to keep track of your expenses. Install some budget planning apps on your smartphone and make records of your funds. Mint is a good option to try. It will be easier for you to check how much is left and how much you are still allowed to spend. Compare your expenses by weeks or months and analyze how you can manage your finances in a smarter way.
2. Saving on your commuting
Investigate the transportation system in the country where you study. There are, most probably, some discounts for students and additional discounts for when you purchase monthly passes. Avoid taxis as they will quickly empty your wallet. If you have a chance to go on foot, avoid transport completely, even if you need to walk for 20-30 min. When you arrive and look for an apartment, you’ll benefit a lot if it is somewhere really close to where your study. After all, if you cut down on your commuting expenses, you’ll have a chance to save a lot.
3. Meeting new friends
Studying abroad is also about traveling. But don’t rely on hotels or hostels when you need to find a place to stay. Use some trusted resources to find those who are ready to let you stay for a night. This way, you don’t just find a free place to stay, but also meet new friends who can show you lots of destinations in new cities or even drive you there if they go the same way.
4. Sharing expenses
When studying abroad, you are not the only one who needs to save. Share an apartment with your classmates, share food and cooking expenses, books and other educational materials. You can also travel together and share traveling expenses as well. In the same way, you will also save time on cleaning, cooking, and even doing assignments for your study.
5. Avoiding international calls
When you go to a foreign country to study, you will obviously want to talk to your friends and family. Make sure you can call them using popular apps, like Whatsapp, Skype, etc. International calls are usually too expensive. In addition, they limit you in time. Make free calls via any of these apps and talk to your loved ones for as long as you wish. Even if your granny doesn’t have a smartphone or PC, it will be much cheaper for you to buy her one before you go abroad than later call her by phone.
6. Finding an additional income source
Even if you are too busy with your study, it is still possible to find some time for a part-time job. However, make sure it’s not located on the other side of the city. When you combine study with work, you will have to find time for attending college, doing homework, cooking, self-development, good sleep, and going to work. Long commuting time is completely unnecessary in this busy schedule. You can either find a job in a local café nearby, or find some online jobs, like freelance writing, language tutoring, or data entry.
7. Smarter food choices
Good food is a must, especially for students. Don’t eat foods that make you hungry very soon. You should eat some healthy products with a high nutritional value – they are not always expensive and are more suitable for increasing brain efficiency. Instead of eating in expensive restaurants, you’d better take your lunch from home. Consider thermos food jars that enable you to prepare a tasty meal at home and eat it a few hours afterwards while it’s still hot. You don’t have to choose between cheap hot dogs and expensive restaurant meals. You can have a healthy and hot meal without overspending.
8. Student ID card
Usually, students are offered some really good discounts on practically everything, starting with traveling to money exchange. They are also offered reduced prices on some entertainment activities, like cinema, dancing clubs, gyms, local cafes, etc. Make sure you always have your student ID card with you. It is also possible to apply for International Student ID card that gives you even more saving benefits. Even though it will cost you some money, it will be a worthy investment in the end. It’s particularly useful when you plan to visit neighbor countries during your vacation.
9. Personal bank account
If you are staying for longer that one semester, a good idea would be to open your own bank account, transfer your money there and pay your university fees using it. ATM withdrawals and currency exchange fees are too high, especially for students whose funds are limited. By reducing your money conversion rates, it’s possible to save a lot and use this money for some nice things.
10. Buying used books from others
The amount of books that students need throughout their study is enormous. You don’t necessarily have to buy new books. Check out Chegg app to look for books that other students no longer need. In the same way, when the term is over, sell your books using the same app and make your money return to you.
Ready to start saving?
Education in a foreign country is not just about study. It’s also about exploring the new culture, new destinations, and meeting new people. It’s good to have some money saved to be able to get the most out of your experience abroad. You will always find a better way to spend your money than paying conversion fees, paying for taxis, expensive meals, or just some unnecessary items. Money won’t be able to buy everything, but it will definitely open more opportunities to you, no matter where on the globe you decided to study.